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Japans influence on the west has been nothing short of miraculous in less than a century and a half they have risen from a small isolated culture to one of the preeminent superpowers of the world Although most people know a little about modern Japan most people do not know anything about the early history of the Japanese islands For this essay I have chosen to focus on three major points of Japanese history Origins to 710 Early Medieval History from 710-1600 and the Tokugawa Period from 1600-1868 Origins of the People and State to 710 The early history of the Japanese people is in many ways similar to the history of the Native Americans and the British French and Spanish immigrations To understand where the people of Japan come from you first need to understand that there are two races of people living in Japan now the Japanese people and the Ainu who live chiefly in the northern part of the country areas like Hokkaido and northern Honshu The Ainu are similar to Native Americans of the United States in so far as they are the indigenous people of the land Henshall 7 About thirty to fifteen thousand years ago during the last glacial age groups of immigrants crossed over several land bridges connecting ancient Japan to the Asian mainland they were called the Jomon These people were the original inhabitants of Japan they were huntergatherers and lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle however they did not look like traditional Japanese people they were short muscular and had wide square faces During the Jomon Period 13000BC - 300BC these people dominated the island by 300 BC though most of them had settled in the northeastern most part of Japan what would later become know as Hokkaido By 300BC a new wave of immigration was bringing a new racial stock of people from the Asian mainland over to the island these peoples were slightly taller
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