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Japanese Dynasties

The Japanese Empire, which is broken down between Kyujitai and Shinjitai were from the Meiju Restoration to the end of the Second World War.  From a political standpoint, this empire stretches over a period of the enforces establishment of prefectures in place of fighting domains in 1871, all the way through the time Japan was expanded from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean, or 1945 at which time Japan formally surrendered.  During this time, the Instrument of Surrender was signed.

Now, when talking about Japanese dynasties, you need to look at the names of Japanese Empire and Imperial Empire as one and the same.  Because of this, we see many people refer to the empire as the Empire of Great Japan.  However, the country of Japan has been called the Empire of Japan since the fighting anti-shogunate domains of Choshu and Satsuma, which were formed as the foundation of a new government, with the goal of creating Japan an empire.

Even so, the name of Empire of Japan was not officially used until the 1889 Constitution of the Empire of Japan.  Then in 1936, the proper title of the country became legal.  In the meantime, names such as Nippon, which translates to Japan, Dai-Nippon, or Great Japan, Dai-Nippon/Nihon Kohu, and Nation of Great Japan Nihon Teikoku, meaning Empire of Japan were all at one time official names.

Then in 1946, one year after the ending of the war, the country of Japan was restructured.  At this time, the name was again revised, this time to Nihon Koku or The State of Japan.  Just like other countries, during the Great Depression, Japan turned to Fascism, a unique political form.  However, unlike the antics of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, Japan structured its country with two primary economic goals to help develop a powerful and respectful empire.

The first included a tightly controlled and domestic military industry, which actually help get the country’s economy moving in the right direction during the worst part of the depression.  With a lack of natural resources, Japan had to import certain raw materials to include coal, iron, and oil, much coming from the United States.  Therefore, to stick with the military/industrial plan, along with overall industrial growth, the Japanese believed resource rich colonies were required to compete with the power of Europe and Korea.

When Manchuria was invaded and conquered in 1931, Japan did not do much to liberate them from the Chinese.  Just as with Korea, Japan installed Puvi as the official head of state.  Then, Jehol, which is a Chinese territory that borders Manchuria were controlled in 1933.  Japan went on to invade China in 1937, which was the start of the war between Japan, Jiang Jieshi’s nationalists, and Mao Zedong’s communists.  Finally, prior to the Chinese invasion, Japan signed an anticommunism treaty with Germany in 1936 and then with Italy the following year.

The dynasties of Japan are broken down specific by period, as you will from the information listed below:

Asuka Period

  • Suiko – 593 to 628
  • Hakuho era – 674 to 685

Nara Period

  • Tempyo era – 729 to 784

 Early Heian

  • Konin era – 810 to 823
  • Jogan era – 859 to 876

Middle and Late Heian

  • Fugiwara Period – 898 to 1185

Kamakura Period

  • 1185 to 1333

Muromachi (Ashikaga) Period

  • Nambokucho (north and south Schism) - 1336 to 1393

Edo (Tokagawa) Period

  • 1615 to 1867

Meiji Restoration

  • 1867 to 1911


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