Japanese Research

by Derek Wu and Zac Failes

Introduction

Japan is a unique and interesting island.
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Core Information

Classification

Japan is a country. A country is an expanse of land, a nation with its own government. Japan is part of the continent of Asia. Unlike other countries, it has no states or territories. Instead it has 47 prefectures. Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. A stratovolcanic archipelago is a group of islands formed by a stratovolcano. A stratovolcano is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions.

Location

Japan is located on the planet Earth. It can be found in the Northern Hemisphere, north of the Equatorial Circle, in the continent Asia (Southeast Asia, Russia, Korea, China, the Middle East and Japan). Japan’s neighbouring countries include Russia, North & South Korea and China. The waters that surround Japan are the Gulf of Russia and Russian Sea to the north and the East China Sea and Sea of Japan to the west. To the east of Japan is the Pacific Ocean and to the south of Japan are the Philippine Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The coordinates of Japan are 36.2048° N, 138.2529° E.
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Population

The population of Japan is estimated to be 126,411,402 people who can be divided into approximately 61,567,085 males and 64,844,316 females. The largest city in Japan is Tokyo, Honshu Prefecture with an approximate population of 13,620,000 people which will decrease by 80,000,000 people in the next 30 years. There are approximately 368 birthplaces. Most of the population is Japanese-born.


52.6% have at least one parent who has born overseas. 47.4% of the population were born in another country. The major countries of the births of the Japanese from overseas are USA, Australia and and other western countries. Collectively, the Japanese speak over 27 languages. Other than Japanese the most common languages include Korean, Portuguese and Chinese.


The major or most common religion in Japan is the Shinto religion. Other major religions include Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. 51.82% of the Japanese population practise the Shinto religion. 6.98% of the population have no religion.

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Japan's 126 million people.

Climate

Japan is a large island with a varied climate. It has 4 seasons. Summer lasts from May to August, autumn lasts from August to November, winter lasts from November to February of the following year and spring from February to May. In the Hokkaido Prefecture including Sapporo, the area is chill most of the time. It snows only in the north. Japan’s temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius in the area around far north Hokkaido. The lowest temperature is negative-41 degrees Celsius in the Kamikawa Subprefecture.
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Environment

Japan is the sixty-second-largest country in the world covering around 377,972 square-kilometres. Its ocean territory is the world's seventeenth-largest, spanning one ocean, the Pacific. Japan’s environments include: rainforest/tropical in Kyushu Prefecture, coral reef off the coast of Okinawa Prefecture, desert/arid-mountainous in Tottori Prefecture and temperate-mountainous around Mountain Fuji.
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Fauna

Native marsupials like the Himalayan water shrew, Far Eastern myotis, macaque monkey and many others can be found nowhere else in the world. Other unique animals are the Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat and Okinawa flying fox.

Flora

Japan has a huge amount of 10,000 species of native plants. Asteraceae species include the chrysanthemum. Cupressaceae species include the hinoki cypress. Pinaceae species include the Japanese stone pine.

Significant Sites

Significant sites of Japan include the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, (biggest suspension bridge in the world and in Japan) the Tokyo Skytree, (tallest structure in Japan and in Tokyo) Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Yonaha Maehama Beach, the Fuji Rainforest, Japan's National Diet Building (Japan's national legislation building), Mountain Fuji, the Okinawa Coastal Reef, and Tokyo Bay.

Interesting Facts

Other facts about Japan are:

-Late-night dancing was illegal in Japan until 2015.

-Japan is home to the Okinawa Coastal Reef, the world’s eleventh-largest natural coral reef which covers all of the area around Okinawa Prefecture.

-Japan suffers 1,500 earthquakes every year.

-Japan has 5.52 million vending machines.

-In Japan, teachers and students come together to clean the classrooms and cafeteria.

-In Japan, there's a building with a highway passing through it.

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Secondary Information

Ancient Japan

Japan first appears in written history in the Chinese Book of Han. According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the most powerful kingdom on the archipelago during the 3rd century was called Yamataikoku. Buddhism was first introduced to Japan from Baekje, Korea and was promoted by Prince Shōtoku, but the subsequent development of Japanese Buddhism was primarily influenced by China. Despite early resistance, Buddhism was promoted by the ruling class and gained widespread acceptance beginning in the Asuka period (592–710).


The Nara period (710–784) of the 8th century marked an emergence of the centralized Japanese state centered on the Imperial Court in Heijō-kyō (modern Nara). The Nara period is characterized by the appearance of a nascent literature as well as the development of Buddhist-inspired art and architecture. The smallpox epidemic of 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan's population. In 784, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital from Nara to Nagaoka-kyō before relocating it to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto) in 794.



