Japan is an archipelago, or string of islands, on the eastern edge of Asia.
Japan is an archipelago, or string of islands, on the eastern edge of Asia. There are four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. There are also nearly 4,000 smaller islands! Japan's nearest mainland neighbors are the Siberian region of Russia in the north and Korea and China farther south.
Almost four-fifths of Japan is covered with mountains. The Japanese Alps run down the center of the largest island, Honshu. The highest peak is Mount Fuji, a cone-shaped volcano considered sacred by many Japanese.
Japan can be a dangerous place. Three of the tectonic plates that form Earth's crust meet nearby and often move against each other, causing earthquakes. More than a thousand earthquakes hit Japan every year. Japan also has about 200 volcanoes, 60 of which are active.
Map created by National Geographic Maps
PEOPLE & CULTURE
The Japanese are famous for their willingness to work very hard. Children are taught to show respect for others, especially parents and bosses. They learn to do what's best for their family or company and worry less about their own needs.
Japanese food is very different from food in Western countries. There is lots of rice, fish, and vegetables, but little meat. With little fat or dairy, this diet is very healthy, which helps Japanese people live, on average, longer than any other people in the world.
The Japanese people have a deep affection for the beauty of the landscape. The ancient Shinto religion says natural features like mountains, waterfalls, and forests have their own spirits, like souls.
Most of Japan is covered by countryside. But with more than 100 million people living in such a small place, wildlife has suffered.
Pollution is now tightly controlled, but road building and other human activities have harmed natural habitats. About 136 species in Japan are listed as endangered.
The warm Tsushima Current flows from the south into the Sea of Japan, where it meets a colder current from the north. The mixing of waters makes the seas around Japan very rich in fish and other sea life.
GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY
Japan is the only country in the world with a reigning emperor. Emperors have no real power, but they are still revered as a symbol of the country's traditions and unity.
World War II devastated Japan's economy. But the Japanese people's hard work and clever innovation turned it around, making it the second largest economy in the world. Japan's high-tech industry makes some of the most popular electronic products in the world.
People first came to Japan about 30,000 years ago. At the time, the main islands were connected to Siberia and Korea by bridges of dry land, so people crossed on foot. The first society, called the Jomon culture, arose about 12,000 years ago. Around the same time, the Ainu people arrived by boat from Siberia.
The Jomon and Ainu survived for thousands of years, hunting, fishing, and gathering plants. In 300 B.C., the Yayoi people came to Honshu Island from Korea and China . They were skilled weavers, tool makers, and farmers who began cultivating rice in flooded paddy fields.
In 660 B.C., Japan's first emperor, Jimmu Tenno, came to power. Emperors controlled Japan until the 12th century A.D., when military rulers, called shoguns, took control and ruled by might.
Europeans first arrived in Japan in 1543, bringing guns and Christianity. In 1635, the ruling shogun closed Japan to foreigners and forbade Japanese to travel abroad. This isolation lasted more than 200 years. In 1868, the shoguns were overthrown and emperors returned. This was a time of great change and modernization for Japan.
During World War I (1914-1917), Japan fought on the side of the U.S. But on December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the United States navy fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the U.S. entered World War II. From 1941-1945, Japan's military leaders fought against the U.S. and the allied forces. In August 1945, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing about 115,000 people. Japan surrendered a few days later.
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A country's geography influences the development of its society and culture in many ways. Its location in relation to other nations has an effect on intercultural influences; its size affects demography, the development of social structures, and its position in the international community. Its topography dictates to a large extent where and how its people earn their livings, and its climate influences its agriculture and styles of living. The following maps will demonstrate these and other aspects of the influence of geography on national development.
Composition, Position, and Relative Size
Japan is a shimaguni (island country): The Japanese archipelago (island chain) consists of four main islands--Honshï¿½, Shikoku, Kyï¿½shï¿½ and Hokkaidï¿½--and thousands of smaller surrounding ones (see map 1 ). It lies off the Pacific coast of the Asian mainland; at the closest point, the main Japanese islands are 120 miles away from the mainland. (See map 2 ). Compare this with another shimaguni, Great Britain, which is, at the narrowest point of the English Channel, only 21 miles from Europe.
