The History of Japan

Table of Contents
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Jomon Period Yayoi Period Kofun Period Kofun Tombs Asuka Period Heian Period Kamakura Period Maruomachi Period Azuchi-Momoyama Period Edo Period Meiji Period Showa Period Taisho Period Ainu Heisei Period Emporers Sutoku and Go-Shirakawa Emperor Go-Toba First Sino-Japanese War Emperor Go-Daigo The Hakuho Culture The History of Tokyo International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) Japan in World War I Japan in World War II Japanese American Internment Japanese Canadian Internment Japanese Militarism Japanese Mythology Kemmu Restoration Bakumatsu Japan after WWII Kumaso Tribe Kuni no Miyatsuko Masamune Okazaki The Occupation of Japan Oda Nobunaga Post-Occupation Japan Russo-Japanese War The Anti-Comintern Pact The Atomic Bombings of Japan The Boshin War (1868-1869) The Emperor of Japan The Immigration Act of 1924 The Imperial House of Japan


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Japanese Farmers in California Nanboku-cho Period Sengoku Period Nanban Trade Period The National Diet of Japan The Second Sino-Japanese War Tripartite Pact Yasunari Kawabata

Jomon Period
The Jomon period of Japanese history is the time between 14000 BC and 400 BC and represents the earliest history of Japan. The Jomon period is known for its early pottery, population expansion, and a shift from semi-nomadic life to rice paddy farming. The name Jomon, “cordpatterened,” originally referred to decorative markings made on pottery with cord-wrapped sticks. The Jomon period is typically divided into these different sub-periods:
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Incipient Jomon – 14000 BC to 7500 BC Initial Jomon – 7500 BC to 4000 BC Early Jomon – 4000 BC to 3000 BC Middle Jomon – 3000 BC to 2000 BC Late Jomon – 2000 BC to 1000 BC Final Jomon – 1000 BC to 300 BC

Incipient and Initial Jomon During the Incipient Jomon period, the early Japanese culture began to stabilize, resulting in the first clear archaeological records in Japan. While the culture of the first Jomon period was mostly hunter-gatherers, the nomadic societies slowly began creating villages and becoming more stationary. During this time, the Japanese began creating pottery and clay figures and statues. Initially, the culture of the Incipient Jomon shared much with the Jeulmun culture that thrived in Korea around the same time, but the two cultures diverged when rising ocean levels in 11000 BC isolated Japan from the rest of Asia. Early Jomon During the Early Jomon period, sea levels continued to rise, reaching heights a good two to three meters or more than they are today. However, despite being cut off from the rest of Asian, the early Japanese people thrived. Population increased significantly, as did the complexity of the Japanese tools, art, and housing. Pottery found from the Early Jomon period is much more decorated than those from earlier years. Middle Jomon During the Middle Jomon period, the population continued to expand at a rapid rate. This period, as the Early Jomon period, saw the seas continue to rise, and the overall temperature of Japan was hotter than it is today. Arts continued to flourish, and excavations have discovered highly decorated pottery and other items that can be dated to the Middle Jomon period. As the Japanese


culture continued to become more stationary, larger villages appeared. In fact, the Jomon period had a very highest population density when viewed alongside other comparable foraging societies. Late Jomon The time between 2000 BC and 1000 BC, the Late Jomon period, saw a significant drop in temperature which resulted in the large population of the Middle Jomon period declining drastically. While a large number of artifacts can be found from both previous and subsequent periods, few sites have been found from the latter portion of the Late Jomon period. Final Jomon The Final Jomon period shows a large shift in the Japanese way of life. The most significant shift came in the form of new technology brought to Japan by visitors from the West. While these newcomers set up colonies and peacefully co-existed with the Japanese, their effect on Japanese culture was just as dramatic as if they had invaded. The cornerstone of this new technology was rice-paddy farming. While the Japanese society before the Final Jomon period wasn’t as strictly hunter-gatherer as many societies at the time were, they weren’t farmers by any means. However, society greatly shifted to farming during this time, with many new villages and towns appearing. Other new technology helped cement and stabilize Japanese settlements, including glass blowing, textile making, and metalworking. More structured government appeared, as did many of the traditional Japanese marriage customs. Shinto was also introduced to Japan, bringing its rituals, beliefs, and myths to the Final Jomon society. The Invention of Pottery While pottery has been used by many civilizations, archaeological finds and radiocarbon dating have suggested that the Jomon people were the first in the world to use pottery and stone tools. However, there is evidence that also suggests that pottery was brought to Japan from Asia, leading archaeologists on a hunt for the true origins of pottery. Studies are still being conducted on the Fukui Cave pottery (the earliest found pottery in Japan) and pottery found on mainland Asia to determine which was created first. Much of the pottery found from this time period is decorated with Jomon, or patterns made from rope. These patterns were made by wetting soil and wringing it into a rope. This rope was then molded into shapes by hand. The pottery made during this time was generally used to store food and other supplies, although clay figures have also been discovered. During the latter years of the Jomon period, the Japanese began decorating their clay vessels and pots with sophisticated designed and symbols. It is this pottery that has lead archaeologists to determine many traits of the Jomon period. Few hunter-gatherer societies produce pottery since it was so easily breakable, leading experts to deduce that the Jomon were at least somewhat sedentary. Archaeologists have also discovered stone tools, traps, fishing paraphernalia, and early bows and arrows. Agriculture, especially in the later years, became more advanced, and by the end of the Jomon period, the Japanese were living in houses and keeping good-sized fields of crops.

Yayoi Period

The Yayoi period, the second period of Japanese history, took place between 400 BC and 300 AD. Named after the Yayoi section of Tokyo where the first artifacts from this period were found, the Yayoi period is mainly characterized by new and more advanced forms of pottery and an increase in rice production. During this time, the Japanese expanded to cover the area between Kyushu in the south and Honshu in the north. Government continued to evolve during the Yayoi period. Social classes became more and more apparent, with chieftains at the top. Villages became more permanent, and society as a whole become more and more sedimentary. Pottery, now created on a wheel, was painted or glazed. While the Jomon period saw high seas cut off Japan from the rest of Asia, during the Yayoi period, Japan reestablished contact with both China and Korea. This led to the introduction of bronze and copper working, new rice growing techniques, ceramics, farming implements, iron tools, weaving, domesticated swine, and new methods of pottery. From this new technology came symbols of prestige, including swords, spears, mirrors, irrigation technology, and more. The Yayoi period is especially noted for three bronze creations: mirrors, swords, and the royal seal stone. These three items reflect the three pieces of the imperial regalia of Japan that play a large role in mythology: the sword Kusanagi, the mirror of the goddess Amaterasu, and the legendary jewel. Since the late 600s, these three items have been used in the installation of each successive emperor. During the Yayoi period, the Japanese completed the transformation from hunter-gatherers into an agricultural society. The population then expanded even more than it had during the end of the Jomon period. Part of this was attributed to the new rice farming techniques and the increase in food that came with them. Archaeological evidence also shows that there was some immigration from mainland Asia, leading to blending of different societies and thoughts in addition to increasing the population. Common traits with the Jomon period While the Yayoi technology did change during the period, artifacts still show a very clear Jomon influence thanks to a merging of the two cultures. The Yayoi used the same kind of circular pit houses, stone and bone tools, and the same way of making lacquer accessories that the Jomon did. One of the differences, however, is that they integrated materials from China and Korea. Yayoi Culture While the earliest evidence of Yayoi culture was found on Kyushu, it eventually spread across most of Japan, including Honshu, where Yayoi and Jomon societies met and merged. Yayoi society, however, was much more complex and sophisticated. Their pottery, for example, was made on a wheel instead of by hand as it was during the Jomon period. Other examples include iron tools and weapons, bronze mirrors and bells, cloth textiles, and more. Because of their more sedimentary lifestyle, Yayoi farmers were able to create granaries for storing extra grain. Irrigation techniques imported from China and Korea led to increased rice production. For the first time, excess and wealth were accumulated, which lead to even more distinct social levels and the collection of a tithe. Chiefs began trading with other villages and even Korea and China. Relationships similar to the vassal-lord relationships of feudal Europe developed around this time as well.


suggesting a society of warriors. according to the Chinese. an act that was listed in the Book of Later Han. The Chinese View of the Yayoi It was during the Yayoi period that China first began writing about the Japanese. However. the Chinese work discusses the many different tribes and communities that were scattered across Japan. the culture was very animistic. plus headless skeletons. while the indigenous Ainu of Northern Japan are a more direct descendant of the Jomon without outside influences. where a recently excavated tomb may be the burial place of Himiko. mainly culturally. which changed once Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Some histories and archaeologists combine the Kofun period with the following Asuka period to make the Yamato period. appeared in graves from the time period. One of the most famous examples of this design is the Tatetsuki Mound Tomb in Okayama. chiefs were buried in square mounds circled by ditches. Wa. which ruled a good portion of Japan.During the Yayoi period. called Na or Nu. and these city-states began vying for control of Kyushu and Honshu. The Kofun tombs. One of the states of Wa. In burial sites from the Yayoi period. had closer-set eyes. The Chinese records are also responsible for the mystery of the kingdom of Yamataikoku. However. included ceramics. is another defining mark of the period. it is unclear where the location of this kingdom was. and rice ate from wooden trays. Villages surrounded by moats or built on higher ground suggest defensive building. As far as physical traits go. The seal was later found in northern Kyushu during the 18th century. the Kofun and the Asuka periods are markedly different. the Chinese reported that the Yayoi people ate a variety of vegetables. During the Kofun period. and narrower faces. arrow heads have been found. was first mentioned in 57 AD. wasn’t a unified country as the eighth century Japanese semihistorical Nihongi claims. iron and bronze items. Another style used during this time were square mounds with four distinct corners. as the Chinese of the time called Japan. making them closer in appearance to the modern Japanese than the Jomon. These tombs can mostly be found in the coastal area known as the San’in region. was a period highlighted by close relations with Korea and an increase in decoration and design. These tombs are easily identified and contrasted with the later Kofun burial style that gives its name to the Kofun period. Food-wise. Instead. The Yamato court. Early Kofun 5 . Possible locations include Yoshinogari in Saga Prefecture or Makimuki in Nara. Wa. for example. the Yayoi were taller. The multitude of tribes slowly merged into states around the beginning of the period. Kofun Period The Kofun period. jewelry. raw fish. actually received a golden seal from the emperor of China. named after the mound graves the upper class were buried in during the time. which was supposedly ruled over by Queen Himiko. and very sophisticated clay sculptures. modern Japanese are believed to be descended from a mix of immigrants and people from this period. In fact. This description is backed up by archaeologists who have found evidence of many different tribal skirmishes. the bones of dead enemies. each with its own chief and form of government.

and the Chinese system of writing. Yamato ruled over Kyushu and Honshu. swords. including their system of central government. Neither the public nor archaeological teams are allowed into most of these kofun. deny that the tombs in Souther Korea were influenced by the Japanese at all. a history that began in the late fourth century. No matter the source. Korean scholars. which became the home of the huge tombs like that of Emperor Nintoku. Today. The court adapoted much from the Chinese. This is the same location as that of the Korean kofun tombs. during the sixth century. By the fifth century. While local governments ruled in the fourth and fifth centuries in many areas. beating out many other reginonal patriarchs and families to become the dominant court in Japan. although this number is in dispute. the Kofun aristocrats who were buried in the tombs were buried with bronze mirrors. The Yamato also did not establish a permanent capital. However. The Yamato The Yamato court rose to power around 250 AD and ruled over the southern part of Japan. Then huge stones were placed on top as a roof. showing just how close these two states were. In fact. although a team was permitted to enter the tomb of Empress Jingu in 2008.The early Kofun period is marked by the building of the keyhole-shaped kofun tombs. and the Yamato ruling family shifted into the Imperial dynasty at the end of the period. although this did not happen. These patriarchs and their immediate families formed the members of the Yamato aristocracy. These tombs were on a much larger scale than the mounds built during the Yayoi period. jewels. The first was found in the Makimuku area. The kofun style of tomb building must have impressived visitors from the main land as well: kofun tombs dating back to the Kofun period have been found in the Southern part of Korea. the Yamato even entreated the Chinese court to bestow royal titles on their leaders. while the court is aknowledged as being a major power during the period. with some being nearly 300 meters long. Like Egyptian Pharaohs. The Yamato court also had close ties to the Korean Gaya confederacy in southern Korea. and other items. the tradition of creating keyhole shaped kofun didn’t last much past the sixth century and the introduction of Buddhism. instead. theories were even put forth that the Gaya confederacy was a colony of the Yamato 6 . Middle Kofun The kofun tomb building spread through the middle of the period from Yamato Province to Kawachi. in particular. The Yamato court was composed of powerful clans headed by patriarchs. some archeologists simply feel that the tomb’s style spread was purely cultural and had nothing to do with the political system. the Imperial Household Agency has listed 740 kofun as tombs of imperial family members. the Yamato clans dominated the entire southern area. At the height of their power. an imperial court. The Yamato court is giving credit for spreading the kofun style of burial. Chinese and Korean records show that the Yamato court was the only Japanese court to have relations with mainland Asia. kofun could be found in nearly every region of Japan with the exception of th Tohoku region. clan chieftains met in various locations as the court dictated. who feel that the evidence is irrefutable. In fact. although this point is hotly contested by most Japanese archeologists. The common structure of a kofun tomb featured a wooden coffin at the bottom of a long shaft surrounded by walls of flat stones.

The Chinese and Korean Immigrants in the Kofun Period The Chinese immigrants in Japan actually held considerable influence in the Yamato court. although these theories have been rejected. However. religious overtones also authority also prevailed in the Yamato court. Prince Yamato Takeru is noted as one of the main figures in these battles. and later members were named to various positions in the finance ministry. a famous Chinese figure. Geunchogo of Baekje send many gifts and scholars to Emperor Ojin’s court. which means Great King. the Hata clan. when Emperor Buretsu died with no heir. the court lists 163 distinct Chinese clans during the time. plus a descendent of Cao Cao. and historians often remark on how the Kofun society is directly responsible for much of modern Japanese culture. records on the swords even go as far as to equate Okimi as “ruling of Heaven and Earth. One of these immigrants. Kogen’s grandson became head of the Kazuraki clan. The Okimi The aristocracy during the Kofun period began to overlay the aristocratic social structure of the previous Yayoi period with military overtones. The Kazuarki were later replaced with the Otomo clan at the end of the fifth century. although all were loyal to the Yamato court. this event is highly contested since some records have Jingu dying in 269 AD. while others were actually immigrants from China and Korea. including one record that chronicles the battle against a rival tribe in eastern Honshu. The Yamato Clans The Yamato Clans were fairly varied. including the son of Emperor Kogen. Much of what we know about the Yamato clans comes from swords such as the Inariyama sword. and these scholars introduced many important pieces of Chinese culture to the Japanese. the Takamatsuzuka Tomb build several centuries after the Kofun period reflects Korean tomb design and decoration.court. the empress who supposedly defeated the Silla. Later Chinese immigrants went on to introduce aspects of the Chinese system of writing to the court. Also. was a prince of Silla who moved to Japan during the time of Emperor Suinin. according to the Chinese historical Book of Sui. The Yamato court expanded over time to include areas between the Shimane prefecture to the east and the Kumamoto prefecture in the north. the Baekje family requested aid from the Yamato court for various military 7 .” Thus. the thrown and control of the Yamato eventually went to the Mononobe and Soga clans. This lead to a more cohesive society overall. Many Yamato patriarchs and chiefs claim to have been descended from either the imperial family or one of the tribal gods. would later play a key role in the Taika Reform. Many rulers during this time took on the title of Okimi. This weapon lists all of the name of the bearer’s ancestors. The Inariyama sword and the Eta Funayama sword back up this claim. which had close ties and marriages with members of the Yamato imperial family. well before the Silla prince’s immigration. One. On the other hand. Other Korean immigrants include members of the Baekje royal family. However. according to the Nihongi record. In fact. In fact. Records indicate the court aggressively expanded at several different periods. was often employed to manufacture silk for the court of Emperor Nintoku. He is later described as an ancestor of Empress Jingu. The Koreans began immigrating to Japan during the fourth century.

The Kofun Tombs The Kofun period. weapons. an event that is marked by the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. and these city-states began vying for control of Kyushu and Honshu. one more influenced by the reunified China than Korea. the Asuka period would see Japan shift in a new direction. During several of these. was a period highlighted by close relations with Korea and an increase in decoration and design. in fact. especially by the end of the Kofun period. End of the Kofun period Around the middle of the sixth century. The common structure of a kofun tomb featured a wooden coffin at the bottom of a long shaft surrounded by walls of flat stones. Much of the Yamato culture. swords. and very sophisticated clay sculptures. which changed once Buddhism was introduced to Japan. with some being nearly 300 meters long. the Kofun aristocrats who were buried in the tombs were buried with bronze mirrors. were collectively called Torai-Jin by the Yamato and were highly respected. including funeral rights. fish. This led to the introduction of mounted cavalry and advanced military strategies. pillows. named after the mound graves the upper class were buried in during the time. Officially brought to Japan in 538 AD. for example. Introduction of Horses The Kofun period also marks the introduction of horses to Japan. the Kofun and the Asuka periods are markedly different. was nearly identical to that of the southern Korean peninsula. jewelry. the Kofun period fades into the Asuka period. These tombs were on a much larger scale than the mounds built during the Yayoi period. although this number is in dispute. These immigrants. Then huge stones were placed on top as a roof. the Imperial Household Agency has listed 740 kofun as tombs of imperial family members. The first was found in the Makimuku area. after being defeated by Empress Jingu. The multitude of tribes slowly merged into states around the beginning of the period. Today. the absence of which was noted in various Chinese records. During the Kofun period. the king of Silla. However. iron and bronze items. included ceramics.campaigns. Neither the public nor archaeological teams are allowed into most of these kofun. Kofun have been found with clay rings. The Kofun tombs. jewels. which ruled a good portion of Japan. and human statues buried in them. horses. the culture was very animistic. although a team was permitted to enter the tomb of Empress Jingu in 2008. possibly due to many upper-class Yamato citizens having Chinese or Korean ancestors. princes and other royals were sent to the Yamato court as hostages in exchange for solidiers. Many of these advances brought to Japan by the Torai-Jin were very similar to those of mainland Asia. Like Egyptian Pharaohs. Some histories and archaeologists combine the Kofun period with the following Asuka period to make the Yamato period. and other items. presented the horse to her as a gift. mainly culturally. fans. is another defining mark of the period. Chinese and Korean both. 8 . Early Kofun The early Kofun period is marked by the building of the keyhole-shaped kofun tombs. As recorded in the semi-historical Nihonshoki. The Yamato court.

On the other hand. The Yamato Clans 9 . who feel that the evidence is irrefutable. Yamato ruled over Kyushu and Honshu. during the sixth century. The kofun style of tomb building must have impressived visitors from the main land as well: kofun tombs dating back to the Kofun period have been found in the Southern part of Korea. The Yamato court is giving credit for spreading the kofun style of burial. While local governments ruled in the fourth and fifth centuries in many areas. theories were even put forth that the Gaya confederacy was a colony of the Yamato court. Korean scholars. At the height of their power. kofun could be found in nearly every region of Japan with the exception of th Tohoku region. and the Chinese system of writing. although these theories have been rejected. Prince Yamato Takeru is noted as one of the main figures in these battles. showing just how close these two states were. instead. deny that the tombs in Souther Korea were influenced by the Japanese at all. the Yamato even entreated the Chinese court to bestow royal titles on their leaders. and the Yamato ruling family shifted into the Imperial dynasty at the end of the period. the tradition of creating keyhole shaped kofun didn’t last much past the sixth century and the introduction of Buddhism. some archeologists simply feel that the tomb’s style spread was purely cultural and had nothing to do with the political system. the Takamatsuzuka Tomb build several centuries after the Kofun period reflects Korean tomb design and decoration. a history that began in the late fourth century. The Yamato court also had close ties to the Korean Gaya confederacy in southern Korea. an imperial court. which became the home of the huge tombs like that of Emperor Nintoku. The Yamato court was composed of powerful clans headed by patriarchs. Records indicate the court aggressively expanded at several different periods. clan chieftains met in various locations as the court dictated. The Yamato also did not establish a permanent capital. although this did not happen. the Yamato clans dominated the entire southern area. In fact. including one record that chronicles the battle against a rival tribe in eastern Honshu. Chinese and Korean records show that the Yamato court was the only Japanese court to have relations with mainland Asia. By the fifth century. although this point is hotly contested by most Japanese archeologists. This is the same location as that of the Korean kofun tombs. including their system of central government. No matter the source.Middle Kofun The kofun tomb building spread through the middle of the period from Yamato Province to Kawachi. The Yamato The Yamato court rose to power around 250 AD and ruled over the southern part of Japan. The court adapoted much from the Chinese. In fact. while the court is aknowledged as being a major power during the period. The Yamato court expanded over time to include areas between the Shimane prefecture to the east and the Kumamoto prefecture in the north. However. beating out many other reginonal patriarchs and families to become the dominant court in Japan. These patriarchs and their immediate families formed the members of the Yamato aristocracy. in particular.

the court lists 163 distinct Chinese clans during the time. Much of the Yamato culture. especially by the end of the Kofun period. These immigrants. according to the Chinese historical Book of Sui. Geunchogo of Baekje send many gifts and scholars to Emperor Ojin’s court. were collectively called Torai-Jin by the Yamato and were highly respected. Chinese and Korean both. the Baekje family requested aid from the Yamato court for various military campaigns. according to the Nihongi record. religious overtones also authority also prevailed in the Yamato court. possibly due to many upper-class Yamato citizens having Chinese or Korean ancestors. including the son of Emperor Kogen. This lead to a more cohesive society overall. a famous Chinese figure. The Inariyama sword and the Eta Funayama sword back up this claim. weapons. In fact. Many rulers during this time took on the title of Okimi. Later Chinese immigrants went on to introduce aspects of the Chinese system of writing to the court. The Okimi The aristocracy during the Kofun period began to overlay the aristocratic social structure of the previous Yayoi period with military overtones.The Yamato Clans were fairly varied. Many Yamato patriarchs and chiefs claim to have been descended from either the imperial family or one of the tribal gods. The Kazuarki were later replaced with the Otomo clan at the end of the fifth century. fans. This weapon lists all of the name of the bearer’s ancestors. which had close ties and marriages with members of the Yamato imperial family. pillows. would later play a key role in the Taika Reform. was a prince of Silla who moved to Japan during the time of Emperor Suinin. and these scholars introduced many important pieces of Chinese culture to the Japanese. Much of what we know about the Yamato clans comes from swords such as the Inariyama sword. During several of these. and human statues buried in them. However. while others were actually immigrants from China and Korea. Other Korean immigrants include members of the Baekje royal family. 10 . which means Great King. well before the Silla prince’s immigration. In fact. Kofun have been found with clay rings. including funeral rights. One of these immigrants. was often employed to manufacture silk for the court of Emperor Nintoku. fish. the empress who supposedly defeated the Silla. Kogen’s grandson became head of the Kazuraki clan. princes and other royals were sent to the Yamato court as hostages in exchange for solidiers. plus a descendent of Cao Cao. The Koreans began immigrating to Japan during the fourth century. One. the Hata clan. However. although all were loyal to the Yamato court. records on the swords even go as far as to equate Okimi as “ruling of Heaven and Earth. when Emperor Buretsu died with no heir. the thrown and control of the Yamato eventually went to the Mononobe and Soga clans. horses. The Chinese and Korean Immigrants in the Kofun Period The Chinese immigrants in Japan actually held considerable influence in the Yamato court.” Thus. Also. and later members were named to various positions in the finance ministry. was nearly identical to that of the southern Korean peninsula. and historians often remark on how the Kofun society is directly responsible for much of modern Japanese culture. Many of these advances brought to Japan by the Torai-Jin were very similar to those of mainland Asia. He is later described as an ancestor of Empress Jingu. this event is highly contested since some records have Jingu dying in 269 AD. in fact.

and politics. presented the horse to her as a gift. some structures from the Asuka period have been found intact. Adopted by Empress Suiko and Prince-Regent Shotoku. the year before the Taika Reform. a new religion tends to dominate and erase the current religion. one more influenced by the reunified China than Korea. there are very few items left from the Asuka period that aren’t connected to Buddhism in some way. the Asuka period represents a significant change in art. This led to the introduction of mounted cavalry and advanced military strategies. the natural ending time for the Asuka period came with the moving of the imperial capital to Heijo Palace in 645. 11 . and the traditional five-story pagoda bears some resemblance to the Indian building known as the Stupa. such as the buildings at Horyu-ji. in 552. after being defeated by Empress Jingu. Korean immigrants brought the ideas of Buddhism to the country. the king of Silla. however. and many sculptures were done in the Chinese style. a descendent of a Chinese immigrant. the Asuka period would see Japan shift in a new direction. one before the Taika Reform and one after. The biggest cultural influence to come from China was. as the Chinese had named them. While in many areas. Some historians don’t end the Asuka period until around 700. Artwork from this time shows some influence from China and Korea as well. peacefully coexisted. Some of the pillars. the Kofun period fades into the Asuka period. The Tori Style. To learn more about this new form of belief. Buddhism. It was also during this time that the Japanese changed the name of the country from Wa. As recorded in the semi-historical Nihonshoki. Buddhism took fewer than 100 years to become wide-spread. and it later came to mean the time period as a whole. Besides and because of the introduction of Buddhism. as it was called because of the amount of work done by Kuratsukuri Tori. Those that choose this period often divide the Asuka period into sub-periods.Introduction of Horses The Kofun period also marks the introduction of horses to Japan. of course. Many of them. reflect some designs from China and other western countries. the absence of which was noted in various Chinese records. Empress Suiko and the royal court invited monks and others from Korea and China to move to Japan and bring the various accoutrements of Buddhism with them. for example. End of the Kofun period Around the middle of the sixth century. an event that is marked by the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. Because of this and the support from the aristocracy. Cultural Influences from the Mainland While little architecture remains from previous period. Asuka Period Japan changed drastically when. Buddhism and Shinto. Starting in 552. is the most prominent style from the Asuka period. Officially brought to Japan in 538 AD. in Japan. to Nihon. The name Asuka was actually first used to describe the period of arts and architecture. society. the long-standing faith. are similar to those found in ancient Greece.

were found in regions far from the capital. Japanese culture changed dramatically. he is often regarded as one of the greatest intellects of his time. As the Asuka period moved on. He was very well-read and followed both Buddhist and Confucian principles. fewer religious conflicts were seen. were elaborately decorated with Buddhist and Taoist images. The octagon-shaped tombs of the imperial family. especially those who were highly involved in Shinto rituals and the military. and ordering the keeping of a detailed set 12 . the imperial family no longer used kofun because of the new Buddhist beliefs. and the real power belonged to Umako and Prince Regent Shotoku. Modeled after the Chinese fiscal strategies. the size and shape of a person’s kofun was determined by their class. for instance. He introduced Confucian etiquette to the court and introduced a seventeenarticle constitution designed to bring about harmony in the government and Japan as a whole. some Yamato court families. which put much less emphasis on worldly goods. Taoist beliefs appear in my places. was far from a dictator. but it didn’t gain as much prominence as Buddhism. the Yamato court continued to rule Japan during the Asuka period. and eventually. However. The Yamato court was at its pinnacle during the Asuka period. the first imperial treasury was established and more aggressive trade with Korea began. In fact. too. the Yamato court continued to expand during this time while establishing tighter ties with China and Korea. Because of this. and the ruling family founded the imperial dynasty early on. By 587. are based on Taoist beliefs. however. The Soga clan. Buddhist. were put into place after the Taika Reform and the Funeral Simplification Edict.Banking was also introduced to Japan during the Asuka period. creating a system of trade routes. were leery of the new religion. Soga no Umako. He later killed his puppet emperor and replaced him with Empress Suiko. the title adapted by the ruling Yamato emperors during the Asuka time. the ruling family at the time. especially the kofun. the three religions melded with the native mythology to create a very interesting and complex belief system. However. Prince Regent Shotoku. Laws regarding tombs. Instead. However. replaced many Confucian rites and models with Buddhism ones. With most of their political rivals defeated or assimilated. was able to place his nephew on the throne. although smaller than what they would have been during previous periods. introducing the Chinese calendar to Japan. she. however. was simply a figurehead. Most of these decorated kofun. Religion in Japan – Buddhism and Shinto With Buddhism introduced to Japan by the Koreans in 538. and Shinto beliefs and rituals slowly began mixing as the three systems and their followers found ways to peacefully coexist. the first empress of Japan. as was the term tenno. the Soga clan had intermarried with the imperial family to the point that their chief. According to this Edict. and very large kofun were banned altogether. the Asuka period is noted as being the first period in which the emperor ruled uncontested. Shotoku was also responsible for the building of many Buddhist temples. the kofun of important or beloved family members. The Taoist. The Yamato Court Established in the late fifth century. Taoism also came to Japan during the Asuka period.

