Japan often cites 660 BCE as the date of the country’s founding. This was when the first Emperor of
Japan, Emperor Jimmu ascended the throne and began Japan’s imperial dynasty. Emperor Jimmu’s is
considered a mythic legendary emperor of Japan and is believed to be a descendant of the sun goddess
Amaterasu – he is recorded as Japan’s first emperor in two early chronicles, Kojiki, and Nihon Shoki. The
people began arriving in Japan from Asian mainland around 13000 BCE and the earliest recorded history
of Japan occurred during the Kofun period (c.250 AD – 538 AD). Although Emperor Jimmu’s story is
most likely a myth, Japan celebrates its National Foundation Day on February 11th as a tribute to Emperor Jimmu’s ascension in 660 BCE.