Sakoku was the isolationist foreign policy of the Japanese Tokugawa shogunate under which relations and trade between Japan and other countries were limited, nearly all foreign nationals were barred from entering Japan and common Japanese people were kept from leaving the country for a period of over 220 years. The policy was enacted by the Tokugawa shogunate under Tokugawa Iemitsu through a number of edicts and policies from 1633 to 1639, ended after 1853 when the American Black Ships commanded by Matthew Perry forced the opening of Japan to American trade through a series of unequal treaties, it was preceded by a period of unrestricted trade and widespread piracy when Japanese mariners travelled Asia and official embassies and envoys visited both Asian states, New Spain, Europe. This period was noted for the large number of foreign traders and pirates who were resident in Japan and active in Japanese waters; the term Sakoku originates from the manuscript work Sakoku-ron written by Japanese astronomer and translator Shizuki Tadao in 1801.
Shizuki invented the word while translating the works of the 17th-century German traveller Engelbert Kaempfer concerning Japan. Japan was not isolated under the sakoku policy, it was a system in which strict regulations were applied to commerce and foreign relations by the shogunate and by certain feudal domains. There was extensive trade with China through the port of Nagasaki, in the far west of Japan, with a residential area for the Chinese; the policy stated that the only European influence permitted was the Dutch factory at Dejima in Nagasaki. Western scientific and medical innovations did flow into Japan through Rangaku. Trade with Korea was limited to the Tsushima Domain. Trade with the Ainu people was limited to the Matsumae Domain in Hokkaidō, trade with the Ryūkyū Kingdom took place in Satsuma Domain. Apart from these direct commercial contacts in peripheral provinces, trading countries sent regular missions to the shōgun in Edo and Osaka Castle. Japan traded at this time with five entities, through four "gateways".
The largest was the private Chinese trade at Nagasaki, where the Dutch East India Company was permitted to operate. The Matsumae clan domain in Hokkaidō traded with the Ainu people. Through the Sō clan daimyō of Tsushima, there were relations with Joseon-dynasty Korea. Ryūkyū, a semi-independent kingdom for nearly all of the Edo period, was controlled by the Shimazu clan daimyō of Satsuma Domain. Tashiro Kazui has shown that trade between Japan and these entities was divided into two kinds: Group A in which he places China and the Dutch, "whose relations fell under the direct jurisdiction of the Bakufu at Nagasaki" and Group B, represented by the Korean Kingdom and the Ryūkyū Kingdom, "who dealt with Tsushima and Satsuma domains respectively". Many items traded from Japan to Korea and the Ryūkyū Kingdom were shipped on to China. In the Ryūkyū Islands and Korea, the clans in charge of trade built trading towns outside Japanese territory where commerce took place. Due to the necessity for Japanese subjects to travel to and from these trading posts, this resembled something of an outgoing trade, with Japanese subjects making regular contact with foreign traders in extraterritorial land.
Commerce with Chinese and Dutch traders in Nagasaki took place on an island called Dejima, separated from the city by a narrow strait. Trade in fact prospered during this period, though relations and trade were restricted to certain ports, the country was far from closed. In fact as the shogunate expelled the Portuguese, they engaged in discussions with Dutch and Korean representatives to ensure that the overall volume of trade did not suffer. Thus, it has become common in scholarship in recent decades to refer to the foreign relations policy of the period not as sakoku, implying a secluded, "closed" country, but by the term kaikin used in documents at the time, derived from the similar Chinese concept haijin, it is conventionally regarded that the shogunate imposed and enforced the sakoku policy in order to remove the colonial and religious influence of Spain and Portugal, which were perceived as posing a threat to the stability of the shogunate and to peace in the archipelago. The increasing number of Catholic converts in southern Japan was a significant element of that, seen as a threat.
