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

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Why has there only been one dynasty in the history of Japan?

I'm kinda surprised that there's been only one dynasty (Yamato) in Japan up until now, unlike China with one group wiping out another group and starting a new dynasty constantly. Looking at ...
11
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2answers
903 views

Were there any pilots that declined to carry out the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Were there any pilots that refused (or politely declined) to take part in the operations of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," knowing the destruction these would cause? Similarly, were there any scientists ...
27
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10answers
8k views

Why, in the US, is Japanese brutality ignored compared with the Nazi brutality in WW2?

Instead of accepting too much of what I have read in my textbooks, I have read up a bit about WW2 on my own and have always pondered, why in the USA is the brutality and actions of the Japanese during ...
8
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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
258 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 ...
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10answers
11k views

Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
22
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4answers
20k views

Why didn't the US choose to demolish Tokyo with an atom bomb?

Tokyo was Japan's capital. Why didn't the US choose Tokyo to demolish with Atom Bomb? Bonus Question: What factors decided to bring Hiroshima and Nagasaki on table?
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4answers
10k views

How many lives were estimated to have been saved by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs?

**President Truman in a August 9, 1945 radio address to the American people, outlined the reasons why we dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (and later Nagasaki) I realize the tragic significance ...
25
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1answer
14k views

Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan?

On 15 August, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan announced its surrender to the United States, signing the instrument of surrender on 2 September, officially ending the war. The question ...
3
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2answers
971 views

Why would staff officers carry swords during combat, in World War II?

I realise one purpose as ceremonial, as depicted in Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi's surrender (eg this picture), but when Isoroku Yamamoto was killed, his white-gloved hand [was still] ...
7
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3answers
292 views

Was there a Japanese Exchange, à la Columbian Exchange?

After the European (re-)discovery of the Americas, there was a widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases, technology and ideas between the Americas and ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year?

During the New Years, the Japanese have a curious custom where they perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. This has produced some stunning sights on youtube But there's nothing particularly festive or New ...
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2answers
194 views

how could japan recover very fast their economy eventhough the two bombs were dropped? [closed]

I tried to search for this question alot but I didn"t find anything so I said to ask my question here maybe someone knows how to answer it!!
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2answers
983 views

Were crossbows used by the Japanese?

Were crossbows used in any significant way by the Japanese? If so, what period and how were they fielded? I found some very brief references: Jonathan Clements' "A Brief History of the Samurai" ...
11
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2answers
540 views

What changed Japanese attitude to POWs in inter-war period?

I have read this excellent answer in which @Semaphore provides sources confirming that German defenders of Tsingtao were treated very well during World War I, which even lead to some tradition in ...
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3answers
5k views

Did a Japanese medieval castle withstand US battleship fire during the Pacific War?

I have overheard the story from an US soldier that during the Pacific War the Japanese mounted a defense in an old medieval castle. The Americans asked for support from a battleship. The battleship ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Why did Hideyoshi invade Korea?

Hideyoshi launched the invasion of Korea in 1592, with the aim of conquering Korea first and using it as a base for eventual conquest of China. As things turned out, although the superior Japanese ...
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2answers
100 views

Did the University of California and University of Geneva award honorary degrees to Inazo Nitobe?

According to Inazo Nitobe (author of "Bushido: The Soul of Japan") timelines written in Japanese, he was awarded honorary degrees from "University of California" (Kariforunia Daigaku, カリフォルニア大学) in ...
8
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1answer
885 views

How did schoolgirls dress in Japan in the 1930s/40s?

I'm writing a graphic novel with a segment in 1930's and 40's Japan. I've looked around but haven't been able to find any specific answers. How would teenage schoolgirls have dressed at that time?
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3answers
9k views

Meaning of samurai crest / symbol

I would like to ask you all to explain the meaning of the 8-th symbol in this picture*: I would like to also know what are those symbols? Thank you very much. * Source: ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

During the Second World War, did the Germans expect that Japan would declare war on Russia?

As I understand it, Germany did not make war with America on the condition that Japan joined the war against Russia. Was this because they thought that Japan would attack Russia anyway? If so, what ...
15
votes
1answer
475 views

Why didn't Japan expand into Ezo?

Throughout the first millenium of Japanese history (and before that even) the Japanese rather steadily expanded up Honshu. Once they had taken the whole of Honshu however they seemed largely to stop. ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

What killed Takeda Shingen?

What killed Takeda Shingen? A sniper's bullet? Illness? Old wounds? A combination of the above? Why is the cause of his death shrouded in mystery? Did the Takeda try and keep his death secret or ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Why today's Japan celebrates Western New Year but China still celebrates Chinese New Year?

Before Meiji Restoration, Japan used Chinese calendar and celebrated Chinese New Year just as China did. Nowadays, both Japan and China have adopted Western calendar. However, Japan celebrates ...
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3answers
2k views

Why did Japanese samurai disembowel themselves?

Japanese samurais were known to commit ritual suicide by stabbing themselves in the belly. Why? Why not hang themselves? Cut their own throats? Does Japanese culture view disembowelment differently ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Military brothels in WW2

Did any of the other belligerents of WW2 besides Japan and Germany provide their troops with authorised military brothels?
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5answers
5k views

Rape perpetrated by American soldiers during WWII?

A while back I had a disturbing encounter with someone related to a Jewish survivor from the Auschwitz death camp. This survivor apparently claims that not only Red Army soldiers, but also G.I.'s ...
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1answer
455 views

What is the meaning of this samurai crest?

