Japan

SAMURAI OF THE SKIES

Air Warfare Japan Naval 17 Min Read

The Imperial Japanese Navy began experimenting with aviation as early as the British and Americans. But because Japan did not see much combat in World War I, it had fallen behind the other powers by 1918. To catch up, it turned to its traditional mentors: for the army, the French; for the navy, the British. A British naval mission arrived…

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Japan Medieval Warriors 11 Min Read

Martial Art – archery (kyudo/kyujutsu)

Archery (kyudo; literally “the way of the bow”) was the weapon most closely associated with warriors and was in common use by the end of the prehistoric era, during the fourth or fifth centuries C.E. While the term kyudo is more common today, kyujutsu (“technique of the bow”) was used…

Japan Naval Operations 9 Min Read

Ceylon 1942

IJN AKAGI by dugazm This island and British colony off the southeast tip of India was most significant during the Pacific war because of Japanese raids on and near it in April 1942. These raids accomplished little tactically or operationally; what they failed to do, however, was of critical strategic…

Japan 7 Min Read

Ritual War in Japan

Foreign powers, domestic lawbreakers, and personal enemies were not the only antagonists against whom early bushi and their institutional forebears directed their martial power. For not all adversaries of the state or the throne were human. Under the ritsuryo polity and its antecedents, the Japanese emperor emerged as a sacerdotal…

Biography Japan 7 Min Read

Meiji emperor

The Emperor Meiji in Western Military Attire. A palace coup of 1868, which overthrew the Tokugawa Shogunate and “restored” power to the Japanese emperor, followed by the rapid socioeconomic and political changes that occurred during the reign of the Meiji emperor from 1868 to 1912. In 1868, a coup led…

Battle Japan Navies 17 Min Read

Shō-Go Plan

The Shō-Go Plan (Short for Shō-Itchi-Go, Operation Victory One) marked the last attempt of the combined Imperial Japanese Navy to defend its empire during the war in the Pacific. Japan’s strategy at the dawn of war in the Pacific had called for the occupation of all areas west of a…

Japan 9 Min Read

The Ikko-ikki

With his frontiers relatively secure, Oda Nobunaga prepared for a threat much closer to home: the Ikko-ikki. These religious communities comprised new-style warrior monks of the Shinshu sect. Turnbull explains, “The second term in the name, ikki, strictly means league. … The other word, Ikko, provides a clue to their…

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Japanese Siege Weapons

Early Fortifications Although fortifications were constructed in Japan prior to the feudal period, frequent conflicts…

Yamato (1941) Part I

IJN Yamato by Chris Flodberg  The tower carried Type 21 and 22 radar, the main…

Samurai: The warrior class of feudal Japan

The Samurai, the warrior class of ancient Japan, dominated that country’s political and social structure…

Early War Japanese Air Supremacy – the “Zero”

After the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea, the lightning fast expansion was slowed.…