1928 JP -1935 Silver Japanese Coin Half Yen. Showa Era Japanese Phoenix Motif
The Shōwa era (昭和, Shōwa) or Modern Showa refers to the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) from December 25, 1926 until his death on January 7, 1989. It was preceded by the Taishō period. The pre-1945 and post-war Shōwa periods are almost completely different states: the pre-1945 Shōwa era (1926–1945) concerns the Empire of Japan, while post-1945 Shōwa era (1945–1989) is the State of Japan. During the pre-1945 period, Japan moved into political totalitarianism, ultranationalism and fascism culminating in Japan's invasion of China in 1937. This was part of a global period of social upheavals and conflicts such as the Great Depression and World War II. Defeat in the Second World War brought about radical change in Japan. For the first and only time in its history, Japan was occupied by foreign powers; this occupation lasted seven years. Allied occupation brought forth sweeping democratic reforms. It led to the formal end of the emperor's status as a demigod and the transformation of Japan from a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy to a Constitutional monarchy with a liberal democracy. In 1952, with the Treaty of San Francisco, Japan became a sovereign nation again. The post-war Shōwa period is characterized by the Japanese economic miracle.