Questions tagged [japan]

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

9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Where I can find high-res public domain images of writings in Japanese and Chinese

Just came across this manuscript from the British Library of Beowulf, which is high-res and public domain. Looked around a bit for some Japanese and Chinese calligraphy/prints/ancient art but didn't ...
12
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
157 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Why do schools in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea use the Westminster Quarters as school chime?

Today, I read about the Westminister Quarters, the chime used by Big Ben in Westminster, London. In that article, I see this assertion: Most schools in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea play the ...
3
votes
0answers
206 views

What are the circumstances that lead to Kondou being the sole Shinsengumi leader?

After the assassination of Serizawa Kamo, this left Kondou and Tonouchi as the remaining faction leaders. From what I understand, Tonouchi knew or even helped Kondou get rid of Serizawa but, then, ...
70
votes
12answers
26k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
7k views

How could it be that 80% of townspeople were farmers during the Edo period in Japan?

I've read in the book "A modern history of Japan" by Andrew Gordon and other articles, that most of the Japanese townspeople were farmers(about 80% I suppose) during the Edo period. But according to ...
12
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
110 views

How did life for commoners in Okinawa change with the Satsuma invasion?

In 1609, the kingdom of Ryukyu which covers what is today known as Okinawa, was invaded by the Japanese Satsuma clan. How did this affect the everyday life of commoners (Everybody not noble or a ...
38
votes
9answers
24k views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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. ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why did WWI include Japan?

WWI mainly developed in Europe. It only included the USA because Germans attacked a US ship. What did Japan have to do with Europe?
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Why did this post card not allow communication with Japan?

In this postcard posted in Canterbury on 21 July 1908 (I assume) it is marked that: This space may be used for communication for Inland Postage and Foreign Countries, except Japan. Why?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the origins of the Shinto religion?

Shinto's recorded history is typically dated to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, but most sources suggest that oral traditions go back much further than this. What evidence is there to support this - ...
14
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
307 views

Whereabouts of the ancient Korean cannon in Kamchatka

... [Davidov and Chvostov] fell with glee upon two junks and burned them to the water's edge. Finally they found a ten-pounder brass cannon which seemed a fitting trophy to take home. It was, by some ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

Which WW2 belligerents provided military brothels?

Did any of the other belligerents of WW2 besides Japan and Germany provide their troops with authorized military brothels?
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Was Japan really part of the Axis?

I recall in history class learning that the Japanese could have attacked the USSR in the 1940s and potentially split Stalin's forces - which presumably would have been more useful for the Nazis than ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

How did Japan get so many Nobel Prizes?

Japan in the last 80 years has earned nearly 30 Nobel Prizes, which is more than any other Asian country (at least two of which dwarf it in terms of population). In the 21'st century, only the United ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

In WW2, how long could a submarine stay submerged if it wasn't moving?

For a submarine in the WW2-era, how long could it stay submerged if it was not running its engine? This is a question of crew size, oxygen, food/water, and CO2 scrubbers, and maybe other stuff I'm not ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Can someone give me the history on this Japanese Crest symbol

What is the History and meaning of the symbol #23 (丸に七曜) in this image?
7
votes
1answer
866 views

In WW2, why didn't Japan invade Macau?

Macau was a Portuguese Colony right next door to Hong Kong. Why didn't Japan invade it during WW2? Japan did invade Hong Kong, and they did invade Portuguese Timor too. Yet I am not even sure if ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

What was the postage from Japan to US in 1945?

I was wondering how many postage stamps it would require to send a letter from Japan to the US (and vice versa) around 1945, and during the occupation? And perhaps you might know what the stamps ...
26
votes
7answers
9k views

Was Japan known to be a potential threat to the USA in the 10 year period prior to 1941

In the years leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack, did non-military Americans see Japan as a potential threat to the USA?
0
votes
1answer
202 views

Did Japan have secret films about going into the US in the 40s?

This film (narrated by Ronald Regan) was produced in the 40s. It discusses detailed planning for an air mission into an area in Japan. Did Japan have similar fims in the time period to aid them in ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Did Truman really believe that Hiroshima was a military base?

Harry Truman claimed, in his July 25, 1945 diary entry, that: I have told [Stimson] to use [the first nuclear bomb] so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women ...
0
votes
2answers
209 views

What anti-Japanese guerrilla units were active in Manchuria from 1944-1945?

