Japan, its History, Values, and Technology

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Japan and the U.S. Compared

147,500 square miles (somewhat smaller than California)3,618,770 square miles
119,200,000 population (1982)234,250,000 population (1982)
811 inhabitants/square mile64 inhabitants/square mile
76% urban79% urban
GNP $1.0 trillion (1982)GNP $2.6 trillion (1982)
National Budget $190 billion (1982)National Budget $700 billion (1982)

In latitude, Japan extends roughly between the latitudes of:

Some key aspects of Japanese values

The Formation of Japan

300 B.C.-300 A.D. YAYOI culture

300-710 YAMATO period

710-794 NARA period

794-1185 HEIAN or FUJIWARE period

Feudal Japan

1185-1333 KAMAKURA period


1568-1600 Reunification

1543-1639 Period of initial European contact

Terminated when shoguns feared the rising influence of Europeans, especially Christianity.

1600-1868 TOKUGAWA period

Japan Becomes A World Power

1853 Commodore Perry visits Japan

1868-1912 MEIJI period

Rapid modernization and adaptation of European and American technology

Japan in the Twentieth Century

1941-1945 World War II

1945-1952 Military Occupation

Resonances between Japanese and Anglo-American values

Most Westerners are struck by the differences between Japan and the West. Very few notice the similarities.

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Created 22 May 1997
Last Update 22 May 1997

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