Timeline of Japanese history


This is a timeline of Japanese history, comprising important legal, territorial and cultural changes and political events in Japan and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Japan.

Centuries: 1st · 2nd · 3rd · 4th · 5th · 6th · 7th · 8th · 9th · 10th · 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th · 21st

1st century


YearDateEvent
57The King of Na gold seal is issued by Emperor Guangwu of Han to the coalition of Japanese states in northern Kyushu led by Nakoku state.

2nd century


YearDateEvent
180The Civil war of Wa ends, bringing Shaman queen Himiko to power in Yamatai state somewhere in either Northern Kyushu or Central Honshu.

3rd century


YearDateEvent
201The Nagata Shrine, Hirota Shrine and Ikuta Shrine, the oldest surviving Shinto shrines in Japan, are founded by legendary Empress Jingū.
238First embassy of Himiko to Cao Wei
248Himiko dies and is succeeded by 13 y.o. Queen Iyo after a brief civil war. Some rebels, preferring a male successor, fled Yamatai and founded the Miwa court in Nara.
250The Kofun period and Yamato period starts. Traditional date to mark the founding of Yamato entity in Nara associated with the Sujin line of kings.
266Iyo embassy to Emperor Wu of Jin
283The Hata clan led by Yuzuki no Kimi settles in Japan, introducing sericulture (silk farming).

4th century


YearDateEvent
346Makimuku site abandoned, possibly due to invaders including Baekje and Gaya confederacy men, indicating large changes of Miwa court
350Unification of Yamato Province
362King Chūai of Miwa court replaced by king Ōjin of Kawachi court (Saki Court), marking expansion of Yamato Province to entire Kinai

5th century


Very little is known about the 5th century in Japan. The period was definitely marked by volatile inter-state warfare, complex alliances, submissions and betrayals. Some of the more constant Yamato polity partners were Baekje and Gaya confederacy, while enemies included Goguryeo, Silla and various Chinese groups. All of the records of the era either did not survive or are contentious.

YearDateEvent
404Goguryeo–Wa conflicts between Wa, Baekje, and Gaya against Goguryeo and Silla
413King of Wa sends 1st recorded tribute to the Jin.
430Yamato polity become a regional power after subjugating several states in West Japan. Details are subject to Mimana controversy.
461Chronology of the Japanese historical records become consistent. All dates before this entry are reconstructed with foreign or archaeological data.
Baekje sends an embassy to Japan, as confirmed by both Japanese and Korean records.

6th century


YearDateEvent
507Kawachi court is succeeded by King Ohoto of Koshi (Keitai line of kings) in Asuka court.
527With the suppression of the Iwai Rebellion, the Yamato polity is firmly entrenched in Tsukushi Province, Kyushu.
538Introduction of Buddhism in Japan by Seong of Baekje.
The Asuka period starts, the Imperial capital was transferred to Asuka. Yamato polity achieve de facto political dominance with full conquest of Shikoku and Kyushu islands.
562The last states of Gaya confederacy are destroyed, marking extinction of Japonic languages outside Japan.
587The religious war (Soga–Mononobe conflict) ends with the victory of the pro-Buddhist Soga clan.
593The Soga clan takes control of Japan with the installation of Empress Suiko on the throne.

7th century


YearDateEvent
603Introduction of the Twelve Level Cap and Rank System in Japan
607The first embassy under the command of Ono no Imoko is sent to Sui China.
630The first of Japanese missions to Tang China
645The Asuka period ends with the power of the Soga clan broken in the Isshi Incident and Nakatomi clan becoming the dominant power.
64622 JanuaryThe Hakuhō period starts with the Taika Reform.
660Japanese, under command of Abe no Hirafu, massacre the Mishihase people in Hokkaido. The Japanese do not return to Hokkaido until over 700 years later.
662Japanese enter the Baekje–Tang War.
663The Japanese navy is decisively defeated in the Battle of Baekgang, marking the withdrawal of Japan from Korean politics.
665First coastal defences of Kyushu were built at what is now the Ōnojō Castle Ruins.
668The Ōmi Code was adopted starting the Ritsuryō law system.
672Succession conflict results in the Jinshin War.
673With the reign of Emperor Tenmu, Japan becomes an empire.
684684 Hakuho earthquake, severe tsunami and subsidence at Tosa Province
694The Imperial capital transferred to Fujiwara-kyō.

