Questions tagged [japan]

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

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2answers
912 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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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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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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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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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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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
148 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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How did himuros operate for storing and transporting ice in Heian Japan?

I'm trying to learn more about himuros (ice houses) and ice transportation in 1000 AD Japan. Does anyone have good articles, or can describe in more detail what they looked like, and how ice was ...
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1answer
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Were taiko drums used to determine village sizes?

Were taiko drums used to determine village size? If so, when was this practice in use? In 'Full Circle', Michael Palin says that the taiko drums were used to determine village sizes in pre-industrial ...
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1answer
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Which crown features on the Japanese Order of the Precious Crown?

The Order of the Precious Crown features a crown on its badge. I cannot determine which crown this is. The order was founded in 1888 by Emperor Meiji, who I cannot find depicted wearing or with any ...
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Did Midway provide the strategic opportunity Japan sought? [closed]

We all know that the Battle of Midway was a disaster for the Japanese Empire, and a turning point of the Pacific War. Events did not turn out as the IJN had hoped. But the result by no means was a ...
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What was Higo domain's relevance with respect to the Meiji Restoration and later (internal) politics?

Normally, when the Meiji Restoration is considered, the "victors" are listed as Satsuma, Chōshū, and Tosa. This materialised in Satsuma and Choshu leading Imperial Japan's Army while Satsuma and Tosa ...
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Why did Tokugawa Ieyasu oppose Hideyoshi's plan for expansion?

When Hideyoshi wanted to invade Korea, the Tokugawa clan noticeably stayed out of the conflict. What were the reasons for them doing so?
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When did Easter Island start to become such a frequent participant in Japanese Comics?

I recently came across a lot of questions on Anime and Manga Stack Exchange by this user who is the curator of an exhibition on Easter Island in popular culture (http://www.moaiculture.com) I ...
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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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Did the leaflets from the US to Hiroshima/Nagasaki civilians on bombing cities reduce the civilian casualties of the two nuclear bombs in August 1945?

I read on Wikipedia Various leaflets were dropped on Japan, three versions showing the names of 11 or 12 Japanese cities targeted for destruction by firebombing. The other side contained text stating ...
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Was it possible for a young Japanese woman to end up enslaved in Great Britain in the mid-1600s?

I'm inspired to ask this by the horror visual novel The Letter, which chiefly regards a haunted building called the Ermengarde mansion, in the fictional English town of Anslem, near the equally-...
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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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Were there reasons for Japan to go to war with the US aside from the US owning Philippines?

Right after the Spanish-American War in 1898, the US acquired the Philippines from Spain. At that time, local leaders desired Philippine independence. The Philippine - American War was fought around ...
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How did Japan successfully conquer Vietnam (Southeast Asia) in WW2?

I've read the obvious wiki article (which is rather small), but did not really find an answer. At the end of the article, it says: To prepare for an invasion of the Dutch East Indies, some 140,000 ...
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If the Allies had invaded Japan in 1945, would they have been fighting the “weakest” Japanese troops?

Sources such as Basil Collier's "The Second World War: A Military History" list the Japanese forces during the war as being 6 million. My understanding is that the background of these troops is ...
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Why was 19th-century Japan able to modernize and not China?

At the start of the 19th century, Asian countries had militaries less effective than Western nations. In 1853, the US Navy forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States. The Japanese ...
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During the Second World War, did the Germans expect that Japan would declare war on Russia?

As I understand it, Germany did not make war with America on the condition that Japan joined the war against Russia. Was this because they thought that Japan would attack Russia anyway? If so, what ...

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