island country in East Asia
(Redirected from Ancient japan)

Japan (Japanese: 日本; romanised as nihon or nippon) is a country in East Asia. It is a group of islands close to the east coast of Korea, China and Russia. The Pacific Ocean is to the east of Japan and the Sea of Japan is to the west.[15] Most people in Japan live on one of the four islands. The biggest of these islands, Honshu, has the most people. Honshu is the 7th largest island in the world. Tokyo is the capital of Japan and its biggest city.

  • 日本 (Japanese)[a]
  • Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku
    Nippon or Nihon

"His Imperial Majesty's Reign"[3][4]
Government Seal of Japan
  • Seal of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Government of Japan
  • Go-Shichi no Kiri (五七桐)
Projection of Asia with Japan's Area coloured green
Area controlled by Japan shown in green—claimed, but uncontrolled shown in light green
and largest city
35°41′N 139°46′E / 35.683°N 139.767°E / 35.683; 139.767
National languageJapanese
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Emperor
Fumio Kishida
LegislatureNational Diet
House of Councillors
House of Representatives
February 11, 660 BC[8]
November 29, 1890
May 3, 1947
• Total
377,972 km2 (145,936 sq mi)[9] (61st)
• Water (%)
1.40 (as of 2015)[10]
• 2017 census
126,572,604[11] (10th)
• Density
336/km2 (870.2/sq mi) (36th)
GDP (PPP)2017 estimate
• Total
$5.420 trillion[12] (4th)
• Per capita
$42,960[12] (27th)
GDP (nominal)2017 estimate
• Total
$4.841 trillion[12] (3rd)
• Per capita
$38,281[12] (20th)
Gini (2008)37.6[13]
medium · 76th
HDI (2015)Increase 0.903[14]
very high · 17th
CurrencyYen (¥) / En (JPY)
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+9 (not observed)
Date format
  • yyyy-mm-dd
  • yyyy年m月d日
  • Era yy年m月d日 (CE−1988)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+81
ISO 3166 codeJP
Internet TLD.jp
Japanese name
Exclusive economic zone of Japan
  Japan's EEZ (includes the disputed Okinotorishima EEZ, the lowermost purple near-circle)
  Joint regime with the Republic of Korea
  EEZ claimed by Japan but also claimed by other nations

The Japanese people call their country "Nihon" or "Nippon",[15] which means "the origin of the Sun" in Japanese.[16][17] Japan is a monarchy whose head of state is called the Emperor.[15] Japan is the oldest monarchy in the world, lasting more than 2,000 years.[18]

History change

Emperor Jimmu

The first people in Japan were the Ainu people and other Jōmon people. They were closer related to Europeans or Mongols.[19] They were later conquered and replaced by the Yayoi people (early Japanese and Ryukyuans). The Yayoi were an ancient ethnic group that migrated to the Japanese archipelago mainly from southeastern China during the Yayoi period (300 CE–300 AD). Modern Japanese people have primarily Yayoi ancestry at an average of 97%.[20][21] The indigenous Ryukyuan and Ainu peoples have more Jōmon ancestry on the other hand.

The earliest records on Japan are from Chinese documents. One of those records said there were many small countries (in Japan) which had wars between them and later a country, ruled by a queen, became the strongest, unified others, and brought peace.

The Japanese began to write their own history after the 5th and 6th century, when people from Korea and China taught Japan about the Chinese writing system. Japan's neighbours also taught them Buddhism.[22] The Japanese changed Buddhism in many ways. For example, Japanese Buddhists used ideas such as Zen more than other Buddhists.[22]

Japan had some contact with the Europeans in the 16th century. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit Japan. Later, the Spanish and Dutch came to Japan to trade. Also, they brought Christianity. Japan's leaders welcomed them at first, but because Europeans had conquered many places in the world, the Japanese were scared they would conquer Japan too. So the Japanese did not let the Europeans come into Japan anymore, except in a small area in Nagasaki city. Many Christians were killed. Only the Chinese, Korean, and Dutch people were allowed to visit Japan, in the end, and they were under careful control of the Japanese government. Japan was opened for visitors again in 1854 by Commodore Matthew Perry, when the Americans wanted to use Japanese ports for American whale boats. Perry brought steamships with guns, which scared the Japanese into making an agreement with him.[23]

Meiji period in Japan
Meiji Constitution

This new contact with Europeans and Americans changed the Japanese culture. The Meiji Restoration of 1868 stopped some old ways and added many new ones. The Empire of Japan was created, and it became a very powerful nation and tried to invade the countries next to it.

Japan won the First Sino-Japanese War.

It invaded and annexed Ryukyu Kingdom, Taiwan, and Korea. It had wars with China and Russia: the First Sino-Japanese War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Russo-Japanese War, World War I and Siberian Intervention.

In 1918, World War I allowed Japan, which joined the side of the victorious Allies, to capture German possessions in the Pacific and in China.

The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) grew to become a part of World War II when Japan became allies with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

In 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and destroyed or damaged many ships and airplanes of the United States. This started the United States' involvement in World War II. American and Japanese forces fought each other in the Pacific. The Americans captured most of the islands in the Pacific, started dropping bombs on Japanese cities, and prepared to invade.

