Empire of Japan

The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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The Naval Battle of Hakodate, May 1869; in the foreground, and of the Imperial Japanese Navy
The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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Prominent members of the Iwakura mission. Left to right: Kido Takayoshi, Yamaguchi Masuka, Iwakura Tomomi, Itō Hirobumi, Ōkubo Toshimichi
Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan
Ōura Church, Nagasaki
Interior of the Japanese Parliament, showing the Prime Minister speaking addressing the House of Peers, 1915
Prince Aritomo Yamagata, who was twice Prime Minister of Japan. He was one of the main architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan.
Baron Masuda Tarokaja, a member of the House of Peers (Kazoku). His father, Baron Masuda Takashi, was responsible for transforming Mitsui into a zaibatsu.
The Tokyo Industrial Exhibition, 1907 (Mitsubishi pavilion and Exhibition halls)
Marunouchi District in 1920, looking towards the Imperial Palace
A 1-yen banknote, 1881
Thomas Blake Glover was a Scottish merchant in Bakumatsu and received Japan's second highest order from Emperor Meiji in recognition of his contributions to Japan's industrialization.
Prince Katsura Tarō, thrice Prime Minister and the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan. Katsura commanded the IJA 3rd Division under his mentor, Field Marshal Yamagata Aritomo, during the First Sino-Japanese War.
Map of the Japanese Empire in 1895. This map was issued shortly after the Japanese invasion of Taiwan and is consequently one of the first Japanese maps to include Taiwan as a possession of Imperial Japan.
Marquess Komura Jutaro, 1911. Komura became Minister for Foreign Affairs under the first Katsura administration, and signed the Boxer Protocol on behalf of Japan.
French illustration of a Japanese assault on entrenched Russian troops during the Russo-Japanese War
Japanese riflemen during the Russo-Japanese War
Count Tadasu Hayashi was the resident minister to the United Kingdom. While serving in London from 1900, he worked to successfully conclude the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and signed on behalf of the government of Japan on January 30, 1902.
Port Arthur viewed from the Top of Gold Hill, after its capitulation in 1905. From left are the wrecks of Russian pre-dreadnought battleships Peresvet, Poltava, Retvizan, Pobeda and the protected cruisers Pallada
Emperor Taishō, the 123rd emperor of Japan
Topographic map of the Empire of Japan in November, 1918
Native Micronesian constables of Truk Island, circa 1930. Truk became a possession of the Empire of Japan under a mandate from the League of Nations following Germany's defeat in World War I.
Commanding Officers and Chiefs of Staff of the Allied Military Mission to Siberia, Vladivostok during the Allied Intervention
Groundbreaking ceremony of Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, 1925. Front row, right to left: Rudolf Briske, Noritsugu Hayakawa, Furuichi Kōi, Ryutaro Nomura.
Count Itagaki Taisuke is credited as being the first Japanese party leader and an important force for liberalism in Meiji Japan.
Count Katō Komei, the 14th Prime Minister of Japan from June 11, 1924, until his death on January 28, 1926
Emperor Shōwa during an Army inspection on January 8, 1938
Tokyo Kaikan was requisitioned as the meeting place for members of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Taisei Yokusankai) in the early days.
Japanese Pan-Asian writer Shūmei Ōkawa
Rebel troops assembling at police headquarters during the February 26 Incident
A bank run during the Shōwa financial crisis, March 1927
National Diet Building, 1930
Political map of the Asia-Pacific region, 1939
Japanese troops entering Shenyang, Northeast China during the Mukden Incident, 1931
The Japanese occupation of Peiping (Beijing) in China, on August 13, 1937. Japanese troops are shown passing from Peiping into the Tartar City through Zhengyangmen, the main gate leading onward to the palaces in the Forbidden City.
IJN Special Naval Landing Forces armed with the Type 11 Light Machine Gun during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Signing ceremony for the Axis Powers Tripartite Pact
Founding ceremony of the Hakkō ichiu (All the world under one roof) monument in 1940
A map of the Japanese advance from 1937 to 1942
Victorious Japanese troops march through the city center of Singapore following the city's capture in February 1942 (Photo from the Imperial War Museum)
Imperial Japanese Army paratroopers are landing during the Battle of Palembang, February 13, 1942.
A model representing the attack by dive bombers from USS Yorktown (CV-5) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) on the Japanese aircraft carriers, and in the morning of June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway
Group of Type 2 Ka-Mi tanks on board of 2nd class transporter of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1944–1945
The rebuilt battlecruiser sank at her moorings in the naval base of Kure on July 24 during a series of bombings.
The Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula in 1945 (National Geographic)
A drawing depicting a speech in the Imperial Japanese Diet on November 1, 1945, the end of the Second World War. In the foreground there are several Allied soldiers watching the proceedings from the back of the balcony.
From left to right: Marshal Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō (1848–1934), Field Marshal Oku Yasukata (1847–1930), Marshal Admiral Yoshika Inoue (1845–1929), Field Marshal Kageaki Kawamura (1850–1926), at the unveiling ceremony of bronze statue of Field Marshal Iwao Ōyama
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1920).
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1940).
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan
Flag of the Japanese Emperor

Historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan.

- Empire of Japan

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Alpha

U.S. Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers of VS-8 from USS Hornet (CV-8) about to attack the burning Japanese cruiser for the third time on 6 June 1942

Battle of Midway

Major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II that took place on 4–7 June 1942, six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II that took place on 4–7 June 1942, six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea.

U.S. Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers of VS-8 from USS Hornet (CV-8) about to attack the burning Japanese cruiser for the third time on 6 June 1942
The extent of Japanese military expansion in the Pacific, April 1942
Midway Atoll, several months before the battle. Eastern Island (with the airfield) is in the foreground, and the larger Sand Island is in the background to the west.
USS Yorktown (CV-5) at Pearl Harbor days before the battle
, the flagship of the Japanese carrier striking force which attacked Pearl Harbor, as well as Darwin, Rabaul, and Colombo, in April 1942 prior to the battle
Torpedo bomber Martin B-26 Marauder "Susie-Q" of the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron, 22nd Bombardment Group, USAAF, was flown by 1/Lt James Perry Muri during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942
Movements during the battle, according to William Koenig in Epic Sea Battles
A B-17 attack misses Hiryū; this was taken between 08:00–08:30. A Shotai of three Zeros is lined up near the bridge. This was one of several combat air patrols launched during the day.
Ensign George Gay (right), sole survivor of VT-8's TBD Devastator squadron, in front of his aircraft, 4 June 1942
Devastators of VT-6 aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6) being prepared for takeoff during the battle
Yorktown at the moment of impact of a torpedo from a Nakajima B5N of Lieutenant Hashimoto's 2nd chūtai
Hiryū, shortly before sinking, photo taken by a Yokosuka B4Y off the carrier Hōshō
shortly before sinking
A rescued U.S. airman on Midway
Japanese survivors of Hiryū picked up by USS Ballard
This SBD-2 was one of sixteen dive bombers of VMSB-241 launched from Midway on the morning of 4 June. Holed 219 times in the attack on the carrier Hiryū, it survives today at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida.
The Midway Memorial

After expanding the war in the Pacific to include Western outposts, the Japanese Empire had attained its initial strategic goals quickly, taking British Hong Kong, the Philippines, British Malaya, Singapore, and the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia).

A 150-pound Satsuma cannon, built in 1849. It was mounted on Fort Tenpozan at Kagoshima. Caliber: 290mm, length: 4220mm

Bakumatsu

The final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended.

The final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended.

