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.
Blogs from Gion
Latest Blogs from Gion
- January 31st 2014 Kyoto - Palais Imperial et Gion "by night"
by Words: 213 Photos: 13
- October 3rd 2013 Kyoto and the Golden Temple
by Words: 186 Photos: 11
- August 8th 2013 I ate the head!
by Words: 614 Photos: 8
- November 9th 2012 Autumn leaves trip to Japan
by Words: 90 Photos: 3
- October 17th 2012 Fin de l'aventure Nippone... Kyoto
by Words: 20 Photos: 13
- July 8th 2012 PJ's blind moment
by Words: 314 Photos: 0
- July 8th 2012 Anti-histamine
by Words: 335 Photos: 2
- July 8th 2012 Tenryu-Ji - Arashiyama
by Words: 394 Photos: 2
- July 7th 2012 Kyoto
by Words: 255 Photos: 2
- July 6th 2012 Tremor vs Earthquake
by Words: 283 Photos: 2
- June 3rd 2012 Maiko makover
by Words: 504 Photos: 12
- April 23rd 2012 KYOTO :)
by Words: 878 Photos: 3
- April 11th 2012 Golden Pavilion and one magical night at Hiiragiya Ryokan
by Words: 1633 Photos: 22
- April 9th 2012 Kyoto, Japan
by Words: 11 Photos: 54
- April 9th 2012 Kiyomizu Temple & Neijo Castle
by Words: 1275 Photos: 18
- April 8th 2012 unwell in Kyoto :(
by Words: 905 Photos: 9
- April 1st 2012 Kyoto & Kobe
by Words: 912 Photos: 42
- March 30th 2012 Too busy having fun to write about it.
by Words: 438 Photos: 0
- December 3rd 2011 Kyoto - Finally.
by Words: 735 Photos: 0
- November 21st 2011 Following Kyoto Protocol...
by Words: 1505 Photos: 22