The Life of Japan

How Japan Became What It Is Nowadays

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In 1603 a Tokugawa shogunate brought in a long period of isolation from foreign influences to keep its power, that policy lasted for 250 years. In 1854 Japan opened up its ports and they started to modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries Japan became a regional power and was able to defeat China and Russia's forces. In 1937 Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China. A couple years later in 1941 Japan attacked the US causing Americas entry in World War II. Soon after that they occupied a lot of East and Southern East Asia. After they got defeated in World War II they recovered to become an economic power.

Shintoism (Shinto)

Shintoism or "the way of gods" has no official influence in Japan. Shintoism is Japan's religion, created by the people, for the people (see what i did there?). The name shinto comes from 2 Chinese words. SHIN meaning good spirits, and TAO meaning the way. The spirits are known as kami and a westerner would translate that as God. Except kami and God are not the same. Shintoism is based on a man's response to his natural and human surroundings.

The Japanese have developed a feudalism system that was incredibly similar to the European system.

The shogun (similar to the king) ruled the country through the daimyo (like the nobles), the nobles were the head of the samurai warriors (such as knights). The peasant farmed land in exchange for protection. The samurai operated under a code of conduct known as bushido(chivalry). Society was organized under a very rigid class system with no social mobility what so ever. Even though the Tokugawa shoguns maintained an isolation policy, some cultural influences from China migrated down to Japan.
It a recurring saluter of dolphins in Japan at the Taiji Cove due to their "tradition".
Japan Is currently trying to get back its Antarctic Whaling program by reducing catch quotas after the highest UN court ordered a halt rejecting Tokyo's argument that it was for scientific reasons and not mainly for human consumption.