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fast fact: continent: Asia capital: Tokyo population: 126919659 area:145914 main languages: Chinese distance from Washington D.C : 6815.99


The Japanese diet consists largely of rice, fresh vegetables, seafood, fruit, and small portions of meat. Most dishes use soy sauce, fish broth, or sweet sake (alcohol made from fermented rice). Rice and tea are part of almost every meal. Western food (such as U.S. fast food) is increasingly popular, especially among the youth. Popular Japanese foods include miso (bean paste) soup, noodles (ramen egg noodles, udon wheat noodles, and soba buckwheat noodles), curry and rice, sashimi (uncooked fish),


Most Japanese practice a combination of Buddhism and Shinto. Shinto has no recognized founder or central scripture but is based on ancient mythology. It stresses a person's relationship to nature and its many gods. All Japanese emperors are considered literal descendants of the sun goddess, Amaterasu. Shinto was important historically in ordering social values, as illustrated by the Code of the Warrior (Bushido), which stressed honor, courage, politeness, and reserve. Shinto principles of ancestor veneration, ritual purity, and a respect for nature's beauty are all obvious in Japanese culture. Many


Homes are more spacious in suburban and rural settings, where there might be room for a vegetable garden or a Japanese garden (which often features water, small bridges, rocks or stones, and lanterns) with well-manicured trees. A small plot of land can produce a good deal of rice, so flat land is quite valuable. Rural homes are usually made of wood with tiled roofs and are painted white. They generally consist of an open kitchen and dining area, which is divided from bedrooms and guest rooms by


Japanese is the official language. Although spoken Japanese is not closely related to spoken Chinese, the written language (kanji) is related to Chinese characters. Each kanji has at least two "readings," or ways of pronouncing the word; one based on the ancient Chinese pronunciation, and the other based on the Japanese pronunciation. The Japanese also use two phonetic alphabets (hiragana and katakana) simplified from these characters. A third phonetic alphabet (romaji) uses Roman letters. People are losing their ability to write the complex kanji as they rely more on computers. Japanese can be written
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Bamboo. 2010. Photograph. Collection of CultureGrams. ProQuest, 2015. Web. 13 Nov 2015
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