Based on work conducted by Japanese historians in the 1970s, some scholars have challenged this view, believing it to be only a partial explanation of political reality. The motivations for the gradual strengthening of the maritime prohibitions during the early 17th century should be considered within the context of the Tokugawa bakufu's domestic agenda. One element of this agenda was to acquire sufficient control over Japan's foreign policy so as not only to guarantee social peace, but to maintain Tokugawa supremacy over the other powerful lords in the country the tozama daimyōs; these daimyōs had used East Asian trading linkages to profitable effect during the Sengoku period, which allowed them to build up their military strength as well. By restricting the daimyōs' ability to trade with foreign ships coming to Japan or pursue trade opportunities overseas, the Tokugawa bakufu could ensure none would become powerful enough to
The Tokugawa Shogunate known as the Tokugawa Bakufu and the Edo Bakufu, was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1603 and 1867. The head of government was the shōgun, each was a member of the Tokugawa clan; the Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. This time is called the Tokugawa period or pre-modern. Following the Sengoku period, the central government had been re-established by Oda Nobunaga during the Azuchi–Momoyama period. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, central authority fell to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Society in the Tokugawa period, unlike in previous shogunates, was based on the strict class hierarchy established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi; the daimyō were at the top, followed by the warrior-caste of samurai, with the farmers and traders ranking below. In some parts of the country smaller regions, daimyō and samurai were more or less identical, since daimyō might be trained as samurai, samurai might act as local rulers.
Otherwise, the inflexible nature of this social stratification system unleashed disruptive forces over time. Taxes on the peasantry were set at fixed amounts that did not account for inflation or other changes in monetary value; as a result, the tax revenues collected by the samurai landowners were worth less and less over time. This led to numerous confrontations between noble but impoverished samurai and well-to-do peasants, ranging from simple local disturbances to much larger rebellions. None, proved compelling enough to challenge the established order until the arrival of foreign powers. A 2017 study found that peasant rebellions and collective desertion lowered tax rates and inhibited state growth in the Tokugawa shogunate. In the mid-19th century, an alliance of several of the more powerful daimyō, along with the titular Emperor, succeeded in overthrowing the shogunate after the Boshin War, culminating in the Meiji Restoration; the Tokugawa shogunate came to an official end in 1868 with the resignation of the 15th Tokugawa shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, leading to the "restoration" of imperial rule.
Notwithstanding its eventual overthrow in favor of the more modernized, less feudal form of governance of the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa shogunate oversaw the longest period of peace and stability in Japan's history, lasting well over 260 years. The bakuhan taisei was the feudal political system in the Edo period of Japan. Baku is an abbreviation of bakufu, meaning "military government"—that is, the shogunate; the han were the domains headed by daimyō. Vassals provided military service and homage to their lords; the bakuhan taisei split feudal power between the shogunate in Edo and provincial domains throughout Japan. Provinces had a degree of sovereignty and were allowed an independent administration of the han in exchange for loyalty to the shōgun, responsible for foreign relations and national security; the shōgun and lords were all daimyōs: feudal lords with their own bureaucracies and territories. The shōgun administered the most powerful han, the hereditary fief of the House of Tokugawa.
Each level of government administered its own system of taxation. The emperor, nominally a religious leader, held no real power; the shogunate had the power to discard and transform domains. The sankin-kōtai system of alternative residence required each daimyō to reside in alternate years between the han and the court in Edo. During their absences from Edo, it was required that they leave family as hostages until their return; the huge expenditure sankin-kōtai imposed on each han helped centralize aristocratic alliances and ensured loyalty to the shōgun as each representative doubled as a potential hostage. Tokugawa's descendants further ensured loyalty by maintaining a dogmatic insistence on loyalty to the shōgun. Fudai daimyō were hereditary vassals of Ieyasu, as well as of his descendants. Tozama became vassals of Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara. Shinpan were collaterals of Tokugawa Hidetada. Early in the Edo period, the shogunate viewed the tozama as the least to be loyal. In the end, it was the great tozama of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa, to a lesser extent Hizen, that brought down the shogunate.
