History of Japan

feudal JapanJapanese historyJapanhistoryancient Japanmedieval JapanJapanesefeudal eraJapan's historyclassical Japan
The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times.wikipedia
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Jōmon period

JōmonJōmon-periodJōmon people
The Jōmon period, named after its "cord-marked" pottery, was followed by the Yayoi in the first millennium BC when new technologies were introduced from continental Asia.
The Jōmon period is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c.

Heian period

Japan (Heian period)HeianHeian-period
In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto), marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185.
The Heian period is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185.


During this period, the first known written reference to Japan was recorded in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century AD. Between the fourth century and the ninth century, Japan's many kingdoms and tribes gradually came to be unified under a centralized government, nominally controlled by the Emperor.
The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history.


Over the following centuries, the power of the Emperor and the imperial court gradually declined and passed to the military clans and their armies of samurai warriors.
Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan.

Muromachi period

Japan (Muromachi period)MuromachiJapan (Muromach period)
In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period.
The Muromachi period is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573.

Sengoku period

Japan (Sengoku period)SengokuWarring States period
Eventually, Japan descended into a period of civil war.
The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict.


KyōtoKyoto, JapanKyoto City
In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto), marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185.
The new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the then Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history.

Edo period

The Tokugawa shogunate, which governed from Edo (modern Tokyo), presided over a prosperous and peaceful era known as the Edo period (1600–1868).
The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō.

Mongol invasions of Japan

Mongol invasionsinvasions of JapanMongol invasion of Japan
In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period.
Ultimately a failure, the invasion attempts are of macro-historical importance because they set a limit on Mongol expansion and rank as nation-defining events in the history of Japan.

Taishō period

TaishōTaishō democracyTaisho Era
Although democracy developed and modern civilian culture prospered during the Taishō period (1912–26), Japan's powerful military had great autonomy and overruled Japan's civilian leaders in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Taishō period, or Taishō era, is a period in the history of Japan dating from 30 July 1912, to 25 December 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō.

Culture of Japan

Japanese cultureJapaneseculture
The Heian period is considered a golden age of classical Japanese culture.
The Japanese "national character" has been written about under the term Nihonjinron, literally meaning "theories/discussions about the Japanese people" and referring to texts on matters that are normally the concerns of sociology, psychology, history, linguistics, and philosophy, but emphasizing the authors' assumptions or perceptions of Japanese exceptionalism; these are predominantly written in Japan by Japanese people, though noted examples have also been written by foreign residents, journalists and even scholars.


After seizing power, Yoritomo set up his capital in Kamakura and took the title of shōgun.
Shōgun is the short form of Sei-i Taishōgun, the individual governing the country at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to Emperor Meiji in 1867.

Kofun period

KofunJapanancient Japan
The Kofun period is an era in the history of Japan from about 300 to 538 AD, following the Yayoi period.

Asuka period

AsukaJapanAsuka Japanese
The Asuka period was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 (or 592 to 645), although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period.

Nara period

The Nara period of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794.

Kamakura period

Japan (Kamakura period)KamakuraKamakura-period
The Kamakura period is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shōgun, Minamoto no Yoritomo.

Nanboku-chō period

Era of Northern and Southern CourtsJapan (Nanboku-chō period)Nanboku-chō
The Nanboku-chō period, spanning from 1336 to 1392, was a period that occurred during the formative years of the Muromachi bakufu of Japanese history.

Post-occupation Japan

postwar Japanpost-war Japanpost-war
Post-occupation Japan is the period in Japanese history which started after the Allied occupation of Japan and ended in 1952.

Yamato Province

YamatoYamato plainYamato region
The center of the unified state was Yamato in the Kinai region of central Japan.
The Yamato Period in the history of Japan refers to the late Kofun Period (c. 250–538) and Asuka Period (538–710).


Haniwa funerary objects
The kofun were often surrounded by and filled with numerous haniwa clay sculptures, often in the shape of warriors and horses.
The Haniwa are terracotta clay figures that were made for ritual use and buried with the dead as funerary objects during the Kofun period (3rd to 6th centuries AD) of the history of Japan.

Nihon Shoki

Nihongieight emperors without specific legends associated with them
During this period, the first two books produced in Japan appeared: the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, which contain chronicles of legendary accounts of early Japan and its creation myth, which describes the imperial line as descendants of the gods.
The Nihon Shoki, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history.

Tang dynasty

TangTang ChinaTang Empire
In 710, the government constructed a grandiose new capital at Heijō-kyō (modern Nara) modeled on Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang dynasty.
Besides political hegemony, the Tang also exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea.


burial moundsburial moundburial tumuli
The symbol of the growing power of Japan's new leaders was the kofun burial mounds they constructed from around 250 onwards.
Many Kofun have distinctive keyhole-shaped mounds, which are unique to ancient Japan.

Twelve Level Cap and Rank System

Cap and Rank System
Shōtoku authored the Seventeen-article constitution, a Confucian-inspired code of conduct for officials and citizens, and attempted to introduce a merit-based civil service called the Cap and Rank System.
The Twelve Level Cap and Rank System, established in 603, was the first of what would be several similar cap and rank systems established during the Asuka period of Japanese history.

Taira clan

Two powerful noble families that had descended from branches of the imperial family, the Taira and Minamoto clans, acquired large armies and many shōen outside the capital.
In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian period to certain ex-members of the imperial family when they became subjects.