Feb 11, 660 BC: Japan’s National Foundation Day

Feb 11, 660 BC: Japan’s National Foundation Day

On February 11, 660 BCE, the legendary Emperor Jimmu established what would become the nation of Japan.


9 - 12


Geography, Human Geography

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On February 11, 660 BCE, the mythical Emperor Jimmu united what would become the nation of Japan, and on February 11, Japan celebrates its national holiday. There is no evidence Jimmu or other early Japanese emperors existed, but tradition holds that Jimmu established his reign with smart military strategy. Jimmu and his older brothers campaigned northward from the southern tip of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands. Eventually, the brothers made their way to the Seto Inland Sea, which separates Kyushu from the islands of Honshu and Shikoku. Jimmu established his legendary empire in Yamato (today, Nara Prefecture) in southern Honshu. The Yamato people are the most populous ethnic group in Japan.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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