Questions tagged [japan]

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

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109
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7answers
20k views

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 ...
17
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4answers
10k views

What role did the Ancient Samurai heritage play on Modern Japan during WW2?

Some of the policies adopted by the WW2 Japanese army , seem to be along the lines of the ancient samurai code of Bushido. Policies such as extreme loyalty to the emperor , honor unto death and ...
3
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1answer
322 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
673 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...
28
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9answers
31k views

What do the modern Japanese people think about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Japan has been an ally of the USA for a long time now. On the other hand, every year they observe Hiroshima Day. Moreover, Japanese people visit Yasukuni Shrine. Then what is the catch?
31
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5answers
8k views

Given their reputation for fighting to the last man in the Pacific, why did 700,000 Japanese troops surrender in Manchuria?

I just read this. It says: On August 8, 1945 ... the Soviet Union launched the invasion of Manchuria, a massive military operation mobilizing 1.5 million soldiers against one million Kwantung Army ...
5
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1answer
820 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
368 views

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 ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Throughout history, how many wars have there been between Russia and Japan?

Do both countries have a particluar hot spot that existed in the past, and if so, does it still exist now? Have their wars historically been bloody or transient, and are they now considered "friends"?
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3answers
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Did Japan ever pay Russia war reparations after WW2? Why or why not?

Russia had the largest number of casualties during WW2, and Russia had taken many Japanese prisoners. So, why didn't Russia receive a reparation from Japan to help boost Russia's economy after the war?...
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2answers
524 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
488 views

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. ...
3
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2answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
314 views

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.
14
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2answers
1k views

To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese?

There's general agreement that the Japanese invasion of China benefited the CPC by interrupting the civil war, forcing the KMT to fight the Japanese instead of continuing the CPC purge, which they ...
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1answer
167 views

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.
4
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2answers
598 views

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?
5
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4answers
997 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
327 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
533 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
1k views

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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2answers
163 views

In the Bakumatsu period, was there any way to identify which clan a person belonged to?

Was there any way to identify which clan someone belonged to (other than when they wore their formal wear with their mon/emblem on their attire). In other words did they carry something on their ...
8
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
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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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4answers
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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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1answer
1k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Did the Japanese try to start peace negotiations while in a position of strength in WWII?

As I understand it, the Japanese plan for the Pacific War was to grab a bunch of territory, then negotiate peace from a position of strength. Did the Japanese ever try to start those peace ...
3
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1answer
111 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
314 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
143 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
395 views

How many defensive lines did China build for the Second Sino-Japanese War?

Lots of famous defensive lines were built up to and during WWII, like the Maginot Line or Atlantic Wall. China did the same for the Second Sino-Japanese war, two lines they built were part of the so-...
9
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
859 views

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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4answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
371 views

What was the nature of the Japanese cabinet crisis after the Battle of Taierzhuang?

According to Wikipedia, after the Japanese defeat in the Battle of Taierzhuang, "It was reported in the world's newspapers, however, and by mid-April had provoked a Cabinet crisis in Tokyo". What was ...
6
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
12
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8answers
65k views

Were there Samurai equivalents in Korea or China?

Considering that the Samurai class had its distant roots in Chinese political structure, did China or Korea have a similar warrior class?
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3answers
3k views

Why would some nations want to force Japan to end their isolation?

The Perry expedition succeeded in opening Japan to trade with the USA. From Wikipedia we learn that around the same time the Russians also attempted the same thing (the Dutch already had some weak ...
28
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5answers
8k views

Why did the Japanese expect the United States navy would attack the Home Islands?

Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval strategy for a Pacific war, amounted to (simplified) "The American fleet will cross the Pacific to attack Japan. At that time, we will engage and defeat them." ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Who deposited German fuel drums on a Japanese air base in the Kuril Islands in 1943?

The Imperial Japanese Navy operated two all-weather, heated, lit runways on Matsuwa Island in the Kuril island chain. This island is littered with German fuel drums manufactured in 1943. It also has ...
2
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2answers
174 views

Physical meaning of the phrase “Beijing-Tianjing corridor” in the context of Sino-Japanese war?

Describing the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war, especially the events following skirmishes after the incident at the Marco Polo bridge in 1937, my textbook stresses Soon the Beijing-Tianjing ...
3
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1answer
446 views

How was Pre-Samurai Japan structured ? What part did solders and warriors play in the yayoi culture and how did the Yamato state wage war ?

I've always been fascinated about the history of ancient Japan before the Samurai. A period rarely written about, and never truly brought to light in films or any form of media. I was wondering what ...
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1answer
146 views

Roman Letters in Japanese Postmarks

Why did the Japanese Post Office start using Roman characters in their postmarks for overseas mail in the late 1880s?
93
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13answers
50k views

Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...
2
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1answer
277 views

Did Japan perceive their hypergrowth as stable and unstoppable as the United States did?

Did Japan perceive their hypergrowth as stable and unstoppable as the United States did? Or was it commonly known to the man on the street that it would fail?
0
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3answers
716 views

How Likely Was a French Alliance with Italy or Japan in World War I? [closed]

My World History class is re-enacting World War I and I have been assigned France. I'm looking for countries who allied with France or were potential allies. Please help if you know any good alliances ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Did Japan have any continental colonies before modern times?

Imperial Japan built up an impressive collection of colonies on the Asian mainland due to their uncontested navy and comparatively modern army. Did Japan ever hold any colonies on the mainland before ...
2
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2answers
503 views

How were the prime ministers of Japan selected during the Taisho era?

During the Taisho era in Japan, how was the Prime Minister selected? Were they appointed by the Emperor? elected by the Diet? chosen by the Privy Council? I'm finding lots of information on how ...