Visual Timeline: Ancient Japan

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14500 BCE 14000 BCE 13500 BCE 13000 BCE 12500 BCE 12000 BCE 11500 BCE 11000 BCE 10500 BCE 10000 BCE 9500 BCE 9000 BCE 8500 BCE 8000 BCE 7500 BCE 7000 BCE 6500 BCE 6000 BCE 5500 BCE 5000 BCE 4500 BCE 4000 BCE 3500 BCE 3000 BCE 2500 BCE 2000 BCE 1500 BCE 1000 BCE 500 BCE 0 CE 500 CE 1000 CE  
14500 BCE - 300 BCE: Jomon Period in Japan.
660 BCE - 585 BCE: Traditional reign dates of Emperor Jimmu, Japan's first emperor.
300 BCE - 250 CE: The Yayoi Period in ancient Japan.
97 BCE - 30 BCE: Possible reign dates of Japan's Emperor Sujin.
4 BCE: Traditional founding date of the Ise Grand Shrine in honour of the Shinto goddess Amaterasu.
82 CE: Contact between Han China and Yayoi Japan.
183 CE - 248 CE: Life of Queen Himiko of Japan.
189 CE - 248 CE: The reign of Queen Himiko.
238 CE: Queen Himiko of Japan sends a tribute delegation to China.
250 CE - 538 CE: The Kofun Period in ancient Japan.
250 CE - 710 CE: The Yamato Period in ancient Japan, consisting of the Kofun Period and Asuka Period.
300 CE - 700 CE: Haniwa terracotta figurines are placed outside Japanese mound tombs or kofun.
366 CE: Japan establishes diplomatic relations with Korea.
413 CE - 478 CE: Japanese kings send ambassadors and tribute to China.
531 CE - 571 CE: Reign of Emperor Kimmei in Japan.
535 CE - 539 CE: Reign of Emperor Senka in Japan.
538 CE - 710 CE: The Asuka Period in ancient Japan.
538 CE: Alternative date to 552 CE for the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from Korea.
552 CE: Traditional date for the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from Korea.
572 CE - 585 CE: Reign of Emperor Bidatsu in Japan.
585 CE - 587 CE: Reign of Emperor Yomei in Japan.
587 CE: The Soga clan establish control of government in Japan.
587 CE - 592 CE: Reign of Emperor Sushun in Japan.
592 CE - 628 CE: Reign of Empress Suiko, Japan's first empress.
593 CE: The Shitennoji Buddhist temple is built in Japan.
593 CE: The Buddhist Gango-ji temple, the oldest in Japan, is founded at Asuka.
594 CE - 622 CE: Reign of Prince Shotoku as regent for Japanese Empress Suiko.
596 CE: The Hokoji Buddhist temple is built in Japan.
604 CE: Prince Shotoku draws up his Seventeen Article Constitution in Japan.
607 CE: Prince Shotoku of Japan sends the first of many official embassies to Sui China.
607 CE: The Horyuji Buddhist temple is built in Nara, Japan during the reign of Regent Prince Shotoku.
629 CE - 641 CE: Reign of Emperor Jomei in Japan.
642 CE - 645 CE: Reign of Empress Kogyoku in Japan.
645 CE: The Japanese capital is moved from Asuka to Naniwa.
645 CE: Fujiwara no Kamatari leads a coup d'etat in Japan, removing the Soga clan from power.
645 CE - 654 CE: Reign of Emperor Kotoku in Japan.
645 CE: The Fujiwara clan in Japan is founded by Fujiwara no Kamatari.
655 CE - 661 CE: Reign of Empress Saimei in Japan.
661 CE - 671 CE: Reign of Emperor Tenji in Japan.
671 CE - 672 CE: The Jinshin Incident in Japan which establishes Temmu as emperor.
671 CE - 672 CE: Reign of Emperor Kobun in Japan.
672 CE - 686 CE: Reign of Emperor Temmu in Japan.
680 CE: Yakushiji temple is founded in Fujiwara-kyo.
686 CE - 697 CE: Reign of Empress Jito in Japan.
694 CE - 710 CE: Fujiwarakyo is made the Japanese capital.
697 CE - 707 CE: Reign of Emperor Mommu in Japan.
707 CE - 715 CE: Reign of Empress Gemmei in Japan.
708 CE: Japan's first coinage, the Wado kaiho, is introduced.
710 CE - 794 CE: The Nara Period in ancient Japan.
710 CE: The Japanese capital is moved from Fujiwara-kyo to Nara (aka Heijokyo).
710 CE: The Buddhist Kofukuji temple is established at Nara, main temple of the Japanese Fujiwara clan.
710 CE - 784 CE: Nara is the capital of ancient Japan.
711 CE: The Fushimi Inari shrine, dedicated to the Shinto rice god Inari, is founded near Kyoto.
712 CE: The Kojiki is written, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
713 CE: The Japanese Fudoki are composed and record local kami and associated legends.
715 CE - 724 CE: Reign of Empress Gensho in Japan.