The total land space of the Japanese islands is about 142,000 square miles. As you can see from map 2 and map 3 , it is a very small country when compared with the vast Asian mainland, or with the United States, where it is smaller than the single, although large, state of California. It seems even smaller when you realize how little of its land is useful for agriculture or housing, as we will discuss below. China, the United States, and a few other giants of the world are the unusual ones, however. Japan does not seem so small when compared with some of the nations of Western Europe. It is, for example, larger than Italy. (See map 4 ).
The Japanese islands are covered by mountains, most of them heavily forested, and crisscrossed by short, swift rivers. Only a few of the rivers are navigable. Relatively little of Japan's land mass is suitable for agriculture -- only about 15 percent, the same land that is also most suitable for living (see map 5 ). The population and areas of agriculture are therefore concentrated together, as you will see if you superimpose map 5 on map 6 .
Japan's islands are very beautiful and varied, but they can be treacherous. Earthquakes are common and result from a fault that circles the Pacific Ocean, causing earthquakes on the west coast of North and South America as well. They are frequent in Japan, occurring more often than they are felt. Even so, one big enough to be noticed by scientists occurs every three days in Tï¿½kyï¿½. Occasionally they do serious damage. The mountains of Japan contain 10 per-cent of the world's most active volcanoes. Mt. Fuji, Japan's most famous mountain and one of its most beautiful and revered, is a dormant volcano, which last erupted in 1707. Tidal waves occasionally result from undersea earthquakes, and typhoons sometimes hit Japan as they move north from the South Pacific.
The Japanese are more impressed, however, by the beauty and richness of their land than by its dangers. Although its topography creates difficulties, its climate is more benevolent.
The Japanese islands are for the most part in the temperate zone; as you can see from map 7 , they stretch from north to south in latitudes similar to those of the eastern United States, from about 45 degrees in the north to about 20 in the south. The capital, Tï¿½kyï¿½, is in a similar position to Los Angeles or Washington in the United States (see map 7 ).
But latitude and longitude are not the only things that influence climate. Ocean currents, such as the Kuroshio and Tsushima currents from the south, warm the Pacific side of the islands and those near the Korean straits, especially toward the south, while the cold Kurile current, coming southward toward Hokkaidï¿½, brings plentiful nourishment to the coastal waters and improves the fishing (see map 8 ).
On the other hand, cold winds from the northern Asian continent blow east over the Sea of Japan, dumping deep, heavy snow on the northwestern coasts of Japan. There is a marked contrast between winters on the coast facing the Sea of Japan, called Japan's "snow country," where people often have to tunnel under the snow to move from house to house, and the clear, crisp winters on the eastern shore, with little snow at all, leaving dry winters on the more heavily populated side of the main islands.
Even on the eastern shores, however, Japan has abundant rainfall, since seasonal winds carry moisture into the country from its surrounding waters. In fact, in addition to the four seasons similar to those of our U.S. temperate zone climate, there is a rainy season, lasting about a month in June, followed by a hot summer. This is important for the cultivation of rice, Japan's traditional staple food.
(1) Essay written by Dr. Amy Vladeck Heinrich, director, C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University.
1. Japan: The Islands Note for map 1: Ownership of the islands Kunashiri, Etorofu, Habomai and Shikotan (islands northeast of Hokkaido) is disputed. The USSR occupied then in 1945 and Russia continues to assert sovereignty over them. Japan claims these Northern Territories as original Japanese territory not affected by the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952. The issue is a continuing problem in Russo-Japanese relations. 2. Japan and Asia 3. Japan and California (comparison) 4. Japan and Italy (comparison) 5. Topography 6. Population Density 7. Latitudes / Japan and the U.S. 8. Winds and Currents 9. Japan: A quiz
2) In premodern times, when travel and communications were difficult because of Japan's mountainous terrain, the Japanese did not think of their country as small. Look again at a href="map2.jpeg" onClick="return popitup('map2.jpeg')" >map 2 , map 3 , and map 4 . What modern developments and requirements make it seem small today?
