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Questions tagged [japan]

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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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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 communicatin for Inland Postage and Foreign Countries, except Japan. Why?
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Are records on the meetings of the Japanese war council during 1945 publicly available?

There is lately some interest to the question of the Japanese surrender in august 1945 and the motivations of the Japanese government for doing so and doing it in the way they did. E.g. it is voiced ...
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How did Heian Era Japanese Clans work? (esp. Taira vs. Minamoto)

Wikipedia tells me that certain children of emperors were demoted (removed from the royal lineage) and assigned to Taira as well as Minamoto "clans" during the Heian period. How did this work? Was ...
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Were there any Germans in Japan after the surrender of Germany in May, 1945 and if so, what happened to them?

I assume there were potentially hundreds of German advisers, etc. in Japan at the time of the German surrender. Is there evidence that they tried to reach Allied troops to surrender to them? Did some ...
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Did the House of Representatives during Meiji Era exercise their powers?

Currently, I am researching into the Imperial Diet of Japan during the Meiji Era. It has been established by historians that the House of Representatives were granted some form of power, such as the ...
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Why were there so few American deaths in the Bataan Death March?

There was estimated to be 500-650 American deaths during the Bataan death march while there was estimated to be 5,000 to 18,000 Filipino deaths, according to Wikipedia. I can't wrap my head around why ...
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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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Why were so few Koreans enlisted in the Japanese Army before conscription was introduced in 1944?

Citing two sources, the article Korea under Japanese rule gives the following figures showing that very few Koreans who volunteered for enlistment into the Japanese army 1938 – 1943 were actually ...
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1answer
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Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year?

During the New Years, the Japanese have a curious custom where they perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. This has produced some stunning sights on youtube But there's nothing particularly festive or New ...
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Did imperialist Japan ever want to annex Hawaii because of the Japanese minority living here?

Hawaii had been colonized by Japanese people during the 19th century, before it became an American territory. There was an estimated 40% of Japanese in Hawaii in 1900 and 43% in 1920; thus we can ...
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What did the Japanese believe about the USA capability of making/using additional atomic bombs?

Clearly the Japanese believed that if they did not surrender another atomic bomb would be used on them. However how soon did they believe this would happen? And how many atomic bombs did they ...
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Why did English adopt Kamikaze (神風) as a loanword instead of Tokko (特攻) during/after WWII?

Kamikaze (you know, the 'crash plane into boat' thing) is, for Japanese learners like myself, initially a very confusing word. In Japanese it's 神風, 神 meaning god, gods, divinity, etc. And 風 means wind,...
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What caused the long lasting of peace in during the Heian Period?

I see the Heian Period of Japan described as being an era of long lasting peace. For example, the Met Museum says: In Kyoto, the court enjoyed a relatively long period of peace and political ...
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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 did Japan commit atrocities against natives populaces after “liberating” them during WW2?

The propaganda Japan used during World War 2 when conquering China and Southeast Asia was Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere . I suppose that to mean that they would want to be seen as a liberator,...
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How many suicide attack (kamikaze) pilots died and how many of them successfully hit ships during World War II?

Wikipedia cites two different accounts that give different estimates: During World War II, about 3,860 kamikaze pilots died, and about 19% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship. Zaloga, "...
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Distinguish Mitsubishi G6M1-L2 and G4M1 aircraft in this picture

Here is a picture of Bataan 1 and Bataan 2: Wikipedia: Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 were two demilitarized Japanese bomber/transport aircraft that carried the first surrender delegations from Japan to Ie ...
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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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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 the end date of Soviet-Japanese Border War the direct reason of starting Soviet invasion on Poland in 1939

The end date of the Soviet-Japanese Border War oddly coincides with the beginning date of the Soviet invasion on Poland in 1939. Was the end date of the Soviet-Japanese Border War the direct reason of ...
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Where was Emperor Hirohito during the Kyūjō incident?

Where was Emperor Hirohito during Kyūjō incident ? Did he came in physical contact with the rebels, did they actually tried to dissuade him from surrender ?