These four states are called Satchotohi for short. The number of han fluctuated throughout the Edo period, they were ranked by size, measured as the number of koku of rice that the domain produced each year. One koku was the amount of rice necessary to feed one adult male for one year; the minimum number for a daimyō was ten thousand koku. Regardless of the political title of the Emperor, the shōguns of the Tokugawa family controlled Japan; the administration of Japan was a task given by the Imperial Court in Kyoto to the Tokugawa family, which returned to the court in the Meiji Restoration. While the Emperor had the prerogative of appointing the shōgun, he had no say in state affairs; the shogunate appointed a liaison, the Kyoto Shoshidai, to deal with the Emperor and nobility. Towards the end of the shogunate, after centuries of the Emperor having little say in state affairs and being secluded in his Kyoto palace, in the wake of the reigning shōgun, Tokugawa Iemochi, marrying the sister of Emperor Kōmei, in 1862, the Imperial Court in Kyoto
The Nara period of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Genmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō. Except for a five-year period, when the capital was moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kanmu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784, before moving to Heian-kyō, modern Kyoto, a decade in 794. Most of Japanese society during this period was centered on villages. Most of the villagers followed a religion based on the worship of natural and ancestral spirits called kami; the capital at Nara was modeled after Chang the capital city of Tang dynasty. In many other ways, the Japanese upper classes patterned themselves after the Chinese, including adopting Chinese written system and the religion of Buddhism. Concentrated efforts by the imperial court to record and document its history produced the first works of Japanese literature during the Nara period. Works such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki were political in nature, used to record and therefore justify and establish the supremacy of the rule of the emperors within Japan.
With the spread of written language, the writing of Japanese poetry, known in Japanese as waka, began. The largest and longest-surviving collection of Japanese poetry, the Man'yōshū, was compiled from poems composed between 600 and 759 CE. This, other Nara texts, used Chinese characters to express the sounds of Japanese, known as man'yōgana. Before the Taihō Code was established, the capital was customarily moved after the death of an emperor because of the ancient belief that a place of death was polluted. Reforms and bureaucratization of government led to the establishment of a permanent imperial capital at Heijō-kyō, or Nara, in AD 710, it is to be noted that the capital was moved shortly to Kuni-kyō in 740–744, to Naniwa-kyō in 744–745, to Shigarakinomiya in 745, moved back to Nara in 745. Nara was Japan's first urban center, it soon had some 10,000 people worked in government jobs. Economic and administrative activity increased during the Nara period. Roads linked Nara to provincial capitals, taxes were collected more efficiently and routinely.
Coins were minted, if not used. Outside the Nara area, there was little commercial activity, in the provinces the old Shōtoku land reform systems declined. By the mid-eighth century, shōen, one of the most important economic institutions in prehistoric Japan, began to rise as a result of the search for a more manageable form of landholding. Local administration became more self-sufficient, while the breakdown of the old land distribution system and the rise of taxes led to the loss or abandonment of land by many people who became the "wave people"; some of these "public people" were employed by large landholders, "public lands" reverted to the shōen. Factional fighting at the imperial court continued throughout the Nara period. Imperial family members, leading court families, such as the Fujiwara, Buddhist priests all contended for influence. Earlier this period, Prince Nagaya seized power at the court after the death of Fujiwara no Fuhito. Fuhito was succeeded by four sons, Umakai and Maro, they put the prince by Fuhito's daughter, on the throne.
In 729, they regained control. However, as a major outbreak of smallpox spread from Kyūshū in 735, all four brothers died two years resulting in temporary shrinking of Fujiwara's dominance. In 740, a member of the Fujiwara clan, Hirotsugu launched a rebellion from his base in Fukuoka, Kyushu. Although defeated, it is without doubt that the Emperor was shocked about these events, he moved the palace three times in only five years from 740, until he returned to Nara. In the late Nara period, financial burdens on the state increased, the court began dismissing nonessential officials. In 792 universal conscription was abandoned, district heads were allowed to establish private militia forces for local police work. Decentralization of authority became the rule despite the reforms of the Nara period. To return control to imperial hands, the capital was moved in 784 to Nagaoka-kyō and in 794 to Heian-kyō, about twenty-six kilometers north of Nara. By the late eleventh century, the city was popularly called Kyoto, the name it has had since.
