Japanese Premodern History

Answer these questions about the prehistory and history of Japan up to 1868.
Quiz by cornflakesfu
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Last updated: July 16, 2018
First submittedJuly 10, 2018
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Period from 14,000-300 BCE, named for its "rope-patterned" pottery
Jōmon
Period from 300 BCE-300 CE, named for a neighborhood in Tokyo where artifacts of the period were first discovered
Yayoi
Grain that became a staple of the Japanese diet during the above period
Rice
Queen of the Kingdom of Yamatai mentioned in the Chinese Book of Wei
Himiko or Pimiko
Period from 300-538 CE, named for its distinctive tombs
Kofun
Shape of the tombs that gave the above period its name
Keyhole
Name of the clan that rose to power in this period and eventually became the imperial family. Also a poetic way to refer to Japan in general.
Yamato
Religion "officially" introduced to Japan in 552
Buddhism
Period from 710-794. Also the name of Japan's first permanent capital
Nara
Famous early 8th century history of Japan and the imperial family (NOTE: there are two. Name either one.)
Kojiki or Nihon shoki
Temple in the capital where a giant Buddha statue was completed in 752. Also formerly the world's largest wooden building.
Tōdai-ji
Period from 794-1185. Also the former name of Kyoto.
Heian
Most dominant clan in the politics of the above period, frequently acting as regents to emperors
Fujiwara
Published in the early 10th century, this was the first of 21 imperial poetry anthologies
Kokinshū
Written in the early 11th century, this work is sometimes considered the world's first novel
The Tale of Genji
War that brought an end to the above period
Genpei War
"Eastern" clan in this war (they won!)
Minamoto
"Western" clan in this war (they . . . didn't so much win)
Taira
Period from 1185-1333, named for the new shogunal capital
Kamakura
The first shogun
Minamoto no Yoritomo
Sect of Buddhism introduced to Japan in 1227
Zen
Hint
Answer
Japanese for "divine wind," this term refers to two fortuitous typhoons that helped to drive away the Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281
Kamikaze
Period from 1336-1573, named for an area in Kyoto where the new shogunate's capital was established (or, alternatively, for the new shogunal clan)
Muromachi or Ashikaga
The first shogun of the above period
Ashikaga Takauji
Theatrical style that rose to prominence in the above period, known for its slow pacing and dream-heavy plots
Noh
Term for the latter half of the above period, when the shogunate had lost control over the provinces and regional warlords battled for supremacy
Warring States Period
Sailors from this country are the first Europeans to visit Japan, first arriving in the 16th century
Portugal
Period from 1573-1603, named for two significant castles
Azuchi-Momoyama
First used extensively at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, this invention brought from Europe changed the face of war in Japan
Firearms
The first "unifier" of Japan, died in 1582
Oda Nobunaga
The second "unifier" of Japan, died in 1598
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
The third "unifier" of Japan, appointed shogun in 1603
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Battle in 1600 at which the third unifier claimed decisive victory over his enemies
Battle of Sekigahara
Period from 1603-1868, named for the new shogunal capital and former name of Tokyo (or, alternatively, for the new shogunal clan)
Edo or Tokugawa
Religion that was banned early in the above period
Christianity
For much of the above period, this was the only European country allowed to trade with Japan
Netherlands
This was the only city where ships of that country were allowed to enter Japan
Nagasaki
Group of ruling warriors that were the highest of the "four classes" of society in the above period
Samurai
Theatrical style that rose to prominence in the above period, known for its dramatic poses and for male actors playing female roles
Kabuki
Theatrical style that rose to prominence in the above period, known for its near-life-size puppets
Bunraku
U.S. commodore who forced Japan to open up to the west
Matthew Perry
Nickname of the fleet of modern warships he took to the capital
"The Black Ships"
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