Under Shotoku. The Ritsuryo System The Taika Reform’s ritsuryo system was implemented in several stages. setting up a system that is still in use today. Naka no Oe would assume the throne under the name Emperor Tenji. Emperor Tenji was the first emperor to use the Japanese term for emperor that translates to Heavenly Sovereign. the Omi Code. Later. instead.e. while created a judicial system based on the Confucian idea of light punishments rather than heavy ones. administration. Families could no longer pass land down to their children. Naka no Oe took the title of Crown Prince. These provinces were then sub-divided into districts and villages. Three minister positions. This coup would later become known as the Isshi Incident. were created at this time: Minister of the Left. Minister of the Right. The Taiki Reform was a list of administrative guidelines that established the ritsuryo system. These taxes were used to fund the military and build public buildings and roads. with ministries for ceremonies. transferring the private lands of the clans to public. While part of the reasoning behind this title was to discourage another coup. land was redistributed. justice. The government also adapted a central administration system based on the Chinese system. Taxes were placed on everything from harvested food to silk and textile products. The college office was also created and charged with training. advisors to the emperor. and the treasury. when succession was limited to men only. Temmu continued the reforms Tenji began and solidified the imperial court’s power. the imperial house.. 23 years after Shotoku’s death. while Fujiwara became a court aristocrat with considerable influence. six different groups of students and priests visited China to study philosophy and literature. disagreement over the line of succession led to a coup. and in fact several empresses ruled Japan until 770. First. it belonged to the state. was finished in 668. Shinto. Prince Naka no Oe and Fujiwara no Kamatari took control of the government from the Soga clan and introduced the Taika Reforn. One interesting thing to note is that the Taiho Code did not prohibit women from inheriting the throne. with his brother. The most pervasive of these codes was the Taiho Code.of court records. and was then even further codified later by the Taiho Code. and court rituals. A department of state with eight ministries was also created. civil affairs. and Chancellor of the Realm. 13 . although the aristocracy still based much on class rather than on education. his brother and his son battled for the throne. The Taika Reform In 645. the military. eventually winning. known them as Emperor Temmu. with Tenji’s death. The first. This was enhanced in 689 by the Asuka Kiyomihara Code. people’s affairs. i. a title that heavily emphasized the imperial family’s divine heritage. This system of patrimonial rule followed a very strict and elaborate legal code that dictated reform in just about every area of Japanese society. Clan chieftains also lost their hereditary titles. The empire was also split into provinces. court control. Nearly all of these codes remained in effect until 1868. each of which was ruled by a court-appointed governor.

shoen. for more taxes to be collected. most of these reforms only affected the area around Nara. who reigned from 729 to 749. Most of Japan was agricultural during this period. Japan even sent its navy to assist the Baekje kingdom in a battle. However. In fact. what is now known as Nara. many emissaries from these countries visited Japan. Coins were created. in fact. became the norm. Emperor Shomu. Many new roads were built during this time. permanently established the capital at Nara for some time. One of the practices adopted by Gemmei and followed by the imperial household following her rule was to keep the capital city in the same place.Japan and Korea during the Asuka Period In addition to the many imported ideas and students sent to China and Korea. the capital was moved after the death of the ruler because it was believes that the place of death was cursed. However. the capital of Tang China. Gemmei’s capital was modeled after Chang’an. with the exception of a brief five-year move. The capital would remain at Nara. relations between the two countries weren’t always friendly.000. Nara Period It was during the Nara period of Japanese history that Buddhism saw the largest growth. or landed estates. In 660. effectively linking much of Japan. and the emperor even bestowed the family name Kudara no Konikishi (“king of Baekje”) upon them. were Chinese priests. Baekje fell to the Silla and T’ang China. Gemmei’s reforms. Many different temples were built. including their system of writing. and their fashion. in fact. viewing Japan as a lesser country. moved the imperial capital to Heijo-kyo. and many refugees fled to Japan. He commissioned many different wood. during the start of her reign in 710. while political relations were a bit strained. pushed to put Japan on equal footing with the Chinese by writing letters addressing the Chinese emperor as an equal. This allowed for goods to be traded more easily and. and Buddhism’s influence spread across Japan. This military aid was perhaps because of the close ties between Prince Shotoku and the Baekje: one of his tutors was from Korea. Before. The Capital at Nara The Nara period is so named because Empress Gemmei. The Chinese were greatly offended by this and gave the Japanese state no title. and while Buddhism was gaining in influence. in turn. Shotoku. however. This permanent capital led to Nara becoming Japan’s first urban city with a population of around 200. and bronze statues to fill the various temples. The imperial court welcomed the royal family of Baekje with open arms. cultural and intellectual relations flourished. although they weren’t used widely. She and her court copied much of the Chinese court. Two of the nineteen writers of the Taiho Code. until Emperor Kammu moved the capital to Nagaoka-kyo in 784. These 14 . In the far-flung areas of Japan. It was during the Nara period that the use bronze Buddha at Todai-ji temple was built. clay. Japan and China during the Asuka Period While the Chinese influence in Japan was arguably very great during the Asuka period. was a huge proponent of Buddhism. many of the Buddhist practices. one of the few women rulers of Japan. many of the lower class villagers were Shinto.

However. In 792. as the kingdom of Balhae. The Nara Period and Korea Japan and the Korean kingdom of Silla were on good relations at the beginning of the Nara period. the late Nara period saw the government in midst of a financial crisis. the imperial court began putting more and more focus on keeping records and writing down historical events. Emperor Shomu. once great. on the throne and arrested Nagaya. never sent official diplomats to the Japanese court. stable. 15 . opened diplomatic relations with Japan. with the final move bringing the government back to Nara. While the capital was. Buddhism. physically speaking. the capital would see one last move during the Nara period: in 784. In an effort to reestablish central government. saddened at the death of his uncles. proceeded to move his capital four times between 740 and 745. Several political works such as the Nihon Shoki were written during this time. One. and in 729. This lead to Fuhito’s four sons to stage a coupe of their own. was actually appointed to a government post after passing the Chinese civil exam and would later be appointed Governor-General in Chinese Vietnam. the imperial court was not. no open hostilities occurred between the two. Emperor Shomu heavily promotoed the new religion and built the Todai-ji. located north of Silla. the first collection of poetry. including the Man yoshu. or Eastern Great Temple. The district leaders were giving the power to create their own private militias to handle local crime. with local landholders controlling their estates and the vassals who worked the lands.shoen were like feudal lands. introduced to Japan in the sixth century. After the death of Fujiwara no Fuhito. The Nara Period and China The Nara people loved Chinese culture and incorporated as much of it as possible into Japanese culture. Emperor Shomu. truly flourished during the Nara period. Silla became somewhat less friendly. after a horrible outbreak of smallpox. the imperial family members. Buddhism and Shinto slowly fell into a comfortable co-existion. Abe no Nakamaro. As Buddha and the sun goddess were often seen as parallels. However. although many Chinese did make trips to Japan. Fighting continued between the large families. Private Military Forces Due to the moving of the capital and other expenses. they put their nephew. Culture in the Nara Period During this period. during his reign and ordered the construction of its huge Buddha Dainichi statue. it was moved ot Nagaoka-kyo. Much poetry was also written. Prince Nagaya stepped in and took the throne. and many Japanese students and priests studied in China. These works were mainly written using Chinese characters. The Chinese. on the other hand. diminished. and the top echelon of the Buddhist priesthood. Eight years later. the four brothers were all dead and the Fujiwara family’s influence. the emperor did away with conscription of military personnel. Envoys were sent to the Tang court every twenty years.

While Esoteric Buddhism was very popular for most of the Heian period. While the empire was outwardly ruled by the emperor. These warriors began adapting specific rules and codes. was very displeased by this. on the other side. she became quite friendly with a Buddhist healer. The Heian period is also known for being the period at which the Chinese influence was at its greatest. In addition to their own artwork. New literary genres. Tibet. eventually solidifying into a warrior class. the real power was held by the Fujiwara nobles. The Tendai came from China and based their teachings on the Mahayana Buddhist Lotus Sutra. it was overshadowed by Amida Buddhism by the end of the period. art. Emperor Kammu. began in Japan and associated itself more closely with the Kukai school of thought found in India. literature itself developed greatly during the Heian period. most of which were inspired by the concept of the pure land that Amida Buddhism focused on. Her cousin. The Shingon. Esoteric and Tantric forms of Buddhism were introduced to Japan by the priests Kukai and Saicho. Some groups of these warriors. Because of this.Shomu’s daughter. including the novel and the 16 . Buddhism On the Rise As Buddhism spread throughout Japan. in fact. what is today Kyoto. brought more Buddhist priests into the court. the Nara courts often important art and other items from China. Fujiwara no Nakamaro. and poetry advanced quickly. this hyper-focusing on Buddhism would lead to her successors removing women from the line of succession and Buddhist priests from positions of political power. The samurai class took root with the ruling class and began its rise to power. After her retirement. Literature While literacy was only common among the ruling class and the Buddhist monks. and China. The Heian Period The Heian period officially began when the imperial capital moved from Nara to Heian-kyo. All of these advanced were the result of the Fujiwara clan. however. but his rebellion posed no threat to Koken. while the emperors who followed him were patrons of the Shingon. but they were not yet powerful enough to succeed. in turn. led to new pieces of art. Heian Politics During this time. the Heian period is known as the beginning of feudal Japan. and she retook the throne under the name Empress Shotoku. who ruled from 737 to 806. She then ordered the creation of many different prayer charms and prints. The calligraphy and painting that many associate with Japan became popular with the aristocracy and with the Fujiwara court. and with them came a larger pantheon of gods and goddesses. Korea. India. became associated with the imperial court because of the closeness of the new capital and the Tendai monastery at Mount Hiei. Because the large clan needed protection. even tried to take over the government. Empress Koken. was greatly impressed with the Tendai sect. two main esoteric sects developed: the Tendai and the Shingon. This. although Buddhism would later overtake it in popularity. Tendai. literature. many of which are currently kept at the Todai-ji temple today. Confucianism was especially influential at the beginning of the period. and even some middle-eastern countries. However. This form of Buddhism led to even more elegant artwork and architecture. they began heavily recruiting soldiers.

The ninth century saw the Fujiwara family gain prominence due to their intermarrying with the imperial family. referred to as the Yokibito. Out of all these families. 17 . it was a Fujiwara member who was placed in charge of the Emperor’s Private Office. which are still used today. the imperial family tried to remove the Fujiwara from power. his heirs created two new offices to help administer the empire under the Taika Reform. Robbery was also on the rise since the police force had deteriorated from lack of funding. the Emperor Kammu continued to run a strong imperial government even though the Taika reforms were in decline. which replaced the imperial guard. wrote the nonfiction The Pillow Book detailing her life at an attendant to the empress. who ruled from 897 to 930. He expanded the empire during his reign and was the first to give his military the title of Seii Taishogun. it was the Fujiwara who emerged as the real power in the land. The novel The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. bypassed the Fujiwara family by ruling directly. though the imperial family still retained power on the surface. currency was no longer produced and began vanishing for society. Sei Shonagon. and the Metropolitan Police Board. flourished. though. China. however. which would later be shortened to shogun. both of which were inspired by Chinese departments. In 838. Another major written piece was the lyrics to the Japanese national anthem. and poverty was very common. they were only around five thousand out of the five million Japanese. These were the Emperor’s Private Office. mainly due to the introduction of the kana form of writing. one of Shikibu’s contemporaries. the empire’s hold over these far-flung territories was never very strong. and Japan began losing respect for them and their systems of government. with the final imperial mission to Tang. After Emperor Kammu died. By 1000. during the ninth and tenth centuries. Japan reverted back to a barter system. As the ninth century progressed. Three major items were written during the Heian period. Despite his many conquests. which is often considered the first novel ever written. the Japanese began to turn away from Chinese influence. was penned during this time period. However.narrative monogatari. However. but they were all unsucessful. were established. Japan’s economy weakened. did not hold power for very long and were soon dissolved some 30 years after they were created. These two departments. Kana became more and more widely used. This was because China was in decline. The Fujiwara Clan Now ruling from the imperial capital at Kyoto. In fact. Without this form of exchange. which handled imperial edicts. became imperial regent for his grandson. While the aristocracy and its chosen few. Economic Recession During the Heian period. another Fujiwara member. his lack of reform actually strengthened the government and reduced political in-fighting. To add to this tenuous hold. although the Chinese style of writing was still the official Heian court language. Kammu continued to wage battles against the people in northern and eastern Japan. Emperor Daigo. the larger Japanese families began ignoring the tax system and the laws regarding land. In fact. although there was little fighting within the court. Sessho.

18 . Seeing what the lack of strong government was doing to his country. was supplemented and.However. The idea of a unified Japan fell apart as the empire was split into shoen controlled by the powerful aristocratic families. The Military Class While the military had previously been controlled by the throne. Among these women were Sei Shonagon (“The Pillow Book”) and Murasaki Shikibu (“The Tale of Genji”). the office that many abdicated emperors would retire to so they could continue to have behind-the-scenes power. However. However. none wanted to share power. and all wanted control of Japan. Another office Go-Sanjo created was the Office of the Cloistered Emperor. with the central government’s collapse. The central government was effectively removed from actual governing. Peace was shattered. The three most powerful families who formed samurai armies were the Taira. Go-Sanjo dedicated his reign to returning the imperial court to power. Emperor Go-Sanjo took the throne. especially among the aristocracy. and when they could not. the family effectively decided who was emperor and when their reign would end. very colorful paintings. even influencing today’s artists. Great advances in artwork also occurred during this time. leading to battles for control of resources and fertile ground. Government offices had little power during this time. These three families emerged as the leaders of the slowly fragmenting country. imperial control began to wane during this time. and Minamoto families could all claim imperial blood. the artwork of the Fujiwara time period broke away from this tradition and focused more on original works. a military elite who followed the concepts of bushi. as did women writers. Vernacular literature quickly became popular. Go-Sanjo was the first emperor since the ninth century to not be born to a Fujiwara mother. which had been the main form of writing up until this time. In fact. to an extent. Japan’s culture and artistry grew and expanded. replaced by the katakana and hiragana system of writing. He began issuing reforms that slowly leeched away the Fujiwara’s influence. Instead. Mere decades after Emperor Daigo died. better known as samurai. women learned katakana and hiragana. not surprisingly. was seized by the court. By 1000. Yamato-e. Food production declined. Poetry and literature expanded at a large rate. presented a view of court life and told stories from religion and mythology. while the government was more or less overthrown. This style of art would last for centuries. The Heian period saw these large shoen become legal entities in their own rights while religious groups began seeking tax breaks and freedom from government supervision. with most government business handled directly by the Fujiwara family and its private offices. returning Japan to the state it was in before the Taika Reform. and. The soldiers of this time period slowly became a new class of citizen. the Fujiwara were far from powerless during Daigo’s reign. leaving a vacuum that was filled by the Fujiwara and other powerful families and religious groups. The Fujiwara. the Minamoto. In 1068. the larger families began building their own military forces once again. the Fujiwara controlled the imperial court. Even religious orders started recruiting soldiers to protect themselves. including some Fujiwara land. the land. He ordered that all estate records be validated. the Fujiwara. While only men were traditionally instructed in kanji. While previous artwork tended to follow Chinese styles. Taira. the Fujiwara control of Japan was not a time of chaos or terror. allowing them to write for the masses. Chinese kanji.

much like the Fujiwara did with their internal administration rather than use the servants and ministers already in place. After Yoritomo’s death in 1199. especially in the northern Fujiwara area. While Minamoto controlled much of Japan. who continued to exert what power they could over Kyoto and the surrounding area. He continued to consolidate power in his own government. its renewed focus on realism and secular artwork. The government of Japan became even more like medieval Europe with lords holding land and vassals pledging to serve them.The Office of the Cloistered Emperor also served another purpose. the imperial family regained much of its power. The Taira took control of the government for the next twenty years before they were phased out by the Minamoto family. This loss of power plus the rise of the Minamoto family. making the shogun little more than a figurehead. The Kamakura Period The Kamakura period of Japanese history began in 1185 when Minamoto no Yorimoto declared himself the Shogun of Japan and moved the capital to Kamakura. although this power was now enforced through the military class instead of the civil authority as it once was. although most. lead the Fujiwara family to fall into internal squabbling. By the thirteenth century. The Fujiwara decisively lost. Go-Sanjo needed a way of slowly removing their influence without outright deposing them. this was only partially successful as many rejected the stewards’ power and fought against them. most of the power was now in the hands of Minamoto Yoritomo as shogun. It was also during this time that Japan battled forces both exterior and interior as the Mongols invaded and the country fell into civil war. The patriarch of the Hojo clan became regent for the current shogun and held the real power. Thanks to the Office of the Cloistered Emperor. Japan shifted from focusing on economics to military technology and power. many of whom were given positions once held by Fujiwara members. yet another power vacuum lead the Fujiwara family and the retired emperor to battle against the imperial heir and the Taira and Minamoto families. and in 1221. his son Minamoto no Yoriie assumed the position of shogun. and its military leadership. The relations between the imperial court in Kyoto and the shogun’s court in Kamakura continued to grow. had pledged themselves to higher lords or to the Shogun himself. These lords had absolute local power. The Shogunate During the Kamakura period. the shogunate had fallen under control of the Hojo clan. the Jokyu War began between Cloistered Emperor Go-Toba and shogun 19 . in turn. The military class rose to power in the vacuum created by the steady stream of battles—the Taira and Minamoto clans clashed a mere three years after defeating the Fujiwara. but the system of government radically changed. However. a small town on the Eastern side of Japan. he never fully controlled the northern or western areas due to this resistance and the imperial family. During the middle of the twelfth century. however. but he soon lost control of much of the eastern provinces. he allowed them to maintain their positions while slowly transferring more and more power to the Office of the Cloistered Emperor. The shogun began placing his own stewards in charge of various estates and sections of land to even further consolidate his power. Unable to simply remove the Fujiwara from power. The Kamakura period is noted for the many temples that were rebuilt or restored. While the Emperor and the royal family still existed. To do this.

the Hojo clan gave more and more power to the more powerful clans. including the Ji. They also established the first military code of law. Several other sects. Older sects like the Tendai continued to flourish despite these newer rivals. However. to help insure that the imperial family would be no threat. putting the imperial court firmly under control of the Hojo family. listing ways of settling disputes. the Soto. During the Hojo family’s regency. None of them received lands. and so in 1281 he sent a second force. very clear and straight to the point. were at first unaccustomed to battling the cavalry of the Mongols. which gave the military lords judicial authority. The samurai. titles. and the Rinzai. In 1274. The military class was also unhappy with the shogun. Battles with the Mongols During the Hojo rule. several advances were made. the mainland forces held off the invasion until a typhoon swept in and destroyed the invaders. The family created the Council of State. Two new sects were established: the Zen and the Jodo shu. The emperor responded by reminding the Mongols of his divine origins and preparing defenses. These two typhoons became known as kamikaze. Kublai Khan recognized that his military had been defeated by nature.regent Hojo Yoshitoki. The Goseibai Shikimoku would continue to be enforced for the next 635 years. This caused unrest among the lower classes. a divine wind sent by heaven to protect Japan. The Hojo clan handily defeated Go-Toba’s forces. demanded tribute from Japan. although the imperial family retained its lands. they recognized two different contenders to the throne and set up two imperial courts. in 1268. This effectively gave the shogun’s government full control of Japan. The Mongols and Japanese forces fought in northwestern Japan for seven weeks before another typhoon hit and once again sunk the Mongol ships. 20 . the Mongols invaded Japan with over 600 ships and 23. focused on esoteric rituals and was mainly supported by the Kyoto aristocracy. especially from the samurai and government officials. the Shingon sect. or any other type of reward for their service in repelling the invasions. one in the north and one in the south. the court had little to do with either China or Korea (called Goryeo then). These monasteries mainly focused on studying their own teachings. leading the shogun to issue new taxes. Then. These laws were. which further moved the government from the court-led empire to a military society. who felt the brunt of the tax. Although they were victorious. on the other hand. These new codes and forms of law were not based on the Confucian principles like those of the previous regime. however. Civil War in Japan To avoid upheaval. leader of the new Mongol government in Beijing. were also founded during this period. Buddhism during the Kamakura period Buddhism flourished during much of the Kamakura age. The monasteries on Mount Hiei gained much political power. the battles against the Mongols drained much of the imperial treasury. and inheritance laws. while they stills survived. However. the Goseibai Shikimoku. not the Japanese forces. However. punishments for criminals. who were used to battling one on one. the newer sects gained more followers.000 troops. the court received word that Kublai Khan.

Emperor Go-Daigo and the imperial family lost Kyoto. Ashikaga Takauji. but the central conflict was between Hosokawa Katsumoto and Yamana S?zen. The final part of the Kamakura period became known as the Kemmu restoration. By the year 1333. officially reuniting Japan under one ruling empire. In response. and that relationship was to last for close to fifty years. this was not a complete victory as the emperor established a secondary court in the south. when Emperor Go-Daigo of the southern court assumed the throne. turned against the southern court and Go-Daigo. and they were soon defeated. Ashikaga Takauji. started his own rebellion around the same time. known as the War Between the Courts. This exile lead to Go-Daigo’s loyal forces moving into open rebellion. To make matters worse for the Hojo. By the fall of that year the northern section of Kyoto 21 . he now challenged the imperial court and captured Kyoto in 1336 and officially declared himself shogun two years later. The burgeoning economy caused a new kind of township and social classes to develop in Japan. silk. During this time. began in 1336 and didn’t end until 1392. The wealthy landowners believed that they should have a firm hand in the government and they were upset by the emperor’s lack of consideration to them and some poor choices in ruling the country.These two were to ordered to alternate holding the throne. Civil war broke out once again. the arts were encouraged and even flourished. only in defeating the Hojo and the shogunate. The Onin war was a period of civil unrest in Japan in which many different lords vied for complete control of the country. Following the end of the Kamakura period. He named his son heir to his throne instead of the northern court candidate. and the northern court soon installed a new shogun. the Hojo family found their forces spread too thin. With battles on two fronts. This battle. a powerful leader in eastern Japan. The shogun quickly dispatched a constable. However. Because of this trade and the acceptance of Zen Buddhism. aided by Takauji. swords. The two battling sides eventually came together when the Southern court conceded to the Northern court in 1392. Nitta Yoshisada. This series of events led to the emperor’s ruin as his empire fell and Japan was ruled by the first Muromachi shogun. to put down the forces. While Takauji had once fought on behalf of the emperor. For approximately fifty years the Northern and Southern courts fought against each other. In 1467 the Onin War began. Emperor Go-Daigo began resorting power to the imperial family and reinstated many of the Confucian policies and practices. However. he did so with plans to overthrow the shogun. the northern court. During the early 1400’s of the Muromachi period under the rule of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu the Japanese government established contact with China. Early on. who was in the midst of the Ming Dynasty. While this worked for several successions. many of the forces who had fought with GoDaigo were not interested in seeing the imperial family restored. and books. Maruomachi Period The Muromachi Period is a timeline in Japanese history of approximately two hundred and fifty years that ran from roughly 1336 to 1573. Takauji sided with Go-Daigo. It was during this time that Japan and China participated in the trading of items like sulphur. the Kamakura period came to an end as the shogunate was destroyed and Emperor Go-Daigo assumed the throne. To his surprise. This period began when the Japanese government led emperor Go-Daigo failed to establish a dominant empire when imperial powers were restored. the shogun exiled Go-Daigo in 1331.

The influence of the Western culture at the end of the Muromachi period only helped to increase this establishment of trade. and afterward the government was left bankrupt and the countrymen were rebellious. In 1485 in response to this conflict. It has even been said that Yoshimasa felt his time too important to spend in the matters of war and would retreat into the confines of his temple to write and recite poetry. the Hatakeyama. and the government ruled by Ashikaga Yoshimasa did not take an active rule in dispersing the fighting. So much of the warlords’ control were weakened that the government turned to a more military based control under Oda Nobunaga when he unified Japan by throwing over the bakufu in 1573. The Onin War lasted until 1477. This armed uprising was far more organized than a mere rebellion and the Ikki-ikko established themselves in several communities throughout Japan and even managed to overthrow some of the warlords to establish their own sort of government in the Kaga Province where they managed to build their headquarters along the Yodo River. Later. the Spanish and Dutch came in shortly after the end of the Muromachi period. The rule of the government by the Ashikaga quietly crumbled as the Hosokawa family vied for the behind the scenes control. This change brought with it an entirely different outlook by the Japanese toward Western culture and government. While the civil wars did a lot to undermine the rule of the Ashikaga and cause major problems amongst the citizens of the country. The war touched nearly every corner of the country. had fractioned into two separate parts that had waged battles against each other until they were at a complete standstill with neither side winning. This conflict led to political disintegration within the imperial court. some of the land owners welcomed it because they wanted to establish a trade route with many of the foreign nations and saw this influx of Christian missionaries as a way to go about doing this. Even when Hosokawa Katsumoto and Yamana S?zen died five years later. Another clan. Despite these constant conflicts. And it would not be long before the growing popularity of churches and Christian converts would cause the rest of the country to become more unified against the new religion. when the Japanese were first introduced to Western cultures ideals in religion and weapons. leaving the once proud city almost entirely vacant except for those who stayed on to fight and those who were too desperate to do anything other than loot the remains of the Kyoto. Because of the land owners who imposed feudal control on their property the reliance on the central government vanished. the Hosokawa family would stay in control until the mid 1500’s. but by then it did not truly matter as the constant warring that had been waged throughout Japan had caused quite a toll to be taken on the people and the country. This landowner control led to peasants rising up against their landlords and the particularly harsh and unfavorable conditions in which they worked and lived. causing Christian persecutions to begin barely thirty years after the end of the Muromachi Period. 22 . it did stimulate the economy because of all the transportation required to move the supplies and armies across the country. there was a revolt by some of the peasants and samurai which led to the establishment of an individual army known as the Ikkiikko. Almost all of its citizenry had fled.was in complete ruin. While many of the Buddhists in Japan opposed the idea of Christianity coming into their country. This influx of cultures began with the Portuguese in 1543. Such growth in the merchandising sector led to improvements in the protection of the different trades. This hollow government system set up Japan for a series of conflicts and wars as various entities waged battles to put their favorite shogun in power so that they could more easily pull the strings. the fighting did not stop.

After his minor victory in Kyoto. which helped them maintain strict control. In order to make sure the people were more united behind his form of government.” as it is often known. Then. farmers. By completing these alliances and embedding himself in the royal family. He followed this up by forcing all of the peasants. To encourage all classes of the society a plan was put into place that froze class distinctions and eliminated the laws that declared that separate castes must live in separate places. Sanp?shi. to be named heir so that he could become the co-guardian and retain his power. By then forcing the samurai to be excluded from farming activities and secluding them in separate townships the government effectively placed a clear distinction on the social classes. Hideyoshi dominated Kyoto and made sure through this victory that the question of succession was finally resolved and he became the ruler for all empire that had been established under Nobunaga’s name. which had established themselves as powerful leaders in several of the providences. There was a general who fought for Nobunaga named Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This allowed people of a lower class system to actually be able to work toward a dream of rising above their current social situation and encouraged them to be more productive. but his conflict with the Ikko would go on for twelve years until it finally ended in 1580. 23 . Another measure that Hideyoshi adopted to try and unify the people was the lifting of toll booths and unnecessary military strongholds so that people could more freely move and trade throughout the country. He accomplished this by breaking up a lot of the larger conglomerates that had been running the country’s markets and the guilds behind them. One of Oda Nobunaga’s goals when he took control of Kyoto in 1568 was to unify Japan under one solid government. Nobunaga continued to work toward getting rid any opposition that may have stood in his way. and religious sects to relinquish their weapons in a move that was known as the “Sword Hunt. Once he had done this. he worked to encourage everyone else to get involved in the market by installing free markets that were called rakuichi-rakuza. or the “Warring States Period. This was an important maneuver for Hideyoshi as he had been a commoner who had worked his way through the ranks. Nobunaga went at the sects full-force. Hideyoshi campaigned to have Nobunaga’s youngest son. This preceding period of Japanese history was one of severe civil unrest and spotty wars that had worked together to tear the country into fragmented city states ruled over by the various war lords in different regions. For five years he worked to rid Japan of the hollow government of Ashikaga Yoshimasa and he finally succeeded when his army finally drove Yoshimasa from the capital. To help keep this established central control Hideyoshi went through and tore down almost all of the castles that had been erected during the civil turmoil that had ravaged the country under the previous shogunate’s rule.Azuchi-Momoyama Period The Azuchi-Momoyama Period is a period in Japanese history that followed the Muromachi Period. Hideyoshi ensured that he would remain in power in the newly established regime. who managed to quickly defeat Akechi and regain control. In 1584 after the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute. The motivation behind this was the hope that if people were more involved in the market and more freely able to earn money in this new established free trade they would feel better about their government. The other groups that considered themselves enemies of Nobunaga were the militant Buddhist sects like the Ikko (or Ikki). His victory was short-lived as he was assassinated in 1582 by general Akechi. Nobunaga began to reform the economic roots of the country as soon as he had the power to do so.” which was put into effect in 1588.