I am writing a historical fiction novel with a North Korean protagonist joining anti-Japanese guerrilla forces in Manchuria in 1944. I understand that major anti-Japanese resistance in Manchuria was ...
-1
votes
1answer
151 views

Did the citizens of US really back the declaration of war on Japanese Empire as it was implied by F.D. Roosevelt in his Pearl Harbor Speech? [closed]

December 7th, 1941, was the date that was to live in infamy, as mentioned by F.D. Roosevelt in his Pearl Harbor speech. Overall, the speech was quite straightforward in its goal: assurance to the ...
17
votes
4answers
27k views

Why does Japan celebrate the Gregorian 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

Is there any economic history account of the role of Japan's precious metal deposits in the roles of the country's early industrialization?

The Japanese archipelago is generally scarce in natural resources, but Japan has a large deposit of precious metals in the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, and a few other mines, to a smaller extent. Japan ...
5
votes
2answers
828 views

Were US decision makers aware of the destructiveness of the Bomb of Nagasaki?

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped on August 6th and 9th respectively. According to this answer, the second bomb was tested once. Must I assume that US leaders were well aware of the ...
8
votes
3answers
470 views

Did Imperial Japan persecute Slavic people, as European fascists did?

Over the interwar period, fascist governments in Europe heavily promoted anti-Slavic propaganda. In Germany, they were labelled as Untermensch alongside the Jews, and in Italy, Slavic media, languages,...
2
votes
3answers
370 views

What is this 120 yr old Japanese tool?

I bought this from an antique shop in Japan. Beside the price tag it said it was 120 years old. The shop owner didn't speak much English. All he kept saying was "boat" and kept making a motion like ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
673 views

What were the flaws in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey?

According to this source, "Some historians have identified flaws in the [U.S. Strategic Bombing] survey, based on contemporary evidence." I have unsuccessfully searched the internet for these ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why didn't Japan adopt western utensils?

Why didn't Japan adopt the widespread use of western style utensils during its periods of westernization? For contrast Thailand seems to have done this during its efforts to westernize. Without ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

After the Japanese declaration of War, what happened to the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC? [duplicate]

The Japanese Declaration of War against the UK and USA was given on 1941 Dec 7. This happened in Washington DC via the Japanese Embassy. I would like to know what happened to that embassy and the ...
2
votes
2answers
534 views

Why couldn't the Ottoman Empire modernise the way Meiji Japan did? [closed]

What makes it appear to me that Japan modernised to come to a level of advancement comparable to Western powers was, unlike Ottoman Empire Japan had universal compulsory education the level of ...
21
votes
1answer
5k views

Was there a Japanese equivalent of the Gestapo during WW2

Colonial Japanese rule on occupied territories has been described as harsh as has been their treatment of prisoners of war. In some cases, this was not a fleeting occupation but one lasting years or ...
10
votes
1answer
715 views

How many pens were used by MacArthur to end the final chapter of World War II and where are they now?

General Douglas MacArthur counter-signs the Japanese instrument of surrender as Supreme Allied Commander aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. Standing behind him are Generals ...
12
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
39
votes
4answers
12k views

When/how did Harry Truman give the order to bomb Hiroshima?

Am I correct in assuming that Truman and only Truman had the authority to order the bombing of Hiroshima? After all, it was the very first A-bomb and procedures may not have been formalized yet. It ...
33
votes
2answers
33k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
273 views

Why did the GHQ not promote English during the occupation? [closed]

I wonder why GHQ did not force Japanese people to use the English language during the occupation, or at least add English to one of its official languages, much like Hong Kong under occupation by UK. ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

Why did the Japanese withdraw from Siberia in 1922?

According to Wikipedia the Japanese were the de facto leaders of the foreign anti-Bolshevik intervention in Siberia during the Russian Civil War. The other foreign powers pulled out by 1920, ...
1
vote
1answer
330 views

Why do people not talk about Tokyo fire bombing during WW2? [closed]

I was wondering why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are remembered as some of the most devastating attacks during WW2; but, the Tokyo firebombing March 9, 1945—which caused more casualties and was a really ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

Why is the Jewel Voice Broadcast called that?

I can't seem to find out the reason behind the naming of the audio Jewel Voice Broadcast. I learned that this broadcast was the first instance of the Emperor directly communicating to masses. I can ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did Japan fail to interfere with shipping from America to Vladivostok from 1941-1945?

Throughout World War II, the United States was able to supply Russia with food and many crucial war materials, such as aluminum, via Russia's Pacific port, Vladivostok. Japan steadfastedly refused to ...
0
votes
1answer
209 views

What light machine guns did the imperial Japanese army use in ww1?

I would love to more about Japanese weaponry in the Great War and, more specifically, about their use of light machine guns, and did they use things like a c96 Mauser or a Madsen LMG. Also, did they ...