Questions tagged [japan]

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

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5answers
414 views

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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532 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
150 views

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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1answer
164 views

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
139 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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5answers
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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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7answers
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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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2answers
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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
369 views

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
349 views

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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2answers
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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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2answers
972 views

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
274 views

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
101 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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3answers
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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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11answers
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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
162 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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0answers
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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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3answers
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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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2answers
481 views

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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1answer
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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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0answers
119 views

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
170 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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0answers
302 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
197 views

Why are some school systems from September–July versus others that go April–March?

I've heard from colleagues and on-line sources that the Japanese school system starts the school year on 1st of April and I've heard the same used to be true in Germany. In Belgium, where I live, I ...
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2answers
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What is the origin and significance of karahafu (唐破風)?

The karahafu (唐破風) is perhaps the most instantly recognisable Japanese architectural feature, yet it's origins are not well established in Western literature. Folk etymology suggests that the style ...
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3answers
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To what extent is the flora and fauna on Guadalcanal edible?

At the battle of Guadalcanal,, the initial wave of 11,000 Americans were stranded with something like two weeks' worth of food (five days worth of "landed" rations, nine days worth of ...
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1answer
266 views

Why were the Marines so badly outnumbered at the critical point at Guadalcanal?

Prior to the battle of Guadalcanal,, the Americans had landed 11,000 men on the island in August, 1942. This compares to the 5,000 or so men that the Japanese had on the island by the first week of ...
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1answer
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What are the hay effigies in this Japanese movie?

I am moving this question from Movies.SE in hope of getting the answer here The movie The Blind Swordsman Zaitochi (2003) takes places somewhere in a small town in Japan, probably around the 19th ...
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What was the political context of the Japanese “North Ezo” explorations?

Mamiya Rinzō explored Sakhalin in 1808. This seems to have been the culmination of a series of explorations, which started in the 1770's, and in which the Japanese discovered much of the northern ...
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2answers
333 views

What did the Japanese military do to maintain their fighting edge during the Edo era/Bakufu (1603-1868)?

After Tokugawa unified Japan, it entered a long era of militarized peace 1603-1868, with very limited warfare, a severely isolationist attitude and strict limits to weaponry (guns were essentially ...
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274 views

What is the source of “the three most useless things in the world are the Great Wall, pyramids, and the Yamato”?

I watched 'Naval Legends: Yamato' yesterday, and it included a phrase that was attributed to the crew of the ship: "The world's three most useless things are the Chinese Great Wall, Egyptian ...
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1answer
307 views

How dangerous was it to be a coast watcher during the Pacific War?

The movie, South Pacific featured two "coast watchers" as heroes, the American, Lt. Joseph Cable, and the Frenchman, Emil de Becque, who observed, and reported on Japanese naval movements. ...
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0answers
103 views

Did the Japanese use native Camellia species before Camellia sinensis was introduced from China?

According to Wikipedia the first known references to tea occured in the 9th century, when Buddhist monks introduced tea, a drink made from Camellia sinensis to Japan. The Camellia variety sinensis is ...
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3answers
356 views

What was the main purpose in Japan trying to capture the Dutch East Indies oil fields intact?

The Dutch East Indies campaign saw Japan try to capture the Dutch East Indies oilfields intact, i.e. before the local troops destroyed them: After these main objectives in Borneo were completed, the ...
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0answers
61 views

What is the Diet when referring to Post-War Japan? [closed]

I'm currently doing a study on America's influence on Post-War Japan and it mentions a lot about a group called 'The Diet' and I can't find any information on who they actually are. Can anyone help ...
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3answers
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What made the Russian Navy suspect Japanese torpedo boats were in North Sea in 1904?

I'm finding several references that during the Russia - Japanese war of 1904/1905 that the Russians had intelligence that suggested the Japanese either had torpedo boats present in the North Sea or ...

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