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Questions tagged [japan]

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

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What were Yamamoto's intentions when the Japanese Navy attacked Colombo, Sri Lanka, in1942?

During Easter 1942, the Japanese navy headed west into the Indian Ocean, and attacked Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).The Wikipedia article suggests that Yamamoto's main goal was to control the Indian ...
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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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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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Did Japanese castaways land in Spanish California?

George Lensen's "The Russian Push Toward Japan" says on pp. 261: In 1815 the transport Pavel under the command of Navigator's Apprentice Srednii left Okhotsk with six Japanese castaways, three of ...
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Was anyone blamed for Japan's defeat at Tai'erzhuang?

The battle of Tai'erzhuang was the first major Chinese victory in the Second Sino-Japanese war. IJA 10th and 5th divisions, aiming to take Tai'erzhuang and ultimately Xuzhou, were instead held up in ...
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A bronze reservoir in Osaka

George Lensen's "The Russian Push Toward Japan", 1959, cites Okamoto Ryunosuke, "Nichi-Ro kosho Hokkaido shiko", 1898, to say: Matsudaira Sadanobu states that guns for defenses must be of bronze. ...
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Why would Japanese people be in China during the 1920s?

I'm writing a historical fiction novel set in the second World War. One of the characters is a Japanese person who has lived in China since childhood. However, as I attempt to flesh out this backstory,...
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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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How useful were Chinese contributions to the defeat of Japan in WWII?

While there is no doubt China contributed a lot of blood and treasure in the War with Japan, how useful were those contributions given that Japan was strangled by a the navy, bombed by the air force ...
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What was the nature of the Japanese presence in China in the later stages of World War II?

I am trying to understand Japanese punitive expeditions in China such as the Three Alls Campaign and retaliation for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. In each case, the Japanese largely retaliated against ...
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How did the Japanese treat captured “Flying Tigers” in World War II?

When the Japanese took eight POWs from the "Doolittle Raid," ("Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo"), they executed three and one died of maltreatment, a 50% death rate. The "Flying Tigers" were an even ...
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17th century Japanese colonies in Southeast Asia?

After a period of exposure to European interests, Japan secluded itself in the 1630s. George Lensen wrote in "The Russian Push Towards Japan": On the eve of her seclusion, Japan had begun to expand ...
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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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Did any civil resistence against the allied occupation of Japan exist?

I am looking for resistence against the allied occupation of Japan after the WWII. What I've found: There were soldiers, mainly on previously by Japan-occupied areas, who went into hiding after the ...
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1answer
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Who made these comments relating to the use of the atomic bomb?

I recall that someone, possibly in Truman's cabinet, noticed that many of Truman's advisers had visible injuries from long-ago fights. This individual commented that their rough upbringing including ...
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How accurate is the fatalistic samurai culture in James Clavell's novel Shogun?

Background: I'm reading Shogun, and enjoying it enormously, but the portrayal of the samurai, their families, and their subordinates as authoritarian and death-obsessed has been setting off warning ...
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1answer
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Did samurai wear hakama long enough to hide their feet?

There is a prevalent idea within some martial art (Aikido for one) that Hakama were worn low enough to hide the footwork of a samurai involved in combat. After all, if the feet are hidden, it is ...
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Why is the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima so much more infamous than that of Nagasaki? [closed]

I am not American, so this might just be something in my country, but growing up everyone knew about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. However, when we began studying this in high school everyone was ...
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Why are women banned from Okinoshima island in Japan?

Okinoshima, a sacred Japanese island that just got World Heritage listing, is a place where men are expected to walk around naked that is off limits for women. Why are women not allowed on it? This ...
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Why did China not seem to have cared about the Nanking Massacre? [closed]

The Japanese really did horrible stuff to China's citizens, which peaked in the Massacre of Nanking. Dozens of women, regardless of the age, where raped and many more killed in really gruesome ways. ...
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Surviving Tokugawa Family Members

Are there any surviving Tokugawa family members nowadays? From my readings, I noticed that Kikuko Tokugawa (d. 2004) was the last Tokugawa family member, who married Prince Takamatsu.
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Did Mao Zedong and Chinese communists collude with the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War?

Whilst answering another question on in which the CCP was militarily involved in the Sino-Japanese War, To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese? I came across groundbreaking and ...
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Map of Osaka Castle circa late 1600s

Could you help me find a layout of Osaka Castle after it was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada? I've looked all over the web and couldn't find a thing.
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What was the process for the Japanese to sign up for the Kamikaze suicide program?

Was it random drafting or was it a personal decision? What were the benefits to family etc for signing up?
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4answers
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Why did carrier battle groups require multiple carriers?

