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The history of Japan and its people gives you background so you can understand what records are available for certain time periods.

History

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south. Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands.

From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma and the Empire of Japan was established.

Japan benefits from a highly skilled and educated workforce; it has among the world's largest proportion of citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Japan is a highly developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate.
Wikipedia - Japan

Timeline

1603 - 1868 The isolationist closed country policy spanned two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period
1852 — 1945 Records called Enshrined Patriots’ Lists were kept of the soldiers who gave their lives in battles during these years
1854 - Commodore Matthew Perry and the Black Ships of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa
1904 – 1905 Japan gained control of Taiwan, Korea and the southern half of Sakhalin
1931 - Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria
1937 - 1945 The Empire of Japan invaded other parts of China, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War
1941 - Japanese forces carried out surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor
1945 - Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender but the war cost Japan, its colonies, China and the war's other combatants tens of millions of lives

Online Histories


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