During the early Meiji Restoration era of the Imperial Japan
the Meiji Emperor fought with China over control of the Ryukyu Islands
which were an independent kingdom and a vassal state of China.
the Imperial Japan annexed the Ryukyu Islands
and established the Okinawa Prefecture.
15 years later, the first Sino-Japanese war began in 1894,
not only over the control of the Korea
which was still a vassal state of China,
but also because Japan wanted to conquer Manchuria yet again.
Strategically located and rich in natural resources,
Manchuria had been a battle ground through out the centuries,
as China, Japan and Russia fought bitterly for control over it.
The history of this land between the Yellow Sea and the Mo River
which forms its border with Russia
has been written in blood and tears.
After more than 6 months of fierce fighting
with thousands of civilians massacred by Japanese invaders
the weak Qing Dyansty agreed to a cease-fire.
On April 17, 1895, in the Treaty of Shimonoseki,
the Qing Dynasty was forced to recognize the independence of Korea,
sea to Japan, in perpetuity,
the Liaodong Peninsula as well as the Penghu Islands
and the Island of Taiwan.
In addition, the Qing Dynasty had to pay a huge ransom in cash.
At that time, the Imperial Japan also annexed
the Diaoyu Islands as spoils of war
and immediately incorporated the uninhabited islands as part of the Okinawa Prefecture
under the sovereignty of Japan.
This was done,
even though the Diaoyu Islands had historically been the Chinese territory
and the annexation was never part of the Shimonoseki Treaty.
the devastating defeat by Japan and the acceptance of the humiliating Shimonoseki Treaty
along with many foreign nations won to colonize China
became a catalyst for political change.
The Righteous Harmony Society,
a Chinese nationalist movement opposing foreign influence and imperial colonialism,
started the Boxer rebellion which lasted from 1899 to 1901.
The boxer refused to accept the fact of the proud, ancient civilization of the middle kingdom
had been brought to its knees by foreign gun boats,
British opium and Japanese military oppression.