Ashikaga Takauji established the shogunate in Muromachi, Kyoto. This was the start of the Muromachi period (1336–1573). The Ashikaga shogunate achieved glory in the age of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and the culture based on Zen Buddhism (art of Miyabi) prospered. This evolved to Higashiyama Culture, and prospered until the 16th century. On the other hand, the succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords (daimyo), and a civil war (the Ōnin War) began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period ("Warring States").[35]


During the 16th century, traders and Jesuit missionaries from Portugal reached Japan for the first time, initiating direct commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West. This allowed Oda Nobunaga to obtain European technology and firearms, which he used to conquer many other daimyo. His consolidation of power began what was known as the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1573–1603).


After he was assassinated in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in 1590 and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597. Tokugawa Ieyasu served as regent for Hideyoshi's son and used his position to gain political and military support. When open war broke out, he defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Tokugawa Ieyasu was appointed shogun by Emperor Go-Yōzei in 1603, and he established the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (modern Tokyo).

Capital City Area

Introduction

Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, and is both the capital and most populous city of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. It officially became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from the old capital of Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (東京府, Tōkyō-fu) and the city of Tokyo (東京市, Tōkyō-shi).


Mass Transit

Public transport within Greater Tokyo is dominated by the worlds most extensive urban rail network (as of May 2014, the article Tokyo rail list lists 158 lines, 48 operators, 4,714.5 km of operational track and 2,210 stations (although stations recounted for each operator) of clean and efficient surface trains and subways run by a variety of operators, with buses, trams, monorails, and other modes supporting the railway lines. The above figures do not include any Shinkansen services.

The railway lines in Greater Tokyo include:


  • Chuo Main Line (Tokyo - Shiojiri)
  • Chuo Rapid Line (Tokyo - Otsuki)
  • Chuo-Sobu Line (Tachikawa/Mitaka - Chiba)
  • Hachiko Line (Hachioji - Kuragano)
  • Itsukaichi Line (Haijima - Musashi-Itsukaichi)
  • Joban Line (Ueno - Iwaki)
  • Joetsu Line (Takasaki - Minakami)
  • Kawagoe Line (Omiya - Komagawa)
  • Keihin-Tohoku Line (Omiya - Yokohama)
  • Keiyo Line (Tokyo - Soga; Ichikawa-Shiohama - Nishi-Funabashi; Minami-Funabashi - Nishi-Funabashi)
  • Mito Line (Oyama - Tomobe)
  • Musashino Line (Fuchu-Hommachi - Nishi-Funabashi) (Tokyo outer loop)



Areas

The special wards (特別区 tokubetsu-ku) of Tokyo comprise the area formerly incorporated as Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, Tokyo City was merged with Tokyo Prefecture (東京府 Tōkyō-fu) forming the current "metropolitan prefecture". As a result, unlike other city wards in Japan, these wards are not conterminous with a larger incorporated city. While falling under the jurisdiction of Tokyo Metropolitan Government, each ward is also a borough with its own elected leader and council, like other cities of Japan. The special wards use the word "city" in their official English name (e.g. Chiyoda City).

The areas and special wards of Tokyo include:

  • Adachi
  • Arakawa
  • Bunkyo
  • Chiyoda
  • Chūō
  • Edogawa
  • Itabashi
  • Katsushika
  • Ōta
  • Setagaya
  • Shibuya
  • Shinagawa
  • Shinjuku
  • Suginami
  • Sumida
  • Taitō
  • Toshima

Culture

Cuisine

Japanese cuisine has developed through centuries of social and economic changes. It encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan. The traditional cuisine of Japan (和食 washoku) is based on rice with miso soup, ramen (noodles) and other dishes. Side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth. Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter, as tempura. Apart from rice, staples include noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga. Ramen (/ˈrɑːmən/) (ラーメン rāmen) is a Japanese soup dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork (チャーシュー chāshū), dried seaweed (海苔 nori), menma (メンマ menma), and green onions (葱 negi).


Music

The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji 音 "on" (sound) with the kanji 楽 "gaku" (enjoy). Japan is the largest physical music market in the world, with US$2 billion in 2014 and the second largest overall music market, with a total retail value of 2.6 billion dollars in 2014 – dominated by Japanese artists, with 37 of the top 50 best selling albums and 49 of the top 50 best selling singles in 2014. Local music often appears at karaoke venues, which is on lease from the record labels.


Music - Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

The Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (東京交響楽団 Tōkyō Kōkyō Gakudan), or TSO, was established in 1946 as the Toho Symphony Orchestra (東宝交響楽団). It assumed its present name in 1951. Based in Kawasaki, the TSO performs in numerous concert halls and serves as the pit ensemble for some productions at New National Theatre, Tokyo, the city's leading opera house. It offers subscription concert series at its home the Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall and at Suntory Hall, the Concert Hall of Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, and Tokyo Opera City (all in Tokyo). The orchestra recorded the musical score for the video game Star Fox: Assault. It also performed the score for the 1984 film The Return of Godzilla. The current conductor of the TSO is Jonathan Nott who started conducting in September 4, 2014.


