History lesson with a difference: Surreal ‘History of Japan’ video goes viral

History videos tend not to be standard material for viral trends, but one proves it’s not only cute cats which make overnight online sensations.

This entertaining – though incredibly brusque – race through Japan’s history takes you from early settlement to modern day Japan, and has been watched more than 1.7 million times in two days.

In History of Japan, Bill Wurtz gives his unique take on the country’s past in a succinct nine minutes, complete with colourful graphics, singing, and fast paced wit.

There’s only so much detail you can cram into a short video covering a country’s entire history, but Wurtz definitely incorporates as wide a range of topics as possible. The piece suggests – in very simple terms – that Sino-Japanese relations got off to a bad start…

…as well as briefly covering the Westernization of Japan…

…and its Axis role in World War II.

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