8th century


YearDateEvent
701The Taihō Code legal system is accepted.
709The Fort Ideha is established near modern Akita marking the start of submission of the Emishi people in the Tōhoku region to Japanese.
710The Nara period starts after Empress Genmei establishes the capital of Heijō-kyō.
712The Kojiki is completed.
713The provinces are ordered to compile cultural and geographical records, known as fudoki.
718Fujiwara no Fuhito compiles the Yōrō Code (the update of Taihō Code) which is accepted in 757.
720The Nihon Shoki (1st volume of historical chronicles Rikkokushi) is completed.
721The Hayato rebellion ends after a year and half of fighting, marking the complete subjugation of Southern Kyushu.
724Emperor Shōmu was enthroned. Also, the site of the Taga Castle, near to modern Sendai, is founded.
731AprilA fleet of 300 Japanese vessels is defeated on the east coast on Silla.[1]
735Genbō and Kibi no Makibi returned from China.
A major smallpox epidemic spread from Kyushu, resulting in a third of the population perishing, 10 years of social instability and 4 transfers of the Imperial capital through Kuni-kyō, Shigaraki Palace and Naniwa-kyō before returning to Heijō-kyō in 745.
74028 SeptemberThe Fujiwara no Hirotsugu Rebellion erupts on Kyushu.
741Shōmu established the provincial temples.
743The Ritsuryō law system incorporated the right of eternal land ownership.
751The Kaifūsō poetry anthology was completed.
752The Great Buddha of Nara at Tōdai-ji was completed with the assistance of Bodhisena from India.
754Priest Ganjin arrived from China.
757Fujiwara no Nakamaro defeated an attempt by Tachibana no Naramaro to seize power.
The Yōrō Code completes the evolution of Ritsuryō law system.
764Fujiwara and Emperor Junnin launched a plot against the retired Empress Kōken and the monk Dōkyō (which failed)
773The Thirty-Eight Years War for the subjugation of Tōhoku starts.
781Emperor Kanmu was enthroned.
784The Imperial capital moved to Nagaoka-kyō. This was the capital of Japan from 784 to 794. Its location was in Otokuni District, Kyoto, Yamashiro Province.
788Saichō built Enryaku-ji.
794The first shōgun, Ōtomo no Otomaro, was appointed by Emperor Kanmu in 794 CE. The shōgun was the military dictator of Japan with near absolute power over territories via the military.
The Heian period starts after Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyō (ancient name of Kyoto). Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara.
797The Shoku Nihongi (2nd volume of historical chronicles Rikkokushi) was completed.

9th century


YearDateEvent
802After the defeat of the Emishi Isawa confederation and execution of Aterui in the final stages of Thirty-Eight Years War [ja], the Japanese controls the entire Honshu island.
806The Japanese kana scripts (invention popularly attributed to Kūkai) have evolved as distinct from Chinese characters.
810The Kusuko Incident have propelled Emperor Saga to throne, resulting in 32-years long peaceful period.
815Shinsen Shōjiroku, the first compilation of Japanese genealogical data, is complete.
82923 JanuaryKūkai has established the first public school in Japan.
839Last envoy to Tang China sent (some later embassies were cancelled)
840Nihon Kōki (3rd volume of historical chronicles Rikkokushi) was completed.
842The Jōwa Incident mark the raising power of the Fujiwara clan.
858The Fujiwara clan solidify their rule over Japan with the installation of Emperor Seiwa.
869Shoku Nihon Kōki (4th volume of historical chronicles Rikkokushi) was completed.
9 JulyThe devastating 869 Sanriku earthquake and tsunami happened off Tohoku coast.
878MarchThe Akita Castle is overrun during Gangyou disturbance [ja] with the background of heavy drought and famine, resulting in growing independence of the Dewa Province
879Nihon Montoku Tennō Jitsuroku (5th volume of historical chronicles Rikkokushi) was completed.
894Sugawara no Michizane advocates for stopping sending embassies to China.

