Jimmu is the mythical founder of Japan, who established his empire in 660 BCE. A symbol of Jimmu is the longbow, which clearly marks the emperor from the rest of his party in this gorgeous woodblock print from 1891.
Woodblock print by Ginko Adachi, courtesy Wikimedia. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

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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. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    ancient Adjective

    very old.

    campaign Verb

    to conduct or coordinate activities designed to achieve a social, political, or military goal.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    emperor Noun

    ruler of an empire.

    empire Noun

    group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    ethnic Adjective

    having to do with characteristics of a group of people linked by shared culture, language, national origin, or other marker.

    evidence Noun

    data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

    historian Noun

    person who studies events and ideas of the past.

    legendary Adjective

    famous, heroic, or celebrated.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    mythical Adjective

    having to do with a legend or traditional story, not fact.

    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    reign Verb

    to rule as a monarch.

    strategy Noun

    plan or method of achieving a goal.

    tradition Noun

    beliefs, customs, and cultural characteristics handed down from one generation to the next.

    unify Verb

    to become a single unit.