Japan has certainly had a unique history. Compared with most other nations, it got a late start, importing its writing system from China in the 4th century A.D., yet it was able to create a unique culture that enthralls us to this day. During the 250 years of the Edo Period, Japan closed itself off almost totally from the outside world, yet when it ended this policy in 1868 it modernized its infrastructure so rapidly it was able to defeat the Russian Empire in a war less than 40 years later. Often when studying the history of the 20th century you'll encounter an interesting phenomenon: any object made of metal will have "melted down during World War II, but later replaced" added as a footnote, including the bronze bust of Dr. Clark who uttered those immortal words "boys, be ambitious!" and the original statue of Faithful Dog Hachiko, plus Osaka's largest metal tower. The general perception here is that while Japanese were melting down every pot and pan they could find to turn into war materiel, Americans were being wowed by the Wizard of Oz and Fantasia on the silver screen. Of course, these two films actually came out before America entered the war, but it's still an interesting observation that I thought I'd pass along.
If it was made of metal, the Japanese melted it down during WWII.