10th century


YearDateEvent
901Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku (6th and last of historical chronicles Rikkokushi) was completed.
907Severe epidemics and extreme weather including floods and drought, popularly attributed to persecution of Sugawara no Michizane
935The Tosa Nikki, the oldest surviving Japanese diary, was written.
939Tengyō no Ran – the failed rebellion of Taira no Masakado in Hitachi Province and Shimōsa Province, Fujiwara no Sumitomo in Iyo Province and San'yō region, plus opportunistic uprisings in Dewa Province – the first of many rebellions led by professional warriors (samurai), has led to the downfall of the Tachibana clan.
949The 56 warrior monks of Tōdai-ji stage the public protest, marking the formation of sōhei class and militarization of temples.
984The Ishinpō, the oldest surviving Japanese medical manual, is compiled.
995Unprecedented scale epidemic ravages Heian-kyō, killing many nobles on the background of sectarian strife.[2]

11th century


YearDateEvent
1008The Tale of Genji is written.
1019Toi invasion to northern Kyushu
1028Taira no Tadatsune starts a 3-years long war in now Chiba Prefecture before surrendering.
1051The Former Nine Years War (Zenkunen War) against rebellious Abe clan in now Tohoku have started.
1069The Ritsuryō system has completely failed due to encroachment by private manors. Emperor Go-Sanjō land reform attempt was thwarted by Fujiwara no Yorimichi, signaling the terminal decline of imperial power.
1074The unification of units of volume measurement[3]
1083The fighting in Tohoku flares up again, resulting in the Gosannen War (Later Three-Year War).

12th century


YearDateEvent
1156The Hōgen Rebellion has marked the rise of the samurai class.
1159The Heiji Rebellion has been defeated, and Taira clan under control of Taira no Kiyomori is dominating the government of Japan – the first example of samurai rule.
1177Shishigatani incident – an attempted rebellion against Taira clan rule
1180The Genpei War starts. As result, the Imperial capital is briefly moved to Fukuhara-kyō.
1181Severe drought created the Yōwa famine
1185The Kamakura period starts after the Genpei War ends with the defeat of the Taira clan, resulting in establishment of the Kamakura shogunate.
118915 JuneThe Battle of Koromo River have ended de facto independence of the Northern Fujiwara clan in Tōhoku. As result, first Japanese refugees have settled in Kaminokuni, Hokkaido.
1192Kamakura became the de facto capital of Japan in about 1180 AD, following the victories of the Minamoto over the Taira. It officially became the capital in 1192 when Minamoto Yoritomo was declared shōgun.
Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the central government and the aristocracy and established a feudal system based in Kamakura. The samurai gained political power over the aristocratic nobility (kuge) of the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Minamoto no Yoritomo was awarded the title of Sei-i Taishōgun by Emperor Go-Toba. The Emperor became a figurehead. The political system that Yoritomo developed with a succession of shōguns as the head became known as a shogunate. The military class would rule Japan near continuously from 1192 till 1868 CE.

13th century


YearDateEvent
1221Jōkyū War – an attempt of Imperial family to regain independence from the Kamakura shogunate
1230-1231Kanki famine
1232The Goseibai Shikimoku code accepted and used until the Edo period, marking militarization of legal system
12741st Mongol invasion in Japan repulsed in the Battle of Bun'ei
12812nd Mongol invasion in Japan repulsed in the Battle of Kōan
129327 MayThe deadly 1293 Kamakura earthquake, followed by government in-fighting, struck Japan.

