In 1868 a civil war between the Samurai led by the traditionalist Tokugawa Shogun and Emperor Meiji’s army took place. While the Shogun wished for the country to remain secluded from the barbaric countries. The great emperor wanted to establish an imperialist empire by trading with other countries and claiming land, after the Shogun’s crushing defeat the Japanese empire was born standing strong for over 8 decades. Its history spanning from the late 19th century to the end of the Second World War. Its history is truly fascinating, yet relatively obscure to many. Here is the list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Empire of Japan.
10: Motion War
The aforementioned motion war of 1868 ended with emperor Meiji standing tall as the Victor. Previously American traders urged the emperor to sign a peace treaty and thus shared new and powerful weapons with them. These illustrious inventions were products of the industrial revolution taking place in the west. Consequently, the new technology for cannons to guns gave them the upper hand in battle. 2.5 million people who lost their lives in the conflict were buried in the imperial shrine of Yasukuni, no detail has been spared. Every last one of them has a written record featuring their names, places of origins and even the time and place of their passing, all available to read.
9: Emperor Meiji
If you thought your family was big, Meiji the great had 5 concubines, they served as mistresses that would give birth to as many healthy baby boys as possible. They would also give sexual pleasure to the emperor if he wanted, as a result, they gave birth to a total of 15 children. One child was stillborn, however, and the mother Lady Natsuko lost her life while giving birth. Still, that’s a lot of mouths to feed.
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8: Western Inventors
Western inventors of the 19th century usually portrayed as geniuses in their own right. Yes according to the Japanese and their various historically prints they were burdened with many hardships. For instance, Richard Arkwright inventor of the water-powered spinning frame supposedly lost all this money when trying to invent the machine. To which his bitter wife destroyed the only prototype and run away. Miraculously he repaired it and became a rich man. Author and philosopher Thomas Carlyle were said to have lost a manuscript when a dog knocked over a lamp and burnt it. Carlyle became very sick from depression. Yet everything inexplicably turned out well with no details explaining how. his driver ties stories are particularly unusual. And perhaps the message that the Japanese want to stress was that “those who persevere in times of strife will eventually succeed”.
7: World War II
While the empire of Japan did fight alongside Germany in the Second World War they donned a much smaller role in the great war fighting against them. Britain wanted to defend their Asian colonies on their behalf. So they established an alliance with the empire of Japan. They attacked areas in the Pacific and China which were under German control and help to score British supply ships heading across the Mediterranean to share with Italy and Greece. On top of that, they also fought alongside the white movement in the Russian Bolshevik Revolution not only did the empie of Japan seize control of various German possessions they established themselves as a greater power to the world and enjoyed some short-term prosperity only to succumb to militarism soon after. They became an integral part of the Second World War but this time as Germany’s ally.
6: Spy Dogs
When the United States fought their way through Japanese territory during the Pacific War being strangers in a strange land they suspected that wild dogs were secretly spying for the empire of Japan. And by that we don’t mean peering through binoculars and corral into a radio, of course, it was rumored that they supposedly past messages on to their owners by barking aloud Morse code over great distances to which the enemy would decipher these messages and intercept the invading squads, of course, this was not true though it didn’t stop the Americans from killing some of the dogs as a precautionary measure.
5: Kamikaze Attacks
After the events of Pearl Harbor in late 1941 when nearly 2500 Americans were killed by Japanese forces the United States finally decided to join the war and get revenge. one pilot Masafumi Arima inspired the imperial army to conduct kamikaze raids after he told his allies he intended and crashing into the targets in order to kill them strangely Arima vanished with no reports of his plane actually crashing. As frightening as these suicide attacks were most of them were either shot down or simply just missed their intended targets. In actuality, approximately 15% to 20% of pilots did successfully crash into the enemy. Regardless just over 300 allied ships were heavily damaged and just under 50 were destroyed by kamikaze attacks.
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4: Fighting in Jungles
Fighting in forests and jungles was very risky also for the invading United States during the second World War visibility was poor the chances of being ill was high and long-range combat was near enough impossible. the Japanese had the advantage here not only did they set deadly traps many of them were equipped with Ghillie suits to camouflage themselves within the greenery as well as rifle bayonets to give them the upper hand in close quarter combat. But merely contempt with rations. They hunted frogs, snakes, mice, river eels, rats and even venomous toads. Shooting them was not very stealthy and would waste bullets so they have stabbed them with the bayonet. Since starting a campfire in the jungle was risky they often ate them raw.
The Empire of Japan is known for their top-quality tanks. Quite the observe there were atrocious. The Japanese tation shewed an airborne special forces squad experimented with a prototype version of the unimaginatively named special number 3 light tank cool rogue. Its weight was reduced from 7 tons to just under 3 and a glider was attached. So that it could be dropped off from the carrier plates and graciously land in the battlefield. The project was a failure for a variety of reasons. The landing would have damaged the tank’s tracks. Maneuverability in the air was awful because of the weight of the vehicle.
That things were already going from bad to worse the Japanese since resources were being depleted fast. And the United States were conducting numerous air raids against them. Thus, the project was scrapped. It was far too late in the war to start experimenting with ambitious but questionable weapons like this one.
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2: Fire Balloons
Fire balloons were attached to just over 10 pounds of incendiary explosives. Which were just about roast anything caught in its blast. They were surprisingly fast but was sent towards the United States in hopes of starting forest fires. Frightening as they were they caused very little damage. While the military was unable to destroy them. Some lucky civilians managed to shoot them down themselves. One American family was killed by one of them in March 1945 after a child found a trap balloon and decided to kick it. The Fire balloons were deemed to nothing more than a waste of resources. Due to a lack of very compelling evidence regarding their effectiveness were discontinued within 6 Months. Nevertheless, the weapon frightened many in the United States.
1: Sino-Japanese War II in the Empire of Japan
The Second Sino-Japanese War took place between 1937 to 1945 mostly overlapping the second World War. The empire of Japan fought China so viciously it prompted the Soviet Union and the United States to step in and help the poor country out. The Nanking massacre in 1937 was an act of sheer Barbarianism. Because the Japanese destroyed all records regarding the incident scholars have disputed with the Chinese. The death toll was estimated range from 30,000 to 300,000 civilians killed including women and children. Bodies were mass buried or merely left to rot in the streets for weeks. Horrifically the Japanese army took the opportunity to loot homes and raped tens of thousands of women. Prompting historians to name the massacre “the rape of Nanking”.
Those were 10 things you probably didn’t know about the empire of Japan. If you didn’t aware of these facts, let us know in the comments down below. Don’t forget to check out our other top 10 lists. Thank you very much for reading and thanks for learning.