Japanese History


Imperial Japan

In 1926 Japan was in a struggle between liberals and ultraconservatives, the left wing liberals eventually disintegrated allowing ultra-nationalism to take over. Japanese nationalism was created at the end of the nineteenth century. Before WWI ultra-nationalists focused on a tempering of Japans westernization with limits on industrialization. Western politicians limited Japans military expansion in the Five Power Navel Limitation Agreement, and prohibited Japanese immigration to the US with the Japanese Exclusion Act in 1924. Japan also struggled in the great depression between 1928-1932 and to make matters worst, Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi was shot. In !931 as the government lost power the army independently attacked Manchuria and successfully conquered the entire border region. The league of Nations (formed after WWI) looked down on this action, however did nothing to intervene ultimately causing Japan to withdraw its membership. Explosions heard in China on July 1937 were used as an excuse for the Japanese to invade China which they successfully took over.

"It is Japan's mission to be supreme in Asia, the South Seas and eventually the four corners of the world." - General Sadao Araki

Second Sino Japanese War

A skirmish between Japanese and Chinese troops in 1937 led to what is known as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, this fighting caused a major conflict The Second Sino Japanese War. The Chinese Nationalists (KMT) and the CCP now fought side by side against Japan under the Sian Agreement. Stalin had then begun supplying arms to China who saw Japan as a threat. China also saw support from the western powers who were against Japans actions. Nazi Germany also aided China due to their historic ties before siding with Japan later. In 1940 the war had become a stalemate with Japan unable to force victory and Chinese unable to remove the Japanese from the territory they conquered. However western economic sanctions angered Japan, causing the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor leading to their inclusion in WWII.

The Raping of Nanjing

  • On Dec. 13, 1937 Japanese troops invaded the capital city of the Chinese republic, Nanjing
  • There was massive destruction and killing that went on for six weeks and was remembered as the “Rape of Nanjing”
  • Leader of Chinese republic was Chiang Kai-shek
  • An estimated death toll of over a quarter of a million people were killed
  • It was a massacre of rape and destruction where the Japanese killed civilians and raped them without blinking an eye.
  • Japanese nationalist would twist the story to justify what they did although it was an immoral act, they said that the majority killed were resisting Japanese occupation thus they were executed
  • The invasion of Nanjing will always be remembered and to this day in Japanese school history textbooks it can upstart heated protesters on the streets in China.
  • The Nanjing massacre is one of the most gruesome and darkest events of that century.
南京大屠杀 Nanking Massacre (Full Edition)

Pearl Harbour

-8 am December 7 1941 the first waves of Japanese aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor with no declaration of war

-Destroyed 8 battleships, and 188 U.S aircraft

-100 Japanese died in the attack, while 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were injured

-outrage among the public in the U.S united its divided media and public behind president Roosevelt.

-On December 11 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S starting WWII