Questions tagged [japan]

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

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6
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3answers
2k views

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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7answers
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Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

Leaving aside the naval battles of the Pacific, why did the Japanese army do so poorly against allied forces (specifically United states and Australian forces) when on the defensive. While logistics ...
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1answer
879 views

What are the various theories behind why Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered Sen no Rikyu to commit suicide?

From wikipedia: Although Rikyū had been one of Hideyoshi's closest confidants, because of crucial differences of opinion and other reasons which remain uncertain, Hideyoshi ordered him to commit ...
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1answer
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What time period did these notes come from?

This may be a bit broad of a question, but as I was going through some old things I found some Japanese monitary bills in varying currencies from I'm guessing around WWII, but I'm not sure. I cannt ...
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1answer
480 views

When would the Japanese have been able to recognize their archipelago?

After watching Bill Wurtz's History of Japan video, it got me wondering. At 4:38, it brings up the Dutch bringing geography to Japan (obviously, this is a humorous video, so I'm sure this is ...
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Japan allying with Germany in WWII [duplicate]

So I've been studying imperialism. Focusing on Japan, Japan's imperialism is a result of its modernization which is a result of Matthew Perry's siege (not a good word). After the treaty of Kanagawa, ...
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3answers
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Why was Luodian important in the Battle of Shanghai?

In the middle of the 3-month long Battle of Shanghai, the small town of Luodian on the outskirts of Shanghai saw some of the heaviest fighting. After Japanese troops made successful amphibious ...
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1answer
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What kind of political institutions existed in Sakai, Japan in the 500s and 600s AD?

What government bodies were elected and by whom in Sakai Japan during the 500s and 600s AD?
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1answer
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In which year of the post-WWII Occupation of Japan was the Imperial Rescript on Education repealed?

The 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education was repealed during the Allied Occupation of Japan led by Douglas MacArthur, but I cannot find an exact date for this, or even in which year it happened. I am ...
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2answers
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Did the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki contribute to Japan's surrender?

Even before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war situation had developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage. Allied forces had been taking island after island, and were firebombing ...
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2answers
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What were the effects of Bushido on Japan after the Meiji Restoration?

As part of the Meiji Restoration, the samurai class was abolished and their members enrolled as shizoku under the new regime. While their ancient privileges were lost, the former samurai continued to ...
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1answer
216 views

How was the lower chamber of the Japanese Imperial Diet elected under the Meiji constitution?

During the period 1868-1945, Japan was ruled under the "constitution of the empire of Japan" better known as the "Meiji constitution". Under this constitution, the Imperial Diet was the legislature ...
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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 ...
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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". ...
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1answer
463 views

Did Jiang Baili receive a sword from Emperor Meiji for graduating first of his class?

Jiang Baili was a famous Chinese military trainer who attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Some sources, including the Wikipedia article, claims that he graduated top of the class and that ...
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1answer
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During World War II, were there any parts of the Japanese overseas empire that was capable of local re-supply?

During World War II, the Japanese Home Islands stood at the center of an empire, to which raw materials were sent, and from which manufactured goods, included arms, were dispatched. Toward the end of ...
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What was the first book translated from Japanese to any of the European languages?

What was the first Japanese book translated and published in one of the European languages? By "first" I mean the date of translation, not the original.
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Where did Japan get their oil during WWII?

To my understanding the United States was the largest exporter of oil to the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor. The Japanese islands aren't known for their oil fields. It's also believed that the attacks ...
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3answers
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What were the EMP effects, if any, of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is generated from any atomic bomb, as far as I know. An EMP could destroy the electronics of many devices, including lighting, electric motors, radios, phones, etc. So why ...
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1answer
608 views

What evidence exists to say whether or not FDR was planning to use the Atomic Bomb just as Truman did?

Are there any letters, autobiographies, or testimony from FDR's administration to say that he was definitely planning to use the Atomic Bomb against Japan? Conversely, is there any evidence that he ...
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0answers
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What was the significance of Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle from a military/political perspective?

What was a strategic intention for building Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle? Its placement in a swamp, in a basin surrounded by mountains might on three sides made the castle impregnable, but also quite ...
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2answers
733 views

Did Hirohito offer to stand trial for war crimes, but was turned down by the US?

At the end of WW2, did Emperor Hirohito volunteer to stand trial for war crimes? Was he planning to plead guilty? Did the US refuse all this? Please make a citation because I would like to read more ...
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When did English become a major subject in Japanese schools?

I used to think older Japanese people wouldn't have studied English at school, and recently came across someone who thought likewise (link available on request). A middle-aged Japanese person told me ...
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2answers
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Elites in post-war Japan [closed]

How the Japanese political elite has been changed after WW2? I've read that the aristocracy was effectively removed from power, while middle ranking officials and bureaucracy have preserved their ...
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What was the Chinese impact on Japanese culture and the arts after ~1750?