This 24 . one of the five lords. Before he died. In the later years of his rule. Tokugawa Ieyasu. Originally Tokugawa had been established as one of the five lords appointed by Hideyoshi to maintain control of Japan until his young son. died in 1599 a battle for power ensued that was known as the Battle of Sekigahara.Because of the growing concern over religious infiltration from the west. To try and get a foothold into the illustrious country. a partner for both Hideyoshi and Nobunaga and one of the five lords. Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu worked until 1615 to make sure that they were eradicated. the Edo period was established by Seii Taishogun. modern day Tokoyo. The Korean government. When Maeda Toshiie. Hideyshi invaded Koreabecause of their ties with the Chinese through an alliance. Some of these were the Council of Five Elders. He relocated to the more strategically located city of Edo. Edo Period After the fall of the Azuchi-Momoyama period in 1600. While the Fransciscans and Jesuits were able to remain and enter the country for quite some time afterward. After the capture of Seoul the Japanese forces were seen as liberators by many of the Korean commoners. Hideyoshi expelled all Christian missionaries in 1587. Some people thought of these acts of aggression as unnecessary. The final evacuation of Korea forced Hideyoshi’s army out after peace talks with China reached a stalemate. For nearly six years after his armies first invaded Korea in 1592. The campaign to infiltrate Korea officially ended with Hideyoshi’s death. became the leader of Japan after his victory in this battle and established the Edo bakufu. refusing to give into the fact the his troops were outnumbered by an almost overwhelming show of force. and even though he was officially considered a retired shogun after 1605. Maeda Toshiie in 1599 disrupted the balance of power and when Yokugawa was accussed by another lord of not respecting Hideyoshi’s wishes the Battle of Sekigahara began in 1600. The Edo period would continue for over two hundred and fifty years under the leadership of the Tokugawa shogunate. This was especially true for the Toyotomi forces who were still a large threat. the hammer effectively came down in 1597 as the missionaries were harshly persecuted and twenty-six Franciscans were executed to serve as an example for any others who might consider converting religions. The death of one of the five lords. where he was better protected from his enemies. which were designed to work together to keep an appropriate balance in the government. Part of the reason Hideyoshi wanted to maintain strict control with the people of Japan was that Hideyoshi had a dream of conquering China and getting in on some of the wealth of the Ming Dynasty. Hideyoshi established a system to try and equalize the power of government through the basis of different executive offices. After conquering those who were loyal to Hideyoshi. the Board of House Administrators. and the Board of Mediators. Hideyoshi established a group of five lords to rule over Japan until his son was hold enough to do so. Tokugawa emerged as the undisputed victor and ultimate ruler of Japan and was named the Seii Taishogun by the emperor of Japan. however. Hideyoshi fought off the Chinese and Korean forces. Ieyasu was left in a position of supreme power and unlimited wealth. Undeterred by this defeat. which would last until 1868. quickly appealed to the Chinese military for help. Hideyoshi tried again but this time it was a far greater battle as they met with more resistance by the Korean people. Hideyori was capable of ruling on his own. but Hideyoshi truly believed that it was a crucial step in maintaining control of his empire as Christian missionaries in other parts of the world were declaring war in the name of their god and colonizing the countries they’ve taken over.

However. However. In 1837 in Osaka the peasants fought back against the government and the merchants that they perceived to be suppressing them. As the government found itself facing a monetary crunch they began imposing higher taxes on the Japanese people. the ban on literature outside of Japan was lifted eighty-one years later in 1720. Anyone with a questionable or immoral profession were not even considered in the class system and made up the unofficial fifth caste. in order to curb their wealth and power. The Edo period ushered in a sense of stability to Japan because it combined the feudal system of government with a larger. artisans. combined with a conflux of natural disasters and famine across the country. he also required that every daimyo spent every other year in Edo. Once the country was cut off from the other influences and not as dependant on outside commerce local economic conditions flourished as trade and agriculture within Japan improved. giving them more prominent lands as a representation of their alliegance to him. By doing this it instituted that the land owners had to spend a considerable amount of money and time away from their domain and limited their power base at home. The categories that citizens fell into were samurai. Persecution against Christianity remained in effect under the Yokugawa family. thereby constricting their ability to introduce western ideals to the Japanese people. but the impact of what the peasants had done had a lasting effect on the perception of the government and the crisis feeling that was facing so many of its population. This allowed for new schools to be built that combined elements of learning from an influx of ideals from China and parts of Europe. After the final battle against the Toyotomi family there was an extended period of peace and stability that allowed the samurai to worry about more than the constant war that had plagued Japan during the Muromachi period. A population explosion also led to more and more people living in extreme poverty or taking on tenant farmer positions. Ultimately this reinstitution of the class system would become a problem when the higher ranking samurai class found themselves financially dependant on the merchant class as their power and wealth grew. Toward the end of the Tokugawa regime the country began facing some problems despite how stable they had been in the previous years. thus introducing a host of new ideals to Japan. All of this free time was used to better educate themselves in the arts. This stability and balance of the market helped to keep the stability of the country and in its own way aided in the continued isolation of Japan. He also redistributing the land between those daimyo who’d supported him throughout the power struggle. philosophy. and merchants. they were reinstituted during the Edo period. caused the farmers and peasants to riot. To further prevent too much outside influence on Japanese ideals the government formerly banned all foreign books and restricted the trade to China and the port of Nagasaki. The 25 . peasants. and literature of the period. more centralized bureaucracy. Citizens were required to register in one of the four classes and they were not allowed to change their class. The rebellion was quashed in a day. This. While class systems had all but been abolished during the reign of Hideyoshi.happened when the Tokugawa army invaded Osaka and destroyed the remains of the Toyotomi were officially destroyed. effectively cutting off and isolating the island of Japan. In 1633 all foreign travel was also banned. Eventually some of the samurai were even forced to take on production and labor intensive jobs for the merchants to pay off their debts or even to merely earn a living as fortunes during this time steeply declined.

Whereas the previous government had been ruled by the bakufu. However. In an attempt to keep up with western weapons and defense. This second treaty with the United States caused some problems within the society as it granted unrestricted or monitored trade at some ports while also allowing foreign peoples to only be beholden to the laws of their own country. Another problem that beset the Tokugawa government’s control was the increasing pressure for Japan to change due to outside forces. The outside pressures from Western Civilization had caused the ultimate downfall of the shogunate rule and they were still just as present in the new form of rule as they had been to the old one. so the new government would also have to find a way to deal with these problems. and this led to even further problems as the infrastructure of the Tokugawa family began to decline. and the United States. Meiji Period At the end of the Tokugawa Period in 1868. the government held out on offering opportunities for establishing international trading opportunities and ports until 1853 when US Naval commander Matthew Perry arrived in Edo Bay forcing the bakufu to react to the situation. Five years later another act was forced on the government opening even more ports for trade with the United States. This time was known as the Meiji Restoration in which the emperor and the capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo and major reforms in the government were enacted. Europe. While there were anti-western feelings among the population. a naval training academy was established in Nagasaki in 1855 with Dutch instructors. a new period of Japanese history emerged and lasted for almost forty five years. In 1868 the imperial power of the Emperor Meiji was completely reinstated. the trading that was conducted was done only on a limited basis. This led to a discrepancy in the country as different groups vied to have their viewpoints heard. This document consisted of five different positions and promised to help the ordinary citizens work to rise above the classes and to help boost morale for all of the Japanese citizens and encourage them to build new businesses and to try and build upon knowledge. This enlightened period of Japanese history put an end to the two hundred and sixty five years of shogunate rule. One of the first things that the government did was to enact the Five Charter Oath in 1868. 26 . would all eventually seek to establish some form of trade agreement. In 1854 the Treaty of Peace and Amity allowed for the United States to begin trading with the Japanese and offered a promise of good and fair treatment to shipwrecked Americans.government had been facing a steady decrease of morals and incompetence. This desire to open Japan up to the rest of the world eventually resulted in the Tokugawa government’s demise due to political demand for the end of the shogunate rule. This was the beginning of Japan’s emergence onto the world scene and established them as a world power. Even so. Russia. The following year a military school that embraced western ideas was launched in Edo. many people realized the benefits of western sciences and military advancements. This inconsistency caused some feelings of unrest within Japan’s citizenry and opposition to the treaty arose. releasing them from the bonds of Japanese law. The implications of this meant that the bakufu rule would officially be over. the reigns of the government were now transferred from this bakufu system into a group of nobles and former samurai.

Another large investment that the government made was in small family owned businesses. Japan also reformed its schools and began to require compulsory education for all children. The government supported its religion of choice by opening up the Office of Shinto Worship that was ranked so highly that it was even over the Council of State. To try and make sure that they were doing as much as they could to catch up with the west in every economic sense possible Japanese scholars went to foreign countries to learn other languages and study the latest scientific theories and advances being made in the west. which had caused so many problems during the Tokugawa regime were eventually broken down and discarded. Copying the French and German systems of education. as these reforms pushed the traditional government toward a more and more liberal movement a backlash resulted and pushed them back toward their conservative roots. These treaties were largely unequal in heavy favor of the other countries. The businesses that they had helped to support would in turn raise the country’s economic status up onto a competitive level while the older bankers who clutched at the constraints of traditionalism failed in this new environment. and other important educational tools. The Japanese were working as diligently as they could to assimilate themselves into Western Culture to make up for the large disadvantage they had. it was not the state supported religion. supported the Shinto teachers. The government poured massive amounts of money into their military modeling their army and naval forces after the successful Prussia and Brittan. the Meiji Empire found itself instituting widespread reforms. including the samurai. In 1870 the emperor had reclaimed all of the lands and they were broken down and restructured into territories. in an attempt to make sure that the country caught up with these other world powers. The feudal lords were forced to relinquish all of their lands to the emperor. Hardly any facet of the government was left untouched as they tried to reach out to the people and create a more democratic state with more equality. those in power were forced to sign treaties with many of the Western counties. While Christianity was legalized. So. giving them large legal and economic advantages in Japan. By 1877 the government controlled all Shinto shrines. science. This meant that the established social classes. Eventually the government even decided to grant religious freedoms to the people in 1873. These changes made Japan the first industrialized Asian nation as the Meiji government ushered in the beliefs of many of the western countries concerning free trade and capitalism.In order to make sure that the Japanese had some trading abilities with the other countries. The financial crisis that was caused by this massive outflow of money caused the 27 . However. These were just some of the small maneuvers that the Japanese government did that helped to launch them into the world’s sphere. They also put money into building up the communications abilities and road networks in the hopes that these improvements would help to make the country a viable world power. This also led to the reinforcement of the belief in divine ancestry of the emperor’s blood line. They also invited more than three thousand outside experts to come into the country and teach many other Japanese in subjects that could give them a distinct advantage like English. All of these governmental investments may have been what the country needed in order to get on a level playing field with the other countries. The education system was eventually used to reinforce the importance of worshipping the emperor and then branched out to include the indoctrination of the religious beliefs of Shinto and Confucianism. but it took a heavy toll on the financial stability of the country. and some of the Shinto sects were granted government recognition. engineering.

or parliament. and Germany stepped in and demanded that Japan return all of the other territories that they had already gained. The rise of Japan on the world stage led to developing disagreements between Korean. This form of intervention caused Japan to take a step back and up the ante on their military. The document provided for legislative branches. However. the foreign occupation. This led to a lot of powerful decisions that were being made by the ruling powers that had a direct line to Emperor Meiji and he agreed with most of their’s entire monetary system to be overwhelmed and this led to the creation of the Bank of Japan. This led to the Sino-Japanese War in 1894. At the end of the Taisho period in 1926 the government was not as stable as it had been at the end of the preceding Meiji period despite the 1925 bill that allowed all property owning men over twenty five the right to vote. and Japan. A separate war between Russia and Japan developed just ten years later and was known as the Russo-Japanese War. and limited government officials to four years in office. but not before the country descended first into political and economic chaos. China. translates to mean the “period of enlightened peace. One of the ways this was accomplished was through the passage of the Peace Preservation Law of 1925. the emperor retained his sovereignty as head of the armed forces and the ruling branches of the government. and the post-occupation. bringing with it an end to the prosperity that had risen up during this time period. The name of this period. The beginning of the military period was set up to take effect by the preceding emperor’s rule. public polling. was established. This 28 . Hirohito took command of the government after his father’s death. The Meiji Period ended abruptly in 1912 with his death. France. The weakness of Emperor Taisho combined with the relatively new emergence of the Diet and the political party system had worked to make the entrance of the military regime a lot more reasonable than it might have been at another time period. Showa Period The Showa period corresponds to the point in Japanese history in which Emperor Showa. Eventually Hirohito would see this promise of peace in Japan. ranks for nobles and other officials.” He promised people when he took the throne that he would work his hardest to achieve peace because he understood its blessing and also knew the need for agreement among nations. created a new tax system. but the countries of Russian. the military period. and eventually atomic bombings. however. Japan’s newly developed armed forces were able to defeat China and gain Taiwan. The period is generally divided into three separate parts. which had been put through only ten days before the law that allowed men to vote. the parliament had specific powers. the success in this war along with the annexation of Korea in 1910 bolstered Japanese people’s national pride and confidence. they were able to gain more territory along with some much needed respect from the Western countries. Much in the same manner of the British government. Because this government was so newly created there were dissents among the political parties vying for power. In 1889 the Japanese constitution was created and the Diet. The changes in Japanese tradition and culture were so great during “the enlightened period” that it caused a rapid upheaval in Japan’s economic and foreign policy and forced their presence on the world stage. war. With Japan’s victory in this conflict. Showa.

in 1930. This combined with a perceived lack of respect for Japan on the part of the other foreign leaders resulted in the conservative groups rising to power.” This military based government would then take its stand when it invaded Manchuria in 1931. The parliament was mainly compromised of military officials and when Japan received criticism for its actions against China it withdrew from the League of Nations. setting up the events that would eventually led to the Second Sino-Japanese War. communists. Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi went to the London Naval Conference and was denied the increase in Japanese Naval ship ratios in the Pacific he was assassinated by one of these ultranationalists for his inability to get more done for the state. the extremists only succeeded in killing two. The incident was actually an assassination plot by the extremists to try and eliminate a list of twenty individuals that they perceived as a threat to the ultimate survival of the state. This served to facilitate a feeling of Japan against the other major western powers like the United States. Chinese. and to question it was to question the absolute rule of the emperor. and the Dutch. This increasing need by extremists to build a strong national identity would lead to the Lead of Blood Incident. This belief was known as Kokutai. he wrote out the list of the 29 . As such. The country began to see that the only way to be on par with these other countries was a path to war and ultimately to conquest. Japan was about to experience an economic collapse as the great depression hit the country and forced silk and rice prices to sink and the number of exports were suddenly cut in half as the demand from around the world dropped off because of the other country’s economic hardships. or national body. This caused the unemployment rates around the country to go up and as people grew restless and agitated the social problems in the country were greatly increased. However. Officials in small towns and cities across Japan were urged by military leaders to indoctrinate people about the need for strong nationalist ideals. and capitalists. Inoue. The nation was quickly industrialized and as more and more people moved into the cities and out of the rural areas the power of the feudal lords decreased as the emphasis was moved to the emperor and loyalty for him was tied directly to the state of Japan as a whole. The group behind the League of Blood Incident was led by a Buddhist priest. It became that any suggestion or question posed to the government or the political state was seen as an outright attack on Japan itself.act limited the amount of freedoms granted to individual Japanese citizens by outlawing groups who disagreed with the current system of government. British. the social anxiety that was sparked by these attempted assassination attempts. The politicians in charge during this time saw what the communist movement was doing in other countries and were concerned that their government could also be in danger from outside revolutionary forces which sought to change the state of their government. When. who might threaten this supreme ruling of the centralized government. They even established a special police force that would investigate any groups like socialists. This upwelling of ultra conservative national pride in Japan was the result of victory in foreign conflicts and the status garnered by the success in World War I. This prompted news organizations like the New York Times to refer to Japan as being a “government by assassination. Of the twenty people on this list. Since there was no legislature or documentation which clearly defined the difference between public and private matters the government declared absolute loyalty in every single aspect of the society. who envisioned himself as the leader of a movement that would be like a rebirth to Japan.

To hide this fact from those outside the inner workings of the government. but the members of the royal family were immune to these trials. After the war Japan worked to make its name known in a completely different way by turning to industrialization and establishing the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. After the defeat Japan found itself being occupied by foreign powers for the first time in its long history.twenty individuals targeted for assassination. This practice of hiding him continued even after he had taken over the throne. Since Japan was the only Asian country to effectively industrialize their country and become large enough to compete on a world-wide level with many of the western powers. led by General Douglas MacArthur. hoping that their deaths would fully restore the empirical power within the Japanese government. An example of public incidences that they were looking to avoid happened during the 30 . Emperor Yoshihito. Under the terms of the surrender. who had been named heir apparent in 1887. The system set up different economic policies and overturned many of its anti-monopoly laws and made the Japanese market be available only to companies within the country. In 1936 over fifteen hundred members of the conservative belief system marched on Tokyo and began assassinating government officials in an attempt to restore what they considered the true government of Japan. was the one hundred and twenty third emperor of Japan. its emperor was also forced to resign from politics completely and given only a figurehead status. When he was officially named to succeed his father he promptly renamed himself Emperor Taisho. Today Japan is second to the United States in the economy despite the recession of the 1990’s. it gave them a way that they could tell public all of their plans and concerns. In 1952 Japan signed the Treaty of San Francisco with the United States. or the enlightened period. was in charge of the occupation of Japan. Despite the deathly intent of their message. A trial was arranged and those accused of war crimes were sentenced to death and executed. The rise of fundamental ultranationalist beliefs made it nearly impossible for the country to remain under the rule of many of the moderate policies of the government. contributing to the downfall of the established Japanese ruling system that spread through the Showa reign in the 1930s. Taisho was kept from the public view. They turned to their economic powers to earn them the respect and influence that they had originally sought through battle. they believed that it was their mission to unite Asia against the western world. This disease had left him in poor physical and mental health and he was often considered unstable. it was not enough to win the Second World War. many people came to sympathize and even agree with their ideals. making them once again a completely independent nation. However deeply the people of Japan may have believed in their country’s supreme right to rule over much of Asia. Hirohito (Showa) stepped forward and demanded an end to the killing. Despite the hopeful name he had decided to give himself upon taking over Taisho was considered the weak emperor due to the fact that he had gotten meningitis shortly after being born. Taisho Period When the end of the reign of Emperor Meiji. In the mid 1930’s Japan was placed under the rule of admirals. The United States. Japan was forced to be disarmed. The trial of Inoue did more than just serve as a tool to convict them. but not before many had already died. It was this belief that ultimately led Japan into the conflict in China and the Second World War. came to an end in 1912 the next emperor took over. meaning the period of great righteousness.

the global condemnation of Japan’s restrictions on the Chinese forced them to withdraw their list of demands. France.opening ceremony of the Diet in 1913 Taisho took the parchment his speech had been written on. The dissents and disagreements between these cultures would build to a crescendo until they boiled over and before long the globe found itself immersed in the first truly world-wide conflict. Caving into racial discrimination standards that had plagued much of Europe and the United States since the early eighteen hundreds. during which time Japan did its part in assisting the Allies in different capacities. This caused some anti-Japanese sentiments to be solidified into a political movement in China. Japan. This freedom was gained through the treaty’s reassurance that the United States and Britain would not work to build any new military bases between Singapore and Hawaii. leaving the emperor little more than a figurehead. Japan wanted China to give them more control over Manchuria and Inner Mongolia so that they could expand their sphere of influence farther into China’s main land. instead relied on international agreements with Russia. However. These agreements gave Japan recognition for the territorial gains they had achieved from the Germans in China and the Pacific. ending in 1918. not wanting to give up on their conditions for China. They made their move in 1915 when they presented a list of “Twenty-One Demands” to China. Yes the country had found itself propelled into the global spotlight because of the large investments made by the Meiji government on the part of overseas investments and the building of Japan’s defense programs. however. Japan. like so many other countries. Taisho’s weakness meant that the political power of the country quickly moved over from the elder statesmen who had so successfully helped his father rule to the Diet and the parties that ruled them. rolled it up. this assistance was greatly underappreciated at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 when Japan asked for an amendment of a “racial equality clause” to be added to the League of Nations. Japan had their own agenda as well for getting involved in the war and they were keeping an eye out for the opportunity to increase their presence inside of China. This rejection of equality from Britain and the United States after Japan had pitched into the effort of the Allies to help defeat the Germans weighed heavily on the deterioration of relations between the countries during the period between the two World Wars. this had left the country with depleted funds. and Japan joined the conflict on the side of the Allied powers that were fighting against the German forces that were in Eastern Asia. 31 . In 1921 Japan entered into the “Four Power Treaty on Insular Possessions” with the United States. Brittan and the United States. Another problem that Taisho era Japan faced was the legacy that the Meiji Emperor had left behind for them. Japan also wanted to be guaranteed part ownership in a major mining center in China as well as prohibit China from leasing any of their coastal lands to another country. The increasing globalization of the world economy meant that countries who usually did not have any contact with one another were becoming more and more involved. the proposal was rejected. The war lasted for four years. and looked through it like a telescope. Britain. However. In fact Taisho was stripped of all his official duties as the ruling body of Japan and remained the emperor in name only after Hirohito was named Prince Regent in 1921. and France and agreed to another disarmament treat in 1922 which gave the Japanese Navy more mobility in the Pacific Ocean. did not escape “The Great War. The development of the two party system that had been started under Meiji really took hold during the Taisho period.” The First World War officially broke out in 1914. Despite these riots and political pressure Japan was emerging as a major political player on the scene.

The word Ainu comes from the word for “human” in the Hokkaido dialect. The first conclusive evidence from the Ainu culture dates back to around 1200 AD.exhausted credit. which means “comrade” in the Ainu language. The Ainu . Some believe they may even be descended from Caucasians. while the southern-most were in Northern Honshu. After 32 . the military seized almost complete control of the government over the next ten years. Today. although few truly believe this legend. many Ainu are unaware of the fact that they are Ainu. although no DNA evidence supports this theory. Most believe the Ainu are Jomon who were pushed out of mainland Japan by immigrants from Korea. museums and other organizations have formed to protect and spread what is left of the Ainu culture. Artwork and current living Ainu suggest these indigenous people were fair skinned. These were the problems that the government faced when Emperor Hirohito took control after Taisho’s death in 1924. their true origins have yet to be solidly determined. fishing. Some other names the people have gone by include Emishi. and almost no reserves to pay their debt back. This evidence points to an agricultural society that supported itself with farming.Indigenous People of Japan The Ainu is the name given to the ethnic group of people indigenous to Hokkaido. they inhabited Hokkaido a hundred thousand years before the mainland Japanese came. Sakhalin. Because of these stresses. both names are used. some Ainu currently prefer to be called Utari. However. and Ezo. Their northern-most towns and villages were on Sakhalin. which did their best to assimilate the Ainu culture into mainstream Japan. this could not completely help the country when the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 left them in critical financial straits. In 1924 the United States banned further immigration from Japanese people looking for a way out by passing the Exclusion Act. Anyone who stood up to them were quickly marked as political enemies and were assassinated and their positions replaced by Navy and Army officers. In most official documents and books. at least compared to most Japanese. according to an Ainu legend. Origin of the Ainu Many believe the Ainu people migrated to Hokkaido during the Jomon period. and hunting.” Due to the derogatory slant with which the name has been used in the past. These programs and the near slavery enforced upon the Ainu by the fishing industry has marginalized and nearly destroyed the Ainu culture. words in other Japanese dialect which translate to “human. In fact. Average citizens were exposed to the government’s constant indoctrination through the education and media outlets while strict censorship kept dissenting opinions and ideas hidden from mass public consumption. Yezo. For awhile they were able to turn themselves around from a debtor to a creditor nation while aiding the Chinese government and selling supplies to the allies during the First World War. much more recent than the legend states. Communists were equally segregated and persecuted in an attempt by the militarybased government to squash all opposition to their own style of rule. The Ainu were the focus of several programs by the Meiji government. although lately. however. and the Kuril Islands. The Ainu originally held land across the central and northern areas of Japan. These pressures combined to help create the volatile feelings of Japan going into the Second Sino-Japanese War and eventually World War II. including the prime minister.

They outlawed the Ainu’s native language. such as the Menashi-Kunashir Battle or Shakushain’s Revolt. Women also usually wore undergarments. During this time. and the top knots and hairstyles enjoyed by the samurai and court ladies never appeared in Ainu culture. Ainu Culture The Ainu culture was markedly different from that of Japan. The Ainu clothing was traditionally made out of bark from the interior of the elm tree. Today. The resolution also called for an end to discrimination against the Ainu. 33 . Earrings were worn by both men and women. Tattoos. too late. The Ainu in Modern Times To further promote assimilation. it wouldn’t be until June of 2008 that the Ainu would officially be declared an indigenous people. the Ainu generally surrendered it peacefully. however. and the lack of good medical care. were quite popular. traditional Ainu costumes are in much demand. the Ainu wore outfits and boots made from deerskin. However. Both genders cut their hair to shoulder length. The Ainu population rapidly decreased during this time due to disease. When the Soviet Union declared war on Japan during World War II. the Meiji began aggressively attempting to assimilate the Ainu into Japanese culture. In a resolution approved by the Diet and supported by members of all parties. religion. most Ainu lived on Hokkaido. Ainu History As Korean immigrants and even Japanese moved more and more northern. some have gone on record stating that it is too little. they were soundly defeated. For winter clothing. although the post WWII population was much smaller than it was before. The few times they did attempt to fight back. They would retain this status until 1997.being pushed out of Honshu. it was the Russians who took the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin from them. and women were also fond of wearing beaded necklaces known as tamasay. However. and women often had inked lips and arms. they quickly took over these two areas. Some managed to later return to Sakhalin. Although the Japanese had to trouble claming Ainu land on Honshu. the government declared the Ainu former aborigines in 1899. made them take on traditional Japanese names. and language. and forced them to work as farmers and fishermen. rather than fight for their land. moved them to government-owned lands. leaving them with full facial hair. allowing the few who can make them to make a large profit. While this resolution does bring an end to the historical separation of the two people. the Ainu found themselves being pushed out of lands they had inhabited for years. Ainu men stopped shaving after reaching adulthood. when the proclamation was repelled and the Ainu were officially recognized as an ethnic minority. they saw no problem in forcing them back to their “mother” country. the government voted to recognize the Ainu as indigenous people with their own culture. While the Japanese pushed the Ainu out of Honshu. the oppressive conditions they were forced to live under. Since Russia regarded the Ainu as Japanese subjects. they were unable to assert their rule over Hokkaido until the Meiji period came to power in the mid-nineteenth century. which was not brought under Japanese control until 1868. Both men and women wore short robes with straight sleeves that tied around the waist.

the Latin alphabet. syntax. Saru. Ainu men ate with chopsticks.Traditional Ainu food consisted of fish. more recently. ox. They supplemented their meal with a variety of vegetables and roots. followed by the mountain. and myths to memories and tell them at gatherings that could last anywhere from a few hours to days. Ainu Language The Ainu language was quite different from Japanese in all ways—the vocabulary. The Ainu were divided into three districts: Ishikari. followed by the rest of nature. criminals were beaten and then let go. wolf. The Ainu prayed before each meal and asked the spirit of fire for help when ill. the village chief’s house was used in place of a dedicated meeting hall. stories. especially in words with terminal consonants. Ainu Government Since the Meiji Restoration. and Ainu believed that everything had a kamuy. There was no chimney. morphology. before they were integrated. were punished by having their nose and ears cut off or the tendons in their feet cut. the Ainu believed their spirits would ascend to the land of the gods. The Ainu. For public meetings. the language has degraded significantly. Murderers. women used wooden spoons. generally. Imprisonment and the death penalty were non-existent. Each spirit fit into a rigid hierarchy. since they had no system of writing. When they died. the Ainu have been a part of the Japanese government. there were no priests. inside it. spread wooden planks at night to sleep on. and even badger and horse. wooden shaving. the village chief was also in charge of religious ceremonies. they had their own system of laws. and used animal skins for blankets. However. and they never ate it raw—meat was always roasted or boiled. In fact. with Saru serving as the main seat of power. many of which were not understood by other Ainu outside of their spoken area. nor in Ainu related to any other language. and Usu. huts had two doors and a window on the east side. although they did not perform the role of judge. Instead. However. much like the jury system that many countries use today. While there are a number of Ainu dialects. fowl. however. bear. Heisei Period 34 . citizens were called upon to serve as judges. However. Ainu has been written using Japanese. Ainu Religion The traditional Ainu religion was animist. then the sea. because it is difficult to represent the sounds of Ainu using Japanese. passed down their histories orally. The Ainu sat on mats on the floor. Instead. Ainu villages were made up of reed-thatched huts that featured a single room with a fire pit at the center. Russian. and phonology were all unique. Generally. If a member of the community committed a crime. or spirit. Three hereditary chiefs held administrative power in each village. all Ainu understood Yukar. and animal sacrifices to the kamuy. There is no written form of the Ainu language. While most villages governed themselves and did not rely on other Ainu. and. with grandmother earth at the top. Designated storytellers would commit the various events. However. there was little interaction between the three districts. including leading prayers and offering willow branches. This was the dialect used in most Ainu stories and myths. there was an overarching system of government. most language scholars have decided that the two languages are not even related.

