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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. 
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.

Noun

political unit made of people who share a common territory.

Noun

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

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.