During the Pacific War, both USN and IJN operated (or at least preferred to) carrier battle groups composed of multiple carriers plus their screening ships. IJN's Kidō Butai - which carried out the ...
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1answer
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Did Japan ever retaliate for the Russian attacks of 1806?

In 1806 two Russian naval vessels burned several settlements and kidnapped several citizens in far northern Japan ("Russians in Alaska" by Lydia Black). Did Japan take any military action in response ...
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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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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 evil ...
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Could German citizens visit Japan during the Nazi era? And if so what would the locals think of them?

Germany and Japan in WWII were BFF's, with Japan continuing to fight to the bitter, nuke-filled, end. Now, let's say a German citizen wanted to check out Japan, for whatever reason: Firstly, could ...
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3answers
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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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Was Heisuke Yanagawa really censored out in photos, and why?

Heisuke Yanagawa (柳川 平助) was an IJA Lieutenant General who commanded one of the main armies in the Battle of Nanking. He would have been one of the generals photographed marching into Nanking. I've ...
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How do the efforts of the Jesuits in China differ from their efforts in Japan?

Question How do the efforts of the Jesuits in Ming China China differ from their efforts in Japan? I know that when the Jesuits arrived in both countries, they started to convert people into ...
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How have the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki affected Japanese culture and language?

Even though there have been events that resulted in more deaths, I believe the timing of the two attacks and the novelty of the a-bomb must have created a deep scar in the collective memory of the ...
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Why was Hiroshima selected to be the city in Japan on which the first atom bomb was dropped? [closed]

What were the reasons that the U.S. government selected Hiroshima to be the city in Japan on which the first atomic bomb was dropped, other than the obvious reason that Hiroshima was a large, ...
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Why was Pearl Harbor selected as the base Japan attacked in December 1941? [closed]

Why did Japan select Pearl Harbor, and not some other U.S. military base, as the site to surprise attack in 1941? Why didn't Japan attack, for example, the Philippines, or the Panama Canal, or Wake ...
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What were the reasons for Japan's surrender in WWII? [closed]

I have read this Quora answer with 400+ upvotes that claims that Japan surrendered not because they were nuked but because Russians were about to land on their soil and then never leave like they do. ...
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Could the Russian fleet go via northern route to Port Arthur instead of via Cape of Good Hope?

Was there a route via the north of Russia that Admiral Rozhestvensky could have passed (maybe during the summer months) instead of the seven month odyssey of going through Cape of Good Hope around ...
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Did each clan in Sengoku Japan have a specialty or distinctive way of war?

I know that the regions of Iga and Koga bred soldiers that excelled at guerilla warfare, The Takeda cavalry, The Otomo and Oda for their guns. Were there other daimyo who were known for the way they ...
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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 Kondou ...
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What was the extent of Japanese control after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and before surrender?

What was the extent of Japanese control after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I am talking about before their surrender. A map would be extremely preferred for better understanding.
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Why did the Tripartite Pact take so long to sign?

The Tripartite Pact was signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan on 1940 Sep 27. By this time, Germany had already invaded Poland, conquered France, conquered Denmark and Norway, and the Battle of Britain ...
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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 ...
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7answers
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On 1941 Dec 7, could Japan have targeted the Panama Canal instead of Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack?

This question comes from a slightly related one. At the time of WW2, most US industry was on the East Coast, including all of the shipbuilding for Carriers and Battleships. If the Panama Canal went ...
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1answer
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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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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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Why was the Nihonmachi sector of Seattle selected for the Yesler Housing Project of the 1930s?

In the late 1930s the Seattle community of Japanese suffered a substantial loss when large parts of Nihonmachi (the city's Japanese district) were confiscated and torn down to make way for the Yesler ...
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What was the Japanese or Axis motivation to drag US into the War?

Making an enemy out of a neutral country when you are at war with many others means there is one more enemy to fight. So what was the plan of Japan or the Axis to drag US into the war? Did they think ...
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Why was Japan not worried about Soviet invasion during WWII?

I just visited the Australian War Memorial in Canberra during my break. When I was walking in the WWII section, showing portraits of Australia battling against Japanese troops, I wondered why Japan ...
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1answer
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Was Nobunaga the founder of 3 lines of riflemen formation?

During Battle of Nagashino, Oda Nobunaga ordered his riflemen to make three lines and shoot in a certain order, that is the first line will shoot, followed by the second line. While the second line ...
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Why didn't Thailand have to pay more for its involvement in WW2?

During WW2, Thailand declared war on England and US, collaborated with the Japanese in exchange for being able to invade Shan state westwards and north as far as China. Thai soldiers were ordered to ...