14th century


YearDateEvent
1331Emperor Go-Daigo initiates the Genkō War.
13335 JulyThe short-lived Kenmu Restoration starts with the destruction of the Kamakura shogunate in the siege of Kamakura (1333).
1334Imperial court of Japan splits in two until 1392, resulting in the Nanboku-chō period.
1336The Muromachi period starts with the establishment of the Ashikaga shogunate domination over the imperial Northern Court. The Daimyō system is established.
1341The Jinnō Shōtōki is written, formalizing Emperor's of Japan role transition from ruler to the mystical symbol.
13484 FebruaryThe Southern Court loses the Battle of Shijōnawate.
1350Kannō disturbance weakens the Ashikaga shogunate. Wokou pirates from Japan are becoming rampant in region.
1353The Southern Court wins the Battle of Yawata, enabling the siege of Kyoto in 1354.
1368De facto independence of the Kantō region
1370De facto independence of Kyushu
1392The Nanboku-chō period ends with subjugation of the Southern Court to the Northern Court.

15th century


YearDateEvent
141919 JuneŌei Invasion to Wokou bases on Tsushima Island
1428Cholera epidemic and extreme impoverishment in now Shiga Prefecture have resulted in the Shocho uprising.
1438Flare-up of Eikyō disturbance [ja] in the Kantō region after 22 years of confrontation between local lords and shogunate
1443The Treaty of Gyehae was signed, resulting in Wokou pirates becoming increasingly non-Japanese.
1454The Kyōtoku Incident starts the 32 years of instability and bloodshed in the semi-independent Kantō region.
1457Takeda Nobuhiro emerged victorious after repelling an Ainu assault on Kaminokuni, Hokkaido, marking the beginning of Japanese conquest of Hokkaido.
Edo Castle, a nucleus of modern Tokyo, was built.
1459Bad handling of the Kanshō famine in the aftermath of flood and plague in Kyoto has resulted in increasing divisions of society.
1467The Ōnin War starts, marking the beginning of the Sengoku period – during which violence and power struggle has become the norm.
1477Kyoto has been completely destroyed.
1488The Kaga Rebellion overthrows samurai rule, establishing a theocratic state Kaga ikki in now Ishikawa Prefecture.
149820 September1498 Nankai earthquake

16th century


YearDateEvent
1523Japanese in-fighting results in the Ningbo Incident, bringing trade with China to a halt and resulting in a new wave of Wokou piracy.
1540Tenbun famine [ja] and plague
154325 AugustThe first Europeans, the Portuguese, arrive at Japan, opening the Nanban trade period.
1560Battle of Okehazama: Oda Nobunaga emerged victorious.
1570Oda Nobunaga starts a 10-year long Ishiyama Hongan-ji War to suppress the warrior monk community and the Kaga ikki state.
1573 Japanese society begins to stabilize, starting the Azuchi–Momoyama period under the rule of Oda Nobunaga and later Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
1579Azuchi religious debate results in enforced religious tolerance.
1581Oda Nobunaga forces win the Tenshō Iga War.
Himeji Castle, the largest in Japan, was built.
1582Incident at Honnō-ji: Akechi Mitsuhide, an Oda general, betrayed Nobunaga at Honnō-ji and forced him to commit seppuku.
1585Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Shikoku.
1587Toyotomi Hideyoshi has launched the Kyūshū Campaign.
15904 AugustToyotomi Hideyoshi has prevailed over the Late Hōjō clan in the siege of Odawara in the Kantō region, completing the re-unification of Japan.
15918 OctoberThe Separation Edict and Population Census Edict froze the social structure of Japan.
159223 MayToyotomi Hideyoshi, acting as kampaku (regent) in lieu of Oda Nobukatsu, invaded Korea.
15975 FebruaryTwenty-six Martyrs of Japan were crucified in Nagasaki in the aftermath of the San Felipe incident.
159816 DecemberThe Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98) have ended with Japanese retreat after the Battle of Noryang.
160021 OctoberThe Battle of Sekigahara is won by forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