A 150-pound Satsuma cannon, built in 1849. It was mounted on Fort Tenpozan at Kagoshima. Caliber: 290mm, length: 4220mm
Commodore Matthew C. Perry
Townsend Harris negotiated the "Treaty of Amity and Commerce" in 1858, opening Japan to foreign influence and trade, under unequal conditions.
Tokugawa Nariaki
Yamaoka Tesshū, a famous samurai of the Bakumatsu period. He was later appointed as the chief of the Seieitai, an elite bodyguard for the 15th Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.
A colored Photochrom print version of a panorama of Edo (now Tokyo) showing daimyo residences. Following the end of the Shogunate in 1867, the daimyo residences in Edo (now Tokyo) were razed so that government, commercial and industrial buildings could be built in their place. The location from which the photographs were taken corresponds to Atago Shrine in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
The secret Imperial Order to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate (1867)
Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shōgun, c. 1867
Ebara Soroku, a samurai of the late Edo period who went on to become an educator and politician. He assisted in establishing the Numazu Military Academy after Boshin War.
The Royal Navy frigate HMS Phaeton demanded supplies while in Nagasaki harbour in 1808.
The American merchant ship Morrison of Charles W. King was repelled from Edo Bay in 1837.
Russians meeting Japanese in 1779.
{{transl|ja|Shōhei Maru}}
{{transl|ja|Asahi Maru}}
Odaiba battery at the entrance of Tokyo, built in 1853–54 to prevent an American intrusion.
Coastal wooden cannon built by the {{transl|ja|daimyō}} at the order of the {{transl|ja|bakufu}} for Commodore Perry's arrival.
{{nihongo|Nirayama|韮山}} reverberatory furnace in Izunokuni, Shizuoka built by Egawa Hidetatsu. Construction began in November 1853 and was completed in 1857; it operated until 1864.{{efn|A Dutch book entitled The Casting Processes at the National Iron Cannon Foundry in Luik ({{lang|nl|Het Gietwezen ins Rijks Iizer-Geschutgieterij, to Luik}}) written in 1826 by Huguenin Ulrich (1755–1833) was used as a reference to build the furnace. }}
One of the cannons of Odaiba, now at the Yasukuni Shrine. 80-pound bronze, bore: 250mm, length: 3830mm
thumb|upright|Marquess Kuroda Nagahiro of Fukuoka. Nagahiro (like his close relative, Shimazu Nariakira) was a serious proponent of technological modernization after Commodore Perry's arrival. He greatly encouraged learning amongst his retainers, and sent them to the best schools of Edo, Osaka, and Nagasaki to absorb the Western knowledge and technical expertise which was entering the country at the time.
The {{transl|ja|Kanrin Maru}}, Japan's first screw-driven steam warship, 1855.
The Nagasaki Naval Training Center, in Nagasaki, near Dejima.
The wreckage of Diana following the 1854 Ansei-Tōkai earthquake and tsunami, Illustrated London News, 1856.
View of Yokohama in 1859.
Foreign ships in Yokohama harbor.
A foreign trading house in Yokohama in 1861.
Allegory of inflation and soaring prices during the Bakumatsu era.
Attack on the British legation in Edo, July 1861.
Assassination of Tairō Ii Naosuke in the Sakuradamon incident (1860).
The members of the First Japanese Embassy to Europe (1862) visiting the 1862 International Exhibition in London, from the Illustrated London News.
An 1861 image expressing the Jōi ({{lang|ja|攘夷}}, "Expel the Barbarians") sentiment.
Japanese cannons shooting on Foreign shipping at Shimonoseki in 1863.
The USS Wyoming battling in the Shimonoseki Straits against the Choshu steam warships Daniel Webster (six guns), the brig Lanrick (Kosei, with ten guns), and the steamer Lancefield (Koshin, of four guns).
USS Wyoming sinking the Choshu steamer Lancefield.
Birds-eye view of the bombardment of Kagoshima by the Royal Navy, August 15, 1863. Le Monde Illustré.
Initial settlement between the Bakufu and the British.
The Bombardment of Shimonoseki, 1863–1864.
The French engagement at Shimonoseki, with the warships Tancrède and Semiramis, under Rear-Admiral Charles Jaurès. Le Monde illustré, October 10, 1863.
French Navy troops taking possession of Japanese cannons at Shimonoseki.
Guns of the Boshin War from top to bottom: a Snider, a Starr, a Gewehr.
Shogunal troops in 1864, Illustrated London News.