driving prices up accordingly. Bosai. This failure for the market to keep up its accelerated growth pattern was the result of what is commonly referred to as a “bubble economy. This given name will be used for Akihito by the citizens of Japan who now refer to him as Emperor Heisei. making him the one hundred and twenty fifth emperor of Japan. Japan had placed very tight policies encouraging the citizens of the country to save their income and this resulted in a surplus of money available to banks. in turn gave this money back to the people in the form of loans and credit. This caused the yen to appreciate and opened up the financial sector to massive speculation. Borantia. The prosperity which had graced the later years of the Showa Era was not to be as easily attained during the Heisei Era. although he is still commonly known as Emperor Akihito to the rest of the world. Tomiichi Murayama.” meaning that the market was growing and trading at a volume and pace that it could not possibly keep up at a sustainable pace. of volunteerism to run concurrent with the anniversary of the earthquake. In 1994 the Liberal Democratic Party reemerged after the Recruit Scandal of 1988 with the election of the prime minister. leaving many families homeless and destitute. While on the surface it may have seemed like a wonderful thing. most of them from the nearby city of Kobe. means peace everywhere. thereby setting off a secondary growth in the investment market and drove Tokyo property values up over sixty percent inside of one year. Hirohito’s son. So. the next year was to be a troubling one for the Heisei period as on January 17th of 1995 the country suffered through the Great Hanshin Earthquake. 1989 marked the beginning of one of the largest economic eruptions in the entire history of Japan. roughly translated.The Heisei Period is the current existing era in Japan and came into effect in 1989 the day after Emperor Hirohito (Showa) passed away from his battle with cancer. The years following the crash of 1991 were spent trying to correct many of the bad loaning and credit practices that had gotten Japan into so much trouble. thereby ending the longest era of reign under one emperor since the Taika period in 645. Banks. 35 . The scandal forced the resignation of many prominent members of the Japanese parliament to resign. and a week.434 people. It has been estimated that the earthquake caused nearly two hundred billion dollars in American dollars. The name of Heisei was chosen for Akihito which. making it nearly impossible for the average Japanese citizen to keep up with the rapid economic expansion. However. The Recruit Scandal occurred when the chairman of the Recruit corporation offered stocks before the company actually went public and the politicians who took advantage of his offer made millions of yen from the company. The failure of this economy was the result of many years of cumulative problems within the economic system which were not addressed at the time when they first came up. This economic distress was compounded by the fact that only about three percent of the property had any form of earthquake insurance. is the current serving emperor of the country having succeeded his father. The Bank of Japan used this massive growth in the economic sector to keep the interest rates as low as possible. In order to honor the number of Japanese citizens who went to volunteer their time and efforts on that day the government later declared a day. The bad side of the growing economy quickly caught up with the burgeoning Heisei Period as it was not destined that this quickly sprouting economy could keep going at its remarkable pace. Speculation began on the marked and also drove the prices up everywhere. It happened in the Hyogo Prefecture and would take the lives of 6. Akihito. This trouble began during year in which the Heisei Period began. the bubble on Japan’s economy burst only two short years later in 1991.

many have battled over the crown and for control of Japan. Almost fifty five years after the end of World War II the Japanese government found itself back on the military stage when in 2004 they deployed close to one thousand troops to help the United States government in the reconstruction of Iraq. Emperor Sutoku Sutoku was born in 1119 and reigned between 1123 and 1142. Emperor Go-Shirakawa Go-Shirakawa ascended the throne on 1155 and ruled only a short three years. The Conflict 36 . Aum Shinrikyo. Japan has also made a name for itself in the technological development of the world. others have either been sentenced or are currently awaiting trial. and these kinds of groups also known as NGOs or Non-Governmental Organizations. There were times. While the stock market has since rebounded from its crash in 1989. This forced the relatively new emperor. The group has tried to repent for this violent past by setting up funds to compensate victims and their families. Heisei’s government was heavily criticized for failing to react strongly and properly to the Sarin gas attack. The attack was meant to target those trains which were servicing the Japanese government and targeted the trains servicing the home of the government which ran through Kasumigaseki and Nagatacho. giving control of Japan to the military class for the next 700 years. He abdicated in 1158 and took on the role of cloistered emperor while his son Emperor Nijo. His actual rule was marked by little of importance—he is considered neither a great emperor nor a horrible one. However. Battling Emperors Sutoku and Go-Shirakawa During Japanese history. Often. he retired from the throne.Later on March 20th 1995 a cult. ruled. those involved weren’t even in line for the throne. As of right now they continue to be a growing presence in Japan’s political sphere and system of government. however when two contenders for the throne had to battle it out. they were battling for the right to put their puppet emperor in the palace and control Japan through him. This criticism has prompted several outside groups to take a more active role in the government. he worked to shift power from the Fujiwara clan to the samurai. It is home to many new technological inventions and is perhaps most well known for being the birthplace of the modern day video gaming movement that seems to have taken the world by storm. The group was allowed by the Diet to retain its religious stature and is now known by Aleph. released sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system killed a dozen people and injured close to a thousand causing them to experience symptoms including temporary blindness and other more severe injuries. Trials were held and some of people associated with the attack were sentenced to death for their actions. This was true with Emperor Sutoku and Emperor Go-Shirakawa. Akihito to deal with the most serious attack on Japanese soil since the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. allowing the Taira clan to seize power and eventually create the Kamakura shogunate. In 1142. giving his title to Emperor Konoe. During his rule.

asking them to help him. However. holding nearly as much power as he had when he was on the throne. and the Taira put a puppet emperor on the throne. However. had the support of the samurai class. but instead of working with Go-Shirakawa. a battle between Sutoku and Go-Shirakawa’s forces. He easily defeated Sutoku. He declared the Taira enemies of the court. however. and in 1180. He began talks with the Minamoto clan. another rebellion began. Aftermath – Go-Shirakawa However. the most important accomplishment of the act was the fact that it is considered to be the first official declaration which claimed that the government’s reaction to quarantine Japanese-American citizens was not a legitimate necessity but rather was the product of mass hysteria and unchecked racial prejudices. Go-Shirakawa regained his power as cloistered emperor when the head of the Taira clan died the next year. In 1159. Civil Liberties Act of 1988 The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was signed into law on August 10th. He actually copied scriptures and sent them as offerings to the court. With the support of Toba and the Fujiwara clan. a year after Go-Shirakawa was crowned. This was all done with an eye towards preventing Sutoku’s son from seizing power. The Minamoto destroyed the Taira in 1185. Go-Shirakawa was instructed to hold the throne until his son. while his allies lost. Sutoku found himself exiled to Sanuki Providence. resigned from the throne. Sutoku’s predecessor. 1988. allowing his son to succeed him as Toba had wished. followed this plan. Go-Shirakawa then had to deal with a war between his allies. but he failed. as did Go-Shirakawa taking power after Konoe died. Toba died. including the powerful Minamoto and Taira clans. Sutoku’s abdication and replacement with Toba’s brother. Go-Shirakawa. who was a Democrat from California who had been put into an internment camp as a child. However. Aftermath – Sutoku After losing his throne. The Taira won. Go-Shirakawa attempted to exile them. This was the United States’ official version of an apology for the internment camps. he did so with a plan. causing the emperors to lose power and the samurai class to take over. The act was sponsored by Congressman Norman Mineta. Shortly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor the government made it to where those Japanese-Americans in the United States and Latin America were rounded up and placed into specialized camps that segregated them from the rest of the population. and it gave every surviving internee a lump sum agreement amount of twenty thousand dollars. This led to even more animosity between them. the Taira and Minamoto clans went to war with each other. although the court rejected them. was old enough to take the crown. Go-Shirakawa refused to give up. His death resulted in the Hogen Rebellion. his former supporters wanted power for themselves. Go-Shirakawa retired and became the cloistered emperor. It was a federal law put into place by the United States in order to grant reparations to the Japanese-Americans who were placed in internment camps during the Second World War. and many legends say he became a ghost and haunted the court. he dedicated himself to a monastic life. Nijo. Emperor Konoe. his retirement was not as relaxing as one would thing. At the time the government claimed that they had pulled them away from the western coastal areas and placed them in their own separate 37 . However. Rather than attempt to retake the throne.When Emperor Toba.

He was named after the Emperor Toba. one of his predecessors. The teen had no choice. The reasoning for this is somewhat unclear. overseeing three different emperors. and he became a skilled painter. However. he continued to reign as the cloistered Emperor until 1221. The act also worked to prevent future examples of injustice based on racial discrimination or any other violations of civil liberties. While Go-Toba was recognized as emperor. in 1996 a class action lawsuit was filed by Carmen Mochizuki. The acknowledgement that this practice was wrongly done through this act was something that the Japanese-Americans had been waiting for since the end of the war. It also worked to make sure that the United States would make certain that its statements of concern over human rights violations committed by other countries were more sincere and credible so that the any possible future occurrences of this level of discrimination would be less likely to happen. The funds ran out before all of the people could receive the settlement and after the money ran out in 1999 additional money was given to the Attorney General to finish paying out the claims. He ordered them banished or even executed. Despite this. meaning that Go-Toba did not receive them in the traditional ritual.” meaning his name can be read at Toba the second. although it was supported by the Kyoto priesthood.camps because they were afraid that they would collaborate with the Japanese government to plan an attack against the United States on the mainland. Go-Toba decided to rebel and reclaim the throne. When Go-Shirakawa died in 1192. mirror. Also. As cloistered Emperor. which may have caused his anger towards them. and jewel that are the symbols of the emperor). Many Japanese were taken from their homes in places like Peru and brought to America to be put into an internment camp were not compensated with the monies from the act. However. This conflict. two of Go-Toba’s ladies in waiting had secretly joined the sect. When the shogun gave the throne to Go-Toba’s three year old grandson in 1221. Go-Toba more or less became powerless as the Minamoto clan established their shogunate. The shogun commanded Go-Toba to abdicate his throne in 1198. at the time. writer. After Emperor Antoku fled instead of abdicating. the young emperor spent much of his time focusing on the arts. Antoku still had them. In the original version of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 there were no reparations included for those Japanese who were interred but were not already citizens of the United States or permanent legal residents. he was the first emperor to ascend the throne without holding the imperial regalia (the sword. Emperor Go-Toba Emperor Go-Toba ruled as Japan’s 82nd emperor from 1183 to 1198. he was only three years old. However. The “Go” portion of his name can be translated as “second. With little political power or pressure. called the Jokyu War. and musician. the cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa gave the throne to Antoku’s younger brother Go-Toba. which granted an addition five thousand dollars per person who fit into this previously uncompensated category be released. and he gave up the throne to one of his young sons. one of Go-Toba’s decrees that was actually allowed by the shogun was to outlaw the Pure Land Buddhist sect. pitted Go-Toba 38 . he never really had any true power—the shogun controlled the country. Go-Toba was the grandson of Emperor Go-Shirakawa.

One of the ways that Japan started to visualize itself moving into the global community was through Korea. When China responds to the request with a little over two thousand soldiers Japan sees this as an affront and immediately sends four thousand of their own troops to respond to the rebellion as well. Once the Japanese were there in force they tried to place reform into the Korean political system. but the Japanese government demanded that the soldiers stay in Korea for as long as possible. Japan wanted to find a way to end China’s diplomatic protection over Korea and annex it so that Japan was the only military presence in the country. however. and served as a critic. and he is credited with starting the golden age of swordsmithing in Japan. he did serve as its general editor. and despite the resolution of the rebel forces Japan moved additional troops into Korea by the end of the month. The emperor was also a huge sword collector. In the years immediately preceding this opening of Japan’s borders the country set about transforming into a more industrialized society to try and keep up with the rest of the global community. Go-Toba continued to write poetry and edit anthologies. Go-Toba’s Contributions to the Arts Go-Toba made many different contributions to the arts. One of the ways that they did this was to simultaneously send scholars out into the rest of the world while at the same time bringing teachers to their country. The Tonghak Rebellion was quashed within just a few days. They needed to make sure that they could manage to successfully integrate into western society. he gave honorary titles to many great swordsmiths and even learned the craft himself. Go-Toba had the support of a few samurai. Go-Toba was easily defeated and exiled. While Go-Toba did not write much of the book himself. He completed several writing projects and continued to practice his arts. During his reign. brought back many traditions related to writing. One of his most important literary words was the Shin Kokinshu. Another reason that Japan was so intent about gaining some control in Korea is that as a developing country they quickly come to understand that they do not have enough natural resources on the islands and they need the coal and iron deposits in Korea to continue their growth. The seeds for the First Sino-Japanese War began with Japan’s Treaty of Ganghwa in 1876. This did not sit well with the Japanese government and they immediately 39 . but most sided with the shogun.against the powerful Kamakura shogunate and the samurai class. but it was firmly rejected. but when Korea asks for assistance in putting down the Tonghak Revel Army. or The New Anthology of Ancient and Modern Waka. Because of this. During his exile. Go-Toba was acknowledged as a respectable swordsmith. This book of poetry is considered to be one of the three major anthologies of Japan. with the arrival of Matthew Perry in 1854 that forced Japan to open its borders to trade. First Sino-Japanese War For years Japan had been cut off from the rest of the world for much of its development. but the war itself did not begin in earnest for nearly twenty years after that in 1894. books on sword making in Japan traditionally begin with a chapter on Go-Toba. There were quite a few tense moments and treaties between China and Japan during that time span. He lived out the rest of his like on the Oki Islands. He held many different writing parties and competitions.

Japan worked to seize the harbor of Weihaiwei when the Chinese fleet retreated behind its fortifications. and Fengcheng with only the loss of four soldiers with just one hundred and forty injured. 1894. Japanese troops go into Seoul. the Japanese ships Yoshino. With this. Upon accomplishing this. and they launched an assault the next day just east of Jiuliancheng at Hushan. From here. The Battle of Yingkou. 1894. Naniwa. The battle began when the First and Second Japanese Armies met outside of the Port of Yingkou in February. Soldiers from China were also sent to the city and the approximately fifteen thousand troops that were now in Pyongyang and they began to prepared the city for an attack from the Japanese. This began the first true steps of the Sino-Japanese War as two days later on July 25th. the Japanese forces managed to erect a temporary floating bridge and cross the Yalu River during the night. After this declaration the remaining Chinese forces in Korea fled to join those troops who had taken refuge in Pyongyang. This became known as the Battle of Seonghwan. Dandong. The Chinese were eventually defeated when the Japanese troops attacked from the city’s rear. The Chinese troops quickly retreated and the Japanese had control of Jiuliangcheng. Upon running into each other they became involved in an hour long battle where the Kwang-yi was destroyed. they quickly set about having Japanese and Korean mixed troops march south from Seoul to the Asan Bay where most of the Chinese troops were stationed and on the 28th of July the two sides clashed in a battle that lasted until the early morning hours of the 29th. On October 24th. 1985. dividing the attention on the fronts to a point where they could no longer hold off the Japanese and some surrendered while the others managed to escape to Uiju as the bulk of the Japanese army entered Pyongyang less than twenty four hours after the attack began with less than one hundred and fifty deaths to their troops while the Chinese suffered close to two thousand deaths during the battle of Pyongyang. After the sound defeat at Pyongyang. the Japanese went on to take over posts that governed the seas to Beijing. which came on September 15th.began to mobilize the Imperial Japanese Navy in preparation for the upcoming conflict begins as soon as peace talks between China and Japan fail. However. The port was eventually captured after the Japanese progressed through it street by street and the Chinese forces suffered from almost two thousand casualties during this conflict. 40 . was in fact the last major battle of the war and it began on March 4th. The Imperial Japanese Army descended on Pyongyang and attacked on different fronts. Chinese forces completely abandoned their positions in the northern end of Korea and instead moved near Jiuliancheng and eventually Manchuria. On July 23. seizing the Korean government. were patrolling off the coast of Asan where much of the Chinese forces were and they encountered the Chinese vessels Tsi-yuan and Kwang-yi. also called the Battle of Newchwang. the fortifications did not hold up to the ground troops that the Japanese forces had deployed and after a twenty three day battle combining these land and naval forces Weihaiwei fell to the Japanese on the 12th of February. the conquering Japanese set up a different government that abolished all of the existing treaties between Korea and China and granted themselves the right to expel any Chinese troops from Korea. During the beginning of 1895. and Akitsushima. This combined with the other longstanding tensions between the two countries led to the declaration of official war on August 1st. Five hundred Chinese were killed in that battle before they retreated to Pyongyang. the Japanese forces quickly worked on their invasion of Manchuria and were marching toward Mukden by December. Now that Japan had taken over control of the government in Korea.

He was considered a pretender to the throne from 1336 to 1339 in these accounts. he hid the Imperial regalia in one of his secluded castles and prepared his army. Japanese troops also seized the Pescadores Islands near Taiwan and the negotiations for a ceasefire and a surrender of the Chinese at Shimonoseki. but in 1336. Two years later. At the same time. he escaped from the islands and began raising an army once again. although account before the Meiji period have him on the throne from 1318 to only 1332. during this time. Go-Daigo became emperor at age 31 following the abdication of his predecessor. Ashikaga deserted and joined Go-Daigo’s cause. Go-Daigo was exiled to the Oki Islands. not restoring the imperial house to its former glory. Go-Daigo ascended the throne with many plans. but instead of following his orders. However. This army defeated Go-Daigo’s forces. Then. There is some dispute about when he reigned. Ashikaga began disobeying the emperor. During 1331. Go-Daigo retook the throne from Emperor Kogon. but its style changed noticeably after the Taika 41 . they were not the authentic treasures. while Ashikaga used them in the rituals to place Emperor Komyo on the throne. elevated Emperor Kogon to the throne. While Go-Daigo fought to reclaim the throne for years. Go-Daigo’s goal was to restore the old ways of the imperial house ruling over Japan and the practice of many Chinese ways. The Kemmu Restoration began at this time. Go-Daigo was betrayed by one of his confidants. In 1335. the emperor was little more than a puppet on the throne: real power was held by the Kamakura shogunate. Go-Daigo’s forces defeated him. However. Determined to overthrow them. the shogun discovered his plans and actively worked at stopping GoDaigo.Two days later the Japanese progressed on the town of Yingkou with almost no resistance. However. marking the end of combat on the mainland during this war. the 96th emperor of Japan. Soon. his goal of restoring the imperial house to power and overthrowing the shogun would eventually be achieved with the Meiji Restoration. at the end of March. with the three treasures in hands. when the shogun took over. With no enemies left. he returned to Kyoto with a new army. Determined not to fail again. However. now the shogun. and the emperor fled. lived from 1288 to 1339. Pretending to reconcile with Ashikaga. the shogun took the castle and. Post-Meiji period histories list his reign as beginning on 1318 and ending in 1339. However. he eventually died from an unknown disease in 1339. Those. However. Go-Daigo took with him to his new capital at Yoshino and began rebuilding his army. Emperor Go-Daigo Emperor Go-Daigo. his allies had been focused on destroying the shogun. Hakuho Culture The Asuka period was known as the period that introduced Buddhism to Japan. Nitta Yoshisada launched his own rebellion from the East and succeeded in destroying the Hojo clan. The shogun sent Ashikaga Takauji to destroy Go-Daigo. the civil war between the Northern and Southern imperial courts began. Go-Daigo sent him the imperial regalia. Buddhist artwork began appearing in Japan during this time.

the books are simply a division—the poems aren’t arranged by topic.” an appropriate title since the poems collected were written between 350 to 760 and include many different authors. art and Japanese culture in general was more influenced by the Northern Wei dynasty and by the Korean kingdom of Baekje. In 1603 Tokugawa became shogun. and it is believed that the population of the city had grown to more than one million by the beginning of the eighteen hundreds. Kakinomoto Hitomaro. However. Before the Reform. The area that comprises modern day Tokya was then known as the Mushashi Province. The Man’yoshu does not contain a preface or any introduction to the work. 22 passages from Chinese works. The Man’yoshu includes over 4. was collected during this time. the Emperor’s power is restored as the shogun ruling system is done away with. and the work on the castle was finished thirty-four years later in 1637. In fact. Buddhist artwork began showing more influence from the Sui and Tang dynasties of China. It includes poems by Princess Nukata. and Otomo no Yakamochi. four kanshi (poems from China). or any other system. one of the earliest and most difficult Japanese systems of writing.Reform of 646. the earliest known collection of Japanese poetry. the Japanese word for song. Several problems continued to plague Edo in the following years as Mount Fuji erupted in 1707 and the Great Edo Earthquake caused even more problems for the population in 1855. and the town became even more solidified when construction began for the building of Edo Castle in 1457. and most of the collected poems were written during the Asuka period. it’s also noted for the advent of poetry and songs. was first used to distinguish Japanese poetry styles from the styles brought back from China and Korea. it changed so much that the Asuka period can be divided into the preTaika Reform style and the post-Taika Reform style. The power shift to Edo came one hundred and thirty-three years later when the Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to the castle. There is even a Buddhist temple in Asakusa which is supposed to have been built in 645 a. The population was still growing during this time. While Yakamochi laid the book out in twenty parts (the Chinese style at the time). The title literally translates to “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves. The Hakuho style and culture lasted from 646 until 710. While the period is noted for a change in artwork style. During this time Edo is renamed by the Emperor Meiji 42 . The Man’yoshu is considered to be one of the most important pieces of literature in Japan. who is also believed to be the writer who collected the poems and laid them out in book form. However. Another style that emerged during the Hakuho period was the poetry form known as waka. and a bussokusekika. The book is written in the man’yogana. which is a Buddhist poem from Nara. when the capital of Japan was moved to Nara and the Asuka period came to an end. One of the most popular forms of waka still in use today is the tanka. usually called Hakuho. The Man’yoshu. or a poem made up of a haiku and two additional lines of seven syllables each. author.000 tanka along with 265 choka (longer poems). During the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868.d. The History of Tokyo. the castle’s prominence was not to be as long-lived as its construction and the Great Fire of Meireki destroyed much of it a mere twenty years later in 1657. Japan Tokyo’s beginnings as one of the founding blocks of modern Japanese history started in the seventh century. though. Waka. it wasn’t until several hundred years later during the Kamakura period that the city of Edo began to take shape.

Radhabinod Pal. nine hundred and eighty four were sentenced to death. which means eastern capital. Tokyo is a culturally important part of Japanese history. the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) was established as a type of war crimes tribunal and it began in May of 1946 and lasted until November of 1948. Those who were charged with crimes against peace faced a charge that in general referred to the conspiracy that some Japanese officials had to start the war and to help bring about an end to peace by doing so. war crimes. it was mainly the war crimes and the crimes against humanity in which officials found themselves being charged for several atrocities that had occurred during the war such as the Nanking Massacre and the many allegations of abuse to prisoners of war. who wrote that as far as he was concerned there was never any substantial proof that a grand conspiracy by those who were in power to declare war on nations in an attempt to brutalize the fallen nations. One of the most famous dissenting opinions was from a judge from India. and that the majority of those charges had stemmed from the abuse of prisoners. seven were sentenced to death. and included twenty-three wards. It was very similar to the Nuremberg Trials which were taking place in Germany around the same time. It houses many important buildings and historical sites that speak of its growing importance over the last thirteen hundred years. International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) After World War II. while three thousand four hundred and nineteen were sentenced to life in prison. When the occupation began under General Douglas MacArthur the headquarters for the American forces were set up in Tokyo next to the Imperial Palace. However. He also felt that while there were atrocities committed by those in the Japanese 43 . Of these twenty-five defendants. In all it has been said that close to six thousand people in the Japanese political and military system found themselves facing the later two charges. there is some confusion about whether or not Tokyo remains the true capital of Japan or whether it is instead a co-capital with Kyoto. sixteen others sentenced to life in prison. This was intended to be a place where the leaders of the Empire of Japan could be tried for their crimes during the time of war. Tokyo was established first as a prefecture in 1871. and two others received sentences that were less than twenty years. One year later the emperor moves into the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. One thousand and eighteen were acquitted of the crimes they were charged with and two hundred and seventy-nine defendants were not sentenced at all. The presence of the Allied forces in Tokyo helped to concrete its position in importance during the occupation and the Korean War. During the proceedings only twenty-five Japanese found themselves being charged with crimes against peace. and crimes against humanity. In 1945 the city was heavily damaged by the bombings from the Allied forces at the end of World War II. Following that a separate Tokyo City was later founded and it was comprised of fifteen different wards. Of those that were tried under these offenses. During the proceedings it was established that those who were brought before the IMTFE were to be charged with either one of three main crimes: crimes against peace. It wasn’t until 1943 that the two merged to formerly create the Tokyo Metropolis. The occupation began later that same year and by that time the population of the once great city had been cut to half of what it was only five years earlier. Today. just as there were the Nuremberg Trails.and officially becomes known as Tokyo. but since this was done without any sense of legally shifting the capital from Kyoto. There have been much criticism of the IMTFE trials.

Yuan Shikai. the Japanese declared war on August 23rd. 44 . However. Some of the judges at the trials were dismayed that this had happened and that the imperial family would remain intact. the president did not give into the demands which would have reduced the country of China to a Japanese colony. Due to the Chinese refusal and outside pressure from the United States. one of the only exemptions to the trials was the Emperor Hirohito and the imperial family. however. and that it had not been made illegal at any point since that time. Caroline. General Douglas MacArthur. The demands then became known as the Thirteen Demands and were accepted by both parties and the official treaty was signed in May of 1915 even though it did not guarantee Japan anything they did not already have in the occupied positions of China. Whatever the reason behind this decision. Others. 1914. with Twenty-One Demands. Japan played an important role in the First World War by protecting the South Pacific from Germany’s Kaiserliche Marine in the waters around China. claim that General MacArthur left the family alone as there would need to be some form of stability for the Japanese people in order to reconstruct and heal properly. what is less commonly known is that its participation alongside the Allied forces during the First World War set events into motion that precipitated the country’s vie for power twenty short years later. that these also seemed to be the act of individuals in the army and that the things that happened were never declared to be government policy. who oversaw the occupation of Japan. He did not feel that removing the royal family from office and trying them for war crimes would help accomplish this goal. and Marshall. and they saw it as an important step to increasing their control of Chinese lands. Japan agreed to remove a group of demands that would have forced the Chinese government to allow Japanese officials into high ranking advisory positions. When no response was given to the request. Originally Japan became involved at the request of the British government. Another criticism that has been placed on the IMTFE trials was the fact that of all of those people who were being charged with war crimes. Emperor Hirohito remained ultimately blameless for many of the acts of aggression for which his fellow cabinet members and political party members were later tried.military in incidents like Nanking. and officially entered into World War One. citing the fact that the trials were meant to imprison those who had committed the greatest atrocities during the war. Many people today claim that he did this as an attempt to try to exonerate the imperial family. and he wrote that as far as he knew the act of waging aggressive war was not illegal when the Japanese began their war in 1937. they sent word to Germany to cease their actions in the Pacific. had argued strongly against trying the imperial family and had been recorded as saying as early as 1945 before the trials even began that the imperial family would not need to worry about leaving the throne. however. And much of his freedom of guilt was due to the extraordinary measures taken by General MacArthur and his staff to make sure that the defendants’ stories all matched and that the emperor and his family was left out of the details. Within just a few weeks Japan had landed in China and taken back the German occupied lands in the Shandong Province and the German colonies on the islands of Mariana. since no one would come out and declare the emperor a part of this larger conspiracy. So. Japan in World War I While Japan is most well-known for its position during the Second World War. In January of the next year Japan presented China’s President. he would continue to remain on the throne until his death. To Radhabinod it seemed as if the trials were just another way for the victors to seek further revenge.