720 CE: The Nihon Shoki is written, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
724 CE - 749 CE: Reign of Emperor Shomu in Japan.
725 CE: The Usa shrine is founded in northern Kyushu and dedicated to the Shinto god Hachiman.
735 CE - 737 CE: Japan suffers two smallpox epidemics which kills 25-35% of the population.
740 CE: A rebellion led by the Fujiwara exile Hirotsugu is quashed by Emperor Shomu.
749 CE - 758 CE: First reign of Empress Koken in Japan.
751 CE: The Kaifuso anthology of Japanese poems is compiled.
752 CE: The Buddhist Todaiji temple is founded at Nara, Japan.
758 CE - 764 CE: Reign of emperor Junnin in Japan.
759 CE: The Manyoshu or 'Collection of 10,000 Leaves' is written, an important Shinto source and classic of Japanese poetry.
764 CE - 770 CE: Second reign of Empress Koken, now known as Shotoku, in Japan.
767 CE - 822 CE: Life of Saicho, founder of Tendai Buddhism in Japan.
768 CE: Official founding date of the Kasuga Taisha Shinto shrine at Nara, Japan.
770 CE - 781 CE: Reign of Emperor Konin in Japan.
774 CE - 835 CE: Life of the monk Kukai (aka Kobo Daishi), founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.
781 CE - 806 CE: Reign of Emperor Kammu in Japan.
784 CE: Emperor Kammu moves the Japanese capital from Nara to Nagaokakyo.
785 CE: Saicho establishes the first Buddhist shrine at what would become the Enryakuji temple complex on Mt. Hiei, Japan.
793 CE - 864 CE: Life of Ennin, the Buddhist scholar-monk and abbot of Enryakuji, who brought many esoteric teachings from China to Japan.
794 CE - 1185 CE: The Heian Period in ancient Japan.
794 CE: Japanese Emperor Kammu sends an expedition led by Otomo no Otomaro against the Emishi.
794 CE: Emperor Kammu builds the Shinto Herano shrine at Heiankyo (Kyoto).
796 CE: The Buddhist To-ji temple near Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan is founded.
801 CE: Japanese Emperor Kammu sends an expedition led by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro against the Emishi.
806 CE: The Shinto shrine of Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha is built on Mount Fuji.
807 CE: Imibe-no-Hironari writes the Kogoshui, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
819 CE: Kukai (Kobo Daishi) establishes a monastery and headquarters for Shingon Buddhism on Mount Koya in Japan.
826 CE: A five-storey pagoda is added to the To-ji temple complex in Heiankyo (Kyoto).
838 CE: Last Japanese embassy to China during the Heian Period.
845 CE - 903 CE: Life of the deified scholar and court official Sugawara no Michizane, aka Tenjin.
866 CE: Fujiwara no Yoshifusa becomes the first Japanese regent not of royal blood.
874 CE: The Buddhist Daigoji temple is founded by Shobo at Heiankyo (Kyoto).
897 CE - 930 CE: Reign of Japan's Emperor Daigo.
947 CE: The Tenmangu Kitano shrine is founded in honour of Sugawara no Michizane, aka Tenjin.
995 CE: Fujiwara no Michinaga becomes the Fujiwara clan leader in Japan.
1002 CE: Sei Shonagon completes The Pillow Book, a Japanese classic describing court life during the Heian Period.
1004 CE: Japanese poet Izumi Shikibu writes her 'Izumi Shikibu Diary'.
1020 CE: The Tale of Genji is completed by Murasaki Shikibu in Japan.
1042 CE - 1103 CE: Life of the legendary Japanese warrior Minamoto no Yoshiie.
1046 CE: Yorinobu claims Hachiman patron god and founder of the Minamoto clan in Japan.
1052 CE: The Buddhist temple site Byodo-in is founded in Japan by Fujiwara no Yorimichi.
1073 CE - 1087 CE: Reign of Emperor Shirakawa in Japan.
1073 CE - 1087 CE: Reign of Japan's Emperor Shirakawa.
1147 CE - 1199 CE: Life of Minamoto no Yoritomo, clan leader of the Minamoto and first shogun of Japan.
1156 CE: Hogen Disturbance in Japan.
1160 CE: Heiji Disturbance in Japan.
1180 CE - 1185 CE: The Genpei War in Japan between the Taira and Minamoto clans.
1180 CE: Taira forces defeat an army led by Minamoto no Yorimasa.
1181 CE: Taira forces defeat an army led by Minamoto no Yukie.
1183 CE: Kiso Yoshinaka defeats a large Taira army at Kurikara in Etchu and occupies the Japanese capital Heiankyo (Kyoto).
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