... we are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure. — Samuel Johnson

Japan: Peeps at History - John Finnemore

This succinct and nicely illustrated history of Japan covers the four main historical periods of Japan up until the First World War. These include the legendary period (660 B.C. to 645 A.D.), the Fujiwara and Taira Dynasties (645 to 1186), the Shogunate (1186 to 1868), and the modern period (from the opening of Japan in 1868). It is a short but excellent introduction to a fascinating culture.

[Book Cover] from Peeps at History - Japan by John Finnemore
Warrior of Ashikga Period

[Title Page] from Peeps at History - Japan by John Finnemore [Copyright Page] from Peeps at History - Japan by John Finnemore [Contents] from Peeps at History - Japan by John Finnemore [Illustrations] from Peeps at History - Japan by John Finnemore

Periods of Japanese History

I. The Legendary Emperors

Names and dates are here uncertain. The period probably ranges from 660 B.C. to A.D. 645: It is supposed that the Empire was founded by Prince Jimmu Tenno about 660 B.C.

II. The Puppet Emperors

This period ranges from A.D. 645 to A.D. 1186. During this time up to A.D. 1050 the Fujiwara family were in a position of great authority, and exercised the powers of government. After them the Taira family rose to prominence. The Taira were crushed by the Minamoto, whose chief Yoritomo became Shogun, or acting Emperor, in 1186.

III. Mikado and Shogun (or Tycoon)

This period lasted from A.D. 1186 to A.D. 1868. The Mikado was always the Emperor, but the Shogun governed on his behalf. The Shogunate was usually held by the chief of a great family.

Dynasty of Minamoto Shoguns, 1186-1219.
Dynasty of Shadow Shoguns (Hojo regents), 1220-1334.
Dynasty of Ashikaga Shoguns, 1334-1573.
Dynasty of Usurping Shoguns, 1573-1603.
Dynasty of Tokugawa Shoguns, 1603-1868.

IV. The Modern Emperors, 1868 to Present Day

The Emperor regains his ancient power, and the Shogunate is abolished.