3) Examine and compare map 7 and map 8 . From what you can see of relative latitudes in Japan and the eastern United States, and from what you have read about the warm and cold sea and wind currents affecting Japan, discuss the climates you would expect to find in the areas marked A, B, and C.
a) the four major islands (indicated by ====) b) the six major cities (marked by ï¿½ ); c) the major ocean and wind currents (shown by-----) and d) the surrounding oceans and seas (shown by ^^^^^).
Try to do this exercise without consulting the other maps.
5) Imagine that you are a tourist in Japan: It is January. First you travel to Tï¿½kyï¿½ and Kyï¿½to to spend a week. Then you go to the northwest coast of the island of Honshï¿½ for a week.
Write one postcard to your family at home describing the weather during your week in Tï¿½kyï¿½ and Kyï¿½to.
Write another postcard during your second week, describing the weather on the northwest coast of Honshï¿½ .
How would you describe Japan's size?
Why is it important to know both the land area and the population of a country?
7) Use the following information to compare Japan and the United States:
- How many times larger than Japan is the United States in land area?
- How many times larger is the U.S. population?
- How many people per square mile are there in Japan? (People divided by square miles) In the United States?
- How many people are there per land area that can be cultivated in Japan? In the United States?
- What conclusions can you draw about population density (people per square mile) in Japan and the United States?
- What conclusions can you draw about agriculture in the two countries?
Join us on an exciting adventure to east asia, bustling cities, delicious food, fascinating culture and a seriously explosive landscape get ready for the trip of a lifetime with our facts about japan…, facts about japan.
Official Name : Japan Form of Government : Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary government Capital : Tokyo Population : 126, 048, 450 Official Language : Japanese Money : Japanese yen Area : 377,835 square kilometres Major Mountain Ranges : Japanese Alps Major Rivers : Biwa, Inawashiro, Kasumigaura
Map of japan, japan: geography and landscape.
Japan is an archipelago, or string of islands, on the eastern edge of Asia. There are four main islands – Hokkaido , Honshu , Shikoku and Kyushu . There are also nearly 4,000 smaller islands, too! Japan”s nearest mainland neighbors are the Siberian region of Russia in the north, and Korea and China farther south.
Almost four-fifths of Japan is covered with mountains. The Japanese Alps run down the centre of the largest island, Honshu. The highest peak and Japan’s most famous mountain is Mount Fuji , a cone-shaped volcano considered sacred by many Japanese.
Japan can be a dangerous place. Three of the tectonic plates that form the Earth”s crust meet nearby and often move against each other, causing earthquakes. More than a thousand earthquakes hit Japan every year. Japan also has about 200 volcanoes, 60 of which are still active.
Japan’s wildlife and nature
The Japanese people have a deep affection for the beauty of the landscape. The ancient Shinto religion says natural features like mountains, waterfalls and forests have their own spirit or soul.
Japan is home to some wonderful wildlife! Some of the country’s most incredible creatures include the sika deer, red-crowned crane, stellar’s sea eagle and one of the coolest critters on the planet…the Japanese macaque monkey!
Most of Japan is covered by countryside – but with more than 100 million people living in such a small place, sadly, wildlife has suffered. Although pollution is now tightly controlled, over the years, road building and other human activities have harmed natural habitats. Today, about 136 species in Japan are listed as endangered.
Off the coast of this incredible country, the warm Tsushima Current flows from the south into the Sea of Japan , where it meets a colder current from the north. As a result of the mixing of different waters, the seas around Japan are very rich in fish and other sea life. Cool!