Some of Japan's literary monuments were written during the Nara period, including the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, the first national histories, compiled in 712 and 720 respectively. Another major cultural development of the era was the permanent establishment of Buddhism. Buddhism was introduced by Baekje in the sixth century but had a mixed reception until the Nara period, when it was heartily embraced by Emperor Shōmu. Shōmu and his Fujiwara consort were fervent Buddhists and promoted the spread of Buddhism, making it the "guardian of the state" and a way of strengthening Japanese institutions. During Shōmu's reign, the Tōdai-ji was built. Within it was placed the Great Buddha Daibutsu: a 16-metre-high, gilt-bronze statue; this Buddha was identified with the Sun Goddess, a gradual syncretism of Buddhism and Shinto ensued. Shōmu declared himself the "Servant of the Three Treasures" of Buddhism: the Buddha, the law or teachings of B
Matthew C. Perry
Matthew Calbraith Perry was a Commodore of the United States Navy who commanded ships in several wars, including the War of 1812 and the Mexican–American War. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. Perry was interested in the education of naval officers, assisted in the development of an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the U. S. Navy and came to be considered "The Father of the Steam Navy" in the United States. Matthew Perry was the son of Navy Captain Christopher Raymond Perry, he was born April 10, 1794, South Kingstown, R. I. U. S, his siblings included Oliver Hazard Perry, Raymond Henry Jones Perry, Sarah Wallace Perry, Anna Marie Perry, James Alexander Perry, Nathaniel Hazard Perry, Jane Tweedy Perry. His mother was born in County Down and was a descendant of an uncle of William Wallace, the Scottish knight and landowner, known for leading a resistance during the Wars of Scottish Independence and is today remembered as a patriot and national hero.
His paternal grandparents were James Freeman Perry, a surgeon, Mercy Hazard, a descendant of Governor Thomas Prence, a co-founder of Eastham, a political leader in both the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, governor of Plymouth. In 1809, Perry received a midshipman's warrant in the Navy, was assigned to USS Revenge, under the command of his elder brother, his early career saw him assigned to several ships, including USS President, where he served as an aide to Commodore John Rodgers. President was in a victorious engagement over a British vessel, HMS Little Belt, shortly before the War of 1812 was declared. Perry continued aboard President during the War of 1812 and was present at the engagement with HMS Belvidera. Rodgers fired the first shot of the war at Belvidera. A shot resulted in a cannon bursting, killing several men and wounding Rodgers and others. Perry transferred to USS United States, commanded by Stephen Decatur, saw little fighting in the war afterwards, since the ship was trapped in port at New London, Connecticut.
Following the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, Perry served on various vessels in the Mediterranean. Perry served under Commodore William Bainbridge during the Second Barbary War, he served in African waters aboard USS Cyane during its patrol off Liberia from 1819 to 1820. After that cruise, Perry was sent to suppress the slave trade in the West Indies. During this period, while in port in Russia, Perry was offered a commission in the Imperial Russian Navy, which he declined. Perry commanded USS Shark, a schooner with 12 guns, from 1821 to 1825. In 1763, when Britain possessed Florida, the Spanish contended that the Florida Keys were part of Cuba and North Havana. Certain elements within the United States felt that Key West could be the "Gibraltar of the West" because it guarded the northern edge of the 90 miles wide Straits of Florida—the deep water route between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. In 1815 the Spanish governor in Havana deeded the island of Key West to Juan Pablo Salas of Saint Augustine.
After Florida was transferred to the United States, Salas sold Key West to American businessman John W. Simonton for $2,000 in 1821. Simonton lobbied the U. S. Government to establish a naval base on Key West both to take advantage of its strategic location and to bring law and order to the area. On March 25, 1822, Perry sailed Shark to Key West and planted the U. S. flag, physically claiming the Keys as United States territory. Perry renamed Cayo Hueso "Thompson's Island" for the Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson and the harbor "Port Rodgers" for the president of the Board of Navy Commissioners. Neither name stuck however. From 1826 to 1827, Perry acted as fleet captain for Commodore Rodgers. Perry returned to Charleston, South Carolina for shore duty in 1828, in 1830 took command of a sloop-of-war, USS Concord, he spent the years 1833–1837 as second officer of the New York Navy Yard, gaining promotion to captain at the end of this tour. Perry had an ardent interest and saw the need for the naval education, supporting an apprentice system to train new seamen, helped establish the curriculum for the United States Naval Academy.