From User Jordan Miles Hamanaka Kaplowit's comment to this question: Meaning of samurai crest / symbol What is the meaning of the sixth crest symbol?
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3answers
2k views

When was acne first recorded in human history and how did it develop?

When was acne first recorded in human history? I have seen some youtube videos from Japan people who said that acne was non-existing many years ago (in Japan) but now it is prevalent. Are there any ...
9
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3answers
401 views

Why did Ieyasu Tokugawa oppose Hideyoshi's plan for expansion?

When Hideyoshi wanted to invade Korea, the Tokugawa clan noticeably stayed out of the conflict. What were the reasons for them doing so?
8
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2answers
598 views

Did Perry's Black Ships attack Edo harbour during his expedition to Japan?

Matthew C. Perry commanded the U.S. Navy expedition that forced Japan to abandon its policy of isolation, triggering the eventual overthrow of the Shogunate's and the Meiji Restoration. Perry arrived ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Did East Asian responses to the Spanish Civil War divide along 'party lines'?

Did Chiang Kai-Shek and Hirohito, and other leaders of China and Japan, see any parallels between the Sino-Japanese war and the Spanish Civil War? Did Chiang make any message of support for the ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Is the Tokugawa escape scene in Clavell's “Shogun” historically accurate?

In the TV miniseries, Shogun, based on James Clavell's novel of the same name, there is a scene in which the Tokugawa Ieyasu character is one of five regents but seems to be trapped in a castle in ...
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7answers
6k views

Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan? [closed]

Why did the United States drop two nuclear bombs on the Japanese mainland? It appeared that Japan was ready to surrender.
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4answers
800 views

How to explain the Khalkhin Gol outcome in view of Soviet weakness and Japanese strength at that time?

Conventional wisdom says that the USSR was very weak in 1939/40/41, in large part due to the purges of the 1930s, ideological interference in the armed forces, and lack of equipment, preparation and ...
5
votes
3answers
920 views

Why did the offices of Shogun and Emperor never merge?

The position of Emperor of Japan was, as I understand it, strictly hereditary, due to the necessity that the Emperor 'descend' from Amaterasu. Thus, the Shogun was not eligible to be Emperor, and ...
15
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4answers
2k views

How many Samurai killed themselves?

How many Samurai killed themselves compared to the actual number of Samurai and how many Samurai were dishonored but did not kill themselves?
6
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2answers
604 views

How much of a role did Sakamoto Ryoma play in overthrowing the Shogunate?

Sakamoto Ryoma is often portrayed in the Japanese media for his role in attempting to overthrow the shogunate during the Bakumatsu period. Since he was assassinated when he was still very young, the ...
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2answers
191 views

Did the militarists in Japan look to the Nazis as a model during their takeover?

During Japan's transition from democracy to ultranationalist dictatorship, did they hold up the Nazis as a model, or was that not something they mentioned/thought about? EDIT: The question wanted for ...
10
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5answers
14k views

Why was 19th-century Japan able to modernize and not China?

At the start of the 19th century, Asian countries had militaries less effective than Western nations. In 1853, the US Navy forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States. The Japanese ...
6
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1answer
277 views

When did private fighting become a capital offense in Japan?

In "Might Makes Right: Just war and just warfare in early medieval Japan", Karl Friday mentions that bushi (warriors) who violated decrees banning fighting were exiled or imprisoned under pre-Edo ...
4
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1answer
533 views

What became of the last samurai?

During the Meiji Restoration, the previously-powerful samurai class was abolished. What did all the former-samurai become? I hear often that many former samurai joined the new conscription army and ...
8
votes
1answer
210 views

Were there any naval engagements during the Mongol invasions of Japan?

During the 13th century, the Yuan empire made two invasion attempts at Japan, in the battles of Bun'ei and Kōan. In both cases, the samurai defenders fought the Mongols off their beachheads, and the ...
5
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1answer
575 views

When did Japan and the Three Kingdoms of Korea first meet?

Wikipedia claims that Japan and the Three Kingdoms of Korea started having close relationships at the end of the 4th century, during the Kofun period. However the article doesn't provide any sources ...
8
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1answer
855 views

Did Japan have any continental colonies before modern times?

Imperial Japan built up an impressive collection of colonies on the Asian mainland due to their uncontested navy and comparatively modern army. Did Japan ever hold any colonies on the mainland before ...
3
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1answer
159 views

Did Japan use reconnaissance balloons in WWII?

I have heard that Japan had used reconnaissance balloons in WWII, especially in China as the Chinese lacked air power and effective anti-air weaponry. I know that balloons - airships to be precise - ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

What were the Japanese defenses for an allied invasion of Kyushu?

At Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and other island bases of the Japanese forces, the Japanese created a network of deep tunnels and bunkers that made US attempts to evict Japanese forces extremely difficult, time ...
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2answers
194 views

Why was the Battle of Noryang fought?

In the Battle of Noryang, the combined navy of Chosun (Korean kingdom) and Ming (China) tried to prevent the Japanese from making a safe retreat. But considering the fact that the Koreans or the ...
6
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4answers
774 views

Was the death toll in the atomic bombing of Japanese territory greater than was expected by the US?

It is known that the US tried to justify their atomic bombing of Japanese cities by claiming they were aimed at military targets such as a plant and a bridge. Yet the bombs destroyed much more than ...
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6answers
1k views

Why did Japan not withdraw from China as its pacific front was crumbling and the threat of US invasion imminent?

Even in August, Japan still kept garrisons in China totalling around 3 million men. They were second-line troops and poorly equipped, yes, but why did Japan not recall everyone to defend the home ...