Japan, a country made up of islands, has a very extensive history that goes along with it. Recorded Japanese history beings about A.D. 400. It is believed that Japan was created by the sun goddess, from whom the emperors descended. The first emperor was Jimmo, who supposedly ascended the throne in 660 B.C. There’re two main reasons for this report. To give people an overview of Japanese History, and what happened to make it what it has become. Also, to give a better understanding on what happened, and facts that led up to certain Japanese events.
In approximately A.D. 400, the Yamato clan, eventually based in Kyoto, managed to exact a control of the other family groups of central and western Japan. Korean contact introduced Buddhism to Japan. Through the 700’s, China greatly influenced Japan, and there was an imperial court set up much similar to that of China. The authority of the Imperial court in the ensuing centuries was undermined, and various family clans vied for control. During this time, warrior clans were rising as a distinct clan known as samurai. In 1192, the Minamoto clan set up a military government under Yoritomo, their leader. Yoritomo was designated shogun (a military dictator). For the next 700 years, shoguns from different clans ruled in Japan, and the imperial court existed in relative obscurity.
In about 1542, Japan had its first encounter with the Western World. An off course Portuguese ship arrived in Japanese waters. Soon after, Spanish, Dutch, and English traders followed. From Christianity, and the Portuguese support of a Japanese revolt, the shoguns of the Tokugawa period (1603-1867), cut off all trade with the foreign countries, only allowing the Dutch trading post at Nagasaki. The western countries tried to renew the trading, but failed up until 1853. In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry, from America, sailed a fleet of American ships into Tokyo Bay. Trade was forced upon Japan, under terms not favorable to the Japanese. Struggles caused by these actions brought the shogun rule to an end. Emperor Meiji came to the throne in 1868
In 1889, an Imperial army was formed, and also a parliamentary government. The Japanese began to make steps to extend their empire. In 1894-95, there was a brief war between Japan and China. Japan gained Taiwan (Formosa), the Pescadores Islands, and part of southern Manchuria. China also recognized the independence of Korea, which Japan annexed in 1910.
During the Russo-Japanese war, Japan became the first Asian power in modern times to defeat a European power. The war started from a rivalry for dominance in Korea and Manchuria. On Feb. 8, 1904, the war officially began. The main Japanese fleet launched a surprise attack and siege on the Russian naval squadron at Port Arthur. The Japanese won the war, and were given the Kwantung peninsula, Port Arthur, and the southern part of Sakkalin Island up to the 50th parallel. Victory cost the Japanese 699 officers and sailors, and defeat cost the Russian 5,045 sailors, and 6,106 were taken prisoners.
On Nov. 25, 1936, Japan joined the Axis Power, and sided with Germany. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Japan won its first military engagements during the war, extending its power over a large area of the pacific. After 1942, Japan was forced to retreat to their own country. The dropping of atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the United State finally brought the government to admit defeat.
In comparison to the United States, Japan is very different. Japan is a very old country, with a very long history, while the United States in only two hundred and twenty-four years old. There is not as much history to the United States as there is to Japan. In the past, Japan had a very different government then the United States every had, and fought it’s wars differently. Japan and the United States are two different countries that come from two totally different parts of the world. The history will always be different, and will only intertwine in a few places, like World War ll, and when Commodore Perry forced trade upon Japan