He was a vocal proponent of modernizing the Navy. Once promoted to captain, he oversaw construction of the Navy's second steam frigate USS Fulton, which he commanded after its completion, he was called "The Father of the Steam Navy", he organized America's first corps of naval engineers, conducted the first U. S. naval gunnery school while commanding Fulton in 1839–1841 off Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey. Perry received the title of commodore in June 1840, when the Secretary of the Navy appointed him commandant of New York Navy Yard; the United States Navy did not have ranks higher than captain until 1857, so the title of commodore carried considerable importance. An officer would revert to his permanent rank after the squadron command assignment had ended, although in practice officers who received the title of commodore retained the title for life, Perry was no exception. During his tenure in Brooklyn
The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China, it was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu. During this period, although the Emperor of Japan was the ruler of his nation and every lord swore loyalty to him, he was a marginalized and religious figure who delegated power to the shōgun, a noble, equivalent to a generalissimo. In the years preceding this era the Shogunate lost influence and control over the daimyōs. Although the Ashikaga shogunate had retained the structure of the Kamakura shogunate and instituted a warrior government based on the same social economic rights and obligations established by the Hōjō with the Jōei Code in 1232, it failed to win the loyalty of many daimyōs those whose domains were far from the capital, Kyoto.
Many of these Lords began to fight uncontrollably with each other for control over land and influence over the shogunate. As trade with Ming China grew, the economy developed, the use of money became widespread as markets and commercial cities appeared. This, combined with developments in agriculture and small-scale trading, led to the desire for greater local autonomy throughout all levels of the social hierarchy; as early as the beginning of the 15th century, the suffering caused by earthquakes and famines served to trigger armed uprisings by farmers weary of debt and taxes. The Ōnin War, a conflict rooted in economic distress and brought on by a dispute over shogunal succession, is regarded as the onset of the Sengoku period; the "eastern" army of the Hosokawa family and its allies clashed with the "western" army of the Yamana. Fighting in and around Kyoto lasted for nearly 11 years, leaving the city completely destroyed; the conflict in Kyoto spread to outlying provinces. The period culminated with a series of three warlords, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who unified Japan.
After Tokugawa Ieyasu's final victory at the siege of Osaka in 1615, Japan settled down into several centuries of peace under the Tokugawa shogunate. The Ōnin War in 1467 is considered the starting point of the Sengoku period. There are several events which could be considered the end of it: Nobunaga's entry to Kyoto or abolition of the Muromachi shogunate, the Siege of Odawara, the Battle of Sekigahara, the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, or the Siege of Osaka; the upheaval resulted in the further weakening of central authority, throughout Japan regional lords, called daimyōs, rose to fill the vacuum. In the course of this power shift, well-established clans such as the Takeda and the Imagawa, who had ruled under the authority of both the Kamakura and Muromachi bakufu, were able to expand their spheres of influence. There were many, whose positions eroded and were usurped by more capable underlings; this phenomenon of social meritocracy, in which capable subordinates rejected the status quo and forcefully overthrew an emancipated aristocracy, became known as gekokujō, which means "low conquers high".
One of the earliest instances of this was Hōjō Sōun, who rose from humble origins and seized power in Izu Province in 1493. Building on the accomplishments of Sōun, the Late Hōjō clan remained a major power in the Kantō region until its subjugation by Toyotomi Hideyoshi late in the Sengoku period. Other notable examples include the supplanting of the Hosokawa clan by the Miyoshi, the Toki by the Saitō, the Shiba clan by the Oda clan, in turn replaced by its underling, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a son of a peasant with no family name. Well-organized religious groups gained political power at this time by uniting farmers in resistance and rebellion against the rule of the daimyōs; the monks of the Buddhist True Pure Land sect formed numerous Ikkō-ikki, the most successful of which, in Kaga Province, remained independent for nearly 100 years. After nearly a century of political instability and warfare, Japan was on the verge of unification by Oda Nobunaga, who had emerged from obscurity in the province of Owari to dominate central Japan, when in 1582 Oda was assassinated by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide.
