Questions tagged [japan]

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

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3answers
643 views

Why did the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact take 2 years to sign after the Battle of Khalkin Gol?

The Battle of Khalkin Gol took place in 1939 May - Sep and was the last border battle between Japan and USSR. It was a major victory for the Soviets. But the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact was not ...
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1answer
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During the defense of the home islands, what was Japan's plan for its forces off-island?

It's July 1945. Okinawa is lost. Japan is preparing for an Allied invasion of the Home Islands. While they're arming civilians with spears and clubs, Japan still had millions of soldiers in Manchuria, ...
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Were kamikaze pilots an effective strategy for Japan?

history.howstuffworks.com claims kamikaze pilots were not overly effective. Wikipedia states that there was no noticeable increase in number of ships lost even as kamikaze pilots became more common, ...
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Where can I find the calls made between Kita Ikki and the rebels in the Japanese February 26 incident?

While reading about the February 26 Incident I learnt that Kita Ikki knew of it and provided some support to the coup by phone. A documentary about Asian 20th century history contains a small portion ...
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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 ...
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Was “Aku Soku Zan” (悪即斬) a real Shinsengumi motto?

In the manga series Rurouni Kenshin, the character of Hajime Saito, who is based on the real historical figure, has a saying or motto, "Aku Soku Zan" (悪即斬), which is translated as "Slay ...
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Are there any shapefiles that have been generated dealing with East Asian film history?

I am working on a project that looks at the 1961 Japanese film Buddha and its reception in East and Southeast Asia. In particular, I want to create a map using GIS to show, in essence, the relative ...
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1answer
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Which operation came last in World War 2? [closed]

Which operation came last in World War 2? I know that the Kwantung Army was defeated on the 2nd of September 1945 during the Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation (9th of August - 2nd of ...
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1answer
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Did a sumo referee ever actually commit ritual suicide over a reversed decision?

The sport of Sumo wrestling has picked up quite a few traditions during its long history. One of these traditions is that the tate-gyoji, the two most senior referees, wear a knife. This knife ...
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What is the context of the use of injustice/unrightousness (不義/fugi) in WW2 era Japanese propaganda?

The Imperial Japanese military song Nihon Rikugun (日本陸軍) begins with the line "天に代わりて不義を討つ" ("defeat injustice in place of righteousness"). What exactly did they consider 不義/fugi ...
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1answer
136 views

What is the story of this kamon?

I see that you have a lot of knowledge and I have been looking for information for several years. Do you know the story of this kamon? It is worn by my wife's family. It's Maruni ken Hanabishi; it is ...
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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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2answers
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How long did it take for Japanese high command to believe 1 bomb could destroy a city? [closed]

In 1776, had a man walked into the Continental Congress and told the Founding Fathers that the city of Boston seemed to be "gone". A few days prior, as he approached Boston, in the distance he'd seen ...
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Could the Russians Have Done Better at the Battle of Tsushima Straits Than They Actually Did?

In 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War, a Russian fleet sailing all the way from the Baltic was annihilated by the Japanese fleet in the Tsushima Straits. The Russian fleet was larger, with thirteen ...
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5answers
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Why did no one take Siberia over before the Russians, and how did they do it?

I realize that Russia had ambitions in the east and they took over Siberia. However Siberia was just north of the Mongols really and its islands were easily accessible to Japan in history. They even ...
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555 views

Did the Netherlands join the anti-Japanese oil embargo later than US? If so why?

From Wikipedia's Dutch East Indies Campaign: President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order on 26 July 1941 which froze all of Japan's U.S. assets and embargoed all oil exports to Japan. ...
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6answers
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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 girlfriends,...
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1answer
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What caused the decline of Buddhism in Japan? [closed]

I'm trying to find fairly detailed information on the causes of the decline of Buddhism in Japan. The most detailed information I could find so far is Wikipedia, but it doesn't appear to go too in-...
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What did Japanese architecture look like with heavy materials such as stone, mortar and clay?

In the Wikipedia article on Japanese architecture, it says in the Heian era, and I quote, "Heavy materials like stone, mortar and clay were abandoned as building elements, with simple wooden ...
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1answer
147 views

How common were fires in pre-Edo Japan?

It is well known that Edo-era Japan had many fires, but I want to focus on something else. I cannot seem to find much information on fires in Japan before Edo. For example, when I google "feudal ...
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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 ...
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Was it militarily possible to “island hop” the Philippines if not for MacArthur?

The battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines led to the destruction of half of what remained of the Japanese navy. It also "sucked in" all the troops that Japanese could spare from elsewhere, leading ...
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1answer
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Were there high-ranking Japanese POW as witness at the Trinity Atomic Bomb Test? [closed]

One argument was that providing a demonstration on an unpopulated island ran the risk of failure in front of Japanese observers. But I have not read any suggestion of using a Japanese POW of high ...
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Could someone help to identify this Japanese mon found on what appears to be a late Edo Period Jingasa?

I am trying to identify the following Japanese mon: My research has hinted that the tortoise-shell shape may be of Shinto influence and that the triune division is a form depiction of the tomoe, but ...
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1answer
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Did Japanese modernisation have an effect on Ethiopia?