So. after the world plummeted to depression after the stock market crash of 1929. Japan’s territorial gains were not the only advantages that they received from entering the war. Because of their help. However. when Japan asked for an amendment to the racial equality clause to the treaty they were denied and this only helped to reinforce Japan’s belief that they were never going to get over the unequal treaties that had first been forced upon them by Matthew Perry. which only served to increase the tension with the United States who were upset by Japan’s rising influence in the Pacific and China. the treaty negotiations with Germany were at a standstill and Japan signed a pact with Russia where both of them pledged not to make a separate peace treaty with Germany. This. the United States banned further immigration from the proud country in 1924 with the Exclusion Act. Because supplies were low in the United States and Britain. At the end of the war Japan was granted a seat on the League of Nations (the preliminary council that would become the United Nations). would lead to Japan’s quest for more power and resources. which preceded the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War Two. in the early nineteen thirties. The by product of this increase in production was inflation and eventually this led to dissent among those in the Japanese countryside as rice riots broke out across Japan.However. This occurred when Japan’s calculated sneak attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor catapulted the United States into the war in Europe and the Pacific. However. Asia orientated conflict eventually branched off into a global one. The Russia treaty also guaranteed that the two countries would consult each other in the event that their interests in China should be threatened by an outside party. in turn. Japan in World War II At the end of World War I the Japanese helped the Allies in eastern Asia. The truth is that Japan didn’t 45 . but when Brittan once again asked for assistance from Japan they sent seventeen ships to lead up a special back up to the British Navy. As if this weren’t insult enough to the Japanese. Originally this was their plan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. but this smaller. Over the years many people have wondered why Japan would provoke “the sleeping giant” and launch the entire globe into full blown war. including rescuing over seven thousand navy men from sinking ships. Japan seemed to be operating in its own sphere inside of the war. Japan was now seen as a major player and global power. Japan made some major contributions to the British during this time. In exchange for a relatively small role in the war. Despite their efforts in assisting with the victory at the end of the war. Britain acknowledged all of Japan’s territorial gains north of the equator. Then. This resentment combined with the cut in industrial demand after the war and the increasing government instability within the country gave into the complete domination of Japan’s military controlled government. the League of Nations refused to place a clause that would have mandated racial equality which Japan wanted to place into the covenant. Japan’s industry economy received a boon when it began filling large orders to maintain the wartime needs of the Allies. This solidified Japan’s hold on parts of Mongolia and Manchuria. thereby officially creating World War II. Japan began a campaign of limited attacks and incidents in Asia as they tried to acquire more and more of the continent’s minerals and other important natural resources in a campaign to increase their Imperial domain. Japan found itself in near-crisis mode. The main purpose of this “Second Special Squadron” was to serve as an escort to the British troops in the Pacific. and allowed a place among the Allies at the Versailles Peace Conference.

they managed to get the upper hand in the Pacific. they were never capable of regaining their hold on Midway Island. Alaska. Because the islands there had a wealthy supply of oil and rubber that could considerably help the Japanese wage the kind of war they wanted. the surprise attack unified the country in a way that Japanese did not fully expect. The Japanese realized what was happening and worked to retake several of the islands so that they could cut any communication ties that the Allies had established. Doing this would help to prevent the opposing forced from being able to further hinder Japan’s effort in the Pacific. Russia. The Japanese Imperial army decided to attack the small island base because they believed that it was necessary to neutralize the American forces at their stations in the Pacific in order to keep the United States from being drawn into their war with China and causing it to become something larger. even though they were able to take back quite a few critical positions. they occupied the islands and decided to use those locations as a jumping point for their forces. and India. This complete declaration of war from the United States and the solidification of the Allies (Great Britain. Japan quickly started to lose ground because they could not possibly hold down the defensive line at such a wide range. the United States. However. instead they were now forced to deal with more conflict in the Pacific than they had wanted. the Allies were able to better collaborate and launch attacks at the Japanese forces at different points in their defensive line. thereby lessening the Allied presence in the Pacific theater considerably.intend for the attack in Hawaii to lead to full blown war with the United States. causing the Allies to lose ten ships. the United States began to strengthen their bases in Australia. This belief led to that infamous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th. Instead. Keeping their ranks so wide caused the Japanese forces to grow weaker as the assaults in the perimeter could not be defended by the large number of troops needed to keep the Allies at bay. As a result of this strategy. In actuality it was the very strategy that Japan adopted toward having a limited war engagement is the reason that such a large scale fight broke out in the first place. The reasoning behind this logic was the belief that the citizens of the United States would remain divided over whether or not the country should go to war. 1941. When this change in the campaign of the Allies took hold. So. they quickly took Singapore from the British. This all out participation made sure that they could no longer conduct the war on their own terms. Germany. It was during this part of the campaign that Japan lost several of its best pilots and planes. They held firm to the policy that the United States would retaliate to the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor with a limited campaign. and Japan) forced Japan to enter a more global conflict than they had originally planned. forcing them to surrender almost eighty thousand troops. In order to try and 46 . In order to be more fully prepared for the Japanese. instead of giving them a broad range in which to continue their campaign against China and the eastern block of Russia. making this island the turning point in the war for Japanese troops. they were now forced to have to battle against more opposing troops than they had counted on. but would still largely remain outside of the scope of complete world war. Once the Allies were able to hold onto Midway. and even China to some extent) versus the Axis (Italy. Japan easily took power there too. it looked as if the Japanese were on the right track. At the end of February the Allied forces attempted to make a thorough stand at the Battle of the Java Sea. This allowed them to be in a more retaliatory position in case there were any further possible attacks from Japan. In the early months of 1942.

This move caused the Allies occupying Guadalcanal to strengthen the remaining troops with backup forces. it was just a short while later that the Japanese began to use these established forces as a base for a full on assault on the island. which would have effectively cut off all of the Allied forces supplies and communication from Australia. This was especially true in California where most of those from Japan immigrating into America lived and worked. However. the Japanese did not count on the completely resilient nature of the marines. they had forced a complete Japanese evacuation of the island. and on November 15th they gained definitive control of the area around Guadalcanal. and much of November. Gavutu. Russia. tactical errors on the part of the United States caused the situation to grow worse when they withdrew a large portion of their forces too early. made up of the United States. However. When the Allies threatened Lae in September. Tamambogo. trying to strengthen their holds and tighten their perimeter. Throughout September. which had originally been solidified during the Second Sino-Japan War. In August of 1942 the Allies landed on the islands of Tulagi. There were several law prior to World War II 47 . In April. and China. October. the Japanese position in China. Planes circled overhead to ensure that Japanese bombers could not reach the island. The battle for Guadalcanal was one of the longest in the Pacific front and marked a new beginning in the war for both the Allies and the Japanese. they advanced from Wau and by late June they had landed near Nassau Bay. the Allied troops managed to hold their control in Guadalcanal against the Japanese forces. While this worked for a limited amount of time. The Allies fought back. Emperor Hirohito announced on a radio transmission known as the Imperial Rescript on Surrender that he officially surrendered to the Allied forces. Japanese American Internment Racist in the United States attitudes toward Japanese immigrants had been prevalent for a number of years. it wasn’t until September 2nd when the government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender that World War II ended and the occupation of Japan formerly began. the Japanese began using a method known as the Tokyo Express. as well as Guadalcanal and quite easily took control on all of the islands. This was a tactic in which the Japanese troops were shuffled in at night with hardly any supplies or equipment. England. attempting to keep the Japanese from taking the southern Solomon Islands. who worked hard to repulse every advance. Instead. It was not long after that Japan’s campaign in World War II officially came to an end with the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This tremendous show of force prompted the Imperial Conference (gozengaigi) to accept the terms that had been set down by the Allies in the Potsdam Declaration. they moved back and regrouped around their defenses.regain some of their forces or at least to try and keep whatever small ground they had gained. In an attempt to circumvent the Allied force’s defenses. an important Japanese stronghold in the Pacific. China worked with the other Allied forces to remove the Japanese troops from Burma. had begun to erode. 1945. the Japanese forces abandoned their hold on Salamaua to protect it. By 1944. This victory allowed the Allied troops to bring in much needed reinforcements and by February of 1943. On August 15th. At the Battle of Savo Island the Japanese forces sank four Allied cruisers. Lae fell soon after and the Allied forces shifted their outlook toward the capture of the Phillipines. Even so. the Japanese gave up their strategy of trying to hinder the communications of the Allies. The Allied forces followed this with another victory at the Battle of the Bismark Sea in March.

Often the bathrooms were not provided very much privacy and cots were used for beds. General DeWitt set forth Civilain Exclusion Order 346. Roosevelt through the issuance of Executive Order 9066 on February 19th.S.S. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9095 on March 11th. just two months later. but little more. close to eightytwo percent were from the country of Peru.000. on May 3rd. After the war was over and internment had ended fourteen hundred of the original twenty-two hundred were not allowed to return to their home 48 . This gave the military commanders to declare special areas in their local regions to be set up as “exclusion zones” which could then be declared unfit for certain persons. In Hawaii. The military styled barracks in which they lived were covered with tar paper and contained no plumbing or cooking facilities. The situation was even worse for those Japanese who were brought into the country from Mexico and South America. the government of Hawaii. 1941. even citizens and those who were only Japanese by 1/8th. This new office was given all of the authority over any and all monetary and property interests held by alien citizens. This order established the Office of the Alien Property Custodian. This mandated that everyone of Japanese ancestry. Many times the Japanese also had to share their camps with German and Italian Americans who had also been interred. who was only a U. To help ensure that the Japanese Americans would comply with the new orders to move into camps. Instead. The relocation was put into effect by Franklin D. If a California resident was unlucky enough to get moved into the internment camp in Wyoming and didn’t know to pack for the long. The camps were constructed quickly and most of them were established on Native American reservations with the government agreeing to compensate the tribes for the use of land. then there may have been very little comfort or warmth for them. territory at the time. report immediately to centers where they would be collected and moved to more stable housing in the relocation centers. There were a little over twenty-two hundred people of Japanese ancestry that were forcibly taken from different countries by the U.which both tried to prevent any further immigration as well as preventing any interracial marriages between Caucasians and people of East Asian descent. State and Justice Departments and held at special Department of Justice (DOJ) camps. thereby preventing them from moving outside of the pre-set exclusion zones. It was in this already hostile environment that the seeds for internment sprang up the most rapidly after the attack on December 7th. Directly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor close to more than one hundred and ten thousand Japanese-Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into special areas known as “War Relocation Camps” or internment camps. The homes in which those interred lived were constructed to meet international standards. This effectively reduced the risk of espionage and cut the off any reasonable excuse there may have been to intern the Japanese citizens on the island. most of the island maintained a high Japanese population. where the bombing at Pearl Harbor had taken place. Then. This declaration left enough leeway for the local authorities to eventually declare the entire Pacific Coast an excluded area for everyone of Japanese. 1942. Of these. The only exception to this was those Japanese-Americans who were already in the areas designated for the internment camps. 1942. roughly one third of the islands’ total population of 150. When this was complete the office was allowed to freeze many of the Japanese assets and afflicted them with a heavy financial burden. where the idea was extremely popular among many of the Caucasian farmers who resented the Japanese moving in on their lands. elected to impose martial law on all of its population. 1942. cold winters. This was in fact so high that they could not effectively keep all of the Japanese on the island in an internment camp.

many of the interred Japanese Americans faced hardships as well after their release from the camps. then they had no right to claim to the land anyway under California’s Alien Land Laws. which granted each surviving internee twenty thousand dollars. If the family that had been interred were farmers and hadn’t been able to make arrangements for the land. Even though this was before the official end of the rule. many of the internees were released without much assistance to help them rebuild. the final disbursement in the program was not rendered until 1999.and close to one thousand of the Japanese who had been brought in from Peru were forcibly deported back to Japan. it occurred after a ruling the month before by the Supreme Court found that detaining people who were loyal was unconstitutional. Reparations did come for many of the internees years later after Congress created the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians committee to address the matter in 1980. One of the largest problems facing those who returned home was the large loss of property. If the family were non-citizens. Three years later in 1983. The government declared that the Japanese were being deported because they had entered the country without passports or visas. including those who’d already been reimbursed by the 1948 act and those who had chosen to return to Japan after the war. This even happened to those things which had been placed in government storage for safe-keeping. 1945. the commission reported that they believed the internment was racially motivated rather than an urgent need of military necessity. only one quarter of the close to one hundred and fifty million dollars’ worth of claims were ever approved. they’d been forced to sell everything in just a matter of days at a steep loss. While the act of paying those Japanese Americans began in 1988. The reparations included everyone who had been interred. and Senator Alan Simpson. After the internment order was completely rescinded on January 2nd. Even though the internment camps were officially named War Relocation Centers by the War Relocation Authority (WRA). This led Representative Norman Mineta. many of them lost their farming rights to land they had worked on for years. Since there was no way for many to establish the validity of their claims. Most of the camps remained opened for those Japanese Americans that now found themselves homeless. Because these farmers were generally tenant farmers. to author the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The IRS had already destroyed most of the internees’ records for the year preceding encampment. and most of the personal paperwork had been lost by people when they were placed in the camps. to help the farmers who were most affected by the internment get some form of compensation for the losses of their property and income. the fact that those found inside of these centers were still held there against 49 . Three hundred of the deportees fought the government and won when the Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and found that since the Latin American Japanese had been brought to the country in a manner that was very similar to kidnapping by the United States’ government they were not required to have their passports or visas in order to stay. The Congress passed the “American Japanese Claims Act” on July 2nd. However. this act was largely ineffectual as internees were required to provide detailed tax records and proof that the claims being sent in were valid. There were strict regulations on what a family could bring into the camps and many of the items left behind were either stolen or destroyed. who had been an internee in Wyoming. Many people compare the imprisonment of those Japanese Americans on their own home soil to the concentration camps of the Jewish Holocaust that occurred in Nazi Germany. 1948. However. but for the most part those who left were given just twenty five dollars and a train ride back to their original homes.

the Canadian government issued a similar internment proclamation which ended up housing twenty two thousand Japanese Canadians at the time of World War II. Many of those who were now being interned had been veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and had served the country during World War I. The marker that introduces visitors to the Manzanar camp calls it both a relocation center and a concentration camp. even though most of the Japanese who lived in Canada were natural born citizens. Harry S. Because of the restrictions on many Japanese in the country. This prevented many Japanese families living in Canada from earning wages to support their families. the one issued by the Canadian government happened through a series of escalating laws. the government threatened to deport them to Japan if they do not go to the relocation centers. The main cause for concern among the government was for those Japanese Canadians which were working in the boating industry and had access to the Pacific Ocean where it might be easy for one of them to communicate with the Japanese Navy. Because the camps were often referred to as concentration camps by President Roosevelt. and loss. many of them receiving accommodations for their bravery. they assume that it is only something that happened in the United States. 1942. In fact. Eisenhower. The first thing that happened was that many workers of Japanese descent were fired from large companies like the Canadian Pacific Railway as many Japanese fishing boats were confined to the ports. is something that will remain a stain on the United States’ consciousness. The worries about spies infiltrating the Japanese boating industry and giving over information on the Canadian Navy were deemed unwarranted by both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the military. the term cannot be considered irrelevant to the plight of the Japanese Americans who were housed there. The government took them to lands that had been set aside in the interior of the country. Truman. Unlike the American internment process which happened rather rapidly. This would have forced people who had never even lived in Japan to make the choice of going to a land they didn’t know or going to a prison like setting in their own country. but they would be mistaken on this point. This meant that the only education many of the young evacuees received was from their parents and siblings. By 1942 an area of land one hundred miles wide next to the Pacific Coast was declared as a protected zone and Japanese men who were between eighteen and forty five were removed from this area. The fact that the government was quick to declare so many people disloyal to the government without and basis other than their ancestry and race. This power was granted by the War Measures Act on February 24th. Their kids were not even legally allowed to attend schools outside of the camps and it has been said that there was no schooling provided by the government for the children in the camps. It cannot be denied that many of the Japanese that were housed in these centers during the war suffered great humiliation. which granted the government the power to move all people of Japanese origin. and the anti-Japanese sentiment that had caused many of them to lose their jobs. the confiscation of their homes and property. Eventually the churches and the government arranged for classes to be held for those children who were of school age for elementary through high school. Japanese Canadian Internment When many people think of the internment of Japanese citizens. And. and Dwight D. the people were faced with the fact that they could not support themselves outside of the camps. but the public continued to push the leaders in government until they were forced to act. sadness.their will makes the terminology behind relocation center a moot point. the camps in 50 . In fact.

coinciding with the time that Reagan was offering the initial compensation to interned Japanese Americans. cloth. half to the NAJC to help the Japanese community and half to establish a group to help end racism. In 1983. After the war ended. 1988. To make matters worse. In this form of thought it could be said that the strength of the military would equal the strength of the nation as a whole and all of the normal citizens under that nation’s military umbrella. the Japanese were given the choice of deportation to Japan or forced removal to an area east of the Rocky Mountains. not civil rights damages) to approximately fifteen hundred Japanese Canadians. the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) began a campaign to have the government issue them a formal apology and to address the issues of lost wages. In September. The Red Cross is even said to have deferred shipments of food to the camps because of the poor conditions. The money did not go to the Japanese. property. Part of the reason for this lean toward the military was that most of the officials in power during the Meiji Restoration were either former samurai or were descended from samurai warriors. but rather was used to pay off fees and claimed for storage charges. but four thousand had already left the country. and house their detainees. and civil rights violations of those citizens which had been forced into interment or relocation camps during World War II. the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Twenty four million dollars was given out as well.Canada were often worse than those found inside the United States as it is estimated that the Canadian government only used a small percentage of the amount of money to feed. the Prime Minister issued an official apology to Japanese Canadians and initiated the beginning of a compensation plan that would give twenty one thousand dollars to each surviving detainees and grant citizenship to those who had been forcibly deported to Japan. It was partially repelled in 1947 and Japanese Canadians did not have to go to Japan. This 51 . The idea of a military-based nation rose to prominence during the Meiji Restoration when the country was desperately searching for an identity to stabilize itself in the ever-changing society Japan found itself thrust into during the end of seclusion. the Japanese who had entrusted their belongings to the government would lose most of their possessions in auctions held without their permission while they were being held at the interment camp. The losses were evaluated by Price Waterhouse and through the records of the Custodians of Aliens (the organization responsible for much of the auctioning off of property and possessions of the interned Japanese) it was determined that the loss for those interned citizens amounted to approximately four hundred and forty three million dollars by the monetary standards of 1986. This law was argued in front of the Canadian Supreme Court which ruled in a five to two decision that the law was valid and that the government could force a citizen to be deported from their own country. Japanese Militarism The idea of an all-powerful military that would hold court in the political and social realm of everyday life was an ideology in the Japanese Empire. However. this compensation would be challenged later on as the politics and actions of the government were put up against a spotlight following the revelation of certain government documents in the 1970’s which established that the interment was due to a strong anti-Japanese sentiment rather than a legitimate military action based on intelligence about threats. The government also gave compensations for lost land (only property damages. It wasn’t until 1949 that Japanese citizens were once again given the freedom to live anywhere in Canada they wanted.

This island is where Izanagi and Izanami lived when they made their way back from the bridge. and religions that have come to form the basis for Japan’s mythology system as it is today. they stood on it in order to stir up the sea with Amanonuhoku. Japanese Mythology There are many different stories. The mixing of the political and military sides of Japan’s government led some to the belief that Japan’s domestic problems would not be resolved unless Japan was able to expand its borders outside of the island. Once they were on the bridge. This bridge was known as the Floating Bridge of Heaven or Amenoukihasi. It was also imperative to the survival of the government that those who served did so with unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor. not to mention the godly originations of the imperial family. The water from the halberd dripped off the tip and where it landed in the ocean it created Onogoro. when the western world began to encroach onto Japan’s traditional one the country turned to building a strong military to defend itself against the larger industrialized nations. With the Imperial Japanese Army and Naval forces so deeply entrenched in the government it was impossible for any emerging civilian run government to do anything without the permission of the Army or Navy. and the female god Izanami. In fact. It was believed by many Japanese leaders that through victory and their proof of strength they would earn the right to reverse the unequal treaties that had been laden on them by the western powers. When internal strife also began to arise in Japan as a result of the Meiji Restoration’s problematic economic and political stances then the strength of the military also proved useful in putting down these uprisings. So. They took the Amanonuhoku and used a special bridge that was built to allow them to return to heaven.left very little variety in the thought of how a government should work within the confines of the political sphere of the era. This little maneuver helped ensure that the Japanese government would remain completely beholden to the military units. Japanese mythology was a way of doing this that combined the questions that most people ask with the often unrealistic answers that are often born of myths. To doubt the wisdom and infallibility of the Emperor was to turn one’s back on the motherland herself. it was required that the head of the Army and Navy be filled by someone who was on active duty and the Prime Minister had to be able to fill all of the cabinet positions or he could not retain the office. Another reason for the aggressive military views was that Japan needed to overtake some countries on the mainland like Korea and Taiwan in order to secure their natural resources since Japan had little of its own to produce and sustain such a large military. The two new deities were given a weapon known as a halberd that was decorated with jewels and called the Amanonuhoku. cultures. These were the male god. This military mindset and the introduction of expansionism would eventually lead Japan into a victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War. 52 . According to the beginnings of Japanese mythology. As with most cultures. This strength was only increased with the demand of military service from men in 1873 when the idea was introduced by Yamagata Aritomo. the early Japanese sought for a way to explain why they were around and what their purpose on the earth was. Izanagi. Among these myths are the answers for almost every question that could have been posed about the founding of Japan as a country. the gods brought forth the first two deities and gave to them the task of building the land. This meant that the Prime Minister had to stay on the good side of the Army and Navy or these entities could completely disrupt the cabinet and deny installing any other officers until the Prime Minister resigned.

Hiruko. Susanoo had been banished to Yomi. Six more islands would be born from the couple. Izanami was so enraged that she told Izanagi if he did not return to her she could take the lives of one thousand living people each day. Surrounding this was their palace. Neither god would acquiesce to the other. Iyo. and Susanoo the seas. Amaterasu was able to create three women using Susanoo’s sword. many other gods were created. Izanagi and Izanami preformed the mating ritual again after consulting with the gods. Susanoo. Upon his return to earth. before Izanami died giving birth to the incarnation of fire (Kagututi). Later on Iyo would become known as Shikoku. Finally their brother Susanoo. To win one of them had to produce the most noble and divine children. Izanagi lit the comb from his headdress on fire and in the light saw that Izanami’s flesh had been replaced with decay and maggots. the bringer of good luck. Upon meeting they mated and produced Hiruko and Awashima. and they were sent out to the ocean. In his rage at this Izanagi killed Kagututi and from that murder many. When he washed his face new gods were born. she ultimately could not stop him from reaching the exit and barricading her inside with a rock. Eventually. and he even guards the health of young children. The everlasting darkness that existed in Yomi helped to hide Izanami. When Izanagi pleaded for her return. The sun goddess. and it took a long time since he was not able to see her in the dark. because of the care of those who found him. Iki. Izanagi was so pleased that he split is domain with them offering Amaterasu the heavens. This began the cycle of life and death. After much time passed and he had not heard from her. He is believed to be the protector of fishermen. Tsukuyomi the night. Izanami told him that she could not return with him because she’d already eaten from the underworld and therefore had to remain its prisoner forever. or “leech child. working men. to which a bold Izanagi replied that he would have to give life to 1. This 53 . was born from his nose. It has been said that Izanagi found little difference in Yomi and the regular world except that there was never any light.500 a day to keep her at bay.Upon returning to the island the pair built a special column known as Amenomihashira. However. was born of his left. Tsusuima. He fled from Yomi and while Izanami gave chase. From this the eight islands of Japan (or the Oyashima) were born. as well as a long list of deities. Tsukushi would become known as Kyushu. but he was able to bring forth five men from her ornamental chain. he was sent out in a boat before he turned three. After this was done. and when the two decided that it was time to mate they performed an elaborate ritual of circling the column oppositely. and this time Izanagi initiated the greeting. Izanagi found that he still mourned for his mate and went on a journey into “the shadowy land of the dead” or Yomi in order to find his beloved Izanami. These children were not considered to be gods. but only after she could take a nap and not be bothered. and Yamato. or Amaterasu. Izanagi went to bathe in the waters and cleanse himself of what he had witnessed in Yomi. These three went on to have many disagreements and battles which formed much of the world as the Japanese saw it. Since he could not stand and could barely survive. Sado. she finally agreed. came forth from his left eye while the moon. it is also important to note that the Imperial family is also said to have descended from a battle which occurred between Amaterasu and her brother. and Yamato would become known as Honshu. Tsukusi. Hiruko grew his bones and became one of the Seven Gods of Fortune.” was said to be born without bones because Izanami’s (the female deity) raised the first greeting in the mating ritual. or Tsukuyomi. but before he went he saw Amaterasu and challenged her to a contest to see who was a greater deity. These islands were: Awaji. or ruler of the sea.

Emperor Go-Daigo attempted to reassert imperial control after overthrowing the shogun. However. In 1331. one of the first things they set in motion was to allow two different imperial lines. Kemmu Restoration The Kemmu Restoration. and the Kamakura shogunate fell. Shortly thereafter. although the exact timing of when his throne was established is of questionable debate as he is said to have died twice. killing one of her attendants. During this time. and which continue to live on in many of today’s modern customs. Go-Daigo was overthrown by shogunate forces and exiled. Ashikaga instead offered his services to Go-Daigo. The shogunate had promised to pay provincial leaders and troops in exchange for fighting the Mongols. He made this known along with his plans to bring down the Kamakura shogunate. Nitta Yoshisada launched his own rebellion against the Kamakura shogunate. Things were made more complicated in 1318. to alternate emperors. even going so far as to naming his son his heir and successor. This worked for some time and weakened the imperial court. the Hojo family found their forces too few and their resources too depleted to defeat the rebels. These are just a few of the many stories which comprise the overall view of Japanese mythology as there were many more deities born from Izanagi and Izanami which were used to represent many of the aspects of Japanese social customs and oddities that they observed in nature. and that began the godly bloodline from which Emperor Jimmu would ultimately descend. is the term generally used for the three years of transition between the end of the Kamakura shogunate and the beginning of the Ashikaga shogunate. However. when Go-Daigo took the throne in 1318. his supporters continued to work in Japan. but after the lengthy and costly battles to repel the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281. the traditional beliefs of the now firmly established line of emperors have used Jimmu’s birthright as a means to claim their right to ascend to the throne. known as the Southern Court and the Northern Court. He is believed to have been the first emperor of Japan. They are stories that culturally bound the newly formed Japan. 54 . both the shogunate and the power Hojo family who backed it faced financial difficulties. instead of destroying his forces. However. When the Kamakura took power. giving the Kamakura more power. This lead the Kamakura to send Ashikaga Takauji to end GoDaigo’s rebellion. but the impact that these culturally relevant stories had on the country are undeniable. With wars on two fronts. However. From this contest Osihomimi was born out of Amaterasu’s chain. he had no plans to relinquish power to the Northern Court. which took place between 1333 and 1336. Lead up to the Restoration The Kamakura shogunate held total power in Japan for quite some time. and the second was one hundred and twenty six years later in 585 BC. Sometimes the mythology may vary depending on which text it comes from or what influence was exerted over it at the time it was penned. The first time in 711 BC. But they simply did not have the resources to do this. For a time there was darkness as Amaterasu hid in a cave until she was coaxed out by the naked dance of Uzume.disagreement led to fighting between the two gods which climaxed when Susanoo threw a dead pony that had been intended as a sacrifice to the sun goddess into Amaterasu’s hall.

and he soon found himself facing the Northern Court and the new shogunate in a civil war that would last nearly 60 years. Perry threatened force and the Japanese military were not prepared to 55 . However. beginning the Muromachi shogunate. but there was little doubt that his power was gone. Go-Daigo had failed to realize that many of his allies in the rebellion were not fighting to install him as emperor but were fighting to end the Kamakura rule. This important fact left him with few supporters once he was in power. Perry. Millard Fillmore. even when pressed on the matter. Some of the reasons for the problems occurring within the government were due not only to the ongoing power struggle but also the animosity of the outside feudal lords and the growing bitterness toward the western world. but rather because it was a time period known as the end of seclusion. Go-Daigo was forced from Kyoto. Since there was such chaos happening in the government that many groups attempted to seize power for themselves. He moved his court to Yoshino in the south. Because of his distrust of the military. His new civilian government often clashed with the military. He reintroduced the Confucian principles that had prevailed at court before the military control of the shogun. which had been forced upon the secluded Japanese by the arrival of Matthew C. The Takauji family took power and installed a new shogun.The Restoration and its Shortcomings Go-Daigo immediately began working to restore power to the imperial family. They set about eliminating as many of Go-Daigo’s allies as possible and installed a new emperor from the Northern Court in Kyoto. The two most well-known groups vying for power during this period were the existing shogunate and the nationalist patriots or ishin shishi. Japan in 1953 after leaving from Virginia a year earlier. When the Japanese did not want to let him through. at an area outside of this foreign port. Perry was supposed to dock at the port in Nagasaki where he would be limited to dealing with the only port in Japan that allowed trade with foreigners. the dominate social class of the time. Bakumatsu or the End of Seclusion The end of the Edo Period was a troubling time for many Japanese citizens. However. did help revive the Confucian ideas and court practices for a short time. These ideas would later resurface during the Meiji Restoration. he soon realized his court simply lacked the experience and the power to put his plans into action. Perry arrived near Edo. Perry demanded that he be allowed to present a letter from the United States’ President at the time. This end to the isolationist policy occurred during the transition years from 1853 to 1867. after yet another clash with the military over the position of shogun. an emperor completely under their control. while a failure during its time. Legacy Go-Daigo’s restoration. According to Japanese customs. The main reason for this was not because the Tokugawa shogunate was coming to an end. Go-Daigo refused to appoint a new shogun. Exile from Kyoto In 1336. while Go-Daigo had many lofty goals. which finally marked the end of the shogunate and fully restored the imperial household as the rulers of Japan.

