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Listed under:  History  >  World history  >  Japanese history
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Second atomic bombing of Japan at Nagasaki, 1945

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the mushroom cloud rising from the explosion of an atomic bomb with an estimated force of 20,000 tonnes of TNT, 560 m above Nagasaki, Japan, on 9 August 1945. Part of the wing of the camera plane that accompanied the bomb-carrying plane can be seen at bottom right. The image ...

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Shoguns rule Japan with iron fists

Who were the shoguns and how did they rule Japan? In Japanese history, the time from about 1600 to 1868 is called the Edo period. In 1600, after centuries of wars, Japan came under the control of shoguns from the Tokugawa clan. They continued to rule until 1868, when they were overthrown. View this clip to discover how ...

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Japan's shoguns keep everyone in their places

What was the status of each social class in shogunate Japan? During the period from around 1600 to 1868, Japan was a feudal society. As in medieval Europe, each group had its place in a strict social order. Watch this clip to discover the roles of each group during the age when the Tokugawa shoguns ruled the country. This ...

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The end of Japan's isolation

Under the shoguns, Japan was deliberately isolated from the outside world from around 1600 CE. However, by the mid-19th century, Western imperialism was entering a new phase of expansion that no Asian state was able to resist. Discover what happened when the West came beating on the doors of a closed society. This clip ...

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Tokugawa shogunate is overthrown

How did Japan's Tokugawa shogunate come to an end? The entry of the US fleet into Tokyo Bay in 1853 and the events that followed exposed the shogunate's policy of isolation as a potential threat to the country. Western influence, and Japan's response to it, would have an enormous impact on the country's future. This clip ...

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Modernising Japan in the Meiji era

The restoration of Emperor Meiji in 1868 ushered in a period of rapid change in Japan. The country not only borrowed practices and technologies from Western countries, in less than forty years it too had become an imperialist power. This clip is fifth in a series of six.

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Tragic consequences of Japan's modernisation

Japan went through a remarkable transformation between 1868 and the death of the Emperor Meiji in 1912. But Japan's modernisation was accompanied by its rise as an imperialist power, with tragic results. Watch this clip to learn about the consequences of Japan's dream of empire. This clip is last in a series of six.

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Rebuilding a Shinto shrine

Witness the dedication of the followers of Shinto, Japan's ancient and unique religious tradition. Shinto means 'the way of the spirits', and it grew out of older beliefs that spirits inhabit mountains, forests and other natural places. Watch this clip from 2007 to see a 1,300-year-old Shinto tradition in central Japan.

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Surrender: the only option for the Son of Heaven

The Japanese surrender at the end of World War II was preceded by a heavy bombing campaign by the Allied forces, culminating in the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Germany had already surrendered, and with the devastation wrought on his country, it was inevitable that Japan's Emperor Hirohito would follow ...

Interactive resource

Secondary history: discussion

These seven learning activities focus on discussion using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware) and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers facilitate discussion and model questions ...

Teacher resource

Black ships and samurai: Commodore Perry and the opening of Japan, 1853-54

This is a collection of online materials focusing on US Commodore Matthew Perry's two expeditions to force the opening of Japan as seen through American and Japanese eyes. The materials are in two parts. Black ships and samurai I consists of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower. Black ships and samurai II (see dropdown ...

Teacher resource

Yokohama boomtown: foreigners in treaty-port Japan, 1859-72

This is a collection of online materials depicting the lives of foreigners in the treaty port of Yokohama, as seen or imagined by artists in the early decades of the modern era in Japan. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; ten sets of Japanese woodblock prints; an animation of the stages ...

Teacher resource

Felice Beato's Japan: places - an album by the pioneer foreign photographer in Yokohama, 1860s-70s

This is a collection of online materials focusing on an album of 50 photographs of scenes in Japan in the late 1860s or early 1870s. It was compiled by photographer Felice Beato. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Associate Professor Allan Hockley and five different ways of viewing the photographs and their ...

Teacher resource

Felice Beato's Japan: people - an album by the pioneer foreign photographer in Yokohama, c1869

This is a collection of online materials focusing on an album of 50 photographs of Japanese people living in Yokohama or nearby, compiled by photographer Felice Beato in the late 1860s or early 1870s. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Alona Wilson, and a number of different ways of viewing the photographs ...

Teacher resource

Globetrotters' Japan: places - foreigners on the tourist circuit in Meiji Japan, 1890s

This is a collection of online materials focusing on late 19th century photographs of tourist destinations in Japan, including places of natural beauty, cities and temple complexes. The photographs were intended for international tourists (globetrotters) in the 1890s. The materials in the collection consist of an illustrated ...

Teacher resource

Globetrotters' Japan: people - foreigners on the tourist circuit in Meiji Japan, 1890s

This is a collection of online materials focusing on 19th century photographs of 'traditional' Japanese people, many illustrating aspects of life in the feudal era of Japanese history before 1868. The photographs were intended for international tourists (globetrotters) in the late 1890s. The online materials consist of ...

Teacher resource

Throwing off Asia l: woodblock prints of domestic 'Westernisation' in Japan, 1868-1912

This is a collection of online materials about the rapid transformation of Japan following the Meiji Restoration. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; two sets of woodblock prints and accompanying historical background; a database of information about 405 woodblock prints from the period; ...

Teacher resource

Throwing off Asia ll: woodblock prints of the Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95

This is a collection of online materials about how the war between Japan and China was presented to the Japanese public via the medium of woodblock prints. The materials consist of an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; eight sets of prints presented as visual narratives; an animation of how a woodblock print was ...

Teacher resource

Throwing off Asia lll: photographs and woodblock prints of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05

This is a collection of online materials about the Russo-Japanese War and how it was depicted in woodblock prints within Japan and in photographs on both sides. The materials consist of: an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; two sets of photographs and prints accompanied by text; a database of information about ...

Teacher resource

Asia rising: Japanese postcards of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05

This is a collection of online materials about how the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 was represented in the picture postcards produced by Japanese photographers, artists, illustrators and propagandists in huge numbers throughout the war. The materials consist of: an illustrated essay by Professor John Dower; eight sets ...