Between 1853 and 1867, Japan ended its isolationist foreign policy known as sakoku and changed from a feudal Tokugawa shogunate to the modern empire of the Meiji government.

A French political cartoon in 1898, China – the cake of Kings and Emperors, showing Britain, Germany, Russia, France and Japan dividing China.

Unequal treaty

A French political cartoon in 1898, China – the cake of Kings and Emperors, showing Britain, Germany, Russia, France and Japan dividing China.
The Eight-Nation Alliance inside the Chinese imperial palace, the Forbidden City, during a celebration ceremony after the signing of the Boxer Protocol, 1901.

Unequal treaty is the name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed during the 19th and early 20th centuries, between China (mostly referring to the Qing dynasty) and various European powers, such as the British Empire, France, the German Empire, and the Russian Empire, as well as Japan and the United States.

Chōshū Domain

Domain (han) of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1600 to 1871.

Domain (han) of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1600 to 1871.

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Nagato Province highlighted
The Chōshū Kiheitai fought against the shogunate in the Second Chōshū expedition and the Boshin War.
Mōri Takachika
Hagi Castle, the seat of the Mōri Lords of Chōshū

The Chōshū Domain was the most prominent anti-Tokugawa domain and formed the Satchō Alliance with the rival Satsuma Domain during the Meiji Restoration, becoming instrumental in the establishment of the Empire of Japan and the Meiji oligarchy.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930

World War II

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930
Adolf Hitler at a German Nazi political rally in Nuremberg, August 1933
Benito Mussolini inspecting troops during the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935
The bombing of Guernica in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, sparked fears abroad in Europe that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties.
Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Red Army artillery unit during the Battle of Lake Khasan, 1938
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured just before signing the Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938
German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, after signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 23 August 1939
Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht tearing down the border crossing into Poland, 1 September 1939
Soldiers of the Polish Army during the defence of Poland, September 1939
Finnish machine gun nest aimed at Soviet Red Army positions during the Winter War, February 1940
German advance into Belgium and Northern France, 10 May-4 June 1940, swept past the Maginot Line (shown in dark red)
London seen from St. Paul's Cathedral after the German Blitz, 29 December 1940
Soldiers of the British Commonwealth forces from the Australian Army's 9th Division during the Siege of Tobruk; North African Campaign, September 1941
German Panzer III of the Afrika Korps advancing across the North African desert, April-May 1941
European theatre of World War II animation map, 1939–1945 – Red: Western Allies and the Soviet Union after 1941; Green: Soviet Union before 1941; Blue: Axis powers
German soldiers during the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis powers, 1941
Soviet civilians leaving destroyed houses after a German bombardment during the Battle of Leningrad, 10 December 1942
Japanese soldiers entering Hong Kong, 8 December 1941
The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a total loss in the Japanese surprise air attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7 December 1941.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill seated at the Casablanca Conference, January 1943
Map of Japanese military advances through mid-1942
US Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in the Pacific theatre, 1942
Red Army soldiers on the counterattack during the Battle of Stalingrad, February 1943
American 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombing raid on the Focke-Wulf factory in Germany, 9 October 1943
U.S. Navy SBD-5 scout plane flying patrol over USS Washington (BB-56) and USS Lexington (CV-16) during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, 1943
Red Army troops in a counter-offensive on German positions at the Battle of Kursk, July 1943
Ruins of the Benedictine monastery, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italian Campaign, May 1944
American troops approaching Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944
German SS soldiers from the Dirlewanger Brigade, tasked with suppressing the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation, August 1944
General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte, 20 October 1944
Yalta Conference held in February 1945, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin
Ruins of the Reichstag in Berlin, 3 June 1945.
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.
Ruins of Warsaw in 1945, after the deliberate destruction of the city by the occupying German forces
Defendants at the Nuremberg trials, where the Allied forces prosecuted prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany for crimes against humanity
Post-war border changes in Central Europe and creation of the Communist Eastern Bloc
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the Independence Hall, 14 May 1948
World War II deaths
Bodies of Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre in December 1937
Schutzstaffel (SS) female camp guards removing prisoners' bodies from lorries and carrying them to a mass grave, inside the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945
Prisoner identity photograph taken by the German SS of a Polish Catholic girl who died in Auschwitz. Approximately 230,000 children were held prisoner and used in forced labour and Nazi medical experiments.
Polish civilians wearing blindfolds photographed just before their execution by German soldiers in Palmiry forest, 1940
Soviet partisans hanged by the German army. The Russian Academy of Sciences reported in 1995 civilian victims in the Soviet Union at German hands totalled 13.7 million dead, twenty percent of the 68 million persons in the occupied Soviet Union.
B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers on the Boeing assembly line in Wichita, Kansas, 1944
A V-2 rocket launched from a fixed site in Peenemünde, 21 June 1943
Nuclear Gadget being raised to the top of the detonation "shot tower", at Alamogordo Bombing Range; Trinity nuclear test, New Mexico, July 1945

