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Questions tagged [japan]

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

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1answer
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How could it be that 80% of townspeople were farmers during the Edo period in Japan?

I've read in the book "A modern history of Japan" by Andrew Gordon and other articles, that most of the Japanese townspeople were farmers(about 80% I suppose) during the Edo period. But according to ...
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How to explain the Khalkhin Gol outcome in view of Soviet weakness and Japanese strength at that time?

Conventional wisdom says that the USSR was very weak in 1939/40/41, in large part due to the purges of the 1930s, ideological interference in the armed forces, and lack of equipment, preparation and ...
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Why did WWI include Japan?

WWI mainly developed in Europe. It only included the USA because Germans attacked a US ship. What did Japan have to do with Europe?
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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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Were there any pilots that declined to carry out the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Were there any pilots that refused (or politely declined) to take part in the operations of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," knowing the destruction these would cause? Similarly, were there any scientists ...
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Meaning of samurai crest / symbol

I would like to ask you all to explain the meaning of the 8-th symbol in this picture*: I would like to also know what are those symbols? Thank you very much. * Source: http://www.samurai-store.com/...
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Where did the so-called “Jap Skulls” end up?

I have read that there was a disturbingly common practice of American soldiers in the Pacific theater of WWII to take the skulls of dead Japanese soldiers as trophies to take home, give to girlfriends,...
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The last Japanese surrender after WWII was in the 1970s?

Wikipedia in its article on the Surrender of Japan, claims: Some Japanese holdouts, especially on small Pacific Islands, refused to surrender at all (believing the declaration to be propaganda or ...
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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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Who was the first military force to use teppo (guns) in mass battles during the Sengoku-jidai?

Oda clan used guns to great efficency against the Takeda clan but which warlord (or faction) used them for the first time? I seem to recall that some of the sohei order had access to firearms and ...
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638 views

Who were the target audiences of this propaganda lithograph?

What was the main purpose of the image below, who was the audience (except Japanese people themselves)? It is a Japanese lithograph depicting the capture of Blagoveshchensk, Siberia, by the Imperial ...
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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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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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Why did Japan not withdraw from China as its pacific front was crumbling and the threat of US invasion imminent?

Even in August, Japan still kept garrisons in China totalling around 3 million men. They were second-line troops and poorly equipped, yes, but why did Japan not recall everyone to defend the home ...
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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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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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Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...
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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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What other war crimes trials, besides those of Nazi war criminals, were held after WWII?

Why were the Nuremberg trials after WWII for the Germans only? The same charges used against the the Germans could be easily extended to the Japanese or possibly Italians. They have committed as much ...
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Why has there only been one dynasty in the history of Japan?

I'm kinda surprised that there's been only one dynasty (Yamato) in Japan up until now, unlike China with one group wiping out another group and starting a new dynasty constantly. Looking at Wikipedia'...
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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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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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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 ...
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What are the origins of the Shinto religion?

Shinto's recorded history is typically dated to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, but most sources suggest that oral traditions go back much further than this. What evidence is there to support this - ...
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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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What were the operating principles of Japan's MITI during the 1950s and 60s?

Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) guided Japan's economy through two decades of unprecedented economic growth. MITI was the primary instrument of Japan's industrial policy, ...
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Which Japanese military officers helped Ho Chi Minh?

According to Wikipedia, in 1946 during negotiations between the French and Ho Chi Minh, One demand by the French was the return to French custody of a number of Japanese military officers (who had ...
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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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Toyotomi Hideyoshi threatened to exterminate all Japanese foxes unless he heard from the god Inari. What was the aftermath (if any)?

Quoth Wikipedia: the 16th-century leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi wrote a letter to the kami Inari: To Inari Daimyojin, My lord, I have the honor to inform you that one of the foxes ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why did Ieyasu Tokugawa 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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What were Hiroshima and Nagasaki known for prior to World War II? [closed]

Prior to becoming the first (and so far only) military targets of atomic bombs, how well-known were Hiroshima and Nagasaki outside of Japan, and (if at all) for what?
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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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1answer
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During the Sengoku-jidai, what were shinobi (aka ninja) used for?

During the Japan Sengoku-jidai, several clans of shinobi were recruited by various war lords to help their military campaigns. What were they primarily used for? Was it covert espionage, ...
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1answer
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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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Could rōnin become a samurai again

Once the samurai lost his master he becomes a rōnin. Could he become a samurai again by acquiring another master?
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Does Japan have the constitutional and legal right to have its own army or navy?

After WW2 Japan capitulated and was disarmed. And as I know Japan was not able to have its own army, and its boundary would be protected by the United States. So, does Japan have the legal right to ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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1answer
586 views

When did private fighting become a capital offense in Japan?

In "Might Makes Right: Just war and just warfare in early medieval Japan", Karl Friday mentions that bushi (warriors) who violated decrees banning fighting were exiled or imprisoned under pre-Edo ...
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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 ...