Updated: Jul 31
The land of the rising sun shines ever so bright on the once proclaimed mystic land as our ancestors were so keen on finding. That once mysterious island has now turned into a technological superpower and continues to amaze us for years to come.
Legend had it that the Great emperor of the Qin dynasty (Qin Shi Huang) heard about a mysterious island across the ocean that contained the elixir for immortality as he desperately wanted for during the unification period of China during 221BC but the search never took place. Little did they know that the Proto-Japanese already had an empire four centuries ago whom had never of the outside world.
The word Japan was mostly written in kanji as Nippon (日本), these characters say it as the "Sun origin", and according to Western scriptures as the Land of the rising sun.
The country came to a historical and socio-cultural development during the the Feudal era having its roots back in the 12th century with the emergence of a new class of warriors called the Samurai , who were the ruling class of the warriors. During this time a military class overthrew the emperor and the samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo became the first Shogun (The leader of a military government called the shogunate). Samurai were strictly set to follow of codes and conduit as it came to be known as Bushido, which are moral values stressing some combination of sincerity, loyalty, martial arts and honor till death.
Japan mostly was a secluded country and lived in its traditional values and culture until the 16th century when the colonisation period of western Europe began, this opens up a multitude of opportunities. It all began when Portugese traders reached Japan for the first time and brought upon a black hole of cultural and technological exchange of ideas and resources and also sparked the spread of Christianity for the first time.
The main invention that bought upon a change in heirachy was the onset of European Firearms, which seriously tipped the scale of war , which made swords and arrows obsolete. Which inevitably led to the decline of the samurai. This induces the isolation of the Japanese mainland and it refuses the trade with foreign countries.
In 1854, The American navy forced the opening of japan to the outside world with the Convection Of Kaganawa, in which Japan and other western alliances signed a treaty to abolish the shogun. This period is considered to be the golden age of Japan. This causes the country to adopt Western judicial, political, medical and military institutions and it acts as a precursor to Industrialisation. During the rule of emperor Meiji (1868-1912) , Japan becomes the first superpower in Asia and pursues in military conquest and the expand their spheres of influence in China, Taiwan and Russia. The changes in medical and infrastructural development causes the population of Japan to skyrocket.
it’s insane to think of the rapid change in less than 70 years,
...It really feels like a new country
Even if you wander the streets through the luxurious streets of Ginza or the colourful world of Akihabara laden with games, anime and cosplay. You will occasionally find the hubris of ancient relics and structures still standing strong today which tell fascinating stories about a nation which went from a nothing to a global superpower.