Background: In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For 250 years this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the United States in 1854, Japan opened its ports and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1933 Japan occupied Manchuria and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally. In 2005, Japan began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Photos from Fukuoka
Blogs from Fukuoka
Latest Blogs from Fukuoka
- January 20th 2014 Hakata, Fukuoka, South West Japan
by Words: 138 Photos: 0
- November 25th 2013 Fukuoka
by Words: 345 Photos: 0
- November 25th 2013 Studio Ghibli Exhibition
by Words: 117 Photos: 0
- February 11th 2013 Kyushu #3: Fukuoka and Dazaifu Shrine
by Words: 1179 Photos: 51
- January 9th 2013 Fukuoka, Japan
by Words: 567 Photos: 60
- September 6th 2012 Back to Japan!
by Words: 376 Photos: 156
- March 30th 2012 softbank hawks go go go!!!
by Words: 314 Photos: 10
- March 27th 2012 Cycling in Japan.
by Words: 314 Photos: 0
- March 21st 2012 Hakata ramen and other things...
by Words: 454 Photos: 6
- March 1st 2012 a "local" holiday
by Words: 309 Photos: 0
- April 6th 2011 Dag 3: Fukuoka
by Words: 775 Photos: 5
- April 5th 2011 Daaaaar zijn we dan - in Japan!
by Words: 98 Photos: 0
- February 11th 2011 A quick, impromptu trip to Fukuoka
by Words: 1512 Photos: 74
- January 3rd 2011 Prayers for Lasting Love and Fish Eggs: A Very Japanese New Year
by Words: 1146 Photos: 20
- December 2nd 2010 Visa run. Fukuoka,Japan
by Words: 149 Photos: 31
- September 18th 2010 Fukuoka
by Words: 594 Photos: 2
- August 15th 2010 Land Of The Rising Sun!
by Words: 794 Photos: 34
- March 20th 2010 Visa Run # 2
by Words: 2598 Photos: 0
- March 1st 2010 Visa Run # 1
by Words: 2358 Photos: 24
- February 1st 2010 A Rainy Weekend in Fukuoka, Japan: Part II
by Words: 974 Photos: 20