In 1863 AD, Choshu forces under Mori Takachika
staged anti-barbarian attacks against foreigners, which resulted in a combined western
military response--the Shimonoseki Campaign
(July-August 1863 and September 1864 AD). The USS Wyoming
severely damaged one and sank two US-built Choshu ships during the campaign.
MEIJI RESTORATION: (1868-1912 AD)
In 1866 AD, the Satsuma-Choshu Alliance
enabled an end to the Tokugawa shogunate. It placed
Meiji in a position of power on 3 February 1867 AD.
Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu formally resigned on
9 November 1867 AD. However, Tokugawa forces fought pro-imperial troops in the
Boshin War (January 1868 - May 1869). A combined army of
Choshu-Satsuma-Tosa won a decisive Battle of Toba-Fushimi.
Tokugawa survivors of the war briefly established the Republic of Ezo,
but it ended shortly after the Siege of Hakodate.
Thus ended the feudal regime of Japan in 1869 AD.
In 1871 AD, the Iwakura Mission negotiated new treaties
with western powers and gained information vital to modernize Japan. The Meiji government also negotiated with
Russia an exchange of
Sakhalin Island for the
Japan underwent a rapid westernization process.
Japanese naval success during the Russo-Japanese War
(1904-1905 AD) shocked the western powers. It represented the first successful war of an Asian nation
over a European country. Japan gained control of Port Arthur, the southern half of Sakhalin Island and
mineral rights in Manchuria. Japan also formally
annexed Korea in 1910 AD.
The militaristic government determined to create an empire by seizing territory throughout East Asia,
Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. On 19 September 1931 AD, Japanese troops invaded
Mukden in Manchuria and installed a puppet government over what they called
Manchukuo, with Emperor Puyi
as head of state. In 1937 AD, Japan invaded China in the
Second Sino-Japanese War. Two rivals who likewise
fought Japanese forces were Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek and
Communist leader Mao Zedong.
On 6 August 1945 AD, the Enola Gay
dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
A second atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki
on 9 August. War in the Pacific ended on 2 September 1945 AD with the
surrender of Japan.
Allied powers agreed that the Japanese emperor could retain a figurehead status.