Jidai Period, era. See TV Tropes.
Historical eras, in chronological order:
Zhanguo shidai, c. 475-221 B.C. Term for China's "Warring States period." See Wikipedia or Everything2.
Heian jidai, 794-1185. Began when the capital was moved from Nara to Heian-Kyo (later renamed Kyoto, see geography page). During this period, Chinese influences were at their height in Japan, as was the Japanese imperial court. It was also in this era that Buddhism (see religion page) began to spread in Japan, and the samurai class (see people page) rose. The era ended when the Genpei War brought a shogun named Minamoto Yoritomo to power. See Japan Guide, Heian Japan, Wikipedia or Everything2.
Kamakura jidai, 1185-1333. The era is named for the city of Kamakura, officially established as the new capital by Minamoto Yoritomo in 1192. The emperor and the imperial court were left in place, but merely as figureheads, while real power now rested with the shogun. See Japan Guide, Wikipedia or Everything2.
Sengoku jidai, 1467-1573 (or 1615). A term borrowed from the Chinese Zhanguo shidai to describe Japan's "Warring States period," which began with the ten-year Onin War (during the Muromachi period), and ended with the Edo period. Many anime, such as InuYasha are set during this era. See Wikipedia.
Edo jidai, 1603-1867. Also called the Tokugawa Shogunate for the ruling family of the era (see people page), the Edo period is named for the capital city of Edo (later renamed Tokyo, see geography page). Many anime, such as Samurai Champloo, are set in the Edo period. See Japan Guide, Tokugawa Japan, Wikipedia, or Everything2.
Meiji jidai, 1868-1912. A period of "enlightened rule" in Japan, after the Meiji Restoration restored the emperor to power, following the decline of the Tokugawa shogunate (the Edo period). During the Meiji period, Japan began to adopt some elements of Western culture. The anime Rurouni Kenshin is set during the Meiji era. See The Meiji Period, Japan Guide, Wikipedia, or Everything2.
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