Learn The History of Japan In 9 Minutes — Be Prepared To Laugh Hysterically As You Do

This video titled “History of Japan” lays out the entire course of the eastern nation in just nine minutes. But after watching it, you’ll wish that it was longer because it is probably the most entertaining video on YouTube this year so far.

True fans of musician/artist Bill Wurtz are already familiar with his quirky music and engaging content on his minimalist website.

The artist usually posts his latest creations and musings to his site, which will make you question everything you’ve ever known. Such queries include,

“how do you climb a multiplying mountain?”

“what if hell was good?”

He also gives his insight on the art of name-calling,

“a cool insult is doofus jerk face doofus face”

However, this time, he has truly outdone himself with his latest video, “The History of Japan.” Wurtz teased the release of his new video on Twitter.

And shortly after, he delivered his crash-course of Japan and did not disappoint. And not only is it hilarious, but it’s also well need in American academia.

Vox writes that Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and that it is also the producer of many of the world’s best products such as video games, cars, and other high-tech devices.

Many Americans will claim to know that Japan is well known for their technological advances, but unaware of Japan’s history — besides their involvement in WWII.

This is what makes Bill’s video all the more valuable. Who needs an entire four-year course in ancient civilization when you can cram an entire rich history in a hilarious nine-minute YouTube video?

An incredible time saving alternative indeed; however, Wurtz’s video should be taken with a grain of salt.

Because according to Vox, some criticisms against “The History of Japan” are that the comedic work of art simply skims over the atrocities committed by Japan — especially during World War II.

Viewers say that doing so effectively downplays or undermines the despondent destruction of war during those tumultuous times.

The vacuous silence after the Nuclear bombing of Japan, however was a truly sobering and dramatic plot device which momentarily breaks away from the comedy to briefly cast a grim light on the weight of the historic event. [Image via YouTube/Bill Wurtz]
Critics are most likely referring to such incidents like the Rape of Nanking. The Rape of Nanking (also known as the Rape of Nanjing, or the Nanjing Massacre) was the event in which the Imperial Japanese Army invaded the Chinese city in late 1937, according to History.

Japanese soldiers then proceeded to murder many soldiers and civilians. In addition, Japanese soldiers sexually assaulted between 20,000 and 80,000 Chinese women in just six weeks.

Japanese soldiers celebrating the capture of Nanking [Image via Shutterstock/Everett Historical]
Nanking was the capital of Nationalist China during this time period. And when Japan was through with it, nothing but rubble and dead bodies were left in their wake.

Vox also discovered one Reddit user who pointed out some key misnomers and inaccurate facts in “The History of Japan.”

“The only mistake I saw was that Toyotomi Hideyoshi didn’t conquer Hokkaido (this didn’t happen until the 1800s). A lot of stuff that I might have included (how important it was that Japan had pottery from the start, Himiko and Yamatai in 100-200 A.D., Minamoto no Yoritomo and the Genpei War mainly) wasn’t mentioned. The last one especially; he didn’t really talk at all about how the samurai took power from the imperial court – it lasted awhile and there was lots of war involved.”

Nevertheless, the consensus seems to be that the video was extremely entertaining, to say the least, as another Reddit user noted about “The History of Japan,”

“I saw that the time was 9 minutes and thought to myself, hell no will I watch this whole thing. I now have watched all 9 minutes and would like all my history to be presented in this same form.”

Twitter seems to be shouting nothing but high praise for “The History of Japan” as well. And the video now has over 2 million views on YouTube since the time of this writing.

“The History of Japan” is an interesting take on world history, and hopefully there are more to come from Wurtz featuring other countries. In the meantime, head over to his website to enjoy some of his related videos

[Feature image/video via YouTube/BillWurtz]