The history of Japan
People first came to Japan about 30,000 years ago. At the time, the main islands were connected to Siberia and Korea by bridges of dry land, allowing people to cross on foot. The first society, called the Jomon culture, arose about 12,000 years ago. Around the same time, the Ainu people arrived by boat from Siberia. The Jomon and Ainu survived for thousands of years, hunting, fishing and gathering plants.
In 300 B.C., the Yayoi people came to Honshu Island from Korea and China . The Yayoi were skilled weavers, tool makers and farmers, and they were the first people in Japan to cultivate rice in flooded paddy fields.
In 660 B.C., Japan’s first emperor, Jimmu Tenno , came to power. For many years following, Japan was governed by a string of emperors, until the 12th century A.D. when military rulers, called shoguns, took control by force.
Europeans first arrived in Japan in 1543, bringing with them a range of new technologies and cultural practices, including the Christian religion. But in 1635, the ruling shogun closed Japan to foreigners and forbade Japanese to travel abroad, beginning a state of isolation that would last more than 200 years. In 1868, the shoguns were overthrown and emperors returned. This was a time of great change and modernisation for Japan.
During World War I (1914-1917), Japan fought on the side of the Allies (Britain, France , Belgium, Russia and the USA). But in World War II , Japan’s military leaders sided with the Axis powers, joining forces with Germany and Italy .
Japanese people and culture
The Japanese are famous for their willingness to work very hard. Children are taught to show respect for others, especially parents and bosses. They learn to do what”s best for their family or company and worry less about their own needs.
Japanese cuisine consists of lots of rice, fish and vegetables. With little fat and lots of vitamins and minerals, their food is very healthy. It’s believed their nutritious diet is what makes the Japenese, on average, one of the longest living populations in the world!
Japan’s government and economy
Japan is the only country in the world with a reigning emperor. Emperors have no real power, but they are still respected as a symbol of the country’s traditions and unity.
World War II devastated Japan’s economy, but the Japanese people’s hard work and clever innovation turned things around. Today, Japan has the third largest economy in the world. The country’s high-tech industry makes some of the most popular electronic products and vehicles in the world.
Japanese garden: pod666, dreamstime. people in a busy shopping district: sean pavone, shutterstock. japanese shinto shrine: sean pavone, dreamstime. all other images: getty images uk, what did you make to these cool facts about japan let us know in a comment, below, leave a comment.
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WOW LOT'S OF FACTS ABOUT JAPAN!
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Very inderesting info never new that japan could be so big and with lots of people
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this give me general knowledge and make me to go there .thank you very much for give me the knowledge.
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Nice facts!!! but we should take action!!! the less endangered animals the better!
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Japan sounds fun.
i love japan!
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i want to go
i like china more
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it was very helpful
I never knew about this many facts about japan. I knew some though.
japan is my favourite country!
Cool!! The only thing I’d say is there isn’t enough info...
I am Japanese. I was very happy because there were people who wanted to go to Japan.
i love japan
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These facts are quite intriguing. I think I’ll add them to my personal research folder!! P.S I LOVE school!!
Japan is so interesting
I never knew Japan had the 3rd largest economy. Amazing!
I learned so much about Japan, a number one go to about anything
i LOVE Japan
this is very helpful because me and my class are learning about japan this term and we are making paper cranes for a girl named sadako who tried to make 1000 paper cranes to make a wish to cure herself but she only made 644 then pasted away
The facts about Japan on this website are very good and I think that Japan is a great place
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My dad knows how to speak Japanese because we have a friend in Japan
I never thought researching could be so fun! With the click of my mouse great facts and information appeared on my screen and I very pleased with the quality of this website. :)
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I want to go to Japan
Am Chinese Its Close To Japan
that is really interesting!! what is the animal of Japan?