Empire of Japan (1942)

To make Japan surrender, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 150,000 Japanese citizens. Soon after this the Soviet Union began to fight against Japan, and the Japanese army in Manchuria lost. Japan surrendered and gave up all the places it took from other countries, accepting the Potsdam Proclamation. The United States occupied Japan from September 1945 to April 1952 and forced it to write a new constitution, in which it promised to never go to war again.

Japan was granted membership in the United Nations in 1956. A period of record growth propelled Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world. On 11 March 2011, Japan suffered one of the largest earthquakes in its recorded history, triggering the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. On 1 May 2019, after the historic abdication of Emperor Akihito, his son Naruhito became Emperor, beginning the Reiwa era. On 8 July 2022, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while giving a campaign speech in Nara.

Geography change

Japan is a group of islands in the Western Pacific, off the coast of China. The four biggest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and there are about 6,000 smaller islands there. Japan is separated from the Asian continent by the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Honshu, which means 'Mainland' in the Japanese language, is the biggest island. Hokkaido is the island north of Honshu. Kyushu is the island west of Honshu. Shikoku is the island to the south-west of Honshu.[15]

In the middle of Japan there are mountains.[15] They cover the middle of the islands and leave a very narrow strip of flat land on most coasts. Many of the mountains are extinct volcanoes, but some are still active. The highest of these mountains is the beautiful, volcano-shaped Mt Fuji (3,776 metres or 12,389 feet high). Japan has many earthquakes, in fact there are about 1500 of these every year.[15] The biggest earthquake recorded in Japan was in 2011 - called '2011 Tohoku Earthquake'. It caused great damage to several power plants forcing Japan to shut down all its nuclear plants. There was nuclear core meltdown which caused a serious health risk to nearby villages and cities.

90% of the people living in Japan live in just 10% of the land, near the coast. The other 10% of the people in Japan live away from the coast.


Over 10 cities have more than a million people in them. The biggest city in Japan is Tokyo, which is the capital.

Science and technology change

Japan has made many contributions to science and technology.

The QR code,[24] the camera phone,[25] the CD player,[26] and the VHS[27] were invented in Japan.

Japan is a leader in the robotics industry: It is the world's largest maker of industrial robots.[28] It has the 2nd most industrial robots behind China.[28]

Economy change

Japan has one of the strongest economies of any country. Its nominal gross domestic product (GDP) is the 3rd highest in the world. It has a very low unemployment rate and was the 4th-largest exporter and 4th-largest importer in 2021.

Japan is known for its automotive industry: It is home to Toyota, the world's largest car company. Honda, Nissan, Suzuki and Mazda are other popular car makers from Japan.

Tokyo is the most populous city in the world. It also has one of the largest economies of any city. It is an important financial center: It has the Tokyo Stock Exchange, one of the largest stock exchanges in Asia.

Society and culture change

Many things in Japanese culture originated in China, like Go and bonsai.

Cherry blossom also known as Japanese cherry and Sakura is thought to be the national flower of Japan.

Japan's traditional food is seafood, rice, miso soup, and vegetables. Noodles and tofu are also common. Sushi, a Japanese food made of cooked rice with vinegar with other ingredients such as raw fish, and sometimes fried shrimp, is popular around the world.

The religion in Japan is mostly Shinto and Buddhist. Due to the tolerant nature of the two main Japanese religions, and the resulting intermixing of the two, many Japanese identify as both Shinto and Buddhist at the same time. There are small numbers of Christians and Hindus, and a few Jews.[29]

When it comes to popular culture, Japan is famous for making video games. Many of the biggest companies that make games, like Nintendo, Namco, and Sega, are Japanese. Other well-known parts of Japanese arts are its comics, called manga, and its digital animation, known as anime. Many people get to know Japanese or how life in Japan is like by reading manga or watching anime on television.

The Ryukyuans and the Ainu both have their own separate cultures, languages and religion.

Armed forces change

Education change

Cities, regions and territories change

The biggest cities in Japan are:

In Japan there are seven traditional regions:[30]

Territorial problem change

Since Japan is an island nation, Japan has several problems over territory because maritime boundaries can be hard to protect. These days, Japan is competing for at least 4 different territories. It cannot agree with some neighbouring countries on whether the land belongs to Japan or the other country.

Public transportation change

High speed Shinkansen or Bullet trains are a common form of transportation in Japan.

There are several important international airports in Japan. Narita is the major international airport in the Tokyo area. Kansai International Airport serves as the main airport for Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto. Chūbu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya is the newest of the three. Haneda Airport is close to central Tokyo and is the largest domestic airport in the country.

The Shinkansen is one of the fastest trains in the world and connects cities in Honshu and Kyushu. Networks of public and private railways are almost all over the country. People mostly travel between cities in buses.

Subdivisions change

Prefectures in Japan

Modern Japan is divided into 47 prefectures.[31] Before the Meiji period (1868-1912), the nation was divided into provinces which were consolidated in the prefectural system.