17th century


YearDateEvents
160324 MarchThe Edo period starts after Tokugawa Ieyasu received from Emperor Go-Yōzei the title of shōgun.
The town of Edo became the de facto capital of Japan and center of political power. This was after Tokugawa Ieyasu established the bakufu headquarters in Edo. Kyoto remained the formal capital of the country.
NovemberRokugō rebellion
16053 February1605 Nankai earthquake and tsunami
Ieyasu abdicated from office in favor of his third son and heir, Tokugawa Hidetada.
16097 MarchInvasion of Ryukyu
16103 JanuaryNossa Senhora da Graça incident
16112 December1611 Sanriku earthquake and tsunami
16153 JuneThe siege of Osaka is complete with the Battle of Tennōji: Tokugawa Ieyasu ended Toyotomi opposition.
1623Hidetada resigned his office to his eldest son and heir, Tokugawa Iemitsu.
1635The Sakoku Edict of 1635 was issued by the Tokugawa Shogunate. This isolationist foreign policy barred Japanese from leaving Japan and barred Europeans from entering, on pain of death. It instituted strict penalties for the practice of Catholicism and severely restricted foreign trade.
The policy of sankin-kōtai was established, which subjected the daimyōs to the will of the shōgun.
163717 DecemberShimabara Rebellion: A rebellion began against the daimyō Matsukura Katsuie over his persecution of Christianity and onerous tax code.
163815 AprilShimabara Rebellion: The last of the rebels were defeated in their fortress at Shimabara.
1642The Kan'ei Great Famine happens due to a combination of government over-spending, Rinderpest epizootic, volcanic eruptions and extreme weather.
165124 AprilIemitsu died, leaving his office to the ten-year-old Tokugawa Ietsuna.
Keian Uprising: A coup d'état attempted by several rōnin and masterminded by Yui Shōsetsu and Marubashi Chūya failed.
16572 MarchGreat Fire of Meireki in Edo
1669Shakushain's Revolt on Hokkaido
16804 JuneIetsuna died and was succeeded by his younger brother, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.
1686Jōkyō uprising

18th century


YearDateEvent
170320 MarchChūshinguraForty-seven ronin were ordered to commit seppuku by the shōgun.
31 December1703 Genroku earthquake and tsunami
170728 October1707 Hōei earthquake and tsunami, followed by the Hōei eruption of Mount Fuji
170919 FebruaryTsunayoshi died. His nephew Tokugawa Ienobu succeeded him as shōgun.
1712The Wakan Sansai Zue, the first Japanese encyclopaedia, was published.
12 NovemberIenobu died and was succeeded by his five-year-old son, Tokugawa Ietsugu, under the regency of the shōgun's adviser Arai Hakuseki.
171619 JuneIetsugu died. Tokugawa Yoshimune, a great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, became shōgun.
JulyThe Kyōhō Reforms aimed for monetization of economy and broader import of European knowledge have started.
1720The foreign books restrictions are reduced, starting a Rangaku practice.
1732The Kyōhō famine happens due to a locust infestation in the Seto Inland Sea region.
1745Yoshimune retired, leaving his public office to his eldest son Tokugawa Ieshige, although he maintained some influence in the affairs of state.
17541754 Horeki River Improvement Incident
1760Ieshige retired, leaving his office to his eldest son Tokugawa Ieharu.
177124 April1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami
1782Great Tenmei famine
1789MayMenashi-Kunashir Rebellion on Hokkaido
1790The Kansei Reforms, including the Kansei Edict, tighten the isolation of Japan.
179221 May1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami

