Japan's history-compacted into three pages

Essay by packchris88Junior High, 7th gradeA+, April 2004

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Who was Japan founded by? How was Hirohito important? What did Emperor Meiji do for Japan? How was Japan involved in WWI and WWII? What other wars did Japan fight in? These questions and most others you might have about Japan's history will be answered in the following paragraphs.

Traditional Japanese legend states that Japan was founded in 600 B.C. by a direct descendent from the sun goddess and ancestor of the present ruling imperial family Emperor Jimmu. Around A.D. 405, the Japanese officially adopted the Chinese writing system. During the sixth century Buddhism was introduced, which you'll learn more about in the culture section of this report. The first fixed capital was Nara, set in 710 until Kyoto became the capital in 1867. The emperors of the Yamato dynasty were the supposed rulers, the power was actually held by powerful court nobles, regents, or shogun which means military leaders.

This country first came in contact with the west when a Portuguese ship accidentally landed in Japan in about 1542. Traders from Portugal, the Netherlands, England and Spain arrived during the next century, as did Jesuit, Dominican, and Franciscan missionaries. During the early part of the 17th century Japanese military leaders suspected that the traders and missionaries were actually forerunners of a military conquest by European powers. This caused the military leaders to place foreigners under tighter restrictions. Japan ultimately forced all foreigners to leave and barred all relations with the outside world except for severely restricted commercial contacts with Dutch and Chinese merchants at Nagasaki. This isolation lasted over 200 years until Commodore Perry from the U. S. forced the opening of Japan to the west in 1854. Contact with the west altered Japanese society. The military leaders were forced to resign. The emperor was restored power and the...