- 552: Traditional date for the introduction of Buddhism from Korea.
- 710: First permanent capital is established at Nara.
- 1192: Minamoto Yoritomo is given the title of Shogun.
- c. 1200 Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism is introduced
- 1274: Mongols under Khubilai Khan attempt to invade Japan.
- 1333: The Kamakura Shogunate is overthrown.
- 1338: The Ashikaga shogunate is established.
- 1542: Portuguese Merchants first arrive in Japan.
- 1568-1582: Reign of Oda Nobunaga
- 1582-1598: Toyotomi Hideyoshi
- 1598-1616: Reign of Tokugawa Ieyasu
- 1640: The seclusion and exclusion edicts take effect.
- 1688-1704: Genroku era
- 1853: Commodore Perry's expedition.
- 1867: Tokugawa Shogunate overthrown; beginning of Meiji restoration
- 1868: New imperial government is established at Tokyp (formerly Edo).
- 1877: Satsuma Rebellion.
- 1889: The Meiji Constitution is established.
- 1894-1890: Sino-Japanese War.
- 1904-1905: Russo-Japanese War.
- 1931: Mukden incident.
- 1937: Incident at Marco Polo Bridge leads to war with China.
- 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor
- 1952: US occupation ends
- 1955: The Liberal Democratic Party forms its first government.
- 1978: Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan.
- 1983: Liberal Democratic Party looses election for the first time.