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 Kumamoto
Blogs from Kumamoto
Latest Blogs from Kumamoto
- February 25th 2013 A bit of Kumamoto castle park
by Words: 14 Photos: 4
- February 15th 2013 Aso volcano
by Words: 300 Photos: 53
- February 10th 2013 Kyushu #2: Aso Crater, Kurokawa Onsen Village and Fukuoka
by Words: 1149 Photos: 48
- February 8th 2013 Kyushu #1: Kumamoto
by Words: 1432 Photos: 30
- July 28th 2012 5 Days in Kyushu
by Words: 286 Photos: 2
- May 11th 2012 Dolphin watching in Amakusa
by Words: 63 Photos: 29
- March 28th 2012 place in my dream...
by Words: 401 Photos: 12
- March 25th 2012 kumamoto and best gyoza ever
by Words: 290 Photos: 13
- March 23rd 2012 Buried Alive in Kyushu Province Japan
by Words: 1366 Photos: 48
- March 18th 2011 Photo Collection 15: Mt. Aso Tour in Kyusyu
by Words: 63 Photos: 5
- March 26th 2010 A short visit to Mt. Aso
by Words: 210 Photos: 5
- July 6th 2009 Less Than a Month
by Words: 1029 Photos: 12
- June 2nd 2009 2 Months
by Words: 1590 Photos: 0
- April 5th 2009 Hiroshima, Tokyo and the New Guys
by Words: 1489 Photos: 21
- February 8th 2009 Bored.
by Words: 912 Photos: 13
- January 14th 2009 Been a Long Time Comin'
by Words: 507 Photos: 12
- December 31st 2008 Kyūshū: volcanos and hot-springs.
by Words: 2365 Photos: 13
- November 11th 2008 Lulz
by Words: 1022 Photos: 20
- October 24th 2008 Turning Japanese, we think we're turning Japanese, we really think so!!!
by Words: 1222 Photos: 101
- September 29th 2008 Oops.
by Words: 1329 Photos: 12