An island country in the western Pacific, located east of the Asian mainland.

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Roman Letters in Japanese Postmarks

Why did the Japanese Post Office start using Roman characters in their postmarks for overseas mail in the late 1880s?
3
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112 views

Did Japan perceive their hypergrowth as stable and unstoppable as the United States did?

Did Japan perceive their hypergrowth as stable and unstoppable as the United States did? Or was it commonly known to the man on the street that it would fail?
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1answer
65 views

In the Bakumatsu period, was there any way to identify which clan a person belonged to?

Was there any way to identify which clan someone belonged to (other than when they wore their formal wear with their mon/emblem on their attire). In other words did they carry something on their ...
4
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1answer
216 views

How would one refer to/address a Shogun?

In the Bakumatsu era, how would one refer to a shogun (when talking about him with someone else) or address him directly if talking to him? Is it just name + -sama suffix? I am interest in the answer ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Did the Soviet Union get a net border gain from China during World War II?

The border changes between the Soviet Union and China between 1917 and 1945 seem to be very complicated. At the end, in 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria wholeheartedly, and in violation of ...
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3answers
403 views

Why did Japan fail to interfere with shipping from America to Vladivostok from 1941-1945?

Throughout World War II, the United States was able to supply Russia with food and many crucial war materials, such as aluminum, via Russia's Pacific port, Vladivostok. Japan steadfastedly refused to ...
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2answers
106 views

How were the prime ministers of Japan selected during the Taisho era?

During the Taisho era in Japan, how was the Prime Minister selected? Were they appointed by the Emperor? elected by the Diet? chosen by the Privy Council? I'm finding lots of information on how ...
6
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3answers
337 views

How did Japan successfully conquer Vietnam (Southeast Asia) in WW2?

I've read the obvious wiki article (which is rather small), but did not really find an answer. At the end of the article, it says: To prepare for an invasion of the Dutch East Indies, some 140,000 ...
36
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5answers
10k views

Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

Leaving aside the naval battles of the Pacific, why did the Japanese army do so poorly against allied forces (specifically United states and Australian forces) when on the defensive. While logistics ...
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1answer
102 views

What are the various theories behind why Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered Sen no Rikyu to commit suicide?

From wikipedia: Although Rikyū had been one of Hideyoshi's closest confidants, because of crucial differences of opinion and other reasons which remain uncertain, Hideyoshi ordered him to commit ...
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1answer
181 views

What time period did these notes come from?

This may be a bit broad of a question, but as I was going through some old things I found some Japanese monitary bills in varying currencies from I'm guessing around WWII, but I'm not sure. I cannt ...
6
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217 views

When would the Japanese have been able to recognize their archipelago?

After watching Bill Wurtz's History of Japan video, it got me wondering. At 4:38, it brings up the Dutch bringing geography to Japan (obviously, this is a humorous video, so I'm sure this is ...
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2answers
188 views

Japan allying with Germany in WWII [duplicate]

So I've been studying imperialism. Focusing on Japan, Japan's imperialism is a result of its modernization which is a result of Matthew Perry's siege (not a good word). After the treaty of Kanagawa, ...
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3answers
161 views

Why was Luodian important in the Battle of Shanghai?

In the middle of the 3-month long Battle of Shanghai, the small town of Luodian on the outskirts of Shanghai saw some of the heaviest fighting. After Japanese troops made successful amphibious ...
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133 views

What kind of political institutions existed in Sakai, Japan in the 500s and 600s AD?

What government bodies were elected and by whom in Sakai Japan during the 500s and 600s AD?
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64 views

In which year of the post-WWII Occupation of Japan was the Imperial Rescript on Education repealed?

The 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education was repealed during the Allied Occupation of Japan led by Douglas MacArthur, but I cannot find an exact date for this, or even in which year it happened. I am ...
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2answers
267 views

Did the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki contribute to Japan's surrender?

Even before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war situation had developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage. Allied forces had been taking island after island, and were firebombing ...
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2answers
484 views

What were the effects of Bushido on Japan after the Meiji Restoration?

