Empire of Japan
1868–1947 Anthem: 君が代 Kimigayo ( His Imperial Majesty's Reign)
The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
Territory (1870–1895) Acquisitions (1895–1930) Acquisitions (1930–1942) Capital Kyoto (1868–1869)  Tokyo City (1869–1943) Tokyo (1943–1947) Common languages Japanese Religion None : De jure : De facto State Shinto [nb 1] Government Emperor
Shōwa Prime Minister
(first) Itō Hirobumi
(last) Shigeru Yoshida Legislature Imperial Diet House of Peers House of Representatives Historical era • Meiji • Taishō Shōwa 3 January 1868  29 November 1890 25 July 1894 8 February 1904 23 August 1914 18 September 1931 7 July 1937 7 December 1941 2 September 1945 3 May 1947  Area 1938  1,984,000 km 2 (766,000 sq mi) Population
105,200,000 b Currency , Japanese yen , Korean yen , Taiwanese yen Japanese military yen
Empire of Japan Official Term name Official Term Empire of Japan Literal Translation name Literal Translation Imperial State of Great Japan
Empire of Japan ( 大日本帝國, Dai Nippon Teikoku, literally "Empire of Great Japan") was the historical  nation-state and [nb 2] that existed from the great power in 1868 to the enactment of the Meiji Restoration of modern 1947 constitution . Japan 
and industrialization under the slogan militarization Fukoku Kyōhei ( and 富國強兵, "Enrich the Country, Strengthen her Armed Forces") Shokusan Kōgyō ( led to its emergence as a 殖産興業, "Promote Industry") and the establishment of world power following the a colonial empire , the First Sino-Japanese War , the Boxer Rebellion , and Russo-Japanese War . Economic and political turmoil in the 1920s led to the rise of World War I and militarism , eventually culminating in Japan's membership in the totalitarianism and the conquest of a large part of the Axis alliance in Asia-Pacific . World War II 
Japan's armed forces initially achieved large-scale military successes during the
(1937–1945) and the Second Sino-Japanese War . However, after many Allied victories and following the Pacific War on August 9, 1945, and subsequent Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan and other territories, and the invasion of Manchuria , the Empire surrendered to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 15, 1945. A Allies by the Allies followed. In 1947, with American involvement, a period of occupation was enacted, officially bringing the Empire of Japan to an end. Occupation and reconstruction continued until 1952, eventually forming the new constitution constitutional monarchy known as current . Japan
during this time, which spanned the entire Emperors , Meiji , and the lesser part of the Taishō era, are now known in Japan by their Shōwa , which coincide with those era names: posthumous names (Mutsuhito), Emperor Meiji (Yoshihito), and Emperor Taishō (Hirohito). Emperor Shōwa
The historical state is frequently referred to as the "Empire of Japan", the "Japanese Empire", or "Imperial Japan" in English. In Japanese it is referred to as
Dai Nippon Teikoku (, 大日本帝國) which translates to "Empire of Great Japan" (  "Great", Dai "Japanese", Nippon "Empire"). Teikoku Teikoku is itself composed of the nouns "referring to an emperor" and Tei "nation, state", so literally "Imperial State" or "Imperial Realm" (compare the -koku German ).
This meaning is significant in terms of geography, encompassing Japan and its surrounding areas. The nomenclature
Empire of Japan had existed since the anti-Tokugawa domains, and Satsuma , which founded their new government during the Chōshū , with the intention of forming a modern state to resist Western domination.
Due to its name in
characters and its flag, it was also given the kanji "Empire of the Sun".