Japan | Tokyo

What is Edo Japan?

September 2020

An Introduction to the theme


  Japan's Edo period lasted from 1603 to 1868 and marks one of Japan's most monumental periods. It was the time that Japan came in touch with far-flung nations like the Netherlands and the USA. The period is named after Japan's capital Edo - which we know today as Tokyo.

A period with new elements

  During the period, the Tokugawa family held the shogunate of Japan. They had to deal with the influx of Christianity, maintain the loyalty of their Daimyos (vassals) and find a way to interact with the West.

Meanwhile, some of Japan's most famous artists adopted Western art in their style - and made the unique woodblock prints we know so well today.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

The Great Wave off Kanagawa was made during the Edo period (around 1830) by Hiroshige

What to expect

   The period is also known as Sakoku, meaning 'closed country'. But, to what extent was this country truly closed? And, why would a country want to isolate in the first place? We'll learn all about it in this week's theme. I hope you enjoy.