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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 ...

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Broken Sun, 2008: The breakout

This clip shows a dramatised scene of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) preparing to break out of the POW camp near Cowra in NSW in 1944. Hut leader Kamimura (Kuni Hashimoto) encourages the POWs to put the shame of their capture behind them and 'die like the carp'. An impression of the break-out is created through shouts ...

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Green Tea and Cherry Ripe, 1989: The horrors of Hiroshima

This clip from 1989 shows Masako Clarke recounting her experience of seeing the atomic bomb exploding over Hiroshima as she was leaving the city on a train, and returning to the city a week later. As she talks about seeing survivors, the camera switches from her face to show close-up images of flowers, including dahlias ...

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Breakout, 1984: Shame

The clip shows a former Japanese prisoner of war (POW) Marekuni Takahara revisiting the Cowra camp in New South Wales where he was held during the Second World War. He remembers the dishonour and shame felt by Japanese POWs for being captured and not dying in battle as their military code demanded. Historic black-and-white ...

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Breakout, 1984: Ghost

This clip shows historic footage of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) returning to a destroyed Japan accompanied by a commentary and an interview with former Japanese POWs that explain their feelings of apprehension. Japanese POWs are shown leaving a train to embark on the Japanese ship that will transport them home. Marekuni ...

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Use of the atomic bomb in World War II

This is a collection of seven digital curriculum resources about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and its horrific aftermath. The collection is organised into three categories - images of the bombing; survivors' testimonies; and witnesses to the devastation. The collection includes archival footage, video footage of ...

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The 'opening' of Japan

This is a collection of 15 digital curriculum resources, all of them collections in their own right, that focus on Japan and the West from 1853. The mega-collection is grouped into four sections - Commodore Perry's expeditions; the Treaty ports; internal Westernisation; and the arrival of Western tourists. The resource ...

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Emergence of Japan as a world power

This is a collection of 14 digital curriculum resources that focus on Japan's emergence as a world power. The collection is grouped into three sections - nationalism and modernisation of the military; the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95; and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. The collection includes four essays by eminent ...

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Japan under shogun and emperor

This is a collection of 11 digital curriculum resources that focus on Japan in the late Shogunate and early Meiji periods. The collection is grouped into five sections - samurai; people of the late Shogunate and early Meiji periods; scenes in late Shogunate and early Meiji Japan; the 'opening' of Japan; and the Meiji restoration. ...

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Bomb site in Darwin, 1942

This is a black-and-white photograph of a group of six Australian soldiers at a bomb site in Darwin, Northern Territory, in 1942. The actual location in Darwin is unidentified. A sign in the foreground says 'DANGER LIVE BOMB', and one of the men is crouching or standing in what could be a bomb crater.

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Bill Griffiths remembers 'Weary' Dunlop, 2006

This is an edited sound recording of former British Royal Air Force man Bill Griffiths, who lost both hands and both eyes in 1942 while a prisoner of the Japanese in the Second World War (1939-45) on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). He is remembering the Australian surgeon, Sir Edward Ernest ...