Questions tagged [japan]

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

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How much of a role did Sakamoto Ryoma play in overthrowing the Shogunate?

Sakamoto Ryoma is often portrayed in the Japanese media for his role in attempting to overthrow the shogunate during the Bakumatsu period. Since he was assassinated when he was still very young, the ...
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Did Mao Zedong and Chinese communists collude with the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War?

Whilst answering another question on in which the CCP was militarily involved in the Sino-Japanese War, To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese? I came across groundbreaking and ...
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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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Did Anza find evidence of a Japanese wreck?

Through the age of sail Japanese sea drifters involuntarily crossed the Pacific. The sengokubune ship which tended to lose its rudder in storms and drift nearly endlessly. Several made it to North ...
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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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Were US decision makers aware of the destructiveness of the Bomb of Nagasaki?

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped on August 6th and 9th respectively. According to this answer, the second bomb was tested once. Must I assume that US leaders were well aware of the ...
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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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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 ...
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Why would Japanese people be in China during the 1920s?

I'm writing a historical fiction novel set in the second World War. One of the characters is a Japanese person who has lived in China since childhood. However, as I attempt to flesh out this backstory,...
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What is the meaning of this samurai crest?

From User Jordan Miles Hamanaka Kaplowit's comment to this question: Meaning of samurai crest / symbol What is the meaning of the sixth crest symbol?
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When did Japan and the Three Kingdoms of Korea first meet?

Wikipedia claims that Japan and the Three Kingdoms of Korea started having close relationships at the end of the 4th century, during the Kofun period. However the article doesn't provide any sources ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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Why is the Jewel Voice Broadcast called that?

I can't seem to find out the reason behind the naming of the audio Jewel Voice Broadcast. I learned that this broadcast was the first instance of the Emperor directly communicating to masses. I can ...
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Did ninjas ever use a costume like the one we usually see in films?

I know that ninjas wearing that type of all black clothes with hood and the like is an absolutely ridiculous idea; they usually dressed as it were common in the area to go unnoticed. Anyway, I think ...
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Why do schools in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea use the Westminster Quarters as school chime?

Today, I read about the Westminister Quarters, the chime used by Big Ben in Westminster, London. In that article, I see this assertion: Most schools in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea play the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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Is there any economic history account of the role of Japan's precious metal deposits in the roles of the country's early industrialization?

The Japanese archipelago is generally scarce in natural resources, but Japan has a large deposit of precious metals in the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, and a few other mines, to a smaller extent. Japan ...
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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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How important were “columnar” strategies in Japan's invasion of China?

In trying to invade a large country like China, there are at least two main strategies 1) a narrow "columnar" strategy, usually based along an artery such as the Yangtze River that provides a natural ...
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How common were duels in the Tokugawa Japan?

It is my understanding that during Tokugawa era Japan, Samurai could and would occasionally engage in duels to the death. But how often? Do we know from any record keeping how common deadly duels were?...
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How did life for commoners in Okinawa change with the Satsuma invasion?

In 1609, the kingdom of Ryukyu which covers what is today known as Okinawa, was invaded by the Japanese Satsuma clan. How did this affect the everyday life of commoners (Everybody not noble or a ...
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What were the reasons for Japan's surrender in WWII? [closed]

I have read this Quora answer with 400+ upvotes that claims that Japan surrendered not because they were nuked but because Russians were about to land on their soil and then never leave like they do. ...
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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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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?
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When did Kakinoki Kinsuke used a kite to enter the Nagoya castle

From different online sources I can find that the Japanese thief Kakinoki Kinsuke used a kite to fly over the wall of the Nagoya castle to steal certain golden parts of a statue. The thing I can not ...
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How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino?

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the eventual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie "Kagemusha", the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
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Why did this post card not allow communication with Japan?

In this postcard posted in Canterbury on 21 July 1908 (I assume) it is marked that: This space may be used for communication for Inland Postage and Foreign Countries, except Japan. Why?
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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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Did the Netherlands join the anti-Japanese oil embargo later than US? If so why?

From Wikipedia's Dutch East Indies Campaign: President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order on 26 July 1941 which froze all of Japan's U.S. assets and embargoed all oil exports to Japan. ...
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Did the Soviet Union get a net border gain from China during World War II?

The border changes between the Soviet Union and China between 1917 and 1945 seem to be very complicated. At the end, in 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria wholeheartedly, and in violation of ...
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Who was Yoshioka Matashichiro?

I am right now reading about the legendary swordsman of Japan, Miyamoto Musashi . It says he ended the rivalry with the Yoshioka school by killing the brothers Yoshioka Seijūrō and Yoshioka ...
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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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Where can I find more information about this use of Yakuza against a demonstration in 1960?

This (german) article states that in 1960 Japan's President Nobosuke Kishi hired 28000 Yakuza as thugs against an anti-American demonstration. I find nothing indicating this in the wikipedia article ...
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Whereabouts of the ancient Korean cannon in Kamchatka

... [Davidov and Chvostov] fell with glee upon two junks and burned them to the water's edge. Finally they found a ten-pounder brass cannon which seemed a fitting trophy to take home. It was, by some ...
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How would one refer to/address a Shogun?

In the Bakumatsu era, how would one refer to a shogun (when talking about him with someone else) or address him directly if talking to him? Is it just name + -sama suffix? I am interest in the answer ...
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Did the House of Representatives during Meiji Era exercise their powers?

Currently, I am researching into the Imperial Diet of Japan during the Meiji Era. It has been established by historians that the House of Representatives were granted some form of power, such as the ...
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What is the standing arch in Nagasaki made of? [closed]

I am not sure if this is for here, for Skeptics.SE.com or not a serious question at all. However:
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What was the extent of Japanese control after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and before surrender?

What was the extent of Japanese control after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I am talking about before their surrender. A map would be extremely preferred for better understanding.
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Why were the 8th Route Army better at fighting the Japanese than the Nationalists were?

Numerous sources have noted the (Communist) 8th Route Army's effectiveness in its resistance against Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) occupation; British, American observers, even Japanese commanders have ...
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Why was the Battle of Noryang fought?

In the Battle of Noryang, the combined navy of Chosun (Korean kingdom) and Ming (China) tried to prevent the Japanese from making a safe retreat. But considering the fact that the Koreans or the ...
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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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How useful were Chinese contributions to the defeat of Japan in WWII?

While there is no doubt China contributed a lot of blood and treasure in the War with Japan, how useful were those contributions given that Japan was strangled by a the navy, bombed by the air force ...
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Were there crewmen from other USN ships on USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered?

I have tried finding a list of the crewmen on the USS Missouri at the time of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, or at least some general information about who was on the ship at ...
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Before ww2, why did Japan allow Chinese students to study military science?

In 1917, Cheng Fangwu and his friends were openly anti-Japan; yet in Japan they were free to elect whatever major they liked. Cheng studied steel making, guns, ballistics and torpedoes but later ...
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Do onsen geisha still exist?

Japan's most famous geisha are from Kyoto, Japan's former capital and still a major cultural capital of Japan. But I've also heard of onsen geisha, far away from the big cities, who are at the bottom ...