Japan

By: Harvey Long, Brady Enge, Reed Mohlman

How Did Geography Play A Role In Early Civilization

Geography

Japan is located on an archipelago, or chain of islands, about 100 miles off the Asian mainland and east of the Korean peninsula. It’s four main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Japan is about the size of Montana , but four-fifths of its land are too mountainous to farm. As a result, most people settled in narrow river valleys and along the coastal plains. This made early civilizations very hard to start and they could not make farms near river beds.

Japanese Society

How Japanese society functioned

Japanese society was split into uji, or clans. Each were lead by a chief, and worshipped a god or goddess. Japan, like all of Asia, were a rice-loving society. Prince Shokotu was a noble leader. He helped Japan create their first working government and constitution, making them an organized and funtioning society.

Uniqueness of Ancient Japan

Japan is located on an archipelago, which is vastly different than the majority of other countries. In addition, Japan also consists of multiple islands which each people inhabiting all of them. While Japan has many geological oddities compared to other countries, it also had a very different form of warrior ruling its ancient battlefields. Samurai were extremely honorable and well-trained soldiers that wore monster-themed armor to make themselves significantly more intimidating during battle. Their armor also allowed for extraordinary mobility, giving them incredible speed when fighting enemies, making them even more formidable. The Samurai also lived by a personal code known as Bushido. Bushido gave Samurai very strict life rules to live by, and if the code of Bushido was ever broken, they were forced to perform a suicidal ritual known as Seppuku. Now for as powerful and intimidating these warriors seem, they were decisively short. Most Samurai ranged from 5'3" to 5'5", very different in comparison to the knights of England who were typically 6'3".