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In this episode of Empire Builders we explore the remarkable history of one the world’s most unique and diverse ancient cultures. We travel through time to explore the past 1500 years of Japan’s history through 10 of its most famous and spectacular buildings.
We explore Japan’s ancient temples, shrines and castles, before the coming of the Samurai, the Tokugawa shogunate imposed a period of strict national isolation for nearly 250 years, forbidding foreigners to enter Japan.
After the “Meiji Restoration” in 1868 finally overthrew the feudal Togugawa shogunate, the area of Tokyo adjacent to the Imperial Palace was utterly transformed. Once home to the vast mansions of Japan’s feudal lords, it became Japan’s first modern business district.
After rapidly modernising and militarising in the early 20th century, Japan emulated the previous actions of Western powers by attempting to create a vast Asian empire through warfare.
By 1945 Japan’s aggression was utterly defeated, forced into unconditional surrender by the horrifying effects of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But rising phoenix-like out of the ashes of war, remarkably within just a few decades Japan was able to become one of the world’s most successful developed modern economies.
Using CGI, contributions from experts in their fields and re-enactments, we walk the ruins, discover the story behind, and explore the historic sites of:
- Todai-ji Temple, Nara
- Heian Shrine, Kyoto
- Byodo-in Temple, Uji
- Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kamakura
- Himeji Castle
- Nikko Toshogu Shrine
- Dejima Island, Nagasaki
- Marunouchi District, Tokyo
- Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
- Tokyo Skytree Tower, Tokyo
Runtime: 50 minutes per show
FORMAT: H.264 MP4 *Plays on Roku, AppleTV, Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, Mac, PC, Cell Phone, or Tablet
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