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.
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- November 20th 2008 Samurai Debut
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- November 3rd 2008 Karaoke X 2 and Bowling!
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- October 7th 2008 Fire!
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- September 19th 2008 Monkeys, Yummy Food, and a Surprise Party!
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- September 5th 2008 Calligraphy Lessons and Festival Dances
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- August 22nd 2008 The Olympics, a Tokyo Day Pass, and a BBQ
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- August 18th 2008 Omatsuri and Mos Burger!
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- August 15th 2008 Taking on Tokyo
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- August 14th 2008 Konnichiwa Japan!
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- December 9th 2007 One More Week...
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- November 28th 2007 T- 3 weeks and counting...
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- November 10th 2007 This time I actually DID forget about Travelblog...
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- October 6th 2007 The End of Intensive Language Program
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- September 16th 2007 SUMOSUMOSUMOSUMOSUMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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- September 3rd 2007 The Hassaku Matsuri
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- August 26th 2007 Poetry In Motion
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- August 19th 2007 Teaching English (kind of ) and BBQing
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- August 11th 2007 Meeting The Fam
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- August 6th 2007 Final-Freaking-ly!!!
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- August 6th 2007 Final-Freaking-ly Part 2
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