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(1926–89) Period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of Hirohito, the Showa emperor. 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 Osaka 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 Showa 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 alsoHeisei period; Occupation (of Japan).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Showa period, visit Britannica.com.
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