The founding of Japan is considered mythical by many credible sources. But Japanese historical records indicate that the modern nation of Japan has its beginnings with the legendary Emperor Jimmu around the sixth century BC. Which is where he appears on the Biblical Timeline with World History. Japanese history is unique and different from many other cultures because they define the period before Emperor Jimmu’s ascension to the throne as the Age of Gods.
This particular era in the history of Japan began with mythical deities named Izanagi and Izanami. These two gods supposedly stuck a magic spear into the ocean and created the islands of Japan. Other parts of the creation myth states that Izanami had children who were born in the form of the Japanese islands. Even though this story is a part of the myth that surrounds the forming of Japan’s civilization, there are some factual and historical epochs which define Japan’s development.
Japan’s history begins with the prehistory era. The Jamon period lasted until about 300 B.C., and it was during this particular segment of time that the Japanese empire was founded.
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Japan’s inhabitants came from the Asian mainland, and most of the people crossed over the Sea of Japan (East Sea) from areas that lie in modern day Russia, China, North and South Korea. The nation of South Korea is located about 400 miles from Japan, and this would have been a relatively short trip for seafarers to take to reach the island.
People had migrated across the ancient Sea of Japan for thousands of years. The first inhabitants were gatherers and hunters. As time passed, and civilizations became more settled, many people who crossed over the Japanese Sea from the mainland began to form stable societies. They brought with them new farming techniques and metallurgy. These advances in technology helped early Japanese settlers to form stable and sedentary societies. The distinctive cultural factors of modern Japanese society began to form during this Jomon period.
Japan adopted China‘s writing system between the 6th and 8th centuries. During this period, they began to develop their creation myth as it pertained to Emperor Jimmu. Ancient Chinese records indicate that there was an island named Wa that was a short ways across the sea from the mainland. They say that this island was ruled by family clans. Outside of Chinese sources there are two Japanese Chronicles that outline the periods between 700 B.C. and 700 A.D. The name of these two chronicles is the Nihon Shoki and the Koji-Ki. The Nihon Shoki states that Jimmu ascended the throne of Japan around 660 B.C., and once he became the first emperor he established the first ruling monarchy of this nation. He is supposedly descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu.
Emperor Jimmu’s legacy is important to Japan because he was the first emperor to give Japan’s royal and longest remaining monarchy. And through his efforts the emperor had become a lasting symbol of inspiration and pride for the Japanese people. The Chinese accounts of the Japanese states that the people of Wa lived in relative peace during the reign of Jimmu and had a society that was settled and prosperous.
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2 thoughts on “Japan First Emperor”
And I was quite surprised to find your websites still label Korea’s ‘East Sea’ as ‘Sea of Japan,’ which is incorrect. Such an error on such a well-known website such as yours comes as a surprise since we regard you as one of the world’s best.
Using a proper name for the body of water between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago is not simply a question of changing the name of a geographical feature. It is part of the national effort by the Korean people to erase the legacy of Japanese Imperialism and to redress the unfairness that has resulted from it.
For your reference, Dorling & Kindersley, one of biggest textbook publishers, worldatlas.com, one of prominent online map provider, and one of the biggest mapmakers, National Geographic promised us that they would now use the name ‘East Sea.’ In addition, these websites are already using the name, ‘East Sea’ on their website after we pointed out the error.
As a member of the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), I urge you to use ‘East Sea’ to describe the body of water in question or to use both Korean and Japanese designation simultaneously (e.g. ‘East Sea/Sea of Japan’) in all of your contents.
Thank you for reading and we would appreciate your favorable consideration.
I have made the change although Wikipedia points out that the “International Hydrographic Organization, the international governing body for the naming bodies of water around the world, in 2012 rejected the use of “East Sea” and recognized the term “Sea of Japan” as the only title for the sea.” But in the interest of fairness I honor your request!