Japanese history is broken up into nine different periods (Early Japan, Naro and Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi, Azuchi-Momoyama, Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Early Showa, and the Postwar Period). During the Early Japan Period (until 710) was the foundation of the evolution of Japan. Things such as agriculture, the evolution of social classes, and powerful land owners began to come to use. Prince Shotoku played an extensive role in the usage of Chinese ideas in Japan. Prince Shotoku also wrote the Constitution of the Seventeen Articles about moral and political principles. In 645, a new government and and administrative system was adopted after the Chinese model.
In the Nara and Heian Periods (710-1185) the first capital of Japan, Nara, was established and modeled after the Chinese capital. During this period, the Chinese influence lessened and the Japanese influence flourished. The military class became more influential during this time. Taira Kiyomori was the leader of Japan—he ruled the country from 1168-1178. After Kiyomori’s death, Minamoto Yorimoto became the leader of Japan and established a new government in his home city Kamakura.
The Kamakura Period was when the Kamakura government was established.The Jokyu Disturbance ended a struggle between Kamakura and Kyoto which resulted in the supremacy of the Hojo regents in Kamakura. The Mongol invasion happened during this time. The Mongols tried to invade twice but it failed because of bad weather conditions.
The years 1338-1573 is also called as the Muromachi Period. The Kemmu Restoration occured during this time which is when the emperor restored power over Japan. In 1338, Ashikaga Takauji appointed himself as shogun and established his government in Kyoto. During the 15th and 16th centuries, political newcomers were families of military families. In 1542, the first Portugese traders arrived in Kyushu in which they introduced firearms and Christianity to Japan. Oda Nobunaga made the first steps toward unification by capturing Kyoto in 1568. The Muromachi bakuku failed in 1573.
The Azuchi-Momoyama Period consisted of a couple of different events. Oda Nobunaga was murdered by general Azuchi and general Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeated Azuchi and took over control. During his reign, he destroyed the many castles that were built throughout the country. He took weapons from farmers and religious institutions. He wanted it to be a clear distinction between the social classes. He also expelled Christian missionaries in 1587. In 1592, his armies invaded Korea. He died in 1598.
The Edo Period, the leader Tokugawa Ieysasu became the most powerful man after Hideyoshi. When he was appointed emperor and established his government in Tokyo. He made this period of history a peaceful one. He had gotten rid of the enemies and had really gotten Japan under control. He promoted things such as foreign trade but the persecution of Christianity increased. During this time, samurai taught themselves martial arts, literature, philosophy, etc. Ieysasu wanted to little to no interaction with countries outside of Japan. The Russians tried to establish trade contacts with Japan without success. In 1853, Commodore Perry forced the Tokugawa government to open limited trade ports. In 1867-1868, the Toguwaka government fell because because of the political pressure placed upon him.
The Meiji Period was from the year 1868-1912. Tokyo became the new capital after emperor Meiji was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo and Meiji was restored in 1868. Japan received its first European style constitution in 1889. Conflicts between China and Japan led to the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895. Emperor Meiji died in 1912.
A lot of things happened during the Militarism and WW2 Period. Under the power of emperor Taisho, the political power shifted from oligraphic clique to the parliament and the democratic parties. In WWI, Japan joined the allied powers. At the following Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Japan’s proposal of amending a “racial equality clause” to the covenant of the League of Nations was rejected by the United States, Britain and Australia. Arrogance and racial discrimination towards the Japanese had plagued Japanese-Western relations since the forced opening of the country in the 1800s, and were again a major factor for the deterioration of relations in the decades preceding World War II. In 1933, Japan withdrew from the League of Nations. In July 1937, the second Sino-Japanese War broke out. In December 1941, Japan attacked the Allied powers at Pearl Harbor and several other points throughout the Pacific. The turning point in the Pacific War was the battle of Midway in June 1942. From then on, the Allied forces slowly won back the territories occupied by Japan. In 1944, intensive air raids started over Japan. In spring 1945, US forces invaded Okinawa in one of the war’s bloodiest battles. On July 27, 1945, the Allied Powers requested Japan to surrender or destruction would continue. The Japanese military did not surrender which forced the U.S. military to drop two bombs Hiroshima and Nagaski on August 6th and 9th. The Soviet Union entered the war against Japan on August 8th. On August 18th, emperor Showa surrendered unconditionally.