This in turn provided Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who had risen through the ranks from ashigaru to become one of Oda's most trusted generals, with the opportunity to establish himself as Oda's successor. Toyotomi consolidated his control over the remaining daimyōs and, although he was ineligible for the title of Sei-i Taishōgun because of his common birth, ruled as Kampaku. During his short reign as Kampaku, Toyotomi attempted two invasions of Korea; the first spanning from 1592 to 1596 was successful but suffered setbacks to end in stalemate. When Toyotomi died in 1598 without leaving a capable successor, the country was once again thrust into political turmoil, this time Tokugawa Ieyasu took advantage of the opportunity. Toyotomi had on his deathbed appointed a group of the most powerful lords in Japan—Tokugawa, Maeda Toshiie, Ukita Hideie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Mōri Terumoto—to govern as the Council of
Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population, the most populous municipality of Japan. It is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture, it lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohama's population of 3.7 million makes it Japan's largest city. Yokohama developed as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Nagoya, Hakata and Chiba. Yokohama means "horizontal beach"; the current area surrounded by Maita Park, the Ōoka River and the Nakamura River had been a gulf divided by a sandbar from the open sea. This sandbar was the original Yokohama fishing village. Since the sandbar protruded perpendicularly from the land, or horizontally when viewed from the sea, it was called a "horizontal beach". Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo period, when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with foreigners.
A major turning point in Japanese history happened in 1853–54, when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce, the Tokugawa shogunate agreed by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity. It was agreed that one of the ports to be opened to foreign ships would be the bustling town of Kanagawa-juku on the Tōkaidō, a strategic highway that linked Edo to Kyoto and Osaka. However, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that Kanagawa-juku was too close to the Tōkaidō for comfort, port facilities were instead built across the inlet in the sleepy fishing village of Yokohama; the Port of Yokohama was opened on June 2, 1859. Yokohama became the base of foreign trade in Japan. Foreigners occupied the low-lying district of the city called Kannai, residential districts expanding as the settlement grew to incorporate much of the elevated Yamate district overlooking the city referred to by English speaking residents as The Bluff.
Kannai, the foreign trade and commercial district, was surrounded by a moat, foreign residents enjoying extraterritorial status both within and outside the compound. Interactions with the local population young samurai, outside the settlement caused problems. To protect British commercial and diplomatic interests in Yokohama a military garrison was established in 1862. With the growth in trade increasing numbers of Chinese came to settle in the city. Yokohama was the scene of many notable firsts for Japan including the growing acceptance of western fashion, photography by pioneers such as Felice Beato, Japan's first English language newspaper, the Japan Herald published in 1861 and in 1865 the first ice cream and beer to be produced in Japan. Recreational sports introduced to Japan by foreign residents in Yokohama included European style horse racing in 1862, cricket in 1863 and rugby union in 1866. A great fire destroyed much of the foreign settlement on November 26, 1866 and smallpox was a recurrent public health hazard, but the city continued to grow – attracting foreigners and Japanese alike.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the port was developed for trading silk, the main trading partner being Great Britain. Western influence and technological transfer contributed to the establishment of Japan's first daily newspaper, first gas-powered street lamps and Japan's first railway constructed in the same year to connect Yokohama to Shinagawa and Shinbashi in Tokyo. In 1872 Jules Verne portrayed Yokohama, which he had never visited, in an episode of his read novel Around the World in Eighty Days, capturing the atmosphere of the fast-developing, internationally oriented Japanese city. In 1887, a British merchant, Samuel Cocking, built the city's first power plant. At first for his own use, this coal-burning plant became the basis for the Yokohama Cooperative Electric Light Company; the city was incorporated on April 1, 1889. By the time the extraterritoriality of foreigner areas was abolished in 1899, Yokohama was the most international city in Japan, with foreigner areas stretching from Kannai to the Bluff area and the large Yokohama Chinatown.
The early 20th century was marked by rapid growth of industry. Entrepreneurs built factories along reclaimed land to the north of the city toward Kawasaki, which grew to be the Keihin Industrial Area; the growth of Japanese industry brought affluence, many wealthy trading families constructed sprawling residences there, while the rapid influx of population from Japan and Korea led to the formation of Kojiki-Yato the largest slum in Japan. Much of Yokohama was destroyed on September 1923 by the Great Kantō earthquake; the Yokohama police reported casualties at 30,771 dead and 47,908 injured, out of a pre-earthquake population of 434,170. Fuelled by rumours of rebellion and sabotage, vigilante mobs thereupon murdered many Koreans in the Kojiki-yato slum. Many people believed. Martial law was in place until November 19. Rubble from the quake was used to reclaim land for parks, the most famous being the Yamashita Park on the waterfront which opened in 1930. Yokohama was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again by U.
