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Japan History Timeline

Japan's Information

Flag of Japan
Land Area 364,485 km2
Water Area 13,430 km2
Total Area 377,915km2 (#61)
Population 126,702,133 (#10)
Population Density 347.62/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
GDP (PPP) $4,930.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $38,900
Currency Yen (JPY)
More Information Japan
Largest Cities
100 BC - 800
  • (100 BC) Yayoi migrated to Japan, imported rice, and iron, brought new language and religion
  • (0 AD) Shintoism became national religion
  • (250) Shintoist Shrine of Ise was built
  • (500) Japan adopted Chinese alphabet
  • (538) Buddhism was introduced
  • (550) Sun Dynasty ascended to throne, capital moved to Asuka Valley in central Yamato Plain
  • (593) Prince Shotoku became regent
  • (645) Kotoku became emperor
  • (710) Capital moved from Asuka to Nara
  • (724) Shomu became Emperor
  • (741) Emperor Shomu established provincial temples
  • (781) Kammu became Emperor
  • (794) Heian-kyo (Kyoto) became capital
1100 - 1600
  • (1181) Famine killed hundreds of thousands
  • (1192) Minamoto Yoritomo appointed Shogun, led government which became known as Shogunate
  • (1274) Mongols attempted an invasion, failed
  • (1281) Mongols again attempted invasion and failed
  • (1467) Civil war between feudal lords spread
  • (1542) Portuguese introduced firearms
1600 - 1800
  • (1603) Tokugawa Ieyasu named shogun, established Edo (Tokyo) shogunate
  • (1603) Tokugawa Shogunate divided population into classes, based on importance: lords, samurai, farmers, artisans, merchants
  • (1605) Ieyasu abdicated from office in favor of son and heir Tokugawa Hidetada
  • (1614) Christianity was banned
  • (1635) In Sakoku Edict of 1635, Japanese were restricted from traveling abroad, Europeans were not allowed entry into the country, penalties for practicing Catholicism were instituted and foreign trade was restricted
  • (1638) Shipbuilding was forbidden
  • (1641) The only foreigners allowed into Japan were the Chinese and Dutch
  • (1707) Mount Fuji erupted, ashes were spread as far as 60 miles (100 km) away
  • (1790) Neo-Confucianism became official philosophy
1800s
  • (1820) China and Japan accounted for approximately half of the world's GDP
  • (1853) U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Uraga, demanded that Japan open up to trade
  • (1854) Japan and U.S. signed Treaty of Peace and Amity, two ports were opened for trade
  • (1855) Russia, Japan established diplomatic relations
  • (1862) Four British citizens were attacked and one killed, by guards on the Tokaido Road for not paying proper respect to a lord
  • (1864) British, French, Dutch, American warships bombed Choshu, forced Japan to open more ports for foreign trade
  • (1889) Constitution of Empire of Japan adopted
  • (1867) Edo shogunate failed
  • (1868) Meiji Emperor took over, major changes occurred in political and social systems
  • (1868) Edo renamed Tokyo
  • (1872) Railway built between Tokyo and Yokohama
  • (1873) Religious freedom was granted, Gregorian calendar adopted
  • (1894) Japan and China went to war, Japan declared victory in nine months
  • (1895) China ceded Taiwan to Japan, allowed trading
1900s
  • (1904) Japan went to war with Russia
  • (1910) Japan annexed Korea
  • (1912) Emperor Meiji died
  • (1914) Japan joined Britain and its allies in World War I
  • (1923) Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed Tokyo and Yokohama, more than 140,000 people killed
  • (1925) Universal male suffrage was introduced, number of voters increased from three to 12 million
  • (1926) Hirohito became emperor
  • (1927) Economy collapsed, Japan plunged into depression
  • (1931) Japan conquered Manchuria, renamed it, installed new puppet regime
  • (1932) Prime minister was assassinated by ultra-nationalist terrorists
  • (1936) Anti-Communist agreement signed with Germany
  • (1937) Anti-Communist agreement signed with Italy
  • (1937) Japan launched invasion of China
  • (1937) Japan captured Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing
  • (1937) Japanese forces committed major atrocities, including killing of 300,000 Chinese civilians
  • (1940) Japan became allies of Germany and Italy in World War II
  • (1941) Japan launched surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii, sunk 12 ships, damaged nine, nearly 2,500 people killed
  • (1941) U. S. and its allies declared war on Japan
  • (1942) Japan occupied Burma, Philippines, Dutch East Indies, Malaya
  • (1942) U.S. cut off Japanese support lines
  • (1945) U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

Japan Trivia

What is the Biggest City in Japan?

Tokyo is the largest city in Japan.

10 Biggest Cities In Japan

What Kind of Animals Live in Japan?

Some of the animals that are native to Japan include the red-crowned crane, the steller's sea lion, the Japanese pond turtle, the green pheasant, and the sika deer.

Animals Native to Japan

What Languages Are Spoken in Japan?

Japanese is the official language used in the country and is also the primary language in the country with over 125 million speakers. Besides the Japanese language, the other widely used language in Japan is the Ryukyuan language.

What Languages Are Spoken In Japan?

What type of economy does Japan have?

Japan is the second most advanced economy in the world, the third largest by nominal GDP, and the 4th by PPP. The country is one of the world’s most innovative economies having the largest electronic goods industry and patent filings. Japan is also the world’s biggest creditor with the leading public debt ratio.

The Economy Of Japan

What is the Largest Ethnic Group in Japan?

Japan has one of the most culturally homogeneous major societies on earth, dominated by the Yamato people. Around 123 million people in Japan identify as Yamato Japanese.

Ethnic Groups And Nationalities In Japan

What Was the Japanese Economic Miracle?

The Japanese Economic Miracle refers to the dramatic growth of the Japanese economy after World War II and till the end of the Cold War.

What Was The Japanese Economic Miracle?

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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Japan prefectures & their capitals

Region Capital
Aichi Nagoya-shi
Akita Akita Shi
Aomori Aomori Shi
Chiba Chiba
Ehime Matsuyama
Fukui Fukui-shi
Fukuoka Fukuoka-shi
Fukushima Fukushima-shi
Gifu Gifu-shi
Gunma Maebashi-shi
Hiroshima Hiroshima-shi
Hokkaido Sapporo
Hyogo Kobe
Ibaraki Mito-shi
Ishikawa Kanazawa-shi
Iwate Morioka-shi
Kagawa Takamatsu-shi
Kagoshima Kagoshima-shi
Kanagawa Yokohama
Kochi Kochi-shi
Kumamoto Kumamoto
Kyoto Kyoto
Mie Tsu-shi
Miyagi Sendai-shi
Miyazaki Miyazaki-shi
Nagano Nagano-shi
Nagasaki Nagasaki-shi
Nara Nara-shi
Niigata Niigata-shi
Oita Oita
Okayama Okayama-shi
Okinawa Naha-shi
Osaka Osaka-shi
Saga Saga-shi
Saitama Saitama
Shiga Otsu-shi
Shimane Matsue-shi
Shizuoka Shizuoka-shi
Tochigi Utsunomiya-shi
Tokushima Tokushima-shi
Tokyo Tokyo
Tottori Tottori
Toyama Toyama-shi
Wakayama Wakayama-shi
Yamagata Yamagata-shi
Yamaguchi Yamaguchi-shi
Yamanashi Kofu-shi

Countries of Asia