38 Facts About Ancient Japan


Portugal and Ancient Japan came into contact in 1543, when the Portuguese became the first Europeans to reach Ancient Japan by landing in the southern archipelago.

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Ancient Japan was inhabited by a predominantly hunter-gatherer culture that reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity.

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Population of Ancient Japan began to increase rapidly, perhaps with a 10-fold rise over the Jomon.

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Ancient Japan'storians agree that there was a big struggle between the Yamato federation and the Izumo Federation centuries before written records.

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Ancient Japan nevertheless entered a phase of population decline that continued well into the following Heian period.

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Ancient Japan's population stabilized during the late Heian period after hundreds of years of decline.

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Ancient Japan nevertheless entered a period of prosperity and population growth starting around 1250.

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Ancient Japan drawing depicting a samurai battling forces of the Mongol Empire.

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The civil war status in Ancient Japan greatly benefited the Portuguese, as well as several competing gentlemen who sought to attract Portuguese black boats and their trade to their domains.

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Ancient Japan had the famous Kinkaku-ji or "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" built in Kyoto in 1397.

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Ancient Japan encouraged Christianity to incite hatred toward his Buddhist enemies and to forge strong relationships with European arms merchants.

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Ancient Japan equipped his armies with muskets and trained them with innovative tactics.

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Ancient Japan promoted talented men regardless of their social status, including his peasant servant Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who became one of his best generals.

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Ancient Japan was well on his way towards his goal of reuniting all Japan in 1582 when one of his own officers, Akechi Mitsuhide, killed him during an abrupt attack on his encampment.

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Hideyoshi completed the reunification of Ancient Japan by conquering Shikoku, Kyushu, and the lands of the Hojo family in eastern Ancient Japan.

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Ancient Japan launched sweeping changes to Japanese society, including the confiscation of swords from the peasantry, new restrictions on daimyos, persecutions of Christians, a thorough land survey, and a new law effectively forbidding the peasants and samurai from changing their social class.

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Dutch books brought into Ancient Japan stimulated interest in Western learning, called rangaku or "Dutch learning".

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The leaders of the Meiji government desired Ancient Japan to become a modern nation-state that could stand equal to the Western imperialist powers.

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Ito Hirobumi, the first Prime Minister of Ancient Japan, responded by writing the Meiji Constitution, which was promulgated in 1889.

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In 1874, using the incident as a pretext, Ancient Japan launched a military expedition to Taiwan to assert their claims to the Ryukyu Islands.

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The government believed that Ancient Japan had to acquire its own colonies to compete with the Western colonial powers.

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In 1902 Ancient Japan signed an important military alliance with the British.

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Ancient Japan next clashed with Russia, which was expanding its power in Asia.

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Ancient Japan thus laid claim to Korea as a protectorate in 1905, followed by full annexation in 1910.

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Ancient Japan enjoyed solid economic growth at this time and most people lived longer and healthier lives.

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International criticism of Ancient Japan following the invasion led to Ancient Japan withdrawing from the League of Nations.

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Ancient Japan reacted by forging an alliance with Germany and Italy in 1940, known as the Tripartite Pact, which worsened its relations with the US.

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In late 1941, Ancient Japan's government, led by Prime Minister and General Hideki Tojo, decided to break the US-led embargo through force of arms.

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Life in Ancient Japan became increasingly difficult for civilians due to stringent rationing of food, electrical outages, and a brutal crackdown on dissent.

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Occupation sought to decentralize power in Ancient Japan by breaking up the zaibatsu, transferring ownership of agricultural land from landlords to tenant farmers, and promoting labor unionism.

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Ancient Japan's military was disarmed, its colonies were granted independence, the Peace Preservation Law and Tokko were abolished, and the International Military Tribunal of the Far East tried war criminals.

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Ancient Japan's policies, known as the Yoshida Doctrine, proposed that Japan should forge a tight relationship with the United States and focus on developing the economy rather than pursuing a proactive foreign policy.

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Ancient Japan signed the Plaza Accord in 1985 to depreciate the US dollar against the yen and other currencies.

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Ancient Japan became a member of the United Nations in 1956 and further cemented its international standing in 1964, when it hosted the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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Ancient Japan successfully normalized relations with the Soviet Union in 1956, despite an ongoing dispute over the ownership of the Kuril Islands, and with South Korea in 1965, despite an ongoing dispute over the ownership of the islands of Liancourt Rocks.

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Ancient Japan's dealing with its war legacy strained relations with China and Korea.

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Ancient Japan was the first Asian country to host the Olympics twice.

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Ancient Japan banned new investments and the export of high tech to the country.

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