In 1868, samurai revolutionaries and their allies seized the reins of power and established a new capital they called Tokyo. Against all odds, this fragile regime survived and made Tokyo a center of power that would transform both Japan and the world. This survey of Japanese history explores the rise and fall of Japan as a modern imperial power; its foreign relations; its economic and scientific development from "feudalism" to futuristic technologies; and Japan's many modern revolutions, from the rule of the samurai to Westernization and democracy, from democratic collapse to fascism and World War II, and from Japan's postwar rebirth to the present. We will examine not only big events but also everyday life, including gender and sexuality, family and schools, and art and popular culture.
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