What significant and subtle impacts has China had on Japanese social dynamics and the arts from ~1750 to the early nineteen hundreds? If at all possible include dates on which changes happened ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Why is there less public attention on the firebombing of Japan compared to its atomic bombing? [closed]

Virtually everybody has heard of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the firebombing of Japan is nowhere near as well known, or talked about, at least by non-Japanese. Why is there ...
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1answer
990 views

Why did the Japanese Navy convert Kaga to an Aircraft Carrier?

The IJN ordered 4 Amagi class battlecruisers (Amagi, Akagi, Atago, and Takao) and 2 Tosa class Battleships (Tosa and Kaga) to form the "Eight-Eight Fleet". All ships started construction between 1920-...
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1answer
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Why did Uesugi Kenshin never marry? Was it common practice for Japanese Buddhists of the time?

It seems that the famed Sengoku-era lord Uesugi Kenshin never married anybody in his life because he was a devout Buddhist. This seems highly unusual, considering Japanese Buddhists at that time seem ...
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6answers
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By mid-1945, was Japan capable of maintaining the war even in the absence of further direct American attacks? [closed]

The USA went to a great effort to defeat Japan, but do historians regard it as necessary? For example if the USA had just kept the naval action going to the extent of cutting of all shipping to ...
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3answers
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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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4answers
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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. ...
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5answers
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Did a Kamikaze ever impact the hull of a ship, as opposed to the deck?

All kamikaze videos I've seen show the plane dive bombing into the deck of a ship. The photos I've seen also appear to always show a burning deck or tower. What I want to know is, did any kamikaze ...
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1answer
581 views

Before the imposition of Sakoku, did any Japanese people travel to Africa, the Middle East or Europe?

There are many accounts of Europeans who travelled to the Far East, as they called it. There were some Chinese people who made the opposite journey, did anyone from Japan do it? If they returned to ...
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2answers
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What were contemporary Japanese views on the Taiping Rebellion and Heavenly Kingdom?

In the 1850's and 60's, the Taiping Rebellion broke out in China, observed by both the Tokugawa Bakufu and subsequently the Meiji Imperial government. Some 200 years earlier, Japan had suffered its ...
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0answers
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How many samurai warriors were there during the Sengoku period?

I was trying to estimate the number of warriors who were part of the samurai class. I am mainly interested in the 16th and 17th centuries. Trying to search for that, I came across this. It states ...
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5answers
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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." ...
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2answers
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What does this Samurai crest mean?

Some years ago I was given something that I believe is called, in Japanese, a jubako. It's a multi-layered box and on the inside of the lid it features this crest: When searching for information on ...
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1answer
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Were the Axis Powers really obligated to attack USSR and USA? [duplicate]

EDIT: I don't think it's a duplicate of this. That question asks why attack USSR while still fighting Britain (and I think the OP has a misunderstanding there because the Battle of Britain was already ...
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4answers
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At what age did samurai children start going into battles in the Sengoku era?

Exactly as the title says, from what age did a child of a samurai start to join his father in battles? I suspect it is when the child was considered an adult, but what age was considered an adult ...
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1answer
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Did Japan make a contribution to World War II way out of proportion to its nominal relative GDP? [closed]

I was surprised to read these 1938 figures (admittedly estimates) of 1938 GDP for the major combatants of World War II. In round figures, the U.S. had $85 billion, the Germans $42 billion, Britain $...
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2answers
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how could japan recover very fast their economy eventhough the two bombs were dropped? [closed]

I tried to search for this question alot but I didn"t find anything so I said to ask my question here maybe someone knows how to answer it!!
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2answers
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Were crossbows used by the Japanese?

Were crossbows used in any significant way by the Japanese? If so, what period and how were they fielded? I found some very brief references: Jonathan Clements' "A Brief History of the Samurai" ...
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3answers
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What changed Japanese attitude to POWs in inter-war period?

I have read this excellent answer in which @Semaphore provides sources confirming that German defenders of Tsingtao were treated very well during World War I, which even lead to some tradition in ...
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3answers
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Did a Japanese medieval castle withstand US battleship fire during the Pacific War?

I have overheard the story from an US soldier that during the Pacific War the Japanese mounted a defense in an old medieval castle. The Americans asked for support from a battleship. The battleship ...
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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 days, 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 ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
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What killed Takeda Shingen?

What killed Takeda Shingen? A sniper's bullet? Illness? Old wounds? A combination of the above? Why is the cause of his death shrouded in mystery? Did the Takeda try and keep his death secret or ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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Why would staff officers carry swords during combat, in World War II?

I realise one purpose as ceremonial, as depicted in Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi's surrender (eg this picture), but when Isoroku Yamamoto was killed, his white-gloved hand [was still] ...

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