Japan is in the far east continent ofAsia, it is considered and archipelago that consist of four main islandsHokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and over 1,000 smaller islands. Japan covers377,835 square kilometers of land surrounded by 13,430 square kilometers ofwater and is mostly covered with mountains, the largest being Mount Fuji. Thepopulation of Japan is 127 million according to the World Bank census in 2016,The Jomon people survived for thousands of years when finally, the Yayoiculture surpassed the Jomon culture and migrated to Japan in 100 B.
C. fromcontinental Asia importing rice, metals, language and religion. The Yayoipeople were primarily farmers and gradually moved north to Kyushu and created asociety. Once the Yayoi people had settled theofficial religion became Shintoism which means ‘The Way of The Gods.’ Followersof Shintoism believe in spiritual powers that exist within the natural world.Nearly 500 years later Buddhism was introduced, and the Sun Dynasty ascended tothe throne.
Japan is the oldest country to continue monarchy in the world,although the Emperor essentially has no power and the country is a liberaldemocracy. Emperor Akihito’s family has ruled for nearly 2,000 years and wasthe first to step down in 200 years due to his declining health in 2016. InJapanese culture Emperors symbolize tradition and unity dating back to 600 B.C.
Legend says that the first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, is a descendant ofthe sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami.In 1543 the first Europeans arrived at thesouthern tip of Japan, ushering Portuguese firearms and Christianity. Japanclosed its doors to the outside world in 1635 and forbade its people to travelabroad for 200 years, Tokugawa Iemitsu implemented an anti-Christian,antiforeigner policy after the Spanish conquered the Philippines and theloyalty of the Westerns was now questioned. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the mostpowerful man of Japan after Hideyoshi died in 1598. In 1600 Ieyasu defeated Hideyoriloyalists and other western rivals. This granted him almost unlimited power andwealth.
In 1603 the emperor granted Ieyasu Shogun, thus establishing hisgovernment in Edo, which is modern day Tokyo. The Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japanfor the next 250 years. This was known as the Edo Period.The samurai which are also known as”bushi” were warriors of premodern Japan.
In 1192 Minamoto Yoritomo emergedvictorious in a battle for supremacy against the central government of Japan.Thus leading Yoritomo to set up a new military government led by the shogun.This lead the Samurai to rule Japan for the next 700 years. From 1603-1867 wasthe Edo Period and the samurai were the highest ranking social caste. The samuraiused different kinds of weapons but their main weapon was as sword which wasalso their symbol. These warriors were suppose to lead their lives according tothe code of bushido which meant ” the way of the warrior”.
These were peoplethat were very loyal to their master but as well were self disciplined andrespectful. Another type of Japanese warrior was theNinja. These warriors specialized inunconventional warfare such as infiltration, sabotage and assassination duringthe age of the samurai. Ninjas were known as “Shinobi” which means “those whoact in stealth”.
As early as the 11th century people of the Iga andKoka gained a reputation for their skills in unconventional warfare.in the 15thand 16th centuries, the age of the warring states, many warlordshired the ninja of the Iga and Koka as mercenaries. The 15th and 16thcenturies were the era that the ninja flourished and was the most popular.
Works Cited· “EdoPeriod (1603 – 1867).” JapaneseHistory: Edo Period, www.japan-guide.
com/e/e2128.html.· “Samurai.” Samurai – Japanese Warriors,www.
japan-guide.com/e/e2127.html.· “Ninja.” Ninja, www.japan-guide.com/e/e2295.html.
· Pod666, Dreamstime Photograph by, et al. “Japan.” Kids’ Games, Animals, Photos, Stories, and More, 21 Mar. 2014,kids.
nationalgeographic.com/explore/countries/japan/#japan-gardens.jpg.· “Population, Total.” Population, Total | Data, 2017, data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.
POP.TOTL.· “Asia/.” World Atlas – Japan, 7 Apr. 2017, www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/asia/japan/jptimeln.htm.·