Empire of Japan
Greater Japanese Empire
大日本帝国
Dai Nippon Teikoku
1868–1947
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
五箇条の御誓文
"Charter Oath"
("The Oath in Five Articles")
Anthem
"Kimigayo"
君が代
("His Imperial Majesty's Reign")
The Empire of Japan in 1942
Capital Tokyo
Languages Japanese
Religion De jure: none
De facto: espousing Shintoism
Government Daijō-kan
(1868–1885)
Constitutional monarchy
(1890–1947)
One-party military dictatorship (1940–1945)
Emperor
 •  1868–1912 Meiji (Mutsuhito)
 •  1912–1926 Taishō (Yoshihito)
 •  1926–1947 Shōwa (Hirohito)
Prime Minister
 •  1885–1888 Itō Hirobumi (first)
 •  1946–1947 Shigeru Yoshida (last)
Legislature Imperial Diet
 •  Upper house House of Peers
 •  Lower house House of Representatives
History
 •  Meiji Restoration 3 January 1868
 •  Constitution adopted 29 November 1890
 •  Russo-Japanese War 10 February 1904
 •  Pacific War 1941–1945
 •  Surrender of Japan 2 September 1945
 •  Reconstituted 2 May 1947
Currency Japanese yen
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Tokugawa Shogunate
Ryūkyū Kingdom
Republic of Ezo
Qing Dynasty
Russian Empire
Korean Empire
German New Guinea
Dutch East Indies
Occupied Japan

The Empire of Japan (大日本帝國 Dai Nippon Teikoku, literally "Greater Japanese Empire") was the historical Japanese nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Imperial Japan's rapid industrialization and militarization under the slogan Fukoku Kyōhei (富國強兵, "Enrich the Country, Strengthen the Armed Forces") led to its emergence as a world power and the establishment of a colonial empire. Economic and political turmoil in the 1920s led to the rise of militarism, eventually culminating in Japan's conquest of a large part of the Asia-Pacific region.

After several large-scale military successes during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and the Pacific War, the Empire also gained notoriety for its war crimes against the peoples it conquered.

The Emperors during this time, which spanned the entire Meiji and Taishō, and the lesser part of the Shōwa eras, are now known in Japan by their posthumous name, which coincide with those era names: Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito), Emperor Taishō (Yoshihito), and Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito).

Meiji Restoration[edit | edit source]

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