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Quiz about History of Japan 1868Present
Quiz about History of Japan 1868Present

History of Japan, 1868-Present Quiz


Completing this general history of Japan, from the end of the feudal era to the present day.

A multiple-choice quiz by Finduskeepus. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
Finduskeepus
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
289,216
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
8 / 15
Plays
947
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: 3587108735 (6/15), Guest 119 (3/15), Guest 120 (13/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. After the radical leaders of Satsuma and Ch˘shű had overthrown the Bakufu (Sh˘gunate), they set about turning Japan into a modern nation-state. But first, they had to deal with the rebellion of one of their own, a hero from Satsuma who was dismayed by the ongoing dispossession of the samurai. What was his name? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. The new Meiji government began the process of industrialization, supporting the great zaibatsu, who in return agreed to accept the government's direction. Although they no longer exist as zaibatsu, many of these companies are still operating today. Which of the following was NOT a Meiji era company? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. In the early years of Meiji, the government was dominated by the old Satsuma/Ch˘shű elite. However, popular demand for a constitution and parliamentary system was growing. They were finally granted in 1890. Who then became the first Prime Minister of Japan? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. As the military modernized, Japan began to flex her muscles. She fought a war with China in 1894-95, and Russia in 1905, over the domination of which country?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 5 of 15
5. Between the Meiji era (the reign of the Meiji Emperor) and the Sh˘wa era (the reign of the Sh˘wa Emperor, who oversaw WWII), there was the short reign of another Emperor. What is this era called? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. In the 1930s, the military began to dominate the government. However, the military itself was split between two factions, the T˘sei-ha and the K˘d˘-ha. What do these names mean? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. In September 1931, the Japanese Kwantung Army began the invasion of Manchuria. By early 1932, Japan was able to declare that inner Manchuria was now "independent" of China, and installed their puppet Emperor, Pu Yi. What name did they give the "new state"?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 8 of 15
8. With which country did Japan sign a neutrality pact in April 1941? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. By what name do we better know the "Tokk˘-tai" (Special Attack Squadron) which began operating in late 1944?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 10 of 15
10. Which of the following cities was NOT discussed by the US military as a potential target for the nuclear attacks of 1945? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. Since 1955, apart from a short period from 1993 to 1994, the ruling party of Japan has been Jimin-t˘. What does the party's name mean? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei was brought down in 1983 over a scandal involving which US company? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. Which Japanese prefecture hosts two thirds of all US military forces stationed in Japan?

Answer: (One word)
Question 14 of 15
14. Which Japanese city was struck by a severe earthquake in January 1995? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. By what name does the world know the Emperor of Japan, who was appointed in May 2019? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Nov 30 2023 : 3587108735: 6/15
Nov 20 2023 : Guest 119: 3/15
Nov 17 2023 : Guest 120: 13/15
Nov 09 2023 : misdiaslocos: 11/15
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. After the radical leaders of Satsuma and Ch˘shű had overthrown the Bakufu (Sh˘gunate), they set about turning Japan into a modern nation-state. But first, they had to deal with the rebellion of one of their own, a hero from Satsuma who was dismayed by the ongoing dispossession of the samurai. What was his name?

Answer: Saig˘ Takamori

Saig˘ is one of Japan's most popular figures, the basis for the character played by Watanabe Ken in "The Last Samurai". Although he did disapprove of the new government's steady erosion of the position of the samurai class, Saig˘ does not much resemble Watanabe's character. Far from advocating a return to the days of swords and cavalry, he was the general of a formidable and modern army in Satsuma.

Nevertheless, when he rose in rebellion in 1877, his loyal samurai were defeated by the new Imperial Army and its commoner recruits. Saig˘ ended as a defeated samurai must, killing himself on the field of battle.
2. The new Meiji government began the process of industrialization, supporting the great zaibatsu, who in return agreed to accept the government's direction. Although they no longer exist as zaibatsu, many of these companies are still operating today. Which of the following was NOT a Meiji era company?

Answer: Toyota

Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Sumitomo, along with Yasuda, are the original "big four" zaibatsu, with roots in family companies of the Edo Period. They adapted well to the Meiji revolution, and powered Japan's modernization in tandem with the government. Although they all suffered, to some extent, from MacArthur's anti-zaibatsu policies after WWII, they nevertheless have survived.

Toyota, on the other hand, was founded in the 1930s, as a new automotive branch of a family business that made automatic looms. It later became the world's largest maker of automobiles.
3. In the early years of Meiji, the government was dominated by the old Satsuma/Ch˘shű elite. However, popular demand for a constitution and parliamentary system was growing. They were finally granted in 1890. Who then became the first Prime Minister of Japan?