As part of the Meiji Restoration, the samurai class was abolished and their members enrolled as shizoku under the new regime. While their ancient privileges were lost, the former samurai continued to ...
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97 views

How were people outcasted in 17th century Japan? [closed]

I am currently writing a story themed with revenge and isolation. The two main characters are a teenage girl living in an ordinary 17th-century Japanese village and an elf man with no memories, who ...
8
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1answer
118 views

How was the lower chamber of the Japanese Imperial Diet elected under the Meiji constitution?

During the period 1868-1945, Japan was ruled under the "constitution of the empire of Japan" better known as the "Meiji constitution". Under this constitution, the Imperial Diet was the legislature ...
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2answers
676 views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...
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0answers
78 views

What was the nature of the Japanese cabinet crisis after the Battle of Taierzhuang?

According to Wikipedia, after the Japanese defeat in the Battle of Taierzhuang, "It was reported in the world's newspapers, however, and by mid-April had provoked a Cabinet crisis in Tokyo". What was ...
6
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1answer
209 views

Did Jiang Baili receive a sword from Emperor Meiji for graduating first of his class?

Jiang Baili was a famous Chinese military trainer who attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Some sources, including the Wikipedia article, claims that he graduated top of the class and that ...
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0answers
131 views

During World War II, were there any parts of the Japanese overseas empire that was capable of local re-supply?

During World War II, the Japanese Home Islands stood at the center of an empire, to which raw materials were sent, and from which manufactured goods, included arms, were dispatched. Toward the end of ...
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2answers
142 views

What was the first book translated from Japanese to any of the European languages?

What was the first Japanese book translated and published in one of the European languages? By "first" I mean the date of translation, not the original.
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2answers
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Where did Japan get their oil during WWII?

To my understanding the United States was the largest exporter of oil to the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor. The Japanese islands aren't known for their oil fields. It's also believed that the attacks ...
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3answers
5k views

What were the EMP effects, if any, of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is generated from any atomic bomb, as far as I know. An EMP could destroy the electronics of many devices, including lighting, electric motors, radios, phones, etc. So why ...
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0answers
52 views

What's this decorative shape in traditional Japanese art? [closed]

See the four shapes carved across the circumference of the lantern at the bottom of this photo? They might be common motifs like the suhamagata 州浜形 ("sandy beach shape") but I don't recognize them. A ...
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1answer
216 views

What evidence exists to say whether or not FDR was planning to use the Atomic Bomb just as Truman did?

Are there any letters, autobiographies, or testimony from FDR's administration to say that he was definitely planning to use the Atomic Bomb against Japan? Conversely, is there any evidence that he ...
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0answers
93 views

What was the significance of Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle from a military/political perspective?

What was a strategic intention for building Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle? Its placement in a swamp, in a basin surrounded by mountains might on three sides made the castle impregnable, but also quite ...
4
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2answers
283 views

Did Hirohito offer to stand trial for war crimes, but was turned down by the US?

At the end of WW2, did Emperor Hirohito volunteer to stand trial for war crimes? Was he planning to plead guilty? Did the US refuse all this? Please make a citation because I would like to read more ...
7
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2answers
226 views

When did English become a major subject in Japanese schools?

I used to think older Japanese people wouldn't have studied English at school, and recently came across someone who thought likewise (link available on request). A middle-aged Japanese person told me ...
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2answers
130 views

Elites in post-war Japan [closed]

How the Japanese political elite has been changed after WW2? I've read that the aristocracy was effectively removed from power, while middle ranking officials and bureaucracy have preserved their ...
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0answers
108 views

What was the Chinese impact on Japanese culture and the arts after ~1750?

What significant and subtle impacts has China had on Japanese social dynamics and the arts from ~1750 to the early nineteen hundreds? If at all possible include dates on which changes happened ...
29
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4answers
5k views

Given their reputation for fighting to the last man in the Pacific, why did 700,000 Japanese troops surrender in Manchuria?

