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History of Japan Through Anime

A list of shows that are based on historical events that took place in Japan or are set in a specific era in Japanese history. Hence they reflect the events, lifestyle, fashion or social values of the era in some kind of way. Fantasies are included. Sorted in chronological order.
1 The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

794-, some time during the Heian era

Fantasy, based on literature written during this period 

2 Onmyouji


Heian era, 10th-11th century, story of Abe no Seimei

3 Genji Monogatari Sennenki

Genji Monogatari Sennenki

11th century, Heian era

Based on literature written during this period 

4 The Heike Story

The Heike Story

13th century, End of Heian to early Kamakura period, based on literature that depicts the rise and fall of the Taira clan (heike).

5 Kurozuka


Kamakura period 

6 Shoka


Shōka Era Japan. After Kōgen and before Shōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1257 to March 1259, Kamakura period.

7 Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion

Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion

1274, the Mongol invasion, Kamakura era

8 Utakoi


Early 14th century, Kamakura period

Based on classical poems compiled during this period

9 The Elusive Samurai

The Elusive Samurai

1333, end of the Kamakura

10 Inu-Oh


14th century, Muromachi period, featuring Sarugaku Noh dance and modern rock music, after the fall of the heike clan

11 Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke

Late Muromachi period of Japan 

12 InuYasha


Some time during the Sengoku period

13 Dororo (2019)

Dororo (2019)

15th century, Sengoku period

14 Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger

Mid 15th to 16th century, Sengoku period

15 Asura


Mid-15th century Kyoto ravaged by successive waves of floods, drought, and famine...

16 Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings

16th century, Sengoku period

17 Kochoki


16th century, Sengoku period 

18 Nobunaga Concerto

Nobunaga Concerto

16th century, Sengoku period

19 Ninja Girl & Samurai Master

Ninja Girl & Samurai Master

16th century, Sengoku period 

20 Hyouge Mono

Hyouge Mono

16th century, Sengoku period 

21 Yasuke


Sengoku period, the story of “Yasuke”, the black samurai.

22 Gifuu Doudou!! Kanetsugu to Keiji

Gifuu Doudou!! Kanetsugu to Keiji

16th-17th century, Sengoku-Azuchi Momoyama period

23 Ooku: The Inner Chambers

Ooku: The Inner Chambers

Edo period, the inner palace during the Tokugawa reign 

24 Basilisk


17th century, Edo era

25 Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress

Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress

Edo era

26 Ninja Scroll

Ninja Scroll

Edo period

27 Shigurui: Death Frenzy

Shigurui: Death Frenzy

17th century, Edo era

28 Onihei


18th century, Edo period 

29 House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves

Some time during the Edo era

30 Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

Some time during the Edo era

31 Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai

Edo period featuring black music and culture 



Edo period, Nagasaki

33 Blade of the Immortal (2019)

Blade of the Immortal (2019)

Some time during the Edo era

34 Requiem from the Darkness

Requiem from the Darkness

19th century, some time during the Edo era

35 Gintama


Some time during the Edo period 

36 Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Edo in 1842, the thirteenth year of the Tenpō era.

37 Katanagatari


Edo-era Japan

38 Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror

Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror

Horror stories from the Edo period

39 Mononoke


Mostly Edo period, featuring ukiyoe art, but episodes 10-12 are set in the Taishou era.

40 Miss Hokusai

Miss Hokusai

19th century, latter half of Edo period 

41 We Rent Tsukumogami

We Rent Tsukumogami

Some time during the Edo era 

42 Mushishi


Set in an imaginary time between the Edo and Meiji periods, featuring some 19th-century technology but with Japan still as a 'closed country'.

43 Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku

Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku

Towards the end of the Edo period

44 Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto

Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto

Bakumatsu, Edo period

45 Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom

Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom

1863–, pre Meiji restoration, Bakumatsu, Edo period, shinsengumi

46 Peace Maker Kurogane

Peace Maker Kurogane

1863-, pre Meiji restoration, bakumatsu, Edo period, shinsengumi

47 Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys

Bakumatsu, edo period, shinsengumi

48 Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin

Latter half of 19th Century, Meiji era, post Meiji restoration 

49 Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy

Early 20th century, post Russo-Japanese war, Meiji era

50 Nijuuseiki Denki Mokuroku

Nijuuseiki Denki Mokuroku

1907, Meiji era, Kyoto


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demision Nov 4, 2021

Just found this list, totally cool. Looks like it's missing Taisho Baseball Girls! Set in the Taisho era, looks at this era's sports advancements and women's personal rights and arranged marriages.

Anyway, great job! 

matrixen Jun 18, 2021

very cool list, have you watched Golden Kamuy?? If not, I highly recommend, you won't be disappointed w S2 and S3 especially 

yurimaruXsenpai Feb 22, 2021

Great list! I can now combine my two greatest loves... Anime and History. Awesome work!

Halex Sep 2, 2020

Great List! You always create very interesting lists. Some contributions: