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Quiz about History of Japan 16151868
Quiz about History of Japan 16151868

History of Japan, 1615-1868 Trivia Quiz


Continuing further this general history of Japan, from the end of the civil wars in 1615, to the revolution of 1868.

A multiple-choice quiz by Finduskeepus. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
Finduskeepus
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
288,919
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
9 / 15
Plays
835
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 73 (1/15), Guest 111 (6/15), Guest 87 (13/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. The final victory of Tokugawa Ieyasu, with the destruction of the last of the Toyotomi family in 1615, inaugurated an era of unprecedented peace under the Tokugawa Bakufu (Sh˘gunate), which would last more than 250 years. What is this historical period known as? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. Once secure in his power, Ieyasu set about creating the administrative structures that would preserve it for his family. One of his most significant moves was to divide all the major Daimy˘ into two categories: "fudai", who were allies of the Bakufu, and "tozama", who were considered untrustworthy. On what basis were they divided? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. The tozama Daimy˘ were subjected to various laws designed to keep them under the thumb of the Tokugawa. Which of the following was NOT one of these laws? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Although there were no large-scale conflicts in Japan during this period, there were several smaller rebellions, especially near the beginning of the Tokugawa era. In 1637, a group of peasant Christians rose up in Kyűshű, in the Shimabara Rebellion. Traders from which Christian country helped the Bakufu put down the rebellion? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. Yui Sh˘setsu rose up in 1651. What was his grievance? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. The third Tokugawa Sh˘gun, Iemitsu, instituted the Bakufu's famous "sakoku" policy, excluding foreigners from Japan and banning foreign trade. What was the only city still allowed to receive foreign ships, on its artificial island of Dejima? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. What disaster struck Edo in 1657, during the reign of the fourth Sh˘gun, Ietsuna, destroying almost 70% of the city? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. What unusual nickname was given to the fifth Tokugawa Sh˘gun, Tsunayoshi? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. The urbanization of this period saw the growth of a merchant class which began to develop a culture less elevated than the epic concerns of the samurai or the refined tastes of the Court. Among other things, they produced the famous artistic genre of ukiyo-e paintings. What does "ukiyo-e" mean? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. In the late seventeenth century, Matsuo Bash˘ excelled in which art form? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. Despite the sakoku policy, western scientific works did find their way into Japan. The information they contained was called "rangaku", from the characters for "orchid" and "study". What does "rangaku" mean to a Japanese? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. The Daimy˘ of Satsuma Domain grew powerful by making Japan's only foreign conquest of this period. What did they conquer? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. What event, in 1853, woke the Japanese up to the threat from the imperial western powers? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. The Bakufu, perceived as too weak to meet the foreign threat, came under attack from fanatical patriots, but was ultimately able to deal with them. It then, however, came under attack from the radicals in powerful domains, especially Satsuma and Ch˘shű. What is this war called? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. The new era that followed the fall of the Bakufu was the foundation of modern Japan, an era of breathtaking modernization. What is this period called?

Answer: (One Word)

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The final victory of Tokugawa Ieyasu, with the destruction of the last of the Toyotomi family in 1615, inaugurated an era of unprecedented peace under the Tokugawa Bakufu (Sh˘gunate), which would last more than 250 years. What is this historical period known as?

Answer: The Edo Period

It was in this period that power in Japan left Ky˘to once and for all, and became concentrated in the city of Edo, the eastern power base of the Tokugawa family and soon to become the largest city on Earth. The Tokugawa may have eventually fallen but their city, now called T˘ky˘, remains the center of Japanese power and one of the great cities of the world.
2. Once secure in his power, Ieyasu set about creating the administrative structures that would preserve it for his family. One of his most significant moves was to divide all the major Daimy˘ into two categories: "fudai", who were allies of the Bakufu, and "tozama", who were considered untrustworthy. On what basis were they divided?

Answer: Whether or not they had supported Ieyasu at the battle of Sekigahara

Ieyasu himself, though a samurai, did not come from a particularly distinguished family, and certainly had no prejudices against families which had built their way up from obscurity during the civil wars. He had also been very skeptical of the Korean adventure, and stayed firmly in Edo while it was going on.

While he trusted his own blood relatives more than anyone else, Ieyasu placed conspicuous loyalty and trust in the Daimy˘ who had fought on his side at Sekigahara. Those who had not, on the other hand, entered the new era as official outsiders, in some cases being forced to move from their ancestral lands so that fudai Daimy˘ could occupy strategic strongpoints around Edo and Ky˘to. When the Tokugawa weakened, in the late nineteenth century, the descendants of these Daimy˘ readily took the leadership of the movement to overthrow them.
3. The tozama Daimy˘ were subjected to various laws designed to keep them under the thumb of the Tokugawa. Which of the following was NOT one of these laws?

Answer: They were not allowed to have any contact with the Court in Ky˘to

The sankin k˘tai system, by which a tozama Daimy˘ had to maintain a mansion in Edo as well as the castle in his domain, and spend a fortune making his official progress there every other year, placed a major financial burden on him and prevented him from accumulating threatening amounts of wealth. The laws regarding succession and marriage were designed to allow the Bakufu to prevent potential enemies from gaining control of important domains - and as the richest and strongest landholders in the country, the Tokugawa were well placed to brutally enforce the laws against anyone who tried to disobey.

While suspicious friendships with the aristocrats at the Court were certainly not viewed with indulgence, there were no laws forbidding the Daimy˘ to have contacts with them. In any case, so powerless were the courtiers during the Edo Period that it would hardly have been worth a rebellious Daimy˘'s time to plot with them.
4. Although there were no large-scale conflicts in Japan during this period, there were several smaller rebellions, especially near the beginning of the Tokugawa era. In 1637, a group of peasant Christians rose up in Kyűshű, in the Shimabara Rebellion. Traders from which Christian country helped the Bakufu put down the rebellion?

Answer: The Netherlands

The French were not a significant presence in Japan at this time. The Portuguese and, to a lesser extent, the Spanish were, but they had aroused the Bakufu's suspicions by seeking to make converts to Christianity in Japan. The Dutch, however, were there only to make money. When their co-religionists rose up in 1637, they leaped at the chance to show the Bakufu that they had no interest in nurturing Japanese Christianity; first, they provided cannons and powder to the Bakufu forces, then actually bombarded the rebel fortress of Hara Castle.

Their cynicism paid off when the Bakufu, reacting to the rebellion by harshly persecuting Christians, banned Portuguese traders from the country but allowed the Dutch to remain.
5. Yui Sh˘setsu rose up in 1651. What was his grievance?

Answer: The Bakufu's harsh policy towards the r˘nin

After the battle of Sekigahara, many of the Daimy˘ who had chosen to support the wrong side were dispossessed. The Bakufu thereby removed them as a threat, and profited by the seizure of their lands. Their retainers became r˘nin, unemployed samurai. No effort was made to alleviate the hardship into which they were thus thrown, and in fact the Bakufu issued punitive decrees against them, forbidding them to seek new masters. Angry and desperate, the r˘nin rose up in the Keian rebellion, under the leadership of Yui Sh˘setsu, a commoner who had risen to be a military instructor in Edo, and strongly identified with the r˘nin class.

His rebellion failed, and he committed seppuku. However, the Bakufu took note, and thereafter eased its policy towards the r˘nin.
6. The third Tokugawa Sh˘gun, Iemitsu, instituted the Bakufu's famous "sakoku" policy, excluding foreigners from Japan and banning foreign trade. What was the only city still allowed to receive foreign ships, on its artificial island of Dejima?

Answer: Nagasaki

Dejima had long been a trading station for the Portuguese. After they were expelled following the Shimabara Rebellion, the island was transferred to the Dutch, who were thus the only Europeans with access to Japan during the Edo Period. Nagasaki was thus exposed to Dutch goods and ideas and this, along with its longstanding trade links with China, gave it a cosmopolitanism that is still visible today in, for example, its famous Chinese festivals.
7. What disaster struck Edo in 1657, during the reign of the fourth Sh˘gun, Ietsuna, destroying almost 70% of the city?

Answer: A fire

The "Meireki no Taika" (great fire of the Meireki era) killed somewhere around 100,000 people and destroyed Edo as it had been known since Ieyasu's day, to the extent of burning down most of the buildings of Edo Castle itself. The reconstruction took two years, and the Bakufu took the opportunity to re-organize the layout of the city, which now took the basic form that central T˘ky˘ retains today.
8. What unusual nickname was given to the fifth Tokugawa Sh˘gun, Tsunayoshi?

Answer: The Dog Sh˘gun

A very religious man, Tsunayoshi adhered to both the ideals of the samurai and to Confucian morality. He made himself unpopular by attempting to raise the moral standards of the pleasure-loving inhabitants of Edo, banning many of the "frivolous" entertainments that they enjoyed.

In his later years, Tsunayoshi became concerned with the rights of animals, specifically dogs (he himself had been born in the Year of the Dog) and began to issue edicts forbidding people from harming dogs and establishing public dog kennels. The Edo populace, traditionally irreverent, responded by nicknaming him the Inu Kub˘ - Dog Sh˘gun.
9. The urbanization of this period saw the growth of a merchant class which began to develop a culture less elevated than the epic concerns of the samurai or the refined tastes of the Court. Among other things, they produced the famous artistic genre of ukiyo-e paintings. What does "ukiyo-e" mean?

Answer: Pictures of the floating world

While ukiyo-e pictures are often whimsical, or depict the transience of earthly pleasures, the term literally means "floating world". The "floating world" is the hedonistic society that grew up in Japan's major urban centers during this period, a world of courtesans, kabuki actors, sum˘ wrestlers, and geisha, although the artists were equally interested in portraying scenes of nature and characters from historical tales.

The "uki" in "ukiyo" is also a pun, sounding like the word for "sorrowful world", a Buddhist term.
10. In the late seventeenth century, Matsuo Bash˘ excelled in which art form?

Answer: Haiku

Bash˘ is one of Japan's most famous poets, the author of 'Oku no Hosomichi' ('The Narrow Road of the Interior'), a diary of his travels along the dangerous highways of the countryside. As well as being an account of his journey, it contains some of his most famous haiku.
11. Despite the sakoku policy, western scientific works did find their way into Japan. The information they contained was called "rangaku", from the characters for "orchid" and "study". What does "rangaku" mean to a Japanese?

Answer: Dutch learning

"Ran" meaning "orchid" was chosen to represent Holland purely for phonetic reasons - the Japanization of "Holland" is "O-ran-da".

As the only Europeans permitted to trade in Japan during the Edo Period, the Dutch were also the only ones who, on occasion, exposed their suspicious hosts to the scientific advances that were taking place in Europe. While the Dutch did not necessarily care one way or the other about the level of scientific knowledge in Japan, they were willing to sell books (in particular medical texts) and machines, such as clocks and telescopes, to those scholars in the Bakufu who sought them.

Thanks to these opportunities, Edo Period scholars kept abreast of developments in science and technology, providing a platform for Japan's famously rapid advances after the sakoku policy ended.
12. The Daimy˘ of Satsuma Domain grew powerful by making Japan's only foreign conquest of this period. What did they conquer?

Answer: Okinawa

Satsuma, roughly corresponding to modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture in the far south of Kyűshű, was the domain of the Shimazu clan. The Shimazu were tozama, but their strength, and distance from the Bakufu heartlands, gave them a certain amount of independence from the Tokugawa. In 1609, they were allowed to invade and annex the Ryűkyű Kingdom of Okinawa. Okinawa's position outside mainland Japan meant that it was not subject to the restrictions on foreign trade, allowing Satsuma to benefit from the Ryűkyű commerce with China. When the Bakufu weakened in the 1860's, Satsuma was one of the most powerful of the enemies that rose up to overthrow it.

Saipan, Taiwan, and the entirety of the Korean Peninsula came under Japanese control after the fall of the Bakufu, when the sakoku policy had already ended.
13. What event, in 1853, woke the Japanese up to the threat from the imperial western powers?

Answer: The entry of US ships into T˘ky˘ Bay

Commodore Matthew Perry of the US Navy sailed into T˘ky˘ Bay on July 8, 1853 with a letter for the Sh˘gun from President Millard Fillmore, "requesting" the opening of trade links between Japan and the west. The shock of this incident shook Japan out of her long sleep and launched her on the path of revolution, modernization and, eventually, war.

The "pirate attacks" are a red herring; however, Russian activity in Hokkaid˘ was certainly a concern to the Bakufu in its final years. It never, though, delivered a decisive shock comparable to Perry's visit and neither did the Opium Wars of the mid-1800's. However, once Perry's visit had alerted them to the threat, the fate of China was a powerful reminder to the Japanese of the price they would pay if they did not manage to rise to the western challenge.
14. The Bakufu, perceived as too weak to meet the foreign threat, came under attack from fanatical patriots, but was ultimately able to deal with them. It then, however, came under attack from the radicals in powerful domains, especially Satsuma and Ch˘shű. What is this war called?

Answer: The Boshin War

The economic strength of Satsuma had enabled its samurai to build up a powerful military force. The firebreathing radicals of Ch˘shű had instituted a revolutionary new military force in their domain, in which commoners, as well as samurai, were recruited; a force which swiftly defeated a Bakufu invasion in 1866.

This convinced the Satsuma samurai that the Bakufu was no longer fit to lead the country against the foreign threat. They joined forces with Ch˘shű and, in a series of battles collectively known as the Boshin War (the War of the Year of the Dragon), overthrew the Edo Bakufu, which had ruled Japan unquestioned since Ieyasu's day.
15. The new era that followed the fall of the Bakufu was the foundation of modern Japan, an era of breathtaking modernization. What is this period called?

Answer: Meiji

The radical modernizers who now gained control of Japan took as their symbol the long-sidelined Imperial family. The new young Emperor chose as his reign-name the word "Meiji", meaning "enlightened rule". While the Edo Period continues to this day to influence the psychological underpinnings of Japanese society, the economic and political structures of modern Japan represent a radical and decisive break with the Tokugawa era - they were forged by the visionaries of the Meiji Period.
Source: Author Finduskeepus

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