I just read this. It says: On August 8, 1945 ... the Soviet Union launched the invasion of Manchuria, a massive military operation mobilizing 1.5 million soldiers against one million Kwantung Army ...
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1answer
229 views

Why is there less public attention on the firebombing of Japan compared to its atomic bombing? [closed]

Virtually everybody has heard of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the firebombing of Japan is nowhere near as well known, or talked about, at least by non-Japanese. Why is there ...
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1answer
221 views

Why did the Japanese Navy convert Kaga to an Aircraft Carrier?

The IJN ordered 4 Amagi class battlecruisers (Amagi, Akagi, Atago, and Takao) and 2 Tosa class Battleships (Tosa and Kaga) to form the "Eight-Eight Fleet". All ships started construction between 1920-...
2
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1answer
126 views

Why did Uesugi Kenshin never marry? Was it common practice for Japanese Buddhists of the time?

It seems that the famed Sengoku-era lord Uesugi Kenshin never married anybody in his life because he was a devout Buddhist. This seems highly unusual, considering Japanese Buddhists at that time seem ...
21
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6answers
3k views

By mid-1945, was Japan capable of maintaining the war even in the absence of further direct American attacks? [closed]

The USA went to a great effort to defeat Japan, but do historians regard it as necessary? For example if the USA had just kept the naval action going to the extent of cutting of all shipping to ...
2
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1answer
432 views

What did the Japanese believe about the USA capability of making/using additional atomic bombs?

Clearly the Japanese believed that if they did not surrender another atomic bomb would be used on them. However how soon did they believed this would happen? And how many atomic bombs did they ...
3
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2answers
439 views

Did land based airpower give the Americans a decisive advantage at the Battle of Midway?

This question was inspired by another (on a different SE site) about the Avalon Hill board game. As told in many American history books, the battle of Midway featured four Japanese heavy carriers vs. ...
35
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5answers
8k views

Did a Kamikaze ever impact the hull of a ship, as opposed to the deck?

All kamikaze videos I've seen show the plane dive bombing into the deck of a ship. The photos I've seen also appear to always show a burning deck or tower. What I want to know is, did any kamikaze ...
8
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1answer
311 views

Before the imposition of Sakoku, did any Japanese people travel to Africa, the Middle East or Europe?

There are many accounts of Europeans who travelled to the Far East, as they called it. There were some Chinese people who made the opposite journey, did anyone from Japan do it? If they returned to ...
9
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2answers
238 views

What were contemporary Japanese views on the Taiping Rebellion and Heavenly Kingdom?

In the 1850's and 60's, the Taiping Rebellion broke out in China, observed by both the Tokugawa Bakufu and subsequently the Meiji Imperial government. Some 200 years earlier, Japan had suffered its ...
2
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0answers
214 views

How many samurai warriors were there during the Sengoku period?

I was trying to estimate the number of warriors who were part of the samurai class. I am mainly interested in the 16th and 17th centuries. Trying to search for that, I came across this. It states ...
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4answers
4k views

Why did the Japanese expect the United States navy would attack the Home Islands?

Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval strategy for a Pacific war, amounted to (simplified) "The American fleet will cross the Pacific to attack Japan. At that time, we will engage and defeat them." ...
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2answers
1k views

What does this Samurai crest mean?

Some years ago I was given something that I believe is called, in Japanese, a jubako. It's a multi-layered box and on the inside of the lid it features this crest: When searching for information on ...
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1answer
325 views

Were the Axis Powers really obligated to attack USSR and USA? [duplicate]

EDIT: I don't think it's a duplicate of this. That question asks why attack USSR while still fighting Britain (and I think the OP has a misunderstanding there because the Battle of Britain was already ...
11
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3answers
691 views

At what age did samurai children start going into battles in the Sengoku era?

Exactly as the title says, from what age did a child of a samurai start to join his father in battles? I suspect it is when the child was considered an adult, but what age was considered an adult ...
10
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1answer
519 views

Did Japan make a contribution to World War II way out of proportion to its nominal relative GDP? [closed]

I was surprised to read these 1938 figures (admittedly estimates) of 1938 GDP for the major combatants of World War II. In round figures, the U.S. had $85 billion, the Germans $42 billion, Britain $...