Japan found itself surrendering to the Allied powers a little over a week later and formerly putting an end to the Second World War. Japan after World War II With the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th. His decision would prove to be very instrumental in uniting the Japanese people behind him. 1945. Perry left the demands and returned a full year later to sign the Treaty of Peace and Amity in March of 1954. Shortly after MacArthur arrived the formal surrender was taken when the Japanese officials signed the Japanese instrument of Surrender on September 2nd. With this accomplished. MacArthur had his work cut out for him and began almost immediately with meeting Hirohito. which left the prohibition on trade in place but opened up three new ports for American ships seeking safe harbor in Japan. This was a make or break period for many businesses and unemployment rates increased dramatically as many small businesses were pushed under by the tide of entrepreneurism. The problem that arose from Japan being unarmed is that it left them vulnerable to the communist “threat” as it was perceived by the American government. the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. the United States (along with a few other Allied forces) were set up throughout the country in order to supervise the reconstruction. The sudden trade and markets available in Japan introduced the country to an upsurge of economic instabilities. When the trials began to take place there were calls by some for the emperor and his family to be tried as war criminals MacArthur denied these claims and felt that removing such a status symbol would plunge the country into absolute ruin. One of the first things that was successfully accomplished was the set up of a system in which food could be easily distributed to those citizens who now found themselves without the means of getting food regularly and were starving because of it. Eventually Japan bulked its army back up and through the years it has slowly regained its military status and is now the fourth largest army in the world.take on the advanced technology in Perry’s gun ships so they allowed him to deliver his letter. This period of infusion from foreign parties ended the age of seclusion and brought about the beginning of the Meiji Period. Japan also put a clause into their constitution which banned Japan from having any sort of armed military forces. The letter demanded certain demands be met by the Japanese so that America could enter into a better arrangement with the Japanese government. The islands of Japan were put directly under the rule of General Douglas MacArthur. This was just the beginning of an entirely new section of history for Japan as it would be the first time in the unified country’s long history that they were under the occupation of foreign forces. had also signed treaties with the Japanese. This treaty started off a domino effect and within just a few months the Dutch. For awhile this clause was a viable one which ensured that Japan would not again become a war machine. and France. 56 . Russia. This was only the beginning of the dealings with the treaty and in 1958 further changes were made that not only guaranteed safe harbor but also granted several other provisions. It was an important step in pulling the country together even though the distribution network cost the United States a great amount of money every day. The conflux of foreign treaties and influence from other parties effectively caused enough of a political turmoil that the country was forced by those with outside interests to change. including “the most favoured nation” clause which stated that any differing provisions granted to other countries must also be granted to the United States under the terms of that treaty.

officially ending the Allied occupation and allowing Japan to once again become a completely sovereign nation. but there is no definite evidence to back up this belief. Troops remain in Japan until this day but they are not there as occupying forces. Prince Yamatotakeru. Today. It also abolished a formal state endorsed religion and other religions like Christianity were openly practiced. The country asked people to save up their money and this influx of yen into the banking system allowed the banks to loan out more money than they originally were able to and businesses sprang up across the country. 57 . When the Yamato court of the Nara period began expanding their kingdom to the south. Emperor Keiko and his son. so even if none are left today. they encountered the Kumaso. They managed to abolish their anti-monopoly laws and privatized their market so that foreign investors were not allowed to participate directly in their market. launched military missions against the Kumaso and either destroyed their villages or. they were most likely larger people. leaving his son as the heir to the throne. The San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed on 1951. The realty market also rose in Japan to such large levels so quickly that the market became an economic bubble which eventually burst in the late 1980’s.Another part of the reconstruction took place when Japan made a new Constitution in which they gave their citizens rights. Kumaso Tribe The Kumaso were a group of Japanese people who lived in southern Kyushu from the beginning of recorded Japanese history until some time in the Nara period. and tales of their physical features spread and grew among other Japanese. However. which remains in effect today. this marked a change in the period from the Showa regime to the Heisei. This deduction of the emperor to a figurehead only meant that he could no longer be involved in politics. Evidence points to them speaking the Austronesian language. assimilated them into Japanese culture. In 1989 Emperor Hirohito died. They began to work on becoming a more industrialized nation by establishing the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. and many believe that the name comes from the Kumaso’s physical features. the nobility were officially removed from politics and instead permanently relegated to the status symbol of the country. This led to a deep economic recession for the country throughout much of the nineties. their name and legacy remains. but it bounced back and it today among one of the strongest economies in the world. if they surrendered. This forced the United States to pull troops out of Japan’s occupation in order to fight the North Koreans back to the border. some people believe that there are Kumaso living in rural areas of Kyushu. the name of the Kumamoto Prefecture is named after the Kumaso. This led to the Korean conflict in which North Korea invaded South Korea. In the two years directly proceeding the war close to half a million American troops had been stationed in Japan. The occupation was too much of a strain and the number of troops needed to maintain such an operation was dwindling and the reduction of the troops meant that they weren’t as combat effective as they should have been. but that did not stop the country from trying to branch out and make its name known in other sectors. The war and occupation may have cut off Japan’s ability to make itself known for its military capabilities. Women were granted the right to vote. While they didn’t actually resemble bears. Kumaso means bear people.

such as in the case of the Honjo Masamune. or provincial chiefs. Masamune is known for creating the tachi swords and the tanto daggers. The quality of steel during Masamune’s period was often very impure. making his high-quality weapons even more impressive. with the position most likely being created during the reign of Emperor Seimu. Many were in charge of various provinces and had much power. The Taiku reforms reduced the power of the kuni no miyatsuko and revoked their power to rule provinces. and entertain court representatives when they were in the area. kuni no miyatsuko could be called upon to lead military forces. These rare blades date to the Kamakura and Nanboku-cho periods. greatest swordsmith in Japan. the kuni no miyatsuko eventually shifted from a political post to a religious and spiritual one. The kuni no miyatsuko replaced the agatanushi. Masamune is credited with perfecting the process of nie. Masamune Okazaki Masamune Okazaki is one of. The position was appointed by the court. His birth date and date of death are unknown. By the ninth century. In fact. His swords are characterized by clear grey lines (called chikei) and lines that look like lightning strikes (kinsuji). Masamune learned the art of swordsmithing from Shintogo Kunimitsu. and he often made blades with a straight temper line. and even that soon vanished. In addition to their government duties. top swordsmiths who are recognized for creating exceptional swords are awarded the Masamune Prize. Masamune’s Style Masamune’s swords are reputed for both their exceptional quality and amazing beauty. if not the. Often. Today. and many kuni no miyatsuko were members of the Yamato family or its allies. Masamune’s swords are generally simply referred to as a Masamune or Masamune blade.Kuni no Miyatsuko The kuni no miyatsuko served as important government officials at the Yamato Court. At several points during the period. This network of kuni no miyatsuko created an administrative web across the country that allowed the Yamato court unprecedented power. giving scholars a rough idea of when Masamune lived. This sword. While there are a variety of blades believed to be the work of Masamune still in existence today. the sword that served as a symbol of the Tokugawa shogunate. Masamune is nearly legendary in Japan. 58 . Most of his work was done in the 13th and 14th century. few are signed. While the post remained long after the reforms. in many areas. one of the most well-known Masamunes. was passed down from shogun to shogun during the Tokugawa reign. present gifts and duty to the court. which involved embedding martensitic crystals in pearlite. there were over 100 kuni no miyatsuko on record. the position had declined to more or less simply the title. partly because little is known about his life. and most agree that he lived in the Sagami Province. oversee religious rituals. the name of the family or individual is made a part of the sword’s name.

Muramasa did most of his work around 1500. took the sword as a prize. In fact. Shigenaga survived and. It also features an engraving of the Buddha deity Fudo Myo-o. it was declared a national treasure. the swords went missing. Famous Swords One of the most famous Masamune blades. low on money. having wide bodies. They include Chogi. and there are 61 different Masamune blades listed in the volumes. he sold it to Toyotomi Hidetsugu. and Naotsuna. to a contest to see who could make the greatest sword. after killing Umanosuke. Masamune. another of Japan’s greatest swordsmiths. Kinju. Shizu Saburo Kaneuji. He passed the blade on to his uncle. wiser. The three are quite unusual. and Tokugawa Ietsuna. Saemonzaburo. Kunishige. including Sadamune. Masamune and Muramasa Masamune’s swords are often compared to the blades made by Muramasa. Go Yoshihiro. who was possibly either his son or adopted son. It was purchased by Toyotomi Hidetsugu in 1601 and passed down through the Owari Tokugawa. This list is made up of three books. role in which he is often placed. Masamune trained a number of different swordsmiths. they resemble kitchen knives more than daggers. In 1939. These swords were then passed on to members of the 7th Cavalry in 1946. one legend casts Muramasa in the role of an apprentice who challenges his master. so the blade remained in his family. It was passed down through the line until World War II. After that. Ietsuna was the last of the Tokogawa shoguns. although there is nothing to indicate that Muramasa deserved the ignoble. who won the sword in a battle. when Tokugawa Iemasa gave the sword to a police station along with fourteen others. who actually split Shigenaga’s helm with the blade. including Tokugawa Ieyasu. a list of the top swords in Japan that was created by the Hon’ami family during the Kyoho era. Fifteen of these are known. Saeki Norishigi. One of these blades is currently displayed at the Tokugawa Art Museum. Kunitsugu. Masamune trained a number of other students. is the Honjo Masamune. He took it from Umanosuke. and more noble than Muramasa in these stories.Masamune blades are often mentioned in the Kyoho Meibutsu Cho. Some consider the two contemporaries. This sword became the symbol of the Tokugawa shogunate and is widely regarded as one of the finest Japanese swords to ever be made. the source of the sword’s name. Masamune’s Students In addition to creating swords of amazing quality. Kanemitsu. However. much too late to have ever met. who would later pass it down to future shoguns. or Ten Great Students of Masamune. There are three different tanto blades referred to as the Hocho Masamune. with ten of them being part of the juttetsu. He kept it until. Masamune. It is a tanto sword with grooves on one side and a dragon engraved on the part of the blade. Tokugawa Yorinobu. Masamune is generally shown to be kinder. sometimes even evil. although this is not historically accurate. The Fudo Masamune is one of the few Masamune actually signed by the swordsmith. 59 . The two often appear in legends together. much less worked with. and the location of the Honjo Masamune is still unknown today. as mentioned above. the most blades by any single swordsmith. The sword’s name comes from General Honjo Shigenaga. In fact. nephew of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

and even though he was meant to be a leadership figure mainly while he allowed the major decisions to be run through an advisory council he did everything himself. A land reform program was also put into effect to cut out the landlords’ control. this clause was eventually changed during the communist uprising in Asia. There may have been preventative measures taken by the United States. One of the first things on MacArthur’s agenda was setting up a food distribution center so that those starving after the collapse of the nation’s food system would be able to get the bare necessities. however. MacArthur kept it in place. This is perhaps why even though this food network cost the United States one million dollars a day. The rapid industrialization of Japan also posed a threat to the Allied powers. however. The Japan that was seen directly after the end of the war was a far different version than the country who had appeared so strong only months before. He actually had the sword shortened a bit before he used it in battle. While this article was meant to make sure that Japan would never be able to become a military based government and trying to assert its power again. The clan gave the sword to Emperor Meiji as a gift in 1882. after World War II.Oda Nobunaga came into possession of the Kotegiri Masamune early in his career. This meant that in 1950 the land distribution system had been 60 . The disarmament of Japan’s military was not the only thing that the United States sought to dismantle after the war. President Truman insisted that the Soviet Union’s expansion in the east be contained. The sword eventually became property of the Maeda clan. mainly the United States. General Douglas MacArthur led the occupation. After the war Japan adopted a new constitution which was approved under the Allied supervision and contained a special article which denounced war and declared that Japan would be barred from keeping any armed forces. This was just the beginning. Taiwan. This sword is currently on display at the Truman Presidential Library. those Japanese that had been living in Japan’s territories and the soldiers that had been fighting abroad were returning home straining the resources even further as five million Japanese found their way back to the islands. and China. The government bought close to six million acres of land and then sold them to the pheasant farmers who had been working the land at extremely reasonable prices. Originally Japan’s occupation was supposed to be split up more between the three major Allied powers. but apparent distrust of the Soviet Union led to the United States taking a more controlling role of the islands while the Soviet Union was contained to North Korea and the Kuril Islands. so it was recommended that the country’s industries be disarmed to the standards of where it had been before the war to where it had been in the early 1930’s. Occupation of Japan At the end of the Second World War Japan found itself being occupied for the first time in the history of unified Japan by the Allied Powers. but that did not mean that there were millions of Japanese who stayed on the verge of starvation for years after the war ended. These aerial bombings had left many people homeless and starving in the streets as they could no longer import the bulk of their food from Korea. Few Masamune blades can be found outside of Japan. The United States wanted to ensure that Japan could defend itself against the growing communist movement so Japan established Self-Defense Forces. Chaos was a part of the lives of everyday Japanese citizens as many of the major cities were in ruin because of the air raids. the government of Japan offered a Masamune to President Harry Truman as a show of solidarity and peace between the two countries.

However the occupation was still in effect for Iwo Jima until 1968 and Okinawa until 1972. the emperor still had ultimate control over the government. Instead. although he was not one of the major players in the area. One of the ways that MacArthur was able to successfully keep the family out of the trials was to ensure that anyone who was to give testimony at the trial did so in a way that would not implicate the Emperor or his family. Nobunaga was a major player during the Sengoku period. Kitsuno gave birth to Nobutada. Oda Nobunaga Oda Nobunaga is one of Japan’s most well-known historical people. At the time of his death in 1582. and officially removed the emperor from the political sphere. Nobutada and his son. 1945 until the San Francisco Peace Treaty was put into effect on April 28th.completely changed as close to three million pheasants found themselves as new land owners. he held lands in the Owari province and beyond. The landlords that had been one of the main sources of influence and power in Japan for years now found the basis of their power system gone. The occupation lasted from the first day of the official surrender on August 14th. He had one political marriage to Nohime. he had conquered over a third of the daimyo at the time. These trials were held in Ichigaya and they were designed to try those Japanese who had committed atrocious acts of hostility during the war. One of the biggest things that occurred as a result of Japan’s loss during World War II was the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. the couple had three other sons and two daughters. Nobunaga’s eldest son. As a daimyo. Due to his actions members of the imperial family and Unit 731 were considered to be exempt from the trials despite a large outcry for them to be held accountable for their actions during wartime. Although Japan already had a type of parliament system known as the Diet. Some troops remain in Japan still today. Following Nobunaga. Nobunaga’s heirs were born to his concubines Kitsuno and Lady Saka. Family Nobunaga was the first legitimate son born to Oda Nobuhide and Tsuchida Gozen. but also to help the country retain some form of stability and culture from its previous stature. but the two had no children. Nubuhide was a minor warlord in the Oda clan and in Owari province. Born in June of 1534. Early Years 61 . During the occupation the constitution was restructured to guarantee a more democratic way of life for regular citizens and guaranteed civil liberties. MacArthur used his role as the leader of the occupation to insist that the royal family be exempt from the war crimes trials. would eventually succeed Nobunaga as ruler of the Oda clan. 1952. These changes served to model the Japanese Constitution more closely to that of the British parliament and monarchy. Hidenobu. This was done not only to protect the family. but since they are there at the request of the Japanese government they are not seen as part of an occupation. abolished the establishment of a state religion. daughter of Saito Dosan. However. Nobunaga used or defeated his family as needed in his quest for power. allowed women to vote. The prosecution in charge of the indictments went along with this plan and worked to make sure that they worked double fold as a way to try the criminals and defend the Imperial family.

though. even further increasing the army’s numbers. He began making alliances with as many other daimyo as possible. Known for bizarre. no matter what their social rank. Nobunaga learned that his brother was once again plotting against him. A year later. several months later.000 soldiers under Yoshimoto was most likely faked information. He gathered a small force of 1. Nobunaga sent scouts out to discover the actual size of the army. there were few left alive to threaten Nobunaga’s control of the Owari Province. he killed Nobuyuki. Military Might Nobunaga first tested his military might against Saito Yoshitatsu. Nobunaga became quite enamored with firearms. Nobunaga allied with the Imagawa clan and the Kira clan. Losing Yoshimune’s considerable support. Faking an illness. Using his knowledge of the terrain to his advantage. Nobunaga went to visit his brother and. These scouts found Yoshimoto’s men resting in the Dengaku-hazama gorge near the village of Okehazama. Knowing that the rumored number of 40. of Owari: Shiba Yoshimune. Nobunaga set up several fake army camps using flags and straw troops to make his own army seem larger. Nobuyuki saw this as his chance to take back Owari and. This didn’t help his image in a society where social hierarchy ruled.000 soldiers towards Kyoto in 1560. Leadership of the clan. Nobunaga’s mother pleaded for his release. knowing that his life would be forfeit. Their feeble excuse of “aiding” the Ashikaga shogunate fooled no one. Nobunaga became outraged. rebellious son of Saito Dosan. Nobuhide’s brother Oda Nobutomo challenged Yoshimune for control. 62 . Using Yoshimune’s sone Yoshikane as his pawn. Nobunaga gave in and spared Nobuyuki after he swore loyalty to Nobunaga. he refused. He disrupted the funeral rites. Nobunaga spent his teen years playing and plotting with many of the local children. Although his advisors and generals did everything they could to convince Nobunaga to surrender. alienating many of his father’s friends.800 men to defend his borders. however. passed to neither brother but to the shugo. They were soon joined by the Matsudaira clan. Battle at Okehazama Imagawa Yoshimoto. The two joined forces and killed Nobutomo and set up their own base of power in his castle at Kiyosu. least of all Nobunaga. This stopped their raids against Owari and bought Nobunaga some considerable power. However. the campaign failed when Yoshitatsu killed his father and took over the Mino province. and when Nobutomo learned that Yoshimune had allied himself with Nobunaga. or governor. especially the Tanegashima firearms. began leading a force of over 25. Nobunaga went to his father’s younger brother Nobumitsu for aid. Nobutomo killed him. after being received at his home. These friends allied with Nobunaga’s brother Nobuyuki. although he did have to exile Shiba Yoshikane when the young governor began making plans with the Shiba clan allies behind Nobunaga’s back. dividing the Oda clan.Nobunaga became ruler of Nagoya Castle at age two. By the year 1559. the very ambitious daimyo of the Suruga Province. Before he could execute his brother. a force that many knew had little chance of winning. launched a rebellion against Nobunaga. After his father died in 1551. his forces were soundly defeated and Nobuyuki was sentenced to death. However. strange behavior (he was nicknamed The Fool of Owari).

The warrior monks of the Tendai school of Buddhism. Nobunaga agreed. however. Nobunaga refused a court post and instead spent his time restricting the powers of the shogun. taking Inabayama Castle and exiling Tatsuoki. Hiei and killed over 3. The war between the two forces was quite fierce. allies of the Azzi and Asakura. rendering them more or less powerless. In retaliation. Nobunaga acted first and took the Rokkaku castles and much of their territory. using the element of surprise to kill Yoshimoto and defeat his men. Assisting Yoshiaki in Retaking the Shogunate Renaming the captured castle to Gifu. He convinced many of the Saito retainers to turn their backs on the new. making it clear he wanted to use Yoshiaki as his own puppet ruler. Azai Nagamasa. but first had to deal with the Rokkaku clan in southern Omi. This force was then joined by a group of Ikko rebels. By 1561. Under the leadership of Rokkaku Yoshikata. Ashikaga Yoshihide. Nobunaga launched an attack against them. and they were unhappy at being overshadowed by Nobunaga. Takeda Shingen. weaker ruler of Mino. Seeing a weakness in Tatsuoki that he hadn’t seen in the previous two Saito rulers. Wanting revenge against the conspirators and their new shogun. had been a subordinate to the Asakuras. whose brother the shogun had recently been murdered. In 1571. Saito Yoshitatsu died and was succeeded by his son Tatsuoki. Nobunaga defeated Yoshiaki’s allies at the Battle of Anegawa. Nobunaga battled against the Buddhists when they refused to obey him. to a daimyo from Omi in 1564. Nobunaga’s forces attacked the enemy in the gorge. Nobunaga moved his base of operations to Komaki Castle and began laying the groundwork for his campaign in Mino Province. found this plan unacceptable and began forming alliances to oust Nobunaga. However. The Oda clan. Campaign in Mino In 1561. In 1567. Yoshiaki. Yoshiaki asked Nobunaga to help him reclaim the throne. who had been somewhat friendly with the Oda clan. but thanks to the help of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his forces. He began marching towards Kyoto. He was aided in this goal by Ashikaga Yoshiaki. the clan denied Yoshiaki’s clam to the throne and was prepared to go to war against Nobunaga. became Yoshiaki’s next ally in his plot to overthrow Nobunaga. Things between the two came to a head when. betrayed Nobunaga and sided with the Asakura clan due to the Azai-Asakura treaty. Battle Against the Azai-Asakura Forces One of his main allies was the Asakura clan. Nobunaga destroyed their monastery on Mt. Consolidation of Power In 1572. took particular pleasure in disobeying Nobunaga’s laws.000. 63 . he launched a full-scale military invasion of the province. With the aid of an unexpected thunderstorm.Nobunaga sent most of his actual troops around behind Yoshimoto’s forces. He also made an alliance with the Omi Province to increase his military size by marrying his sister. Nobunaga’s forces quickly took Kyoto and exiled the Miyoshi clan from the city and installed Yoshiaki as the shogun. historically. Nobunaga has forged a treaty with the Matsudaira clan that ceased all hostility between the two. His sister Oichi’s husband. Nobunaga took up residency there and revealed to his advisors that he planned for nothing less than control of all Japan. Oichi. However. shortly after the Asakura clan had allied with Yoshiaki.

he first had to deal with the Mori clan. Nobunaga himself began traveling to the Chugoku area. leaving only the Takeda clan and its leader. Nobunaga sent aid to Hashiba in the form of Akechi Mitsuhide. no matter what the reason. He then began planning his advance on Kyoto with the intent of defeating all of Nobunaga’s forces. These successors began fighting among themselves. Takeda Katsuyori. There are various theories as to why Hashiba requested more forces since historical documents show that he stood to win in a prolonged conflict. Kaga. took advantage of this and soundly defeated Nobunaga at the Battle of Tedorigawa. His forces besieged the Mori clan at Takamatsu Castle. who was currently dealing with attacks on his western territories. Shingen. Nobunaga sent a small force to help Ieyasu. In 1580. Nobunaga used this opportunity to expose Yoshiaki’s hand in the war and exile him. Legacy 64 . Nobunaga defeated Nagashima’s forces. In 1574. In response. feeling completely safe in the middle of his territory. and Noto Provinces and reinforced his army at Kyoto.cutting through Tokugawa Ieyasu’s territory on the way. one of the greatest generals of the time. Luck was once again on Nobunaga’s side. however. Nobunaga was forced into battle and. Uesugi Kenshin. Betrayal at Honno-ji and Death While Nobunaga appeared to be well on his way to his goal of conquering all of Japan. Forces under the command of Mori Terumoto reinforced the castle’s own defenses. Ishiyama Hongan-ji surrendered. forcing Nobunaga to send his ally Hashiba Hideyoshi to deal with them. While Mitsuhide had his own plans of ruling Japan. Nobunaga destroyed both the Azai and Asakura clans. Ordering Mitshuide to Takamatsu Castle. Following this. died of illness shortly after this victory. the Mori broke his naval blockade in 1577. successfully ending their hostility. ending his ambitious plot to conquer the entire country. Mitsuhide had secretly laid his own plans. He committed seppuku. lost quickly. With two more enemies out of the way. he was killed by Nobunaga’s faithful general Toyotomi Hideyoshi less than two weeks after his betrayal at the Battle of Yamazaki. He sent Hashiba Hideyoshi to the Bitchu Province in 1582. Nobunaga halted his advances into Etchu. was named Nobunaga’s successor. but it wasn’t enough. and his forces were left demoralized. He then sent military forces to Tamba Privince and laid siege to both Ishiyama Hongan-ji Osaka. and the Mori clan. Nobunaga set his sights on the Echigo Province. Nobunaga’s forces obliterated the Takeda clan. but neither side could claim victory. Nobunaga ended that possibility at the Battle of Nagashino. leaving behind several possible successors. Hashiba requested more troops from Nobunaga. Stopping at Honno-ji temple in Kyoto. however. eventually. Ieyasu requested help from Nobunaga. Nobunaga sent many of his servants and bodyguards ahead. with such a small force. leaving Nobunaga free to continue his campaigns. and he was defeated in 1573. and he laid siege to Honno-ji. as his only possible rival. However. However. Hideyoshi then began consolidating power under his own banner and. However. and in 1582. as Kenshin suddenly died. Fighting these battles on several fronts weaked Nobunaga’s forces. ending the Ashikaga shogunate.

sending goods to China. Korea. He created a road system to link many of his major cities and castles together. When Japan found that it was released from the occupation it may have regained its sovereignty as a nation. This was because the United States did not want to leave Japan in a vulnerable position so close to the communist uprising in Asia. The main reason the United States had agreed to such an early end to the occupation was that the troops were stretched too thin between the conflict in Korea and elsewhere as Russia and China backed newly forming communist countries. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDH) was mainly founded by the educated and the elite. but also helped them to become a very stable part of the global community. Although the two clans had often battled. was formed in 1955 by the consolidation of the Liberal Party and the Japan Democratic Party. and his navy was outfitted with ironclad vessels. the Treaty of San Francisco which ended the occupation gave Japan the right to establish defensive troops. While Komeito may have been the favored party of the lower class. The Komeito. He arms his forces with guns and pikes. Ieyasu would later make this system the standard when he ruled as shogun. had grown up with Nobunaga as one of the Oda clan’s hostages. However. the Liberal Democratic Party. however. The political system was undergoing the normal process of shuffling and reorganization after such a major change. Hideyoshi had quickly risen through the ranks from a peasant to general. He also implemented a number of tax reforms and exemptions aimed at increasing commerce. This party. Monopolies were abolished. and many privileged guilds and other groups were made open to the public. and it was his military innovations that won him many battles. both of whom ruled a unified Japan by building on what Nobunaga left behind. Post-Occupation Japan The Allied occupation that occurred after the Second World War officially ended in 1952. wanted a more traditional system and attracted a lot of laborers and rural farmers. on the other hand. during the occupation General Douglas MacArthur had set up a food distribution network to help lessen the problems from these losses. Nobunaga’s advances didn’t end in Japan: he expanded foreign trade. the Philippines. he allied with the Oda and became one of Nobunaga’s most powerful allies. and he put into law many rules and codes related to the samurai caste. a move which both motivated his men to succeed and made him the target of some of the powerful aristocratic families. Nobunaga was also a very shrewd businessman and worked to transition the economy from agriculture to manufacturing. The changes that had been put into effect during this time helped to not only stabilize Japan. While Japan’s military had been disarmed during the early years after the end of the war. there were other parties on the scene.Nobunaga’s legacy lived on in both Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Both had served with Nobunaga for quite some time and agreed with many of his political and social views. Innovations and Vision Nobunaga worked hard to modernize his armed forces. Ieyasu. once Ieyasu controlled his clan. and it was more focused on rehabilitation and establishment of the country as a viable global partner again. These territories had been important to Japan because they were able to import food and resources that were often scarce on the island. Indonesia and even Europe. He gave out promotions and court positions based on skill and ability rather than family name or position. the LDH remained in power 65 . but it had lost almost all of its territories like Korea and Taiwan. However. not the least of which was Komeito and the Japan Socialist Party. and the party system’s fragmentation eventually led to the formation of a new party.

and lasted a little over a year and a half ending on September 5th. and their influence on the culture became apparent as more and more of the movies. by 1903. Honda. The rebellion took place from November of 1899 to September of 1901.for nearly forty years until 1993. After the occupation of Japan ended. from the Japanese culture. and comic books. petitioned Germany and France to help convince Japan to release its claim to Port Arthur. in Manchuria. and even though the conflict ended in 1901. have caused the economy of Japan to expand into a global power to be recognized. Japan complied after it had received a monetary reimbursement. a fleet of Russian ships arrived in Port Arthur. In more recent years Japan has become well-known for its export of cars and technology as well. and entertainment in general grew in popularity in Japan. Russia. and Port Arthur when China signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki. and Sanyo. At the end of the SinoJapanese War Japan was granted sovereignty over Korea. the Russians had still not left the area. Within a very short period of time Russia had placed a large number of troops in Port Arthur to occupy the area. The Russians set up troops in Manchuria. In fact. Nintendo. As Japan continues to grow and change it is sure that they will continue to be influential in the course of the global community. cartoons. Sony. During this time both Russia and Japan were part of the international force which was sent in to help the Chinese quash the rebellion. Trade. who was slightly worried about Japan’s sudden rise to defeat the much larger China. even as they promised other nations that it would leave they continued to bulk up the troops that they had stationed there. However. Companies like Toyota. Not too long afterward. and Industry (METI) in 2001. Russo-Japanese War The Russo-Japanese War began on February 8th. However. 1905. music. Pescadores. the Russians turned to Korea and began to build railroads near the Yalu and Tumen rivers. and it even helped fund research and it remained in power until it was taken over by the newly formed Ministry of Economy. the soldiers also took something back with them as they returned home and the rest of the world then experienced the monster movies. It ran much of the industrial policies of Japan. a group known as the Society of Right and Harmonious Fists decided to take a stand against foreign influence. As demand for these items grew Japan found itself exporting a good deal of its entertainment industry. Because of the increasing presence of the Russians and after the Sino-Japanese War. the culture continued to go through a an era of Westernization as soldiers from the United States were still very present in Japan. 66 . By 1898 China and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia as granted a lease on Port Arthur and Talienwan. The government had established the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in 1949. 1904. the conflict between Russia and Japan actually started in 1895 at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War. This increasing infringement caused the Japanese a lot of stress and worry. and then within a year the Russians starting building a railroad that went from Harbin to the port. Then. Taiwan. The MITI and other similar institutions strengthened Japan’s economy by encouraging Japanese industries development overseas and restricting foreign businesses’ actions within the country so as not to discourage local businesses. and it became one of the most powerful agencies in the newly reorganized Japanese government.

