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

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8answers
6k views

What do the modern Japanese people think about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Japan has been an ally of the USA for a long time now. On the other hand, every year they observe Hiroshima Day. Moreover, Japanese people visit Yasukuni Shrine. Then what is the catch?
3
votes
4answers
358 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 ...
0
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0answers
92 views

Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor? [closed]

On December 7, 1941, The United States was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii because: A) The U.S. cut off sales of oil to the Japanese B) The Japanese felt disrespected by the allies ...
8
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2answers
267 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
279 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] ...
57
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11answers
14k views

Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...
8
votes
1answer
594 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?
8
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2answers
489 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 ...
10
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3answers
4k 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: ...
14
votes
6answers
12k views

Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?

Shields were considered useful in Europe until the development of full plate armor. Despite the fact that they never had anything comparable to plate armor, shield use was apparently abandoned by the ...
5
votes
2answers
147 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
409 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. ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Why haven't Russia and Japan signed a peace treaty after WW2?

I have read that Russia and Japan, which had been fighting long before World War I, are still at war, at least technically, since they have not signed a peace treaty at the conclusion of World War II. ...
9
votes
4answers
329 views

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 til now? Unlike China with one group wiping out another group and starting a new dynasty constantly. Looking at ...
3
votes
1answer
122 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
votes
2answers
255 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
10k 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?
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
20
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3answers
1k views

Military brothels in WW2

Did any of the other belligerents of WW2 besides Japan and Germany provide their troops with authorised military brothels?
11
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5answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
170 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?
3
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
276 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
301 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?
7
votes
2answers
378 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 ...
2
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1answer
62 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
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1answer
84 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

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

After WW2 as I know Japan capitulated and was disarmed. And as I know Japan was not able to have its own army, and its boundary should be protected by the United States. So, does Japan have the right ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the evntual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie Kagemusha the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
20
votes
7answers
5k 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.
5
votes
2answers
327 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
569 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
319 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
votes
4answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
154 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
115 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
341 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
138 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
votes
1answer
335 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
votes
1answer
764 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
315 views

Why were women excluded from the succession line in the Meiji constitution?

Article 2 of the Meiji consitution (full text here) says: The Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by Imperial male descendants, according to the provisions of the Imperial House Law. A ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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
186 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
148 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 ...