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Portal:Japan

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Japan (Japanese: 日本, Nippon [ɲippoꜜɴ] (About this soundlisten) or Nihon [ɲihoꜜɴ] (About this soundlisten)) is an island country in East Asia, located in the northwest Pacific Ocean. It is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, and extends from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. Part of the Ring of Fire, Japan spans an archipelago of 6852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is Japan's capital and largest city; other major cities include Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

Japan is the eleventh-most populous country in the world, as well as one of the most densely populated and urbanized. About three-fourths of the country's terrain is mountainous, concentrating its population of 125.62 million on narrow coastal plains. Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.4 million residents.

Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period (30,000 BC), though the first mentions of the archipelago appear in Chinese chronicles from the 1st century AD. Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an emperor and his imperial court based in Heian-kyō. Beginning in the 12th century, political power was held by a series of military dictators (shōgun) and feudal lords (daimyō), and enforced by a class of warrior nobility (samurai). After a century-long period of civil war, the country was reunified in 1603 under the Tokugawa shogunate, which enacted an isolationist foreign policy. In 1854, a United States fleet forced Japan to open trade to the West, which led to the end of the shogunate and the restoration of imperial power in 1868. In the Meiji period, the Empire of Japan adopted a Western-styled constitution and pursued a program of industrialization and modernization. In 1937, Japan invaded China; in 1941, it entered World War II as an Axis power. After suffering defeat in the Pacific War and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered in 1945 and came under a seven-year Allied occupation, during which it adopted a new constitution. Since 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature, the National Diet.

Japan is a great power and a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the OECD, and the Group of Seven. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, the country maintains Self-Defense Forces that are ranked as the world's fourth-most powerful military. After World War II, Japan experienced high economic growth, becoming the second-largest economy in the world by 1990 before being surpassed by China in 2010. Despite stagnant growth since the Lost Decade, the country's economy remains the third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by PPP. A leader in the automotive and electronics industries, Japan has made significant contributions to science and technology. Ranked the second-highest country on the Human Development Index in Asia after Singapore, Japan has the world's second-highest life expectancy, though it is experiencing a decline in population. The culture of Japan is well known around the world, including its art, cuisine, music, and popular culture, which encompasses prominent animation and video game industries. (Full article...)

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Haruna
Haruna
Haruna was a warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I and World War II. Designed by the British naval engineer George Thurston, she was a battlecruiser of the Kongō class, among the most heavily armed ships in any navy when built. Named after Mount Haruna, she was laid down in 1912 and commissioned in 1915. Beginning in 1926, she was rebuilt as a battleship, strengthening her armor and improving her speed and power. In 1933, her superstructure was completely rebuilt, her speed was increased, and she was equipped with launch catapults for floatplanes. Now fast enough to accompany Japan's growing carrier fleet, Haruna was reclassified as a fast battleship. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Haruna transported Japanese troops to mainland China. On the eve of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, she sailed as part of the Southern Force in preparation for the Battle of Singapore. Haruna fought in almost every major naval action of the Pacific Theater, including the Battle of Midway, the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In 1945, Haruna was transferred to Kure Naval Base, where she was sunk by aircraft of Task Force 38. (Full article...)

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Zhou Maoshu Appreciating Lotuses, c. 15th century
Credit: Kanō Masanobu

Zhou Maoshu Appreciating Lotuses, c. 15th century, an ink painting in suiboku style by Kanō Masanobu. The scroll has been designated a National Treasure of Japan.

On this day...

March 1:

Events

  • 1201 - Japan's top female poet, Shokushinai Shinnō, dies. (Traditional Japanese Date: Twenty-fifth Day of the First Month, 1201)
  • 1891 - The Tokyo Clearing House is established for the exchange of bank drafts.
  • 1911 - The Imperial Theater is completed, but is later lost to fire during the Great Kanto earthquake.
  • 1919 - The March First Movement is held -- a display of Korean protest against Japanese occupation.
  • 1932 - Japan announces the establishment of the Manchukuo puppet state in Manchuria.
  • 1938 - Taxis in Kyoto introduce the fare meter, which spreads to the rest of the country beginning in November of the same year.
  • 1939Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, killing 94.
  • 1941 - The National School Proclamation is issued. Beginning on April 1, 1941, all former elementary schools become national schools, and the period of compulsory education is extended to include 6 years of elementary school and 2 years of high school.
  • 1954 - Tuna fishing boat No. 5 Fukuryūmaru is exposed to heavy doses of radiation and "ashes of death" from the experimental detonation of a hydrogen bomb by Americans on the Bikini Atoll.
  • 1962 - Takashimaya department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo opens the first vertical parking garage.
  • 1988 - Guilty verdicts are handed down against the president and other executives of Chisso Corporation in connection with the severe mercury poisoning (known as Minamata disease, after the region where most victims are from).

Births

In the news

28 February 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
Japan officially lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency in Aichi, Gifu, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures due to a decrease in the number of cases, while Tokyo and surrounding areas will remain in a state of emergency until at least March 7. (NHK World)
19 February 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
Japan detects a new variant found in 91 cases in the Kanto region and two cases detected at airports. In addition, an infection cluster was detected at a Tokyo immigration facility. (ABC Australia)
17 February 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
Japan begins a vaccination campaign against COVID-19 beginning with 40,000 health workers. (The Japan Times)

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Ono in 2007

Yoko Ono Lennon (/ˈn/ OH-noh; Japanese: 小野 洋子, romanizedOno Yōko, usually spelled in katakana オノ・ヨーコ; born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese, and filmmaking. She was married to English singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles from 1969 until his murder in 1980.

Ono grew up in Tokyo and moved to New York in 1953 to live with her family. She became involved in New York City's downtown artists scene, which included the Fluxus group. With their performance Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal in 1969, Ono and Lennon used their honeymoon at the Hilton Amsterdam as a stage for public protests against the Vietnam War. The feminist themes of her music have influenced musicians as diverse as the B-52s and Meredith Monk. She achieved commercial and critical acclaim in 1980 with the chart-topping album Double Fantasy, a collaboration with Lennon that was released three weeks before his murder, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. (Full article...)

Selected prefectureshow another

Flag of Toyama Prefecture
Toyama Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Toyama. Toyama is the leading industrial prefecture on the Japan Sea coast, and has the industrial advantage of cheap electricity due to abundant water resources. The Itai-itai disease occurred in Toyama around 1950. Historically, Toyama Prefecture was Etchū Province. Due to the mergers in the 2000s, Toyama has the fewest municipalities of any prefecture in Japan with 10 cities, 2 districts, 4 towns, and 1 village (before the mergers took place, the prefecture had 9 cities, 18 towns, and 8 villages). Toyama is famous for its historical pharmaceutical industry which remains a top manufacturing industry in the prefecture in terms of manufacturing shipment value followed by electronic parts and devices (industrial robots, general machinery, etc.), and metal products (aluminum, copper etc.) manufacturing. The Kurobe dam generates electricity for the Kansai Electric Power Company. It is located on the Kurobe River in Toyama Prefecture. As of February 1, 2008, the prefecture's population was estimated to be 1,104,239.

Did you know...show different entries

Toyota 7

  • ... that Japanese pop R&B singer-songwriter Mai Kuraki's 2009 album, Touch Me! became her first album in five years to top the Japanese album chart?

General images

The following are images from various Japan-related articles on Wikipedia.

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