Until 1868, Japan shut itself off from the rest of the world, but over the course of the next 70 years, the country went from an underdeveloped nation to an industrial and military powerhouse. Test your knowledge on Japan's growth and the people who made it possible.
What event signaled the start of the Empire of Japan?
In 1868, Emperor Meiji was restored to power in an event known as the Meiji Restoration. With the guidance of his Council, Emperor Meiji helped modernize Japan until his death in 1912.
What was the name of the war between the ishin shishi and the Tokugawa Shogunate?
First Opium War
The Boshin War was fought in 1868 and 1869, as the Imperial forces under the ishin shishi fought against the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Imperial forces won and abolished any remnants of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
When the Meiji Constitution was approved, two houses formed the Imperial Diet. The lower house was the House of Representatives, and the upper house was the House of Peers. The House of Peers consisted of members from the Imperial family.
What was one of the purposes of the Iwakura Mission?
The Tokugawa Shogunate signed treaties with foreign nations that the new Meiji government saw as unfair. Therefore, the new Japanese government sent diplomatic leaders to western countries to renegotiate the treaties.
The Satsuma samurai who fought in the Boshin War believed that the Tokugawa Shogunate was too weak when it came to foreign affairs. They supported the slogan "expel the barbarians." After the war, these samurai believed the new government was showing the same signs of weakness in foreign matters.
What was the First Sino-Japanese War primarily fought over?
Influence over Korea
With major instability, the Korean government under the Joseon Dynasty had a difficult time suppressing a peasant rebellion. Both China and Japan sent troops to help the Joseon Dynasty, which resulted in a war between China and Japan.
What did Japan gain after winning the Sino-Japanese War?
Control of the Yellow River
After the Empire of Japan defeated China in the Sino-Japanese War, mainly because Japan had modernized its military, Japan gained control of Taiwan and the Liaodong Peninsula. This gave Japan more influence over Korea.
Which country did NOT participate in the Gaselee Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion?
A Chinese uprising started in 1899 over foreign intervention in China. The Chinese rebels fought against foreigners and Chinese Christians, eventually gaining the support of the Qing Dynasty. This uprising forced foreign nations like Japan to get involved in the conflict.
After winning the war with Russia, Japan gained full influence over Korea. In 1910, Japan finally annexed Korea with the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910, making the peninsula part of the Japanese territory.
What document did Japan submit to China in 1915 to gain greater control over China?
At the end of WWI, Japan submitted a list of demands to China, which would increase Japan's control of the country. If China did not sign the document, Japan threatened to attack, and China was extremely weak at the time. Although all of the demands were not met, China eventually agreed to most of them.
What is considered the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War?
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
In July of 1937, Japan attacked the Marco Polo Bridge, but the Chinese forces knew they needed to hold the bridge at all cost. With help from reinforcements, the Chinese forces were able to repel the Japanese attack.
Japan knew that the country would need help from European nations as they continued to extend their influence in Asia, especially as tensions grew between Japan and the United States. Therefore, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy.
Why did Japan believe it had a right to imperialize Asia?
China was too cruel
India was extending its influence
Asians should rule Asians
For centuries, Asian countries were under direct or indirect control by Western nations. As Japan modernized, the country began to realize they were a world power and should take over imperial rule throughout Asia from these western countries.
What Japanese attack forced the United States to enter WWII?
Battle at the Java Sea
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The relationship between the United States and Japan had been deteriorating for years before the attack on Pearl Harbor. A war between the two coutries was inevitable. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet, forcing the U.S. into WWII.
Which was a decisive defeat for the Japanese Navy in WWII?
Battle at Yalu River
Battle of Port Arthur
Battle of Midway
In the Battle of Midway, the United States lost one carrier to Japan's four. The defeat of the Japanese Navy here was a turning point in the Pacific War that the Empire of Japan could not recover from.
What was the main reason the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan?
Save American lives
Even though defeat was imminent, Japan refused to surrender, hoping for a victory that would give them bargaining room during negotiations to end the war. To save American lives in a drawn out war, the United States decided to drop the atomic bomb, which they knew would force Japan to surrender.
The United States occupied Japan after the war to help demilitarize the country and transform Japan into a more democratic state, which was especially important to the U.S. with the fear of Communism spreading.