19th century


YearDateEvent
1806Chwostoff raids on the Japanese-controlled Kuril islands.
1807Failed military expedition to Sakhalin
1811The Golovnin Incident marks increasing contacts with the Russian Empire.
1825Edict to Repel Foreign Vessels
1833Tenpō famine
1837Morrison incident
1842Tenpō Reforms lifts the price controls and further reduce contacts with Europeans.
184610 MarchEmperor Ninkō died at the age of 45 and was succeeded by Emperor Kōmei.
18478 May1847 Nagano earthquake
18481 JulyThe isolation policy of the Tokugawa shogunate has begun to crumble by the time of landing of Ranald MacDonald on Rishiri Island.
185314 JulyMatthew C. Perry arrives off the coast of Japan in four ships. Perry orders harbor buildings to be shelled to force negotiations for a letter President Millard Fillmore sent to the ruler of Japan. This incident was coined as the "Arrival of the Black Ships" in Japanese history.
1854FebruarySecond Visit. Matthew C. Perry returns to Japan with eight Black Ships and finds that the shogunate had prepared a treaty accepting virtually all demands from President Millard Fillmore.
MarchMatthew C. Perry signs the Convention of Kanagawa. Within five years, Japan signs similar treaties with other western countries, thus ending an isolation period of more than 200 years known as sakoku (鎖国), whereby the Dutch and Chinese ships had limited trade exclusivity.
23 DecemberThe Ansei great earthquakes series starts with the 1854 Tōkai earthquake and tsunami.
18557 FebruaryThe Treaty of Shimoda with the Russian Empire was signed.
25 AugustWith the arrival of the modern Dutch paddle steamer Kankō Maru, the Tokugawa shogunate establishes the Nagasaki Naval Training Center as part of its modernization efforts to meet the perceived military threat posed by the western nations and learn Western-style science and naval theory. The cadets who attended the center such as Enomoto Takeaki and Katsu Kaishū would go on to found the Imperial Japanese Navy following the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
11 NovemberThe Ansei great earthquakes series ends with the 1855 Edo earthquake followed by a devastating fire.
185826 AugustThe Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce and other Ansei Treaties were signed, resulting in Ansei Purge.
18609 FebruaryAmbassador Shinmi Masaoki sets sail for San Francisco, leading the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the United States.
17 MarchThe Japanese ship Kanrin Maru arrives in San Francisco with the delegation, marking the first official visit to a foreign state following the end of its 214 year isolationist policy, demonstrating the degree to which Japan had mastered Western navigation techniques and ship technologies in the 6 years since opening its borders.
186214 SeptemberNamamugi Incident: Four British subjects were attacked by guards on the Tōkaidō for failing to pay proper respect to a daimyō. One, a merchant named Charles Lennox Richardson, was killed.
186311 MarchOrder to expel barbarians
16 JulyBattle of Shimonoseki Straits
15 AugustBombardment of Kagoshima
29 SeptemberTenchūgumi incident - the year-long rebellion in Yamato Province starts.
1864MayThe Mito rebellion starts in Mito Domain and continues until January 1865.
20 AugustKinmon incident - an attempt to kidnap an Emperor Kōmei, resulting in partial burning of Kyoto. It was retaliated by the abortive First Chōshū expedition.
18667 JuneThe Second Chōshū expedition starts, only to be halted after death of shōgun Tokugawa Iemochi in August 1866, critically discrediting the Tokugawa shogunate.
18673 FebruaryEmperor Kōmei died at the age of 35. It's generally believed due to the smallpox epidemic. This marked the end of the Edo period.
3 FebruaryEmperor Meiji ascended the Chrysanthemum throne. This marked the start of the Meiji Period.
18681868 - 1869The Boshin War was fought between forces of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and those seeking to return political power to the Imperial Court.
3 JanuaryThe Meiji Restoration restored practical abilities and the political system under Emperor Meiji. This ended the Tokugawa Shogunate.
1869Emperor Meiji moved his residence from Kyoto to Tokyo. Edo castle became the Imperial Palace. This made Tokyo the formal capital of Japan.
1 MayThe city of Edo was formally renamed to Tokyo ("eastern capital"). The city of Tokyo was officially established.
1871Abolition of the han system, being replaced by a system of prefectures
1873Seikanron: The government debated and rejected the idea of the invasion of Korea.
Land Tax Reform (Japan 1873)
1874Saga Rebellion
1875Japan quickly transformed in one generation from an isolated feudal society to a modern industrialized nation state and an emerging great power.
1876Akizuki Rebellion, Hagi Rebellion and Shinpūren Rebellion
1877Satsuma Rebellion
187823 AugustTakebashi incident - a riot by underpaid Imperial Guards
1888Chichibu incident – a peasants rebellion
189029 NovemberThe Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Meiji Constitution) was enacted. This turned Japan into a quasi-absolute monarchy with a representative democracy.
189128 October1891 Mino–Owari earthquake – strongest recorded inland earthquake of Japan
18941 AugustThe First Sino-Japanese War starts.
189517 AprilThe First Sino-Japanese War is won by Japanese, resulting in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. It was the first major conflict between Japan and an overseas military power in modern times. For the first time, regional dominance in East Asia shifted from China to Japan. Korea became a vassal state of Japan.
29 MayJapanese invasion of Taiwan (1895)
189615 JuneThe 1896 Sanriku earthquake kills 22,066 people.