From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan (along with other countries later on).

On the far left is Ito Hirobumi of Choshu Domain, and on the far right is Okubo Toshimichi of Satsuma Domain. The two young men in the middle are the sons of the Satsuma clan daimyo. These young samurai contributed to the resignation of the Tokugawa shogunate to restore imperial rule.

Meiji Restoration

Political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji.

Political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji.

On the far left is Ito Hirobumi of Choshu Domain, and on the far right is Okubo Toshimichi of Satsuma Domain. The two young men in the middle are the sons of the Satsuma clan daimyo. These young samurai contributed to the resignation of the Tokugawa shogunate to restore imperial rule.
A teenage Emperor Meiji with foreign representatives at the end of the Boshin War, 1868–1870.
The Tokyo Koishikawa Arsenal was established in 1871.
Allegory of the New fighting the Old, in early Japan Meiji, around 1870

The ideal of samurai military spirit lived on in romanticized form and was often used as propaganda during the early 20th-century wars of the Empire of Japan.

Satsuma Domain

Domain (han) of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1602 to 1871.

Domain (han) of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1602 to 1871.

Maximum extent of Satsuma Domain during the Sengoku period, 1586
Map of Japan, 1789—the Han system affected cartography
Maximum extent of Satsuma Domain during the Sengoku period, 1586
A 150-pound Satsuma cannon, cast in 1849. It was mounted on Fort Tenpozan at Kagoshima. Caliber: 290 mm, length: 4220 mm
Map showing southern Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands, 1781
A daguerreotype of Shimazu Nariakira
Saigō Takamori
Pavilion of the "Government of Satsuma" at the Exposition Universelle in 1867 in Paris
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The Satsuma Domain formed the Satchō Alliance with the rival Chōshū Domain during the Meiji Restoration and became instrumental in the establishment of the Empire of Japan.

Tokugawa shogunate

The military government of Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868.

The military government of Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868.

The mon of the Tokugawa clan. The Tokugawa shogunate (1600-1868) preserved 250 years of peace.
Edo Castle, 17th century
Dutch trading post in Dejima, c. 1805
Sakuradamon Gate of Edo Castle where Ii Naosuke was assassinated in 1860
Samurai of the Shimazu clan

The Empire of Japan was established under the Meiji government, and Tokugawa loyalists continued to fight in the Boshin War until the defeat of the Republic of Ezo at the Battle of Hakodate in June 1869.

Government of Meiji Japan

The government that was formed by politicians of the Satsuma Domain and Chōshū Domain in the 1860s.

The government that was formed by politicians of the Satsuma Domain and Chōshū Domain in the 1860s.

The Meiji government was the early government of the Empire of Japan.

Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875)

Border changes in the Kurils

The Treaty of Saint Petersburg (樺太・千島交換条約; Петербургский договор) between the Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire was signed on 7 May 1875, and its ratifications exchanged at Tokyo on 22 August 1875.