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Quiz about Japan in the 18th Century
Quiz about Japan in the 18th Century

Japan in the 18th Century Trivia Quiz


Japan has a very long history but this quiz just focuses on the 18th century. Enjoy.

A multiple-choice quiz by Joepetz. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Joepetz
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
389,051
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
149
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The entire 18th century in Japanese history is contained within which era? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In 1701, the legendary Ako Incident occurred which saw the ritual suicide of how many ronin? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The first of its kind, what was the Wakan Sansai Zue that was introduced in 1712? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What is the name of the boy Tokugawa who became shogun in 1712 at the age of three? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The Rangaku was a Japanese system of learning that literally translates to what? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The first ever recorded strike in Japan occurred in 1733 as a result of what? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The 1754 Horeki River Improvement Plan was really a ploy to weaken the power of who? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In 1789, Kunashir Island in the Kiril Islands was the sight of the Menashi-Kunashir Rebellion which was fought between the Japanese and which ethnic group? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The Kansei Reforms were a system of reforms whose main goal was to do what? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In 1792, activity at which volcano caused a massive earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 15,000 people? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The entire 18th century in Japanese history is contained within which era?

Answer: The Edo Period

The Edo Period ran from 1603-1868. It also called the Tokugawa Period because Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa Shoguns during this era. The Edo Period was characterized by reforms, mostly involving strengthening Japan's government from within, a flourishing period of the arts and sciences and, for the most part, economic growth.
2. In 1701, the legendary Ako Incident occurred which saw the ritual suicide of how many ronin?

Answer: 47

The forty-seven ronin and their ritual seppuku (or suicide via belly cutting) is something of a legend in Japanese history. As the story goes, the forty-seven ronin were once samurai under the daimyo Asano Naganori. Asano was forced to commit seppuku for disrespecting Kira Yoshinaka. The forty-seven ronin sought revenge for their master's death and killed Kira Yoshinaka. They were then ordered to commit seppuku for their crimes or murder and revenge.

The Ako Incident was a real life event. However it is most popular in its fictionalized forms called Chushingura. This is because at the time there were strict censorship laws in regards to current events so the account had to be fictionalized to pass legal muster.
3. The first of its kind, what was the Wakan Sansai Zue that was introduced in 1712?

Answer: A Japanese-language encyclopedia

The Wakan Sansai Zue was inspired by its Chinese counterpart and its name makes reference to China. The word Wakan means Japan-China. Although it is considered an encyclopedia, the western world would think of it more as an almanac as it talks at length about farming conditions, weather, the stars etc. It was primarily used by the people as a guidebook. It was contained in 81 books.
4. What is the name of the boy Tokugawa who became shogun in 1712 at the age of three?

Answer: Tokugawa Ietsugu

Tokugawa Ietsugu reigned for three years until he died at age 6. Because he was so young, the de facto shogun was Arai Hakuseki, his late father's advisor. His reign, for which Arai Hakuseki gets the credit, was marked by currency reform and the introduction of a metal currency. Despite his young age, Ietsugu married at age 5. His wife was the daughter of the former Emperor Reigen.
5. The Rangaku was a Japanese system of learning that literally translates to what?

Answer: Dutch learning

The system of Rangaku, which became widespread in the 1720s, came from the Dutch province of Japan called Dejima. Rangaku exposed the Japanese people to Western civilization for the first time. As a result, the Japanese expanded their knowledge of science, medicine nature and technology. It was a popular system though the ruling class feared the influence of foreigners within Japan.
6. The first ever recorded strike in Japan occurred in 1733 as a result of what?

Answer: The Kyoho Famine

The Kyoho Famine was primarily caused by a plague of locusts that destroyed the rice crop in the Seto Inland Sea. Other crops had been destroyed because of a harsh winter. The Kyoho Reforms increased the tax on rice which limited production. In addition, the demand for rice increased because the other crops had been destroyed. What little rice was produced was bought up by the wealthy.

This caused the commoners to rebel and during the New Year's celebration in 1733, a mob of thousands of farmers and their families stormed the house of Takama Denbii. Takama Denbii was a wealthy merchant who was rumored to have been hoarding food during the famine.

The mob raided the house and threw his utensils and (empty) rice sacks into the river. That event is called the Kyoho Housebreaking and is considered the first strike in Japanese history.
7. The 1754 Horeki River Improvement Plan was really a ploy to weaken the power of who?

Answer: Shimazu family

The Shimazu family had been a very powerful family for centuries in Japan. However, by 1754 their power had been diminished but were still seen as a threat to the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Shimazu family lived in Satsuma, an area of Japan that frequently flooded and had many rivers. Tokugawa Ieshige ordered the Shimazu family to construct a new system of dikes to prevent flooding.

The plan was purposely laid out to be ineffective. Dozens of people died from disease, flooding or ritual suicide and the project wasn't completed until over a century later.
8. In 1789, Kunashir Island in the Kiril Islands was the sight of the Menashi-Kunashir Rebellion which was fought between the Japanese and which ethnic group?

Answer: Ainu

The Ainu are a small ethnic group who today live mostly in the Kiril Islands, a disputed territory between Russia and Japan. In 1789, the Ainu attacked the Japanese first on Kunashir Island but the fighting eventually spread to the Shiretoko Peninsula on Hokkaido's north shore.

The Ainu were fighting against the poor treatment of Ainu workers in fisheries and because it was believed that Ainu chief who died suddenly was poisoned by the Japanese. Dozens of people on both sides were killed and the Ainu received even less autonomy from the Japanese government than before the rebellion.
9. The Kansei Reforms were a system of reforms whose main goal was to do what?

Answer: Isolate Japan from the rest of the world

When Tokugawa Ienari rose to power in 1787, he began to institute a series of policies to reverse those of his successor Tokugawa Ieharu. Japan had a long standing policy of isolationism that Tokugawa Ieharu had relaxed somewhat during his reign. The Kansei Reforms reversed that policy. Tokugawa Ienari supported isolationism because he saw outside influences (especially from foreign traders and merchants) as a threat to a strong government.

The success of the Kansei Reforms were mixed as they did strengthen the government but a series of natural disasters left some parts of Japan deprived of food and other supplies that could have been purchased from traders.
10. In 1792, activity at which volcano caused a massive earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 15,000 people?

Answer: Mount Unzen

There had been a number of smaller earthquakes the previous year near Mount Unzen. These likely caused the volcano to erupt and it was reported that lava flowed for over two months. The eruption sparked a massive earthquake that in turn spawned a tsunami. 10,000 people died in the tsunami alone.

The waves reached over sixty feet in height but because the villages in the area were below sea level the appeared to be even higher. Mount Unzen, which is located near Nagasaki, erupted again in 1991 and killed over forty people that time.
Source: Author Joepetz

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