S. air raids during World War II. An estimated seven or eight thousand people were killed in a single morning on
The Jōmon period is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c. 14,000–300 BCE refined to about 1000 BCE, during which Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture, which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity. The name "cord-marked" was first applied by the American scholar Edward S. Morse, who discovered sherds of pottery in 1877 and subsequently translated it into Japanese as jōmon; the pottery style characteristic of the first phases of Jōmon culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay and is accepted to be among the oldest in East Asia and the world. The Jōmon period was rich in tools and jewellery made from bone, stone and antler, it is compared to pre-Columbian cultures of the North American Pacific Northwest and to the Valdivia culture in Ecuador because in these settings cultural complexity developed within a hunting-gathering context with limited use of horticulture. The long 14,000 years, Jōmon period is conventionally divided into a number of phases: Incipient, Early, Middle and Final, with the phases getting progressively shorter.
The fact that this entire period is given the same name by archaeologists should not be taken to mean that there was not considerable regional and temporal diversity. Dating of the Jōmon sub-phases is based upon ceramic typology, to a lesser extent radiocarbon dating. Traces of Paleolithic culture stone tools, occur in Japan from around 30,000 BCE onwards; the earliest "Incipient Jōmon" phase began while Japan was still linked to continental Asia as a narrow peninsula. As the glaciers melted following the end of the last glacial period, sea levels rose, separating the Japanese archipelago from the Asian mainland. In addition, a continuous chain of islands encompasses Luzon, Taiwan and Kyushu, allowing for continuous contact between the Jōmon and maritime Southeast Asia. Within the archipelago, the vegetation was transformed by the end of the Ice Age. In southwestern Honshu and Kyushu, broadleaf evergreen trees dominated the forests, whereas broadleaf deciduous trees and conifers were common in northeastern Honshu and southern Hokkaido.
Many native tree species, such as beeches, buckeyes and oaks produced edible nuts and acorns. These provided abundant sources of food for animals. In the northeast, the plentiful marine life carried south by the Oyashio Current salmon, was another major food source. Settlements along both the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean subsisted on immense amounts of shellfish, leaving distinctive middens that are now prized sources of information for archaeologists. Other food sources meriting special mention include Sika deer, wild boar, wild plants such as yam-like tubers, freshwater fish. Supported by the productive deciduous forests and an abundance of seafood, the population was concentrated in central and northern Honshu, but Jōmon sites range from Hokkaido to the Ryukyu Islands; the earliest pottery in Japan was made before the start of the Incipient Jōmon period. Small fragments, dated to 14,500 BCE, were found at the Odai Yamamoto I site in 1998. Pottery of the same age was subsequently found at other sites such as Kamikuroiwa and Fukui Cave.
Archaeologist Junko Habu claims "he majority of Japanese scholars believed, still believe, that pottery production was first invented in mainland Asia and subsequently introduced into the Japanese archipelago." This seems to be confirmed by recent archaeology. As of now, the earliest pottery vessels in the world date back to 20,000 BP and were discovered in Xianren Cave in Jiangxi, China; the pottery may have been used as cookware. Other early pottery vessels include those excavated from the Yuchanyan Cave in southern China, dated from 16,000 BCE, at present it appears that pottery emerged at the same time in Japan, in the Amur River basin of the Russian Far East; the first Jōmon pottery is characterized by the cord-marking that gives the period its name and has now been found in large numbers of sites. The pottery of the period has been classified by archaeologists into some 70 styles, with many more local varieties of the styles; the antiquity of Jōmon pottery was first identified after World War II, through radiocarbon dating methods.
The earliest vessels were smallish round-bottomed bowls 10–50 cm high that are assumed to have been used for boiling food and storing it beforehand. They belonged to hunter-gatherers and the size of the vessels may have been limited by a need for portability; as bowls increase in size, this is taken to be a sign of an settled pattern of living. These types continued to develop, with elaborate patterns of decoration, undulating rims, flat bottoms so that they could stand on a surface; the manufacture of pottery implies some form of sedentary life because pottery is heavy and fragile and thus unusable for hunter-gatherers. However, this doe