After six months of conflict at Port Arthur. By the end of May Japanese forces were ready to cross the Yalu River and begin an attack on Machuria. was the fact that in 1902 Japan had signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance with Britain which guaranteed them British support if Russia were to ally itself with any other countries. The Japanese were subject to heavy casualties as they continued to march against Russian troops that were heavily protected by trenches and who were far more intent on defending their position instead of advancing. 1904. It was then that Russia extracted its ships and headed back to port. And continued the conflict by attempting to completely blockade the Russian forces in the port. Japan could not have possibly held off any more ships had Russia sent in extras.Believing that Japan was not strong enough to force out Russian troops through military power alone. 1904 whereby Japan would agree that the sphere of Manchuria was outside its realm of control if Russia would follow suit and declare that it had no interest in Korea. occupying first Seoul and then the rest of Korea. After a long siege the commanding officer of the Russian troops gave up the port to the Japanese in January of 1905. Admiral Togo was worried about the possibility that Russia would get wind of the battle if some of the ships were allowed to leave and get more ships down to the port. On February 8th under the cover of night Admiral Heihachiro Togo began to war by first launching a surprise torpedo attack on the ships stationed at Port Arthur. Ito Hirobumi began negotiations that would offer Russia control over Manchuria while allowing Japan to maintain control over northern Korea. At Yalu River the types of battles that were ranged varied greatly because the two sides had far different strategies for fighting a land battle. When no reply had been received from Russia by February 6th. the first thing that Japan sought to do was to neutralize the Russians before they could mobilize and launch a major attack. Russia returned Japan’s declaration eight days later. The Russians ships that were on their way to reinforce the 67 . Japan cut off all diplomatic relations with Russia and declared war two days later. was hit on the bridge and the fleet commander. was killed. The ships continued to engage in fire. The long Battle of Port Arthur immediately followed these actions and would continue for several months because of indecisive actions on the parts of both sides. The Japanese used this long standing battle as cover for their troops to move into Korea. the Japanese decided to begin the siege of the port on August 10th. The Japanese favored a march that went through and tried to rapid gain as much ground as possible while the Russians tried to merely hold back the forces while they waited for backups to arrive via the Trans-Siberian railroad. which was still occupied by Russian troops at the time. Japan wrote up an official proposal on January 13th. This allegiance gave Japan the backing it needed to go forth with forceful negotiations. but they were stopped by Admiral Togo and what preceded this confrontation was known as Battle of the Yellow Sea. neither side willing to back down until the Russian ship Tsesarevich. The Japanese continued to bombard Port Arthur and eventually sank all of the involved Russian battleships and continued to fire onto the land until the Russians had retreated to Mukden at the end of August. though. Since Russia had managed to build up its navy at Port Arthur into an established base. statesman. This left Japan with the distinct advantage as the Russian fleet was again quarantined in the port and the Japanese had available ships to meet any reinforcements that Russia might send. The back up to this plan. Admiral Vitgeft. Immediately after releasing the declaration of war the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Russian fleet before the Russian Tsar had even received word that the country was at war. It all ignited when the Russians tried to end the blockade by going to Vladivostok.

After a failed attempt by the Russians to break through Japanese lines on January 25th. and was signed on November 25th. The Anti-Comintern Pact The Anti-Comintern Pact was a formal allegiance between Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire. However. They did not want to trigger a full confrontation with the Soviet Union so they based their aggression on an outside force. On February 20th the Battle of Mukden began and the Japanese quickly began to surround the Russian forces. These peace talks resulted in the Treaty of Portsmouth being signed on September 5th 1905. Many think that the agreement was a way for Japan and Germany to solidify their mutual interests against Communist Russia without waging a direct war. both of which it would regain fortyseven years later at the end of the Second World War with the treaty of San Francisco. The agreement would also be entered into by other states later on. The fact that the agreement was based against the Comintern. They also agreed to give over their lease rights to Port Arthur and half of Sakhalin Island to Japan. so by the time the pact was signed the organization was already not as active as it had been (it was officially dissolved by 1943). The Japanese were able to position their ships so that they intercepted the Russians on May 27th in the Tsushima Straits. Also. The Russian fleet lost a lot of ships and more than five thousand soldiers while the Japanese only lost a little over one hundred men. was a strategic maneuver on the part of the countries. this is odd because directly in the pact it refers to prohibition of political treaties between the two countries and the Soviet Union directly. President Theodore Roosevelt mediated the peace talks between Sergius Witte from Russia and Baron Komura for the Japanese. After the fall of Port Arthur the Japanese and the Russians found themselves camped out on opposing front lines just south Mukden opposite each other during an especially sever winter in Manchuria. However. It was also apparent that Hitler wanted to make a statement about his government’s antiCommunist stance. On the surface the basis for this agreement was that if either Japan or Germany were attacked by the Soviet Union that the two countries would align to help safeguard their interests. The result of this treaty was that Russia recognized Japan’s control over Korea and they agreed to leave Manchuria. 1936. The main point of the alliance was set up to be against the Communist International (Comintern) presence. 68 . after the port had already fallen. but more closely related to the Soviet Union. Three Russian ships managed to make it to Vladivostok while the Japanese navy managed to keep them at bay until the Russians were forced to work for peace so that they could focus on taking car of the revolution that was occurring in Russia. Vladivostok. the Comintern held its last World Congress in 1935. but they did not reach the Far East until May of 1905. The Russians quickly realized that they the Japanese were trapping them and they retreated to the northern side of Mukden on March 10th after three weeks of fighting.Port Arthur ships. Admiral Togo anticipated this move and quickly moved to have all of the ships in the fleet repaired in order to intercept them. rather than just the Soviet Union. the Japanese made the decision to stop the Russian army in Manchuria before any more reinforcements could arrive. As the Russian fleet that arrived to back up the existing forces at Port Arthur learned of the news of the port’s fall they turned instead to the only other port that they had in the area. It was also agreed that neither country would go into a treaty with the Soviet Union against the other.

The Atomic Bombings of Japan At the end of the Second World War United States President Harry S. As of today. it is estimated that Hiroshima’s population was around two hundred and fifty-five thousand. The original Anti-Comintern Pact was important because it was one of the precipitating agreements which led to the official formation of the Axis powers in 1940. 1945. Bulgaria 5. troops who might be in Japanese custody. Truman was desperate for the war to come to a close. and the blast is reported to have killed more than one hundred and forty thousand people. Romania 11. Denmark 8. This strained the growing relationship between the three counties which would not be fully reconciled until the formation of the Axis powers a year later in 1940. This pact held until Germany entered into an agreement with the Soviet Union in 1939 known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. radiation exposure. The atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was released at eight fifteen in the morning. Hiroshima was bombed first. Japan 3. Germany 2. China 6. It was in this vein that after more than six months of intense bombing during which the Empire of Japan refused to surrender. These countries were: 1. The agreement with the Soviet Union was called off a year after that when Germany officially invaded the country with an outright declaration of war in 1941. but many others died later due to intense burns. so there was little chance of collateral damage to U. At the time of the bombing. The fires that sprang up as a result of the intense heat stretched out from the nucleus with a radius of more than four 69 . Italy 4. Manchukuo 10. and it detonated over Shima Surgical Clinic with a blast unlike anything the world had ever seen. that he ordered to use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6th. Slovakia 12. Hiroshima was chosen because of its significance at the time as a minor industrial and military zone. Spain The pact was supposed to endure for another five years. The thirteen kiloton equivalent of TNT decimated the city in mere moments with a path of complete destruction going out from the radius for close to a mile. The bomb in Nagasaki claimed eighty thousand lives. The Anti-Comintern Pact was then revised adding in additional countries. Many people do not realize that the two attacks were actually three days apart. but the end of the war brought about the end of the official pact. Hungary 9. the crew of the Enola Gay departed from an island roughly six hours away from the blast site. Most of them died on the day of the bombing. and other bombing related injuries. these are the only atomic weapons to ever have been used on a populace.In 1937. Italy joined the pact and as such the basis for the Axis powers were already solidified against a common enemy. Croatia 7. It has also been said that another reason it was given such high priority as a bombing site was that it was without any prisoner of war camps.S.

Since this occurred just nine days before the atomic blast. While the bombing on Nagasaki was not officially designated until the last minutes of that mission. Occupation of Japan began shortly thereafter led by General Douglas MacArthur. the atomic bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” was released over Nagasaki. On August 9th. this concerned them and caused them to take many of the children. This was because the United States had dropped a number of high impact bombs on the city beginning at the first of August. Since the city had not known of an attack before. On the day of the bombing. however. forced them to surrender shortly thereafter. It detonated approximately fifteen hundred feet above the ground near the Mitsubishi Steel plant. After the bombing. a large cloud cover kept them from being able to secure a visual target for the bombing. In an attempt to understand the power of the atomic bombs that had been released on Japan. It experienced very little of the larger scale bombing raids that had occupied so much of Japan during the end of the war.” However.m. At 11:01 a. In 1975 the responsibilities that had been established by the ABCC were formerly taken over by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation. The purpose of this commission was to establish what kind of long-term effects the radiation from the blasts had on the survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. and elderly. At the last minute as the planes were running low on fuel. This bomb contained even more firepower than “Little Boy” had and detonated with a force equal to twenty one kilotons of TNT.additional miles. sick. It was considered to be important during wartime because it could produce both ships and other military related materials through the breadth of industrial activity which was capsulated inside the city. events had taken place which somewhat helped to reduce the number of civilian casualties. the clouds broke over Nagasaki. to be evacuated to more rural areas. the crew flew to Kokura. Official documents have shown that the government of the United States was prepared to continue dropping nuclear bombs over Japan until they either surrendered or an invasion had begun in full. 1945. Emperor Hirohito addressed the nation of Japan and surrendered. but due to the predicted onset of bad weather conditions the date was moved up to August 9th. Nagasaki was chosen for a bomb site instead. Truman declared that if Japan did not surrender to the Allies that they would continue to rain “ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth. The display of atomic weaponry by the United States combined with the recent declaration of war on the Japanese by the soviets. Originally the plan had been to drop the second bomb on Kokura on August 11th. On August 14th. President Truman set up the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC). Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese government decided not to react to the declaration. allowing them to release the bomb at the last minute. From this it has been estimated that over ninety percent of Hiroshima was either significantly damaged or completely destroyed on that day. 70 . It is believed that some of the survivors from this blast may have ended up in Nagasaki where they were immediately bombed again. more than two miles from the planned drop point. Nagasaki was most likely chosen as a secondary bomb site because it was an incredibly large and important sea port in the south of Japan. However the ABCC later came under fire as some people claimed that they did not offer medical treatment to some people in order to get better results on their studies of radiation poisoning and its affects. many of them were still out of the city area.

both Iemochi and K?mei died in 1866 and were succeeded by Shogun Yoshinobu and Emperor Meiji. or “explosion-affected people. the Koreans who suffered from illnesses could not get their medical expenses covered because they had been denied recognition as hibakusha. thus beginning the Boshin War. Meiji issued an 71 . led by Shogun Iemochi. many have speculated that if Truman had known about the long-term health affects and utter devastation of the bomb that he may not have been so quick to use it. the sentiment against the shogunate’s handling of the unequal treaties began with Meiji’s father. In recent years many of these issues have been addressed through lawsuits and most of the Korean survivors are receiving the benefits and treatment they need.” The shogunate. Memorials in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki hold the names of the victims of the blast and are updated each year on the anniversary of the bombings with the names of those hibakusha who have passed away during the preceding year. did not enforce the order. Some have even gone so far as to call it state sponsored terrorism. 1867. It is through the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in which many have seen the devastating effects of this type of weapon and vowed never to allow its use again. The main causes for concern were over the unequal terms of the treaty to which the shogunate had agreed. In fact.” It was through these people’s suffering that the country of Japan began to see the dangers of nuclear weaponry and since then have called for an abolishment of the weapons ever since.The people who survived the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki eventually became known as the hibakusha. While it is not an issue that is likely to be resolved any time soon. and it is estimated that one percent of these still suffer from illnesses caused by the radiation from the bombings. It originated because there were many who had been upset about the treaty with Commodore Perry in 1854 which had opened up trading with the west. thus putting Japan in a bad position globally. When an alliance that had been formed between court officials and some members of the southern samurai approached Emperor Meiji with their proposal he abolished the two hundred and fifty year old shogunate. The shogunate did not manage to regain control over the next year as more and more of the feudal lords (daimyo) began to ignore any orders which were issued by the shogunate. It is considered a civil war as the fighting mainly took place between the Tokugawa Shogunate and forces within the country who wanted to return to a more Imperial ruling court. This caused Tokugawa Yoshinobu. On November 9th. 1868-1869. but it caused many people to become openly hostile with the ruling order and foreigners. Emperor K?mei. or bombing victims. K?mei agreed with much of the public outcry against the shogunate and felt that the treaties were humiliating to the country beginning openly in 1863 when he issued an order to “expel barbarians. The Boshin War (1868-1869) The Boshin war was fought in Japan and lasted for one year. For many years after the bombs. In the years after the bombings it has been found that there were some unintended casualties from the blasts. the ruling shogunate. to attempt to seize Kyoto. With an outright revolt on the horizon. Korean and Chinese workers. students from other countries. The decision to drop the atomic bomb is one that still comes under fire from groups who believe that it was an unnecessary display of force on an already weakened country. and over three thousand Japanese-American citizens who had returned home. even though it has been estimated that nearly thirty percent of all killed in Hiroshima was of Korean descent. These include prisoners of war. There are currently close to two hundred and fifty thousand hibakusha who are formerly recognized by the Japanese government still living.

and some were even killed. was attacked in the streets in Kyoto on March 23rd. This may have been considered a win for imperial forces. The navy. During this time contempt for foreigners continued to rise and many of them were attacked. This came only fifteen days after eleven French sailors were attacked and killed by samurai. leaving the Imperial Navy only four and leaving with eight others as well as two thousand Shogun naval members. In May Edo was surrounded and Yoshinubo’s Army Minister Katsu Kaishu surrendered his troops. Much of his distress was caused by the burning of the family castle in Edo. had been supporting the reinstatement of Imperial power during this time. Technically. Yoshinobu was given a plan from the French ambassador (Léon Roches) which detailed a way in which they could prevent the Imperial Army’s advance on Edo by stopping them at Odawara. The British ambassador. this ended the shogunate as there was no leader to replace him. Yoshinobu denied the plan and elected to not take Roches advice. The shogunate followers felt that they needed a member of the 72 . but the victory was in favor of the shogunate. Then. This was because while most Japanese had accepted Yoshinubo’s surrender and now supported Emperor Meiji’s absolute rule. Imperial Prince. led by Enomoto Takeaki. This battle was considered to be a small one.order to kill Yoshinobu. These northern daimyo formed an allegiance against Imperial rule and combined managed to have fifty thousand troops. Emperor Meiji declared that his title had been restored to full power and ended any governmental collaboration with the Tokugawa family. there were some northern providences which remained loyal to the shogunate and continued to fight on as rebels. but another battle between the two naval forces was fought on January 28th. This caused Yoshinobu to resign as leader of the shogunate and to pledge his allegiance to imperial orders issued by Meiji. Seeing this as an advantage. Yoshinobu felt that this was a betrayal and he withdrew his troops to Edo. Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa. when the Tokugawa family retaliated against the end of the shogunate they did so by attacking the forces of Satsuma and Ch?sh? just outside of Kyoto. The battle was an early display of the modernized forces of the Imperial supporters versus the samurai forces employed by the shogunate. Whatever foothold in the war that the Tokugawa family had established with the military win was quickly vanishing as it appeared that the Imperial forces were gaining momentum. The providences of southern Japan. On January 17th. but when this demand was not met he began to mobilize his forces for a full out attack on Kyoto. The Imperial court recognized these forces as the new army. So. However. led by Satsuma and Ch?sh?. thereby proving that they did have some standing in the war as a viable opponent. This caused the ambassador to resign his post. the Tokugawa family kept many of its executive powers and this caused a lot of strain between the family and the Imperial Court. had gone north with the shogunate supporters and was named head of this Northern Coalition. The tensions in the country were beginning to boil over as forces began to align either against the Imperial court or against the shogunate and the foreigners it was believed they supported. On January 3rd. would not give over all of its ships. however. the daimyos of Yodo and Tsu pledged their support to the emperor as well. Even though Satsuma and Ch?sh?’s forces were outnumbered nearly three to one the battle was going in their favor. An order was issued for the confiscation of Yoshinobu’s lands. 1868. Yoshinobu called for the order to be rescinded. Harry Parkes. in March foreign nations signed an agreement to remain neutral during the conflict and to not provide supplies or ammunition to either side.

Since the Imperial forces had already covered much of mainland Japan. and after the rebels had gained victory they intended to replace Meiji with Yoshihisa and rename him Emperor Tobu. That winter was spent fortifying the forces around the peninsula. the Ezo forces had planned to surprise them and take their battleship. The newly formed republic asked for international recognition or help. The power of the daimyo was terminated and the lands were broken up into prefectures which were ruled over by governors who had been appointed by Meiji. Imperial forces continued to march north. The navy quickly dispatched of the attack by using a Gatling gun on the samurai which boarded the ship. The Imperial forces moved through Hakodate Bay and quickly won the first engagement. causing substantial losses on the Imperial side. Despite the forces and his recently attained weaponry. They immediately elected Takeaki president. The samurai class was also effectively abolished. The French escaped to an awaiting French ship and abandoned the rebels to the Imperial troops. However. Kotetsu. They eventually made it back to France. Each of these brigades was then split into two pairs (eight total) which were presided over by Japanese commanders. troops in Aizu kept fighting until November 6th. The country was united behind sixteen year old Emperor Meiji and his residence was officially transferred from Kyoto to Tokyo (Edo). The troops had many French advisors and each of the four brigades was commanded by a French officer. leaving many of the families that had ruled Japan for centuries to change positions and some even ended up impoverished. He managed to get two additional vessels as well as one thousand more men who were remaining shogunate troops in the area. 73 . The republic was modeled after the United State’s government and was the only one ever in Japan’s history. When the Imperial navy came into the harbor of Miyaho on March 20th. Because of this Nagaoka managed to put up a fight when the Imperial forces came to his castle in May. the Imperial government wanted them to be punished for their actions. The end of the Boshin War brought about significant change in Japan. The rebel forces with Takeaki were not ready to surrender yet and those that had fled to Hokkaid? established a new government on December 25th that was intended to be a separate island government on Hakkaid? known as the Republic of Ezo. they sent seven thousand troops to Ezo to quell the rebellion once and for all. Takeaki brought in the remainder of the Shogun’s naval fleet to Sendai harbor to join up with the northern coalition.Imperial family around which to solidify their efforts. While there were a lot of troops. 1869. Much of the popular support in France was toward the rebellion. but was denied. Because of this Takeaki took the ships to Hokkaid? in October. their fighting methods had already proven to be no match for the vastly more modernized Imperial forces. 1869. when Edo was renamed Tokyo and the official start of the Meiji period is said to begin. when they finally conceded after the battle had lasted more than a month. Even on October 26th. by force. Things did not look good for the rebels until Nagaoka’s daimyo managed to get two Gatling guns and two thousand French rifles. he lost the battle on May 19th. The Battle of Aizu began in early October and the coalition of the rebels crumbled on the 12th. The war was over when Enomoto Takeaki surrendered to the Imperial forces on May 18th. threatening the naval installment in Sendai. so those who had been advisors to The Ezo Republic weren’t punished at all. leaving eight hundred men at Goryokaku. After Takeaki accepted Meiji’s rule The Ezo Republic officially came to an end on June 27th.

it would shape a lot of Japanese culture up through the Second World War. but held very little political power. 74 . Since the emperor was considered godly and not really a political figure that controlled the government. after his death in 1989 he became known as Emperor Sh?wa. And. It is also traditional in Japan to rename the emperor after his death in order to honor him. In all it’s estimated that about thirty five hundred troops died during the battle. while he was alive the previous emperor was known as Emperor Hirohito. Emperor Jimmu. This stance in foreign powers was just the beginning as the Meiji Restoration would become known as a major revolution in Japan which accomplished major renovations to the country both politically and economically. This is because Japanese tradition declares that it is disrespectful to address a person of noble birth (mainly the emperor) by their given name. It also became the driving force behind the rapid modernization of the country. For example. There was a change in the last two hundred and fifty years against this type of puppet government with the rebellion of Emperor Komei against the shogunate rule. it was granted that the reigning emperor could retire if there was a suitable heir to take the throne. although mythology in Japan claims that Jimmy ascended the throne because he was a direct descendant of the gods. Eventually the emperor’s forces won out. but instead seemed to embrace modernization and technological advances that came to the country through many of the foreign interests. which ruled form 530-645 to the Tokugawa family. For example. even though the emperor has always been considered the sovereign leader of Japan. and is commonly addressed as such by the Japanese people. even though those sitting on the throne could only exercise very limited power. and the resulting years were known as the Meiji Restoration period as it was a time of restoring the imperial power of the emperor. the emperors of Japan often abdicated their title rather than serve it out until their death. After a few years of this. It seemed as if the emperors of Japan for those years were considered to be extremely god-like and were greatly revered. the degree of power which they were allowed to exercise during their reign has varied considerably over the years. The rise of the emperor to the throne is not completely understood at this time. While there was much civil unrest and fighting during this time. These range from the Soga family. over the years there have been six families without imperial blood to rule the country through the emperors. The Boshin War is often viewed by many as the clash of the old style of life in Japan versus the new more modern methodology behind both the fighting forces and the political restoration. unlike many monarchies of Europe. their main tasks while in office were to repeat certain rituals each day to ensure Japan’s prosperity. making the emperors of the time little more than puppets. The country’s imperial bloodline has been on the throne since the earliest known ruler in existence. The Emperor of Japan Today the emperor of Japan is the only remaining emperor in existence. which ruled from 1603-1867. The emperor believed that these outsiders were barbarians who would be the end of Japan. the English translation for the emperor’s name is “heavenly sovereign. the timeless struggle of the new versus the old. However. The main cause for his displeasure with the shogunate was because they did not succeed in repelling Matthew Perry and his ships. Sometimes this was due to the shogunate rule which encompassed Japan from 1192 – 1867. in which the authority was given to the ruling families through proclamation of the emperor. In fact.After the war was over the emperor did not keep up with his threat of expelling the barbarians.” While there have obviously been a number of emperors on the Chrysanthemum Throne.

This bill in combination with the preexisting Immigration Act of 1917 was the standard for all immigrations until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was passed. This bill became a federal law that restricted the amount of immigration from any certain country by a percentage that went from the listed nationality numbers in the 1890 census and it completely disallowed any immigration from Asians. A particular stab to the Japanese who already lived in the United States was present in the bill with the provision that banned any person who would have been considered ineligible to become a citizen from any attempt at establishing themselves as immigrants. or racial hygiene theory. effectively ended any and all immigration from Japan. The problem with changing the law is that if they were to write that the emperor would be chosen among the first born. A special panel was commissioned in 2005 to study the issue and they declared that women should be allowed to ascend to the throne. This measure was originally put into the Meiji Restoration and was again adopted by the 1947 Constitution of Japan. and it will undoubtedly continue to do so. This is where the idea of enacting an immigration ban came into play. However. Korea. The Act of 1924 also specifically banned any further arrival of people from the countries of Japan. and physical prowess. The Immigration Act of 1924 In the early days of Japanese-American immigration there were a lot of problems with racial discrimination and after a lot of pressure on those in government positions the Immigration Act of 1924. This was a theory that was greatly propagated by the lawyer and writier Madison Grant which stated that it was a government’s responsibility to chose the best specimens to be allowed to raise children.Today it is illegal for a woman to assume the throne. Even though the position is once again that of a figurehead. China. then reigning Emperor Akihito would have to abdicate the throne since he has two older sisters and is therefore not the official first born. In historical context this could have meant that the family 75 . Whatever the outcome of the status of female empresses in the future. However. it is certain that the imperial bloodline of the Japanese emperors has survived a great many years. One of the ways many politicians who subscribed to this theory dealt with the genetic improvement of a race through the exclusion of other possibilities. morality. One of the large reasons for such an extreme outlook on immigration and race originated from a movement known as eugenics. are members of the reigning emperor’s extended family who are given duties when he takes the throne. It is uncertain as to whether or not this debate will be resumed in recent years.. and several other countries in Asia. Thailand. it is still held in very high regard by many Japanese people. The idea was that each generation would succeed the one before it in intelligence. they are considered by many conservative political figures as nothing more than placeholders for the next available male child of the imperial bloodline to be capable of assuming the throne. the debate continues as the prime minister decided to let the proposal to alter the Imperial Household Law governing such matters die off in 2007. Surprisingly the bill was highly favored by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and passed with only a few dissenting votes. although nine previous empresses have ruled Japan. Vietnam. also known as the Johnson-Reed Act. Laos. in recent years there was debate over whether or not this should be changed as before Prince Hisahito was born 2006. there was no legitimate male heir to the throne. The Imperial House of Japan The Imperial House of Japan.

it was still recommended by a specially convened panel appointed by the Prime Minister in 2005 that this law be amended to allow females who were born into the royal family the ability to ascend the throne. This was especially relevant considering that until September 2006 no male heir had been born into the family since 1965. Some of the strongest sentiment against the Japanese was found among the farmers in California. They brought with them an amazing knowledge of irrigation techniques and quickly cultivated acres and acres of land to fruition. This was especially enforced on the Pacific Coast as many people were worried that someone who was still loyal to the emperor would help them coordinate an attack on the United State’s mainland. Anson. However. During Japan’s tumultuous Meiji Restoration in which many aspects of the government and daily life were completely renovated. When the Diet enacted the law of 1947. it was for selfish reasons. According to The California Farm Bureau at the time the Japanese produced nearly one hundred percent of the tomatoes. they chose to keep this exclusion of potential female monarchs in place. things did not work out as they had planned as many young men and boys who would have worked on the field were being called into service through the draft. the government issued an order for Japanese American citizens to be sent to internment camps. Those included in the imperial family are limited just to the male descendants of the Emperor. The royal family is considered especially important because Japan’s monarchy is one of the oldest continuous marchy systems still in existence. effectively excluding all females in the royal family who choose to marry outside of the family.had a larger role in government dealings. However. 660 BC. this is no longer as relevant. The family has been ruling since Emperor Jimmu took power on February 11th. and has continued through the rule of one hundred and twenty five others in the family. Before the Meiji Restoration. While it did turn out that the family produced a male heir. strawberries. At the time it was estimated that Japanese farmers were responsible for producing nearly forty million dollars of crops annually. managing secretary of the Salinas Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association even admitted to the Saturday Evening Post in 1942. Many California farmers hoped that they could eliminate a great portion of their competition and gain their lands at a fraction of the price. The farmers then found themselves lacking the workers needed to fill the void. however. There was a strong sense of resentment against their success from those farmers whose families had been working that land for years. many of the Japanese farmers had immigrated to states like California to build a future for themselves in America. Besides the Emperor. The Importance of Japanese Farmers in California After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th. 1941. there are at least eleven other members of the imperial family according to the 1947 Imperial Household Law. there were at least eight female Empresses who succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne and reigned Japan. but since the emperor is now only a figurehead and symbol of unity in the country. celery and that were grown in the state. However. At the time that was an astronomical loss and disruption in the economy. and as Austin E. prejudices that had long been simmering against Japanese Americans certainly helped the course of action which was ultimately decided on. it is thought that this law could be amended to include female heirs to the throne. When internment began in earnest 76 . peppers. When the call for evacuation was given. There are currently twenty-three members to the imperial family. The largest supporter base for the relocation effort were the farmers. the government was warned that it would create an extremely large labor shortage in the farming sector.

