Questions tagged [japan]

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

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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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Couldn't Japan have solved the problem of drifting at sea?

The Edo period shogunate received annual tributes from local clans, on the order of the rice to feed a thousand people. The sengokubune ships used on this route were suited for calm inland waters, ...
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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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Why were so few Koreans enlisted in the Japanese Army before conscription was introduced in 1944?

Citing two sources, the article Korea under Japanese rule gives the following figures showing that very few Koreans who volunteered for enlistment into the Japanese army 1938 – 1943 were actually ...
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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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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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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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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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Why didn't Russia and Japan sign a peace treaty after WW2?

I have read that Russia and Japan, which had been fighting long before World War I, are still at war, at least technically, since they did not sign a peace treaty at the conclusion of World War II. ...
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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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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 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 ...
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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 ...
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Were there any naval engagements during the Mongol invasions of Japan?

During the 13th century, the Yuan empire made two invasion attempts at Japan, in the battles of Bun'ei and Kōan. In both cases, the samurai defenders fought the Mongols off their beachheads, and the ...
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What was the argument for the Japanese pursuing the Northern Expansion Doctrine during WWII?

The Northern Expansion Doctrine was the idea that Japan should pursue its imperialist objectives through Siberia, which was diametrically opposed by the Southern Expansion Doctrine which was the idea ...
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Did Perry's Black Ships attack Edo harbour during his expedition to Japan?

Matthew C. Perry commanded the U.S. Navy expedition that forced Japan to abandon its policy of isolation, triggering the eventual overthrow of the Shogunate's and the Meiji Restoration. Perry arrived ...
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Did Japanese castaways land in Spanish California?

George Lensen's "The Russian Push Toward Japan" says on p. 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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Evidence of cross contamination between Japanese and Western sword fighting styles?

Are there any documented cases of cross pollination between western sword fighting techniques and Japanese ones? Such cross contamination could have happened during the Sengoku-jidai. This period ...
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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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Was Japan really part of the Axis?

I recall in history class learning that the Japanese could have attacked the USSR in the 1940s and potentially split Stalin's forces - which presumably would have been more useful for the Nazis than ...
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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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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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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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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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Did Imperial Japan persecute Slavic people, as European fascists did?

Over the interwar period, fascist governments in Europe heavily promoted anti-Slavic propaganda. In Germany, they were labelled as Untermensch alongside the Jews, and in Italy, Slavic media, languages,...
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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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How did schoolgirls dress in Japan in the 1930s/40s?

I'm writing a graphic novel with a segment in 1930's and 40's Japan. I've looked around but haven't been able to find any specific answers. How would teenage schoolgirls have dressed at that time?
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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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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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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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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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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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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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What kind of wood was the standard decking for Aircraft Carriers in World War 2?

I know that both Japan and the United States used wooden decks on their WWII Aircraft Carriers. Was there a specific, "ideal" standard type of wood that was utilized by either country? If so, what ...
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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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Where can I find digitised versions of Japanese war documents in original Japanese?

I was wondering where can I find digitised versions of Japanese war documents in original Japanese? I can read Japanese but I cannot seem to find any primary sources that relate to the Japanese army ...
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Why did animation become so huge in Japan compared to other countries?

I'd like a general explanation of the historical/cultural reasons that have made anime in Japan so big. There's clearly disproportion between the Japanese population (I doubt that at any moment since ...
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Why did Japan commit atrocities against natives populaces after “liberating” them during WW2?

The propaganda Japan used during World War 2 when conquering China and Southeast Asia was Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere . I suppose that to mean that they would want to be seen as a liberator,...
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Was the end date of Soviet-Japanese Border War the direct reason of starting Soviet invasion on Poland in 1939

The end date of the Soviet-Japanese Border War oddly coincides with the beginning date of the Soviet invasion on Poland in 1939. Was the end date of the Soviet-Japanese Border War the direct reason of ...
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When did wheel-mounted water-carrying fire-fighting machines first appear in Japan?

When did wheel-mounted water-carrying fire-fighting machines first appear in Japan? I am curious about the date, and maybe some history about whether it was invented or imported, and by whom if ...
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Who started the “katana is the soul of the Samurai” meme?

Samurai used to be defined by their ability to use horses and bows in the early history of Japan. This moved to using the sword, first tachi then katana. Within the Tokugawa period, the katana ...
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What caused the long lasting of peace in during the Heian Period?

I see the Heian Period of Japan described as being an era of long lasting peace. For example, the Met Museum says: In Kyoto, the court enjoyed a relatively long period of peace and political ...
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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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Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
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When did Russia learn about the Philippines and the Japanese and Spanish presences there?

The Japanese and Spanish did business in the Philippines from the 12th and 16th centuries respectively. In Russia, Vasili III became aware that the Spanish had reached America after his envoys ...
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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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Why did Japan fail to interfere with shipping from America to Vladivostok from 1941-1945?

Throughout World War II, the United States was able to supply Russia with food and many crucial war materials, such as aluminum, via Russia's Pacific port, Vladivostok. Japan steadfastedly refused to ...
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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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