1. Hokkaidō

2. Aomori
3. Iwate
4. Miyagi
5. Akita
6. Yamagata
7. Fukushima

8. Ibaraki
9. Tochigi
10. Gunma
11. Saitama
12. Chiba
13. Tokyo
14. Kanagawa

15. Niigata
16. Toyama
17. Ishikawa
18. Fukui
19. Yamanashi
20. Nagano
21. Gifu
22. Shizuoka
23. Aichi

24. Mie
25. Shiga
26. Kyoto
27. Osaka
28. Hyōgo
29. Nara
30. Wakayama

31. Tottori
32. Shimane
33. Okayama
34. Hiroshima
35. Yamaguchi

36. Tokushima
37. Kagawa
38. Ehime
39. Kōchi

40. Fukuoka
41. Saga
42. Nagasaki
43. Kumamoto
44. Ōita
45. Miyazaki
46. Kagoshima
47. Okinawa

Sports change

Sumo fighters give a circle around the referee in the opening ceremony.

Japan has many traditional sports such as sumo, judo, karate, kyudo, aikido, iaido and kendo. Also, there are sports which were imported from the West such as baseball, soccer, rugby, golf and skiing.[32] Baseball is the most popular sport.[33]

Japan has taken part in the Olympic Games since 1912. It hosted the Olympic Games in 1964, 1972, 1998 and 2020. From 1912 until now, Japanese sportspeople have won 398 medals in total.

Professional sports are also popular and many sports such as baseball (see Pacific League and Central League), soccer (see List of Japanese football teams), sumo, American football, basketball and volleyball, are played professionally.

Related pages change

References change

  1. "Official Names of Member States (UNTERM)" (PDF). UN Protocol and Liaison Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  2. "National Flag and National Anthem". Retrieved January 29, 2017. The Rising Sun Flag and "Kimi Ga Yo" are respectively the national flag and anthem of Japan. This was formalized in 1999 with the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem.
  3. "Explore Japan National Flag and National Anthem". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  4. "National Symbols". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  5. "History of Tokyo". Retrieved January 29, 2017. The Edo Period lasted for nearly 260 years until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the Tokugawa Shogunate ended and imperial rule was restored. The Emperor moved to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo. Thus, Tokyo became the capital of Japan
  6. "CIA Factbook: Japan". Cia.gov. Archived from the original on December 20, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  7. Dentsu Communication Institute, Japan Research Center: Sixty Countries' Values Databook (世界60カ国価値観データブック) (2000).
  8. According to legend, Japan was founded on this date by Emperor Jimmu, the country's first Emperor.
  9. "Facts about Japan, General Information". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  10. "Surface water and surface water change". OECD. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  11. "最新結果一覧 政府統計の総合窓口 GL08020101". Statistics Bureau of Japan. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2017 – Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". International Monetary Fund (IMF). Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  13. "World Factbook: Gini Index". CIA. Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  14. "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 "Japan". CIA World Factbook. CIA. Archived from the original on 2015-12-20. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  16. "The etymology of Nihon and Nippon". 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  17. "Etymology of Nippon". Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  18. Wong-Anan, Nopporn (3 May 2019). "Emperor Naruhito and Japan's lonely republicans". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 2022-01-18. {{cite news}}: |archive-date= requires |archive-url= (help)
  19. Brace, C. Loring (2001). "Old World sources of the first New World human inhabitants: A comparative craniofacial view". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 98 (17): 10017–10022. Bibcode:2001PNAS...9810017L. doi:10.1073/pnas.171305898. PMC 55570. PMID 11481450.
  20. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2019/03/15/579177.full.pdf
  21. "「縄文人」は独自進化したアジアの特異集団だった! : 深読み". 読売新聞オンライン (in Japanese). 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Early Japan (until 710)". japan-guide.com. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  23. "Perry & Opening of Japan". history.navy.mil. 2009. Archived from the original on December 4, 2002. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  24. "7 important Japanese inventions from history". Sky HISTORY TV channel. Retrieved 2023-08-10.
  25. "京セラ、TV電話つきPHS「VP-210」を7月末に販売". internet.watch.impress.co.jp. Retrieved 2023-08-10.
  26. "Sony CDP-101 - the First Compact Disc Audio CD Player from 1982". www.cedmagic.com. Retrieved 2023-08-10.
  27. "Shizuo Takano, 68, an Engineer Who Developed VHS Recorders (Published 1992)". 1992-01-20. Retrieved 2023-08-10.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Why Japan leads industrial robot production". IFR International Federation of Robotics. Retrieved 2023-08-05.
  29. "'Saraswati is the most revered deity in Japan, after the Buddha': Filmmaker Benoy Behl". 11 May 2019.
  30. Louis-Frédéric (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.
  31. Louis-Frédéric (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. p. 780. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.
  32. Louis-Frédéric (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. pp. 905–907. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.
  33. "Baseball in Japan and the US: History, Culture, and Future Prospects". Association for Asian Studies. Retrieved 2022-02-26.

Notes change

  1. In English, the official name of the country is simply "Japan".[1] In Japanese, the name of the country as it appears on official documents, including the country's constitution, is 日本 ( Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku), meaning "State of Japan". Despite this, the short-form name 日本 (Nippon or Nihon) is often used officially.

Other websites change