Answer: It˘ Hirobumi

It˘ was a Ch˘shű samurai, and sincere believer in the divine right of the imperial family to reign. He thus acceded to the demands for parliamentary government with reluctance. During a lengthy trip to Europe, he studied the various constitutional systems there, and eventually devised one for Japan based on that of Bismarckian Prussia. Bowing to the inevitability of party politics, It˘ founded his own party and served as Prime Minister four times.

It˘'s great rival was his fellow Ch˘shű warrior, the militarist Yamagata Aritomo, who eventually succeeded in driving him from the pinnacle of power. In 1909, en route to help negotiate with the Russians over Manchuria, he was assassinated by a Korean Nationalist.
4. As the military modernized, Japan began to flex her muscles. She fought a war with China in 1894-95, and Russia in 1905, over the domination of which country?

Answer: Korea

In the late nineteenth century, the western powers were busy carving pieces off of a weakened China. Japan, seeking to join in, focused on Korea. Domination of the peninsula would give her a base on the mainland. It would also secure Japan's coastlines and prevent any other power, specifically Russia, from taking Korea and posing a threat to them.

Japan easily defeated China in 1895, and forced her to recognize Korean "independence". However, the western powers, alarmed by the new arrival, pressured Japan to give up most of what she had won. The Russians soon began their own push into the region, leading directly to the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. To the shock of the Europeans, Japan was victorious, and went on to dominate Korea until 1945.
5. Between the Meiji era (the reign of the Meiji Emperor) and the Sh˘wa era (the reign of the Sh˘wa Emperor, who oversaw WWII), there was the short reign of another Emperor. What is this era called?

Answer: The Taish˘ era

The Taish˘ Emperor, son of the Meiji Emperor, was stricken with meningitis when an infant, and suffered from mental illness all his life. In 1919, he ceased to carry out any of the functions of the office, which were taken up by his son and heir, who now became Prince Regent, and then Emperor in 1926 when the Taish˘ died.
6. In the 1930s, the military began to dominate the government. However, the military itself was split between two factions, the T˘sei-ha and the K˘d˘-ha. What do these names mean?

Answer: The Control faction and the Imperial Way faction

The K˘d˘-ha, or "Imperial Way" faction, were, like the socialists, disgusted by the self-serving behavior of Japan's political and business elites, especially as these groups continued to prosper while ordinary people suffered in the Great Depression. Unlike the socialists, however, they were fanatical anti-communists and supporters of the Imperial family. Their solution was to overthrow the party politicians and "restore" power directly to the Emperor.

The T˘sei-ha, or "Control" faction, were committed to the concept of total war, and believed a modern government and economy, albeit controlled by the military, were necessary for the industrialization such a war would require. After an attempted K˘d˘-ha coup in 1936 failed, the T˘sei-ha, represented by such officers as T˘j˘ Hideki, emerged from the struggle victorious.
7. In September 1931, the Japanese Kwantung Army began the invasion of Manchuria. By early 1932, Japan was able to declare that inner Manchuria was now "independent" of China, and installed their puppet Emperor, Pu Yi. What name did they give the "new state"?

Answer: Manchukuo

Manchukuo, literally meaning "the country of the Manchus" was the ancestral homeland of the Qing Dynasty, which had conquered China in the seventeenth century. For the Japanese, Manchukuo provided the resources and trade that their own country lacked. It became their most vital asset, and the wars with China were fought, not so much to conquer China itself, as to assure Manchukuo's security.

Likewise, American demands that Japanese troops be withdrawn from China were not in themselves considered unacceptable by Japan's leaders, many of whom wished to find a way out of the quagmire. They were considered unacceptable because, it was believed, they would lead directly to the loss of Manchukuo.
8. With which country did Japan sign a neutrality pact in April 1941?

Answer: The USSR

Japan was already a treaty partner with Germany and Italy, thanks to the Axis Pact of 1940. In 1941, however, Japan was increasingly bogged down in China and wanted to remove the threat from the Soviets in the north. The Soviets, despite their own pact with Nazi Germany, could read the signs.

They wanted to secure their eastern borders to prepare for the gathering storm in the west. When, two months later, Hitler did indeed break his pact with the USSR and launched Operation Barbarossa, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Matsuoka Y˘suke, argued that Japan should do likewise and join the German attack on Russia.

The rest of the government, however, favored expanding south to secure the resources of Southeast Asia. Matsuoka was ousted from the government and the neutrality pact between Japan and the USSR remained intact - until 1945.
9. By what name do we better know the "Tokk˘-tai" (Special Attack Squadron) which began operating in late 1944?

Answer: Kamikaze

The Kamikaze suicide pilots were favorite material for both Japanese and US propagandists - the former lauding them as examples of fanatical, self-sacrificing loyalists, the latter denouncing them as examples of Japanese insanity. In truth, their fate demonstrates neither of these things. It points, rather, to an often-lamented tendency in Japan - an inability to stand up for oneself against authority.

