30 Timeline (Bakumatsu)The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this chapter

Bakumatsu time is within the Edo period.  As you can see the above timeline, it is not so clear-cut to divide the period.  Azuchi-Momoyam Period (安土桃山) is from 1573 (Oda Nobunaga (織田信長) deposed Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa 将軍足利義昭) till 1614 of Osaka Winter War where Tokugawa Iyeyasu killed Toyotomi Hideyori, (Hideyoshi’s son). Azuchi Momoyama Period was a short time when Oda Nobunaga(織田信長), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉) and Tokugawa Iyeyasu(徳川家康) were actively maneuvering politically for their survival.  During this time, society was flourished culturally and economically.  After a long period of wartime, people could see the country is almost united finally.  The story of Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Iyeyasu is the most popular story for Japanese.  Often the stories around this time are depicted on TV programs, in movies and novels.  The Edo period was the time the Tokugawa family ruled Japan.  Their government is called Tokugawa Bakufu.  Throughout the Edo period, the direct line of the Tokugawa family, usually the firstborn son became a Shogun.  Yet the Emperor co-existed at the same time.  They did not have political power.  But the emperor family had some status of their own as an Emperor.  During the Edo period, it was a very peaceful time.  Unlike the previous time, there were no wars.  Long last Edo period (last approximately 260 years) became stagnated in the latter part.  We call the latter part of the Edo period the Bakumatsu (幕末) time. This means the latter part of the Edo Bakufu.  As I explained in a previous chapter (26 Edo Period History (1603 – 1867).docx, Japan closed the country to the outside world (This is called Sakoku).  The only place Japan could contact with other countries was the place called Dejima in Nagasaki area (Southern part of Japan).  During Bakumatsu time, several European ships came to Japan asking and demanding us to open ports for water and other supplies for whaling ships and some country wanted to trade with us.  Those countries were England, Russia, America, and France, etc.   In 1853 Perry came to Japan with four warships demanding to open the ports for water, fuel and other supplies for U.S. whaling ships.  At Bakumatsu time  (the end of the Edo period), ), Tokugawa Bakufu was facing the political and systematic difficulty in governing the country.  Also, intellectual people were afraid that we may get into trouble like the one in China, the Opium War(1840 -42) in which China was controlled by England at the end.  Russian government sent us the messenger officially to open up for trades (1792).  The pressures to open the county were building up and surrounding us.  It became obvious that Japan could no longer continue to close the country.  At the time like this, Perry appeared with four big warships at the place called Uraga (Kanagawa prefecture) and demanded to open the country.  This four ships really scared Japanese and excelled the big anti-Bakufu movement.  The Meiji Revolution was triggered by Perry’s warships.  Soon Tokugawa Bakufu made treaties with several countries and opened a few ports for trades.  The Bakufu’s authority was lost, Japan was divided into several different political groups and they fought chaotically for their different opinions.  The Meiji Restoration continued on.  1868, the Emperor moved to the Edo castle in Edo (now Tokyo), started a Meiji Shin Seifu (Meiji new government) center around the Meiji Emperor.  Tokugawa Bakufu ended and the Meiji era started from 1868.

 

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