20th century


YearDateEvent
190230 JanuaryRusso-Japanese War: Japan became the first Asian nation to sign a mutual defense pact with a European nation, Britain.
19048 FebruaryRusso-Japanese War: Japan launched a surprise torpedo attack on the Imperial Russian Navy at Port Arthur.
19055 SeptemberRusso-Japanese War: Japan became the first modern Asian nation to win a war against a European nation (Russia). The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed, ceding some Russian property and territory to Japan and ending the war. Pro-war activists staged the Hibiya incendiary incident nevertheless. This changed the global world order. Japan became the main Asian power.
191022 AugustThe Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910 completes the annexation of the Korean Empire.
DecemberThe Japanese Antarctic Expedition starts.
191230 JulyEmperor Meiji died at the age of 59. Prince Yoshihito became the Emperor of Japan. This marked the start of the Taishō period.
19145 September - 6 SeptemberThe Japanese seaplane carrier Wakamiya conducted the world's first successful naval-launched air raids on 5 September 1914 and during the first months of World War I from Kiaochow Bay off Tsingtao. On 6 September 1914 was the very first air-sea battle in history.
31 OctoberThe siege of Tsingtao starts as part of World War I.
19184 AprilJapanese intervention in Siberia starts and continues until 1922..
JulyRice riots of 1918
19191 MarchThe March 1st Movement signal the start of the Korean independence movement.
192113 NovemberHōshō, the first Japanese aircraft carrier, is launched.
19231 SeptemberThe 1923 Great Kantō earthquake kills 105,385 people.
192625 DecemberEmperor Taishō died at the age of 47.
25 DecemberPrince Hirohito became the Emperor of the Empire of Japan after the death of his father Yoshihito. This marked the start of the Shōwa period.
1927Shōwa financial crisis
193027 OctoberWushe incident – a rebellion on Taiwan
193118 SeptemberJapan invaded Manchuria in the aftermath of the Mukden Incident.
19321 MarchManchukuo, a puppet state of Japan, is established.
19377 JulyThe Second Sino-Japanese War starts.
194022 SeptemberThe Japanese invasion of French Indochina starts.
194113 AprilThe Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact was signed.
7 DecemberJapan attacked the naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan has declared war to the US, Dutch and British, marking the start of the Pacific War theatre of World War II.
19456 AugustAtomic bombing of Hiroshima
9 AugustAtomic bombing of Nagasaki, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria starts and continues on as the Kuril Islands dispute
15 AugustSurrender of Japan
19463 MayIn the controversial International Military Tribunal for the Far East, the prosecution began of Japanese military leaders for war crimes.
19473 MayThe Constitution of Japan goes into effect. This changed the Empire of Japan into the State of Japan (Nihon Koku, 日本国) with a liberal democracy. Article 9 turned Japan into a pacifist country without a military.
19518 SeptemberThe US Occupation of Japan ended after the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco and Security Treaty Between the United States and Japan on September 8, 1951, which became effective on April 28, 1952. It restored the sovereignty of Japan and established the U.S.-Japan alliance.
19541 JulyFormation of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).
195612 DecemberJapan joins the United Nations.
1960The massive Anpo Protests against revision of the US-Japan Security Treaty are the largest protests in Japan's modern history, and force the resignation of Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi and the cancellation of a planned visit by US president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
19641 OctoberThe largest Japanese land reclamation project thus far was completed in Lake Hachirōgata, creating the village of Ōgata out of 195 km2 of lakebed reclaimed since 1957.
1 OctoberThe first Shinkansen high-speed train railway line was opened.
10 October1964 Summer Olympics: Tokyo hosted the Olympics, marking the first time the Games were held in Asia.
1968Japan surpassed West Germany to become the second largest economic power in the world.
The Ogasawara Islands were returned from US occupation to Japanese sovereignty. Japanese citizens were allowed to return.
196918 JanuaryStudent protests against the Vietnam War and American use of bases on Japanese soil culminated in a short-lived takeover of Tokyo University.
197011 FebruaryThe first successful launch of the Lambda 4S rocket places the Japanese Ohsumi satellite on orbit.
20 DecemberThe Koza riot was a violent and spontaneous protest against the US military presence in Okinawa.
By the 1970s Japan ascended to great power status again. Japan had record high economic growth during the Japanese economic miracle.
197130 SeptemberZengakuren demonstrate and riot in Tokyo against terms for the return of Okinawa from US to Japanese control. They wanted to remove all American military presence.
24 NovemberThe 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement is ratified and returned the Okinawa Prefecture to Japanese sovereignty.
1974Prime Minister Eisaku Satō accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.
1980Japan became the biggest motor vehicle producing country in the world with 11,042,884 motor vehicles compared to the USA's 8,009,841.
19897 JanuaryEmperor Hirohito died at the age of 87. His posthumous name is Emperor Shōwa. He was both the longest-lived and longest-reigning historical Japanese emperor, as well as the longest-reigning monarch in the world at that time.
7 JanuaryPrince Akihito succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father Emperor Shōwa. He thereby became the Emperor of Japan. This marked the start of the Heisei period.
29 DecemberThe Tokyo Stock Market index, Nikkei 225, hits its peak at 38,957 before closing at 38,916 for the day.
1991Lost Decade: The Japanese asset price bubble popped.
199517 JanuaryGreat Hanshin earthquake
20 MarchTokyo subway sarin attack: Members of the Aum Shinrikyo religious sect release sarin gas on the Tokyo subway system, killing 13 and injuring over 1000.
199711 DecemberThe Kyoto Protocol to regulate greenhouse gases emissions was adopted.