The farming industry losses were one of the main driving forces behind the desire for many Japanese Americans to get compensation from the government. and was then himself overthrown and forced into the 1942. of the two hundred thousand acres that had been left behind by Japanese farmers. to be temporarily let out in order to harvest the beet crops. those farmers who were detained during the war in dry areas in Arizona and California were even able to cultivate and irrigate the lands of the camps while they were there. The Northern Court. A large portion of these farmers operated the land on a tenant basis. The Japanese Nanboku-Cho Period The sub-period of time after the Kamakura Period and before the Muromachi Period truly began is called the Nanboku-cho period. Some Japanese Americans did manage to hang onto their property through the kindness of their neighbors. in mid 1942 the Wartime Civil Control Administration announced that nearly a quarter of all the acres that had been left behind by those Japanese Americans who had been forced to evacuate would be lost without the needed amount of replacement farmers. was based out of Kyoto. or “South and North courts” period. there is no doubt that the Japanese American farmers made a huge impact on the industry in California as their unique irrigation methods were so advanced that they were able to turn marginal lands into something that gave a good crop yield every year. while GoDaigo held his Southern court at Yoshino. Despite what may have happened during the internment. The removal of the Japanese Americans from the farming workforce during this time is often seen as the main thing responsible for the large influx of immigrants from Mexico. Even so. headed by Ashikaga Takauji and its puppet emperor. It is believed that if this hadn’t been done. Some of the farmers had to sell their land a very large loss while others were forced to let it sit in ruin. but this was the minority. The government. As the war continued and it did not look like the government would ever find enough people to cultivate the land that had been left behind by the Japanese Americans. In an effort to find more workers school breaks were scheduled around harvesting season and it was during this same time that many migratory workers from Mexico and South America began to move into California when they heard about the possibility of work. seized the imperial throne. it was estimated by Nobumitsu Takahashi of the Japanese American Citizens League (agricultural coordinator) that the Japanese farmers would loss about one hundred million dollars worth of their investments. This was the first time that signs began to emerge that this large loss would actually hurt the war effort in the long run. The two battled for 50 years until the Northern court 77 . In fact. only approximately fifty thousand of those acreages had been picked up by new owners after that initial year of internment. sensing the growing problem even allowed the release of a select group of internees known as Nikkei. the industry could very well have failed. Many of those farms were eventually picked up by refugees from the dustbowl. The main event of the Nanboku-cho period is the battle between the Northern and Southern court over the throne that began after Emperor Go-Daigo overthrew the Kamakura shogunate. The period began in 1336 and ended in 1392 and is traditionally considered a sub-period of the Muromachi time. so they essentially lost everything they had put into the land as it was given back to the owners to be leased out again. In fact. These lands serve as a testament to the amazing ability of the Japanese American farmers as those farming lands are still productive some seventy years later.

While open warfare did not exist for this entire time. but many of his allies. Commoners began writing renga. was not defeated. The result was a shogun structure that 78 . The shogun would put five different puppet emperors on the throne during the Nanboku-cho period. became a popular beverage. Go-Daigo began a now of sweeping reforms. They kept the government structure the Kamakura shogunate had established. or Warring States time. Go-Daigo was forced out and retreated to Yoshino. Tea. the emperor was once again merely a mouthpiece for the Takauji clan.emerged victorious in 1392. but they attempted to merge it with the Joei Code the Hojo clan had created in 1232. something only the aristocracy had enjoyed before. He desired to restore power to the throne. Most of the Nanboku-Cho writing is focused on chronicling the various wars and events that occurred during the time. the shogunate set about reclaiming power. The Takauji clan seized power in Kyoto. Following Emperor Go-Daigo’s exile from Kyoto and the 60 years of civil war that followed. many view the Southern court as the true legitimate heirs to the throne because they held the three pieces of the Japanese imperial regalia. Culture During Nanboku-Cho Period While the Nanboku-Cho period marks the beginning of the cultural trends and changes seen in the Muromachi period. pressed him to name a new shogun. however. especially those in the military class. By 1368. colorful outfits and dresses because quite popular as well. Flamboyant. and Ieyasu. after Go-Daigo’s death. however. none of which held any true power. the seat of power for the Southern court. In the Southern court. He immediately declared his court at Yoshino was the true imperial court. Overall. The Sengoku period is traditionally known as the second sub-period of the Muromachi period. there were many small clashes. the people of Japan began integrating entertainment into their lives during the Nanboku-Cho period and the Muromachi period in general. which had traditionally only been used for medication. or linked poetry. three of his successors would carry on his fight: Emperor Go-Murakimi (ruled 1339-1368). and established the Muromachi shogunate. placed their own emperor on the throne. there are a few differences. Emperor Chokei (ruled 1368-1383). Just three years after ascending the Chrysanthemum throne in Kyoto. This began a period of almost 60 years of hostility between the two courts. Two Imperial Courts Go-Daigo. gave the Northern court the opening they needed. the Ashikaga shogunate worked to establish itself as the one and only power in Japan. took place between the 15th and 17th centuries. Sengoku Period The Sengoku period. However. combined with the lack of experience Go-Daigo’s administration had in actually running a country. This pressure. occurring after the Nanboku-cho period. In the Northern court. and Emperor Go-Kameyama (ruled 1383-1392). Go-Daigo’s Rule Go-Daigo and his allies overthrew the Kamakura shogunate in 1333. and as the newly installed emperor. It ended with the unification of Japan thanks to three rulers: Nobunaga. Today. the subperiod also marked a time in which culture spread across social classes. Hideyoshi.

However. in some cases. The war was. several religious increased their power during the Sengoku period. A Unified Japan At Last With two courts. took much of the power the shogunate lost. including the Takeda and Imagawa. Many of the daimyo of the time were not pleased with these revival of these codes. Earthquakes and famine hit farmers and the lower class particularly hard. Ieyasu’s victory established the final shogunate that would rule Japan until the Meiji Restoration. however. It was during this time that the practice of gekokujo began. and many daimyo took this opportunity to increase their power. one of the remaining regents and a former ally of Nobunaga. However. Because his son.” was the practice of subordinates overthrowing those they worked for and seizing power for themselves. been running much of administration behind the scenes. one of Nobunaga’s trusted advisors and generals. The Oda would later be known throughout Japan when Oda Nobunaga began his quest for power. “the underling conquers the overlord. and more and more Japanese began using money for trade. Hideyoshi died in 1598. with some battles erupting in the outer provinces as well. picked up where Nobunaga left off and soon unified much of the country. shogunates rising and falling. Some of these religious groups held power for decades. and the Battle of Sekigahara broke out. However. Hideyoshi set in motion plans to prevent this before his death. Hideyoshi appointed the five most powerful individuals in Japan to serve as a council of regents. Trade with China increased. Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He united much of Japan before being betrayed in 1582 by one of his own. Many of these underlings were much more capable than their masters and had. Oda Nobunaga began his rise to power. on the surface. These groups often worked with disillusioned farmers in overthrowing daimyo and other corrupt rulers. One notable example of gekokujo is the seizing of power by the Oda clan from the Shiba. None of these forces were particularly well trained or armed. The war was between the Hosokawa family (the eastern army) and the Yamana forces. when one of these regents died. although economic hardships and other issues fueled the fighting. and Japan once again faced civil war. In addition to powerful clans and other political organizations making grabs for power. Weakening of the Shogunate The Onin War left the shogunate weaker than it had been before. Many clans. Japan hadn’t known true stability in 150 years. After his clan took power from the Shiba. Hideyori. upheaval. the Onin War broke out. the Oda clan was about to change that. This battle. 79 . Onin War In 1467. Gekokujo. but so did debt and taxes.included many social and economic codes and regulations. was too young to govern. resulted in victory for Ieyasu. The two clashed in Kyoto for 11 years. The Sengoku period marked a time of increased economic development. the last major battle of the Sengoku period. even the shogun. a battle over the successor of the shogun. and the shogunate found itself faces several uprisings. the other four began squabbling amount themselves. However. which was made up of armies from the western part of Japan. Agriculture increased as well. in fact. and were easily put down. maintaining their independence from the daimyo and.

and finally. and the samurai were highly regarded for their military skills. Trade records show that Japan exported much copper and silver to the Europeans during the Nanban Trade period. their largest trading vessels. The Japanese weapons were sharper. the Portuguese court strictly regulated who was allowed to do business with the Asian companies. after more contact with these foreigners. Many felt the Europeans were simply too crude to have anything to offer the court. in fact. foreigners from Europe were welcomed with open arms. especially those from Portugal. the word was used as the name for Europeans. new forms of art. however. the final nail in the coffin actually came from the Japanese themselves when. the Japanese quickly latched on to several new forms of technology and cultural practices. The period is named after the sino-Japanese word that was used for people from South and South-East Asia. their paper making techniques better. However. it was Chinese smugglers and pirates who slowed down Portuguese trade with Japan and China. The country was noticed as having many precious metals and ore. They generally offered trade with Japan to the captain who bid the highest. Soon. Nanban. Ironically. although they were usually referred to as Komo because of their red hair). and some were even given rank and titles from the Japanese court. the Portuguese were simply losing too much money and ships to really continue trading as aggressively as they had.The Nanban Trade Period The Nanban Trade period is a span of years that begins with the landing of the first European visitors to Japan in 1543 and lasts until 1641. something Japan immediately agreed to. and new languages. The Portuguese sent large carracks. when the Sakoku Seclusion Edicts were passed and nearly all non-Japanese were pushed out of Japan. However. European-style ships. to do business with Japan and China. trade between the two countries began. Christianity. The Japanese court was especially pleased to learn that the Portuguese traded with China and had. The Chinese used this word to designate “barbarians” or non-Chinese who lived south of China. in 1638. many Chinese goods on their ships. The Portuguese saw the opportunity to serve as middle men in trade between the two Asian countries. European records from the time show that the Europeans thought quite highly of Japan. In Japan. effectively giving the throne a large cut of all profit done in China and Japan. These included the arquebus. They captured upwards of ten ships a year. The Japanese and Chinese had not openly traded for some time because the Emperor of China cut off all contact due to Japanese pirate raids. was termed the best word to use to describe these individuals because the Japanese found them to be very unsophisticated and crude. the Japanese were dismissive of these new visitors. Their Buddhist centers of learning were much larger than any European university at the time. and the quality of crafts and metalsmithing was much higher as well. However. 80 . Trade Between Japan and Portugal Soon after the Portuguese established contact with Japan. Many scholars also noted the sophistication of Japan’s society and the fact that Japan was more populous and urbanized than most European countries. and England (it was sometimes used for the Dutch. The Coming of the Europeans When the first Portuguese landed in Japan in 1543. Spain. with its implication of barbarian.

citing Portuguese trade opposition. in 1638. and shortly thereafter. Trade moved from the sea ports to inner Vietnam and beyond. the reigning shogun. because Dutch traders were still allowed in Japan. A few more cases of mistaken identity occurred over the next few decades until. refused. as middle men for acquiring Chinese silk and other materials that they were no longer able to purchase outright. The mixing between the two cultures came easily to both. the Dutch became the only Europeans permitted to trade with the Japanese. This plan eventually paid off when. in 1601. who was in charge of all Dutch trade at the time. In 1604. who would later be given the title of samurai by the court and given a small section of land.the court prohibited trade with Portugal because foreign priests were sneaking into the country on the trading ships. Japan’s closed-door policy. The Japanese found that the Vietnamese still had trade privileges with China. trade in the Outer Region of Vietnam was not as frequent. The Japanese were still able to get some goods from Vietnam. invited the Dutch to open trade with the Japanese. Five years later. mistaking them for a Western pirate. Victor Sprinckel. The court began using them. Their numbers included William Adams. trade and relationships between Vietnam and Japan came to an end in 1635 with the promulgation of sakoku. however. according to Vietnamese records. an Englishman. although problems between the Dutch and the Vietnamese courts did not allow for as much trade as the Japanese would have liked. the first Dutch explorers landed in Japan. and many Japanese who did frequent business with Vietnam adopted some Vietnamese customs and vice versa. The friendship between Vietnam and Japan grew quickly. However. However. Lord Nguyen Hoang officially apologized to the Tokugawa shogun and began relations between the two countries. Many Southern Vietnamese cities became quite prosperous due to the fact that they were used as trade cities during the Nanban Trade period. 81 . especially between high ranking aristocrats and traders. the first official contact between the two countries was in 1585. However. and the contact with Vietnam was ended. In 1609. Trade with Vietnam Trading with Vietnam was also established during the Nanban Trade period. A Vietnam squad destroyed two Japanese ships. tenuous contact continued. The Dutch navy began attacking Portuguese and Spanish trade vessels in the Pacific ocean at this time in an attempt to weaken their rivals. became somewhat common. Lord Nguyen even adopted a Japanese merchant. with the Nguyen Lord and the shogun exchanging many letters and gifts. Merchants were no longer allowed to go abroad. it’s uncertain which of the two countries actually opened trade negotiations or if the Chinese acted as intermediaries between the two. Many also donated money and assisted with the repairing of Buddhist pagodas in Vietnam. However. However. Jacques Specx and his two ships docked in Japan and requested trading privileges. although little is known about when it actually began. much as they did the Portuguese. Trade with the Dutch In 1600. intermarriage between the two. In fact. Ieyasu. They would maintain this status for nearly two centuries. thus opening trade between the two. This contact actually came in the form of a battle. in fact.

The Tokugawa Shogunate’s Trade Policies Once Tokugawa Ieyasu seized power in 1600, he and his successors worked to establish trade with many countries until 1635 and the seclusion policies. During this time, however, piracy ruled the open seas, and many smugglers brought banned goods or, in some cases, priests and other subversives, into Japan. To stop this, the shogunate established the shuinsen policy, first with Vietnam and then with other countries. All official Japanese traders were given a letter bearing the red seal of the Tokugawa shogunate. This letter was to be presented when the ship docked in Vietnam. Any ship not presenting this seal was to be considered an unlawful merchant who did not have the authority to trade with any other country. Of course, the shogunate distributed this seal only to supportive allies and powerful noble families. Banning of Trade In 1633, the Tokugawa shogunate officially banned all Japanese traders from trading abroad. However, this did not end Japan’s trade with other countries. The Dutch and even some Chinese were still permitted to dock in Nagasaki and trade with the Japanese court since the sakoku policy of isolation wasn’t as strictly applied to trade as it was to other activities. As the centuries turned, trade between Europe and Japan declined even more, especially once European traders realized there was more profit to be made in India. The Japanese government also felt the threat of Christianity and its missionaries was greater than anything trade brought the country. As of 1650, with the exception of traders in Nagasaki, foreigners and Christian converts were openly persecuted and often put to death. Large ships were prohibited, and most of the military had put aside guns for swords once again. This marked the beginning of the Edo period, the time period known for its isolation and seclusion. Edo would last until 1854, the year contact with America would began when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived with his fleet. New Technology and Culture The Japanese received more than just trade goods from the Portuguese, Dutch, Vietnamese, and other trading partners. They also traded for several new pieces of technology. One of these was the gun. When the Portuguese landed on the island of Tanegashima, one of the first things they showed the inhabitants was the arquebus, a type of gun. While the concept of gunpowder and guns was nothing new to Japan (they already had this technology from their contact with China), the fact that the arquebus was so light and incorporated a matchlock firing mechanism was new to them. These guns were also much easier to aim than the Chinese guns and cannons. Oda Nobunaga was especially impressed with the arquebus, and his army used these guns to win many different victories. It took Japanese metalsmiths less than a year to figure out how to create their own arquebus guns, and within 50 years, the Japanese military was outfitted with rifles and guns that were vastly superior to anything in Europe. Both Hideyoshi and Ieyasu made use of guns in their battles to unify Japan, and guns were also heavily used in the Japanese invasion of Korea. Ships The Japanese also found the style and technology used in Western-style ships of interest. By 1634, they had launched a series of ships referred to as Red seal ships. Their name comes from the red seal the shogunate gave to authorized traders. These ships used the square, Western-style


sails, rudders, and aft designs. Many elements from the European galleons were incorporated into Japanese vessels, and soon Japanese ships began appearing in European waters. Some ships were even completely European in design. Imported Religion and its Threat The other major import, and the one that the Japanese government found the most threatening, was Catholicism. In 1549, Francis Xavier, a Jesuit, arrived in Japan and began aggressively converting people on the island of Kyushu. This did not sit well with the shogunate, and in 1587, Hideyoshi ordered all Christian missionaries and priests exiled from Japan. However, very few followed this edict (records show that three out of the hundred or so priests left Japan). While Hideyoshi was concerned about the effect this new religion would have on his rule, he was also worried about the fact that nearly 500,000 Japanese had been sold into slavery to the Christian Dyamo. Many of these slaves were women, something Hideyoshi greatly disapproved of. In 1597, Spanish vessel shipwrecked off the cost of Japan. Among the survivors were a number of Franciscans. The Jesuits, seeing a rival order arrive in the country, took steps to eliminate them. While Hideyoshi was obviously no friend to them, the Jesuits convinced him that the Franciscans and their followers were a larger threat, and Hideyoshi had twenty-six of them (including a number of Japanese followers) crucified later that year. While the Jesuits thought they were now safe from persecution, they had no idea that Hideyoshi had the Franciscans killed for other reasons, namely the fact that he wanted to seize the cargo of their shipwrecked vessel. After the crucifixions, he ordered the destruction of almost a hundred churches. Despite this, by the end of the 16th century, in fact, there were almost 200,000 Catholics in Japan. Hideyoshi had greatly weakened the Jesuits in Japan, but it was his successor, Ieyasu, who would push the Jesuits and other Christians underground in 1614. Catholicism was greatly repressed during this time and the time following Ieyasu’s death. Almost 2,000 Christians were killed, and despite several rebellions and battles, the government easily repressed the religion and sent its followers into hiding.

The National Diet of Japan
Much like other legislators in the world today, Japan’s National Diet is composed of two houses, the House of Representatives, considered the lower house even though it is more powerful, and the House of Councillors, which is considered the upper house. Members of the houses are voted into office, and the diet relies on a parallel voting system. This is a method where voters participate in two different elections using separate means and the results of one election do not typically impact those done in another. This system was used in Russia for years and it is intended to make sure that there is equal representation among the parties that is determined by a certain percentage of the vote. The seats to be filled during an election are split into two separate collections and the two sides are then elected into offices by a different method. Then, voters not only cast a vote for an individual, but also for a party. The House of Representatives if comprised of four hundred and eighty members. Three hundred of these are elected as individuals while one hundred and eighty of the seats are filled based on party preference system of votes. This demonstrates how the seats in the Diet are split up between the voting methods and how that serves to help keep some form of equilibrium between smaller parties who might not otherwise be able to guarantee many seats in the legislature at all 83

with the larger parties who now need to rely on the smaller ones to be able to cooperate within the sphere of the functioning government body. The Diet in Japan first took place during the Emperor Meiji’s reign in 1889, and was generally known as the Imperial Diet. However, in 1947, during the Japanese occupation by Allied forces, the current model of the Diet was adopted in the new postwar constitution and is considered the highest acting level of power. The Diet under these terms is responsible for making all of the laws as well as drafting new constitutional amendments, ratifying treaties, approving the yearly budget, and conducting investigations. The Prime Minister is also put into power by a resolution of the Diet. If the Diet decides that they government is corrupt or needs to be replaced, then a motion of no confidence passed by at least fifty members of the House of Representatives can dissolve the government. This means that all government officials including the Prime Minister and other cabinet officials will be forced to appear before the Diet. The Diet also has supreme power over judges and can impeach them if they find that the judge has been behaving irregularly or if they are convicted of a criminal offense. In the Imperial Diet the Emproer was the ultimate deciding factor of the government and had the right to enact laws on his own. However, while the Emperor still signs the laws into effect, he cannot refuse to sign and therefore the entire act is just a formality. The House of Representatives has more power in the government, though. If a bill cannot be agreed upon by either the House of Representatives or the House of Councillors, then the decision of the Representatives is declared to be the ultimate decision of the Diet. The same is true for the decision of the Prime Minister.

The Second Sino-Japanese War
Many people remember the cause of the European conflict during World War II, but few of them remember how the Asian conflict had also started during that same time. Unlike what most people assume, Japan and Germany did not team up in the sense that most people think. The two governments were both super powers who were interested in complete world domination. It would be contrary to everything that their governments believed in to align himself with someone merely based on a power struggle, which is why the pact between Germany and Russia was broken in a very short period of time. The reason for Japan’s alliance with Germany and Hitler was because at the same time he was declaring war on Western Europe, Japan was participating in its own conflict in southeastern Asia where it was in a long, embroiled war with China. While Germany had originally supported China in the conflict, they withdrew their support in 1938, basically leaving the way for Japan to continue to war and in a sense giving Japan a form of permission to do so. The battles between China and Japan had been going on for years as the two countries had been having several different problems and minor conflicts since 1931. But it wasn’t until 1937 that they found themselves completely engulfed by full-blown war. This would become known as the Second Sino-Japanese War, and it was fought before and during the time when the allies entered the Second World War. The Second-Sino Japanese War was a result of a long-standing feud between the two governments. Japan wanted to try and rule China so that it would have access to its large supply of land and minerals. In the early nineteen thirties Japan found itself almost entirely under 84

military control and this government began a campaign of limited attacks and incidents in Asia as they tried to acquire more and more of the continent’s natural resources in a campaign to increase their Imperial domain. The fighting really started in 1931 in Mukden, but due to Japan’s desire to not have outside countries drawn into the conflict the battles were called “incidents.” Because of the escalation of these incidents, Japan wanted to keep its citizens feeling comfortable about the impending war, so in propaganda films and posters, it was often referred to as the “holy war.” The government used outlets in media and education to push its agenda through indoctrination and censorship. This insistence that war with China was the right thing to do led to a group being formed that would serve to quash any doubt, The League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War. The purpose of this group was to make sure that anyone who spoke out about the merits of the war was censured. The First Sino-Japanese War occurred in 1894 between Japan and the Qing Dynasty and it ended with Japan controlling Korea. However, this would also eventually lead to the second war with China as Japan shipped materials and people across Manchuria. It wasn’t long before they wanted to control the shipping route as well as the natural resources in this country. After the attack in Mukden, fighting continued on until the League of Nations (the early version of the modern day U.N.), stepped in and demanded that the incidents stop. In response to what Japan perceived as unfair criticisms of their war with China, they withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933. Since Japan had already gained control of Manchuria, they set up a hollow government of which China’s Emperor Pu-Yi was the leader, but this was really only an empty title as he had no real power in that portion of the country. However, in 1937, large scale fighting broke out between the two countries when the Japanese were attacked outside of Peking at the Marco Polo Bridge. Once the full war between the two countries had been declared, Japan reached out and quickly captured the coastal cities of Shanghai, Nanjing, and Shanxi and several of the major industrial ports. China was forced to draw its troops to the interior and protect itself. This war was not pretty by any means of the imagination and several huge tactical errors on the part of the Chinese led to civilian lives that were lost to the Japanese soldiers. There is an estimate that nearly three hundred thousand men, women, and children died in an incident known as the Nanking massacre. This violence against the Chinese lasted for six weeks, from December of 1938 until February 1938 and is sometimes even referred to as the Rape of Nanking become of the war crimes that many of the Japanese soldiers are accused of committing including arson, robber, executions, and rape. The war continued on as the Japanese pushed into the interior of China’s mainland. However, it wasn’t long before Japan realized that the weak infrastructure of China’s roadways made it nearly impossible to conquer the entire country. In order to more easily facilitate their movement through the country the Japanese military would continue to use the strategy of setting up false governments that were truly loyal to Japan’s interests. The crimes committed by the Japanese, though, made it extremely difficult for these governments to be self-sustaining as a great deal of guerrilla fighting amongst China’s citizenry kept the conquered providences in a state of constant flux. Despite all of these efforts on the part of the Japanese military, it was just a year the two later that the countries found themselves in a deadlock until after the bombing at Pearl Harbor in 1941 when the Allies entered the war. While Japan did not win the war against China, the Second Sino-Japanese war did have consequences that Japan could not have foreseen at the time the war was started. Even though


The pact remained in effect until the end of the war with Japan being the last hold out until their surrender. He also became a reporter for Mainichi Shimbun. The pact is believed by many to be a warning to countries like the United States to remain neutral or they would be forced to fight the war on multiple fronts. but eventually moved into a boarding house. It was to remain in effect for ten years. It was signed in Berlin on September 27th. there were other countries who signed their names to the Tripartite Pact. as such it guaranteed that each of these countries recognized the sovereignty of the others during their efforts to attain the land to which they feel they are entitled. And. He lived with his mother’s family for a brief time afterward. and Italy. For years China had become fragmented and many of its citizens had become severely repressed by the warlord-like regime. As Japan became a more military based country and entered World War II Yasunari did not engage in the militaristic excitement that enamored so many of his colleges.Japan had already been bombed by the Allied forces and had conceded to loss in the Second World War. The Soviet Union was also interested in joining the Tripartite Pact and sent word to Hitler that they wanted some of the wording to be changed. however. Slovakia. The revisions reached Germany in November of 1940. It is stated in the pact that the ultimate objective of the three countries is to seek out to establish this new order through imposed world peace. however he changed his major sometime during his stint at the college to Japanese literature. he took the exams to get into Tokyo Imperial University and in 1920 he entered the program to study English. Nazi Germany. In 1917. After the end of the 86 . Germany needed to pass through their countries in order to launch attacks on other entities and it was apparent to many of these governments that they could either allow the Nazis passage or they could face a possible invasion themselves. Yasunari had a hard childhood as at only two years old he was orphaned and was thereafter raised by his grandparents until his grandfather died in 1914. but Hitler ignored the offering as he had already decided to invade the Soviet Union. and Yugoslavia. Bulgaria. the Bungei Shunju. as the three countries entered into a military alliance with a stance of opposing the Allied Powers. Over the years the main focus of the pact has been on the three main signatories. Although later in life his stories garnered him international fame. the war it had waged against China had left the government there significantly weakened. Yasunari Kawabata became the first Japanese author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. Tripartite Pact The Tripartite Pact is also known as the Axis Pact or Three Power Pact because it was the pact that officially formed the Axis Powers of Japan. In the Tripartite Pact it officially recognizes the fact that Germany and Italy were seeking to impose a new form of order in Europe while Japan sought to do the same in Eastern Asia. Yasunari Kawabata Born on June 14th. and in 1949 imperialist China was conquered by the communists led by Mao. These countries include Hungary. During his studies. These countries entered into the agreement for differing reasons. Yasunari worked at his craft and by the time he graduated four years later he had already been published in a literary magazine of some repute. Romania. 1940. 1899. Many times these five countries joined with Germany out of a sense of resentment and necessity. This left the country’s government wide open to a hostile take over.

Throughout the twenties Yasunari continued to explore different themes and writing styles as he worked to find his voice as a writer. In 1935. Yasunari continued to earn even more success after the war with the publication of several more novels. and the book would later become one of his most well-known works. One of the first stories that worked to get Yasunari noticed was published in 1926. The books explore the ideals of love contrasted with the starkness of reality. the book that he thought was an example of his finest work was released in 1951. These installments would continue through 1947.war he felt that Japan had become so decimated he would spend the rest of his career writing elegies for the postwar state in which the country found itself. Included in these are Yasunari’s recent discovery that he had Parkinson’s disease and the 1970 suicide death of his close friend Yukio Mishima. However. 87 . but according to many of his friends he was depressed and had even been known to remark that he hoped the plane would crash when he went on trips. In some of his writings during that period he returned to a more traditional sense of literature. and within them are themes that seek to reach out to most readers and show them of the yearning in the hearts of people for what they cannot attain and how this ties into the human existence as a whole. the committee listed three of his works that they considered most impressive: Snow Country (1937-1947). The Master of Go. Yasunari died in 1972 of an apparent suicide by gas. Shortly after he graduated Yasunari teamed up with a few young and idealistic writers and began Bungei Jidai. In the eyes of many critics this formerly established him as a premier Japanese writer. His ability to blend together the clash of the old and the new along with reminding people that with great joy often came moments of bitterness were magnificent. Whatever the reasons behind his death. The idea behind their writing was to embrace a new way of looking at literature altogether and to make it more of something that people experienced rather than just something people read. Yasunari began publishing installments of a serial novel named Snow Country. but there were factors which could have led to the suicide. Some consider his death accidental. it managed to take a theme that is often overused and turn it into something with a hint of sadness and even a sense of despondency that turned the entire episode into something that transcended a normal love story. while in others he worked to embrace the very difficult way of writing through stream-of-consciousness (a way of writing that seeks to capture an individual’s actual thought process as an event is taking place). and The Old Capital (1962). a new style of literary magazine. Symbolically speaking. his ability to write of an entire culture’s search for an identity and a past that they could no longer cling to in the changing world of the post-modern era are traits that still resonate in his writings. When Yasunari was given the Nobel Prize in 1968. Like many of the movements during this time across the globe the journal was a way for artists to crate just for the enjoyment of art. Thousand Cranes (1949-1952). and was called “The Dancing Girl of Izu.” The praise for the story was mainly given because even though it was an erotic story about the meeting of two young lovers. it is clear that the writings of Yasunari affected many who read them. One of the main reasons for many to doubt his suicide motives was that he had left behind no note.

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