On his wikipedia page, Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariyam, "the primary author of Ethiopia's July 1931 constitution" the article calls him a politician and intellectual of the Japanizer school ...
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1answer
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Where do the ethics of shounen anime come from?

shonen, or shounen (少年) anime (shows like Naruto, Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, etc.) all (for the most part) realize a certain set of values, which are usually central to their plots and which the ...
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3answers
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Were the Japanese “Kongo” class battlewagons advanced for their time?

Built in the early 1910s, Japan's Kongo class battlecruisers had eight 14-inch guns, a speed of about 30 knots, and a displacement of about 26,000 tons. This gave them advantages over British ...
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Why was the wording on war in Japan's postwar constitution so much stronger than in Germany's or Italy's?

From Hathway and Shapiro (2017): The Allies supervised the drafting of new constitutions for each of the Axis powers and enshrined the prohibition on war into each state’s own governing documents. ...
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9answers
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Why didn't Japan take Pearl Harbor when they had the chance?

Japan successfully wiped out America's defenses at Pearl Harbor, and they knew they were going to before they set out, so why didn't they take some paratroopers with them to seize the harbor from the ...
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2answers
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Could rōnin become a samurai again?

Once the samurai lost his master he becomes a rōnin. Could he become a samurai again by acquiring another master?
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How common were duels in Tokugawa Japan?

It is my understanding that during Tokugawa era Japan, Samurai could and would occasionally engage in duels to the death. But how often? Do we know from any record keeping how common deadly duels were?...
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Why did animation become so huge in Japan compared to other countries?

I'd like a general explanation of the historical/cultural reasons that have made anime in Japan so big. There's clearly disproportion between the Japanese population (I doubt that at any moment since ...
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Before WW2, how did Japan pay for imported US oil?

Related question that brings something up. Japan was importing most of its oil from the USA, until the oil embargo was imposed in summer 1941. Before this embargo, how did Japan pay for this oil? What ...
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1answer
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What kind of football was played in 645 Japan?

In the book History of Japan by Richard Mason, the author states in chapter 3: In the year 645, opponents of the Soga leaders struck back. The final coup was preceded by careful preparations that ...
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2answers
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Why were Japanese escort ships not numerous at the battle of Bismarck Sea?

During the battle of Bismarck sea, Allied units performed air attacks that resulted in the nearly destruction of Japanese fleet. I understand the reasons why the Allies obtain such a success, namely: ...
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1answer
107 views

What are the outer vests/jackets that samurai wear?

What are the outer vests/jackets that samurai wear some sort of jacket, what are they called?
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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 have heard often that many former samurai joined the new conscription army ...
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When and why was the samurai class abolished?

I am aware the Emperor Meiji abolished the Samurai class during the reformation. Why did he do so? How was it enforced?
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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 ...
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1answer
177 views

How did the Japanese populace view the emperor during the Edo Period?

What was the context behind the Sonnō Jōi (尊皇攘夷, "revere the emperor and repel the barbarians") movement? To my understanding, the Edo Shogunate was a typical feudal society with strict ...
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What went into an Edo-era Hyakkumonogatari Kaidankai?

I was looking for information on the Edo-era parlour game hyakkumonogatari kaidankai. I found a lot of academic sources about kaidan themselves (the history, spread, adaption, influence, etc.) But at ...
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1answer
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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. ...
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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. ...
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Did the US really consider demonstrating the atomic bomb to the Japanese by “blowing the top” off of Mt. Fuji?

In reading this Washington Post article titled Five myths about the atomic bomb, it's mentioned: The decision to use nuclear weapons is usually presented as either/or: either drop the bomb or land on ...
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What is the flag on Shinzo Abe's suit? [closed]

and are random a photos from a performance of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. The emblem number 1, as I understand, is the Imperial Seal. But I couldn't find any information about the emblem ...
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1answer
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How old was Murasaki Shikibu when she married her second cousin? And why did she marry him?

From Wikipedia: Aristocratic Heian women lived restricted and secluded lives, allowed to speak to men only when they were close relatives or household members. Murasaki's autobiographical poetry ...
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Why did the USA stop expanding westwards into East Asia?

Why did the USA stop expanding westwards into East Asia? The USA initially started on the east coast of North America, and gradually expanded westwards to reach the Pacific Ocean through a combination ...
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Who did Murasaki Shikibu fall in love with?

A line from Donald Keene's introductory text about The Tale of Genji piqued my curiosity: We know little else about Murasaki’s early years, though her poems suggest that she fell in love at least ...
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1answer
197 views

What did the Edo samurai bureaucracy actually look like?

While researching the Japanese Edo period, the Samurai class are frequently described as bureaucrats and the government is described as a "sophisticated bureaucracy", often with detailed ...
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What led to Japan committing war crimes in WWII? [closed]

Japan committed cruel war crimes during World War 2. According to this article WW2 Japanese war crimes - Japanese Invasion of China 1937-1944 (World war II two -Asian Holocaust) and this The Asian ...

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