I really want to go to Japan
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Home — Essay Samples — Geography & Travel — Japan — Japan: Geography, Religion, Cultural and Business Practices
Japan: Geography, Religion, Cultural and Business Practices
- Categories: Japan Japanese Culture Religious Beliefs
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Words: 1906 |
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Published: Jul 30, 2019
Words: 1906 | Pages: 4 | 10 min read
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Japan Geography Essay
Japan consists of many different islands, the main ones being, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which are the country’s largest. Japan’s closest neighbors include Korea, Russia and China. The Sea of Japan separates Japan from the Asian continent. Japan’s area is larger than, for example, Germany’s and comparable to the one of Italy or California. Japan’s northernmost islands are located approximately on same geographical latitude as Milan or Portland while her southernmost islands are about on the same latitude as the Bahamas.
In other words, Japan’s North South extension equals about the distance from Oslo to Naples. More than 50% of the area of Japan is mountainous and covered by forests. Japan is politically structured in 8 regions and 47 prefectures. Japan is prone to both earthquakes and volcanoes. This is because of the geographical position that Japan is located in. The most famous volcano that Japan experience is Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji can be seen from Tokyo, the country’s capital, when the weather is clear and is the highest point in all of Japan. The reason for Japan’s numerous earthquakes is because of its location on the borders of where many tectonic plates meet.
This means that when the lates, below the earth’s surface, move it creates friction on the earth above, and, thus creating movement. Japans climate is very varied throughout the whole continent. The main city’s climate, including Tokyo, is temperate to subtropical and consists of four seasons. The winter is mild but when it is summer there is an early rainy season, followed by typhoons that hit every year in parts of the country during late summer. The summer that Japan experiences are very hot and humid, Hokkaido, a northern island experiences a very cold winter that bring about cold snowstorms.
This differs remarkably from Okinawa where the inter is a pleasant 16 degrees Celsius. Religion The two major religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shinto. They have coexisted in the same country for many years and, in some cases, even complemented each other. The feeling of just belonging to one religion in most countries is very rare in Japan. Many people in Japan consider themselves Shinto-Buddhists or even get married in a western or ‘Christian’ way even if they themselves are not Christians. This is because of the influence that the western world has provided for the Japanese people.
Shinto is deeply rooted in the Japanese way of life and in their traditions. This means that propaganda or preaching, linked with Shinto, is very uncommon. In contrast to many monotheist religions, there are no absolutes in Shinto. There is no absolute right and wrong, and nobody is perfect. Shinto is an optimistic faith, as humans are thought to be fundamentally good, and evil is believed to be caused by evil spirits. Consequently, the purpose of most Shinto rituals is to keep away evil spirits by purification, prayers and offerings to the kami. Buddhism, another main religion excepted in Japan, originated in India in the 6th century BC.
It consists of the teachings of the Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha. Of the main branches of Buddhism, it is the Mahayana or “Greater Vehicle” Buddhism, which found its way to Japan. Buddhism was imported to Japan via China and Korea in form of a present from the friendly Korean kingdom of Kudara (Paikche) in the 6th century. While the ruling nobles welcomed Buddhism, as Japan’s new state religion, it did not initially spread among the common people due to its complex theories. 90% of Japan’s population consider themselves to be of the Shinto religion, 75% of Japan’s population consider themselves to be of the Buddhist religion.
The over lapse of the percentages in attributed to the fact that any people in Japan believe themselves to be both Shinto and Buddhist. There are many different religions that have spread throughout Japan. Some of these include: Confucianism, Christianity and Islam. Confucianism is one of the three main Japanese religions and originated from China. The great philosopher Confucius (Kong Fu Zi) lived in China from 551 to 479 BC. The influence that Confucianism has had on Japan has been massive and is very evident today. Today, about one to two million Japanese are Christians (about 1% of Japan’s population).
Most of them live in Western Japan where the issionaries’ activities were greatest during the 16th century. Many Christian rituals have been adopted into the every day lives of the Japanese such as: white dresses at weddings, St. Valentine’s Day and also Christmas. Islam’s relation with Japan is quite recent as compared to those with other countries around the world. There are no clear records of any contact between Islam and Japan nor any historical traces of Islam’s coming into Japan through religious propagation of any sort except for some isolated cases of contact between individual Japanese and Muslims of other countries before 1868.
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