Coerced, by and large, into "volunteering", the Kamikaze pilots spent their last night in a special barracks. They did not, however, spend it in happy anticipation of dying for the Emperor. The staff whose job it was to tidy the barracks the next morning reported that every pillow was regularly soaked with tears, as the doomed young men spent their last night on Earth trying to hide their fear and horror from their friends.
10. Which of the following cities was NOT discussed by the US military as a potential target for the nuclear attacks of 1945?

Answer: Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi, at the southern end of Kyűshű, is roughly mid-way between Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was never discussed as a target, to the best of my knowledge.

Ky˘to, heart of Japan's culture, was considered because of the psychological effect its destruction would have. It was saved by Henry Stimson, US Secretary of War, who had long admired the city. Yokohama was also considered, being for all intents and purposes a section of industrial T˘ky˘, but one that had not already been razed by the March firebombing. In the end, the shortlist was Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Kokura in northern Kyűshű, where there was a large arsenal. Kokura was the primary target on August 9, 1945, but the bombers, finding it covered with cloud, moved on to their secondary target - Nagasaki.
11. Since 1955, apart from a short period from 1993 to 1994, the ruling party of Japan has been Jimin-t˘. What does the party's name mean?

Answer: The Liberal Democratic Party

"Liberal", "Democratic", and "Party" are all misnomers. The LDP politicians are the heirs of the Meiji-era oligarchs, an impressive group, but not noted for their liberal or democratic instincts. The LDP is not really a party. In the Meiji Era, Japan's ruling elite was made up of competing factions with "branches" in business, the civil service, and the military. The only difference now is that the military aspect is gone. Forced to adjust, after WWII, to a strengthened parliamentary system, each faction now has a parliamentary "branch". Collectively, these branches of the elite factions pretend to all be members of the same political party and call themselves the LDP. The LDP is not part of Japan's political system: it is Japan's political system.

The party preserves its power by gerrymandering, giving disproportionate electoral weight to economically unviable rural areas whose votes it buys with subsidies and pork-barrel construction projects. Of course, the mechanisms exist by which Japanese voters could end the long reign of the LDP. But it must be said - the LDP has also kept public support by being astonishingly successful. In 1945, Japan was in ruins; they have made it the second largest economic power in the world.
12. Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei was brought down in 1983 over a scandal involving which US company?

Answer: Lockheed

The Lockheed scandal, which began in the 1970s, affected West Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands as well as Japan. Lockheed, seeking contracts for its aircraft, had bribed politicians in all these countries.

In Japan, the scandal felled Tanaka, whose faction dominated the LDP and who is one of the few leaders in its history to stand out as an individual. His office had received $3 million from Lockheed. Tanaka was arrested, tried, and, in 1983, sentenced to four years in jail. He was still appealing the sentence when he died in 1993. His daughter, Tanaka Makiko, was elected to her father's parliamentary seat, and later served as Japan's first female Foreign Minister in the cabinet of another flamboyant individualist, Koizumi Junichir˘.
13. Which Japanese prefecture hosts two thirds of all US military forces stationed in Japan?

Answer: Okinawa

Dominated by Satsuma Domain since the seventeenth century, and annexed by the Meiji government in the 1870s, the people of Okinawa long felt that they were treated as second-class Japanese. Then, in 1945, their islands bore the brunt of the Allied attack and suffered through a horrific battle in which around 100,000 Okinawan civilians died.

Although their second-class status is officially abolished, Okinawa's second-class treatment continues, thanks to the Japan-US security treaty. Okinawa makes up 1% of Japan's land mass, but hosts two thirds of the US troops stationed in the country, despite 85% opposition from the people who live there.
14. Which Japanese city was struck by a severe earthquake in January 1995?

Answer: K˘be

The earthquake struck on January 17, in the early morning. It measured 7.3 on the Japan Meteorological Agency scale. Over 6,000 people died in the disaster. In Japan, it is known as the Great Hanshin Earthquake, Hanshin being the region encompassing K˘be, ďsaka, and Ky˘to.

1995 is also the year that the Aum Shinriky˘ cult released sarin nerve gas on four trains in the T˘ky˘ subway. All in all, 1995 was one of the most momentous years in Japan's post-war history.
15. By what name does the world know the Emperor of Japan, who was appointed in May 2019?

Answer: Naruhito

Officially, the Emperor does not have a name. "Naruhito" was his personal name when he was a boy, but since succeeding to the throne, he has been known simply as "His Majesty the Emperor". This is understandably confusing to foreigners, who continue to call him by the same name that they did when he was growing up.
Source: Author Finduskeepus

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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