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

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Did Japan make a contribution to World War II way out of proportion to its estimated 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 ...
8
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170 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 ...
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119 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 ...
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397 views

Where did the so-called “Jap Skulls” end up?

I have read that there was a disturbingly common practice of American soldiers in the Pacific theater of WWII to take the skulls of dead Japanese soldiers as trophies to take home, give to ...
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3answers
339 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?
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481 views

What kind of wood was the standard decking for Aircraft Carriers in World War 2?

I know that both Japan and the United States used wooden decks on their WWII Aircraft Carriers. Was there a specific, "ideal" standard type of wood that was utilized by either country? If so, what ...
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145 views

When did wheel-mounted water-carrying fire-fighting machines first appear in Japan?

When did wheel-mounted water-carrying fire-fighting machines first appear in Japan? I am curious about the date, and maybe some history about whether it was invented or imported, and by whom if ...
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444 views

Who started the “katana is the soul of the Samurai” meme?

Samurai used to be defined by their ability to use horses and bows in the early history of Japan. This moved to using the sword, first tachi then katana. Within the Tokugawa period, the katana ...
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390 views

During the Sengoku-jidai, what were shinobi (aka ninja) used for?

During the Japan Sengoku-jidai, several clans of shinobi were recruited by various war lords to help their military campaigns. What were they primarily used for? Was it covert espionage, ...
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342 views

Evidence of cross contamination between Japanese and Western sword fighting styles?

Are there any documented cases of cross pollination between western sword fighting techniques and Japanese ones? Such cross contamination could have happened during the Sengoku-jidai. This period ...
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4answers
589 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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144 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 ...
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651 views

What other war crimes trials besides Nuremberg were held after WWII?

Why were the Nuremberg trials after WWII for the Germans only? The same charges used against the the Germans could be easily extended to the Japanese or possibly Italians. They have committed as much ...
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3answers
236 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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2answers
493 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 ...
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166 views

Where can I find digitised versions of Japanese war documents in original Japanese?

I was wondering where can I find digitised versions of Japanese war documents in original Japanese? I can read Japanese but I cannot seem to find any primary sources that relate to the Japanese army ...
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2answers
575 views

What were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders during the Second Sino-Japanese war?

Just as it is often said that Operation Barbarossa is Hitler's biggest strategic blunder (either the whole thing, its timing or execution), what were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders in ...
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4answers
687 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 ...
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4answers
715 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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261 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 ...
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3answers
423 views

Organized and intentional suicide attacks during military conflicts

First of all I want to make it clear that we're not speaking about terrorist attacks here. This question is strictly dedicated to war operations, in a dictionary meaning. Also this question is about ...
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2answers
826 views

What was the argument for the Japanese pursuing the Northern Expansion Doctrine during WWII?

The Northern Expansion Doctrine was the idea that Japan should pursue its imperialist objectives through Siberia, which was diametrically opposed by the Southern Expansion Doctrine which was the idea ...
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292 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
563 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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263 views

Who deposited German fuel drums on a Japanese air base in the Kuriles in 1943?

The Imperial Japanese Navy operated two all-weather, heated, lit runways on Matsuwa Island in the Kurile island chain. This island is littered with German fuel drums manufactured in 1943. It also ...
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2k views

Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...
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541 views

Was the attack on Pearl Harbor totally unexpected?

According to "British Intelligence in the Second World War: Security and Counter-Intelligence", by Francis Harry Hinsley and C.A.G. Simkins, Tricycle, a British double agent, complained that the FBI ...
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2answers
253 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 ...
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3answers
581 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 ...
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439 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 ...
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2answers
493 views

Japanese peace negotiations in WWII

As I understand it, the Japanese plan for the Pacific War was to grab a bunch of territory, then negotiate peace from a position of strength. Did the Japanese ever try to start those peace ...
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409 views

What is the best way to describe the form of Japanese government during the years before and during world war 2?

Prior to the great depression, how much political power did the military, the emperor, and the prime minister of Japan have? Is it a form of monarchy, or does it resemble a military dictatorship? Did ...
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4answers
70k views

Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
5
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1answer
902 views

What were the main clans of the sengoku period?

I'm looking for some kind of authoritative list of the main clans operating during the sengoku period, if possible with each clan's kamon but most importantly which geographical areas they controlled. ...
4
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1answer
452 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 ...
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3answers
640 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 ...
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2answers
581 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" ...
4
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1answer
292 views

When did Kakinoki Kinsuke used a kite to enter the Nagoya castle

From different online sources I can find that the Japanese thief Kakinoki Kinsuke used a kite to fly over the wall of the Nagoya castle to steal certain golden parts of a statue. The thing I can not ...
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1answer
413 views

What precipitated the Meiji restoration?

What other factors, apart from Commander Perry arriving at Edo, precipitated the Meiji restoration?
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1answer
695 views

Who was Yoshioka Matashichiro?

I am right now reading about the legendary swordsman of Japan, Miyamoto Musashi . It says he ended the rivalry with the Yoshioka school by killing the brothers Yoshioka Seijūrō and Yoshioka ...
4
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1answer
130 views

Where can I find more information about this use of Yakuza against a demonstration in 1960?

This (german) article states that in 1960 Japan's President Nobosuke Kishi hired 28000 Yakuza as thugs against an anti-American demonstration. I find nothing indicating this in the wikipedia article ...
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0answers
176 views

How important were “columnar” strategies in Japan's invasion of China?

In trying to invade a large country like China, there are at least two main strategies 1) a narrow "columnar" strategy, usually based along an artery such as the Yangtze River that provides a natural ...
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2answers
296 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. ...
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5answers
773 views

Why were the 8th Route Army better at fighting the Japanese than the Nationalists were?

Numerous sources have noted the (Communist) 8th Route Army's effectiveness in its resistance against Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) occupation; British, American observers, even Japanese commanders have ...
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3answers
13k views

Does Japan have the legal right to have its own army or navy?

After WW2 Japan capitulated and was disarmed. And as I know Japan was not able to have its own army, and its boundary would be protected by the United States. So, does Japan have the legal right to ...
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2answers
638 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] ...
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573 views

Throughout history, how many wars have there been between Russia and Japan?

Do both countries have a particluar hot spot that existed in the past, and if so, does it still exist now? Have their wars historically been bloody or transient, and are they now considered "friends"? ...
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1answer
293 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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349 views

How Likely Was a French Alliance with Italy or Japan in World War I?

My World History class is re-enacting World War I and I have been assigned France. I'm looking for countries who allied with France or were potential allies. Please help if you know any good alliances ...
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1answer
156 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 ...