21st century


YearDateEvent
2005NovemberThe Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s robotic spacecraft Hayabusa landed on an asteroid and collected samples in the form of tiny grains of asteroidal material, which were returned to Earth aboard the spacecraft on 13 June 2010. It was the first spacecraft in history designed to deliberately land on an asteroid and then take off again. The Hayabusa mission was the first to return an asteroid sample to Earth for analysis.
2011MarchThe Tokyo Skytree 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) became the tallest tower in the world.
11 March2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, followed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
JulyThe Japan Self-Defense Force Base Djibouti was established.
2012DecemberAbenomics policies are enacted to handle the consequences of the Lost Decade and the Japan demographic crisis.
20187 AprilJapan activated the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, its first marine unit since World War II. They're trained to counter invaders from occupying Japanese islands.
The tourist boom in Japan reach unprecedented scale, with a number of yearly visitors counting in millions - 19.73 in 2015, 23.97 in 2016, 28.6 in 2017, and 31.19 million foreign visitors in 2018.[4][5]
201930 AprilEmperor Akihito abdicated being the first Japanese emperor to do so since 1817. Prince Naruhito succeeded as the Emperor of Japan. This marked the start of the Reiwa period.
202016 JanuaryThe COVID-19 pandemic in Japan begins.

See also


Cities in Japan

References and notes


  1. Lee Injae、Owen Miller、Park Jinhoon、Yi Hyun-Hae, "Korean History in Maps", p. 696 (60)
  2. Brown, Delmer M.; Ishida, Ichirō (1979). The Future and the Past: A Translation and Study of the Gukanshō, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0520034600.
  3. Brown, Delmer M.; Ishida, Ichirō (1979). The Future and the Past: A Translation and Study of the Gukanshō, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0520034600.
  4. Sugiura, Eri. "Japan gets more than it bargained for with tourist boom". asia.nikkei.com. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  5. Mae Vogel, Holly. "What is behind Japan's travel boom". asiancorrespondent.com. Retrieved 2 July 2019.

Further reading


Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century
Published in the 21st century