Festivals

Japanese festivals are traditional festive occasions. Some festivals have their roots in Chinese festivals centuries ago, but have undergone great changes as they mixed with local customs. Some are so different that they do not even remotely resemble the original festival despite sharing the same name and date. There are also various local festivals (e.g. Tobata Gion) that are mostly unknown outside a given prefecture. Matsuri (祭?) is the Japanese word for a festival or holiday. There are no specific matsuri days for all of Japan; dates vary from area to area, and even within a specific area, but festival days do tend to cluster around traditional holidays such as Setsubun or Obon. Almost every locale has at least one matsuri in late summer/early autumn, usually related to the rice harvest. Preparation for these processions is usually organised at the level of neighborhoods, or machi. Prior to these, the local kami may be ritually installed in mikoshi and paraded through the streets.

Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympic Games Information

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The official logo of Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games/Olympic Games of the XVIIIth Olympiad.
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The official logo of Tokyo 1964 Paralympic Games/Paralympic Games of the XVIIIth Olympiad.

Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympic Games Introduction

The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad (第十八回オリンピック競技大会 Dai Jūhachi-kai Orinpikku Kyōgi Taikai), was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan, from October 10 to 24, 1964. Tokyo had been awarded the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honor was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's invasion of China, before ultimately being canceled because of World War II. The 1964 Summer Games were the first Olympics held in Asia, and the first time South Africa was barred from taking part due to its apartheid system in sports (South Africa was, however, allowed to compete at the 1964 Summer Paralympics, also held in Tokyo, where it made its Paralympic Games debut.). Tokyo was chosen as the host city during the 55th IOC Session in West Germany, on May 26, 1959.

Tokyo 1964 Opening and Closing Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympic games took place on Saturday 10 October in the National Olympic Stadium. As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combined the formal and ceremonial opening of this international sporting event, including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes, with an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation’s culture and history. For Tokyo 1964, the Games were formally opened by Emperor Shōwa.



The Closing Ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics took place on Saturday 24 October, in the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. The athletes from each country entered informally, despite plans to have a formal entrance. There did not appear to be any backup plan to sort athletes into their respective countries, and as a result the athletes rushed the field, sometimes arm in arm or riding piggyback, in a disorganized and chaotic spectacle. The Japanese television networks were praised for covering the event live without losing their professional demeanor. The Shōwa Emperor was in attendance.

Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games - Olympic Flame & Opening Ceremony
The Tokyo Olympics of 1964 Closing ceremony

Tokyo 1964 Venues

  • Asaka Nezu Park – Modern pentathlon (riding)
  • Asaka Shooting Range – Modern pentathlon (shooting), Shooting (pistol/ rifle)
  • Chofu City – Athletics (marathon, 50 km walk)
  • Enoshima – Sailing
  • Fuchu City – Athletics (marathon, 50 km walk)
  • Hachioji City – Cycling (road)
  • Hachioji Velodrome – Cycling (track)
  • Karasuyama-machi – Athletics (marathon, 50 km walk)
  • Karuizawa – Equestrian
  • Kemigawa – Modern pentathlon (running)
  • Komazawa Gymnasium – Wrestling
  • Komazawa Hockey Field – Field hockey
  • Komazawa Stadium – Football preliminaries
  • Komazawa Volleyball Courts – Volleyball preliminaries
  • Korakuen Ice Palace – Boxing
  • Lake Sagami – Canoeing
  • Mitsuzawa Football Field – Football preliminaries
  • Nagai Stadium – Football preliminaries
  • National Gymnasium – Basketball (final), Diving, Modern pentathlon (swimming), Swimming
  • National Stadium – Athletics, Ceremonies (opening/closing), Equestrian (team jumping), Football (final)
  • Nippon Budokan – Judo
  • Nishikyogoku Athletic Stadium – Football preliminaries
  • Ōmiya Football Field – Football preliminaries
  • Prince Chichibu Memorial Football Field – Football preliminaries
  • Sasazuka-machi – Athletics (marathon, 50 km walk)
  • Shibuya Public Hall – Weightlifting
  • Shinjuku – Athletics (marathon, 50 km walk)
  • Toda Rowing Course – Rowing
  • Tokorozawa Shooting Range – Shooting (trap)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium – Gymnastics
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Indoor Swimming Pool – Water polo
  • Waseda Memorial Hall – Fencing, Modern pentathlon (fencing)
  • Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium – Volleyball

Other Content

National Anthem of Japan - "君が代" ("Kimigayo")

Lyrics for Japanese National Anthem

Japanese:

Kimigayo wa

Chiyo ni yachiyo ni

Sazare-ishi no

Iwao to narite

Koke no musu made


English:

May your reign

Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations,

Until the pebbles

Grow into boulders

Lush with moss

Japan (National Geographic)
Watch this documentary about Japan!

This documentary is from the series called National Geographic: Far East Asia and the North Pacific.

Links

More Information

Click here to find more information on Japan!