- Shōwa period
The first decades of the period were marked by the rise of militarism in the 1930s and by Japan's disastrous participation in World War II, resulting in the country's complete collapse and ultimate surrender. The postwar era was one of rehabilitation, during which it joined the UN (1956), hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, and held the Ōsaka World Exposition in 1970. Japan experienced a so-called "economic miracle," with annual growth averaging 10% in 1955–60 and higher in the years following. In the 1980s the Japanese economy became one of the world's largest and most sophisticated, with per capita income surpassing that of the U.S. Japanese society became increasingly urban, with one-tenth of the population living in Tokyo by mid-decade. U.S. influence on popular culture was strong, and young Japanese emulated their U.S. counterparts in numerous ways. Other societal changes during the Shōwa period included more people living in nuclear families than in extended families, love marriages rather than arranged marriages, fewer children per family, and more opportunities for women. See also Heisei period; Occupation (of Japan).
* * *▪ Japanese history(1926–89), in Japanese history, the period comprising the reign of the emperor Hirohito. The first part of this period, from Hirohito's enthronement in 1926 to the end of World War II in 1945, is known as the early Shōwa period. The name Shōwa means “Bright Peace” in Japanese. The Shōwa period was preceded by the Taishō period (1912–26) and was followed by the Heisei period (1989– ), though none of these periods is widely used to designate the 20th-century history of Japan. The term Shōwa literature, however, does denote a distinct phase in Japanese literature from about 1924 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, which was particularly severe in Japan, is referred to as the Shōwa Depression there.
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