|Basic / General
Information on Japan
1. What are Japan's national symbols?
Japan is a country
with a long history, rich culture and varied topography. Therefore, many symbols
of Japan have developed over the years and are recognized worldwide. one of
most famous is Mount Fuji, a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1707 and Japan's
tallest mountain. another is the red sun, as seen on Japan's flag.
Cherry Blossoms are also well known, as
is the chrysanthemum, which appears on the crest of the Imperial
Family. The crane, indigenous to Japan, is a symbol of peace. Cultural
items such as Kimono, Tea
Ceremony, Bonsai, Origami
and Sushi are other traditional symbols
As Japan has modernized, especially following world war ii, other
more contemporary symbols have emerged. Japanese-made automobiles and electronics
are well known and consumed world-wide. Robotic pets such as Aibo
are in high demand. Cultural icons like Pokemon
and Hello Kitty have also
popularity, not only among children. Japanese director Akira
Kurosawa, Japanese animated films (Anime or Japanime)
and the 1950's film Godzilla are household words. Karaoke,
which started in Japan, has sprung up in bars and restaurants throughout
world, and J-pop, or Japan's pop music industry,
is making inroads internationally. new symbols of Japan will likely emerge as
popular culture evolves.
2. What is Japan's national
Japan's national anthem, the kimigayo, was set to
music about a century ago, but its words are nearly 1000 years old. They are interpreted
as a wish for the lasting prosperity and peace of the country. Japan's national
flag and anthem were designated as such under
a law enacted in 1999.
To listen to the kimigayo, please visit:
Score of Kimigayo (Japan Fact Sheet, Japan Information Network)
3. What is the population of Japan?
As of august 2001,
Japan's population was counted at 127.1 million, the ninth highest in the world.
The population has more than doubled since the first national census in 1920,
when it was about 56 million. Japan's population density ranks as one of the highest
in the world, and the life expectancies of both men and women are exceeded by
those of no other country. For further information, please visit the Japan's statistics
bureau at http://www.stat.go.jp/
4. Where can I find a map of Japan?
You can find maps
of Japan from the following websites:
Japan atlas, Japan information network
Regions & cities, Japan information network
Fact Sheet, Japan information network
Map of Japan (kids web Japan, Japan information network)
5. What is the symbolism of Japan's flag?
flag, which heralds a large red circle on a white background, is called the hinomaru.
the literal translation of hinomaru is "sun disc". The
sun flag has been used as a national symbol since at least the 17th
century, with origins hailing back to Japan's earliest history. The hinomaru
was designated as Japan's official national flag in august, 1999, concurrently
with Japan's national anthem.
Hinomaru (Japan Fact Sheet, Japan information network)
vertical-to-horizontal ratio of the flag is set at 2:3; the disc is placed
at the exact center; and the diameter of the disc is equal to three-fifths
of the vertical measurement.
6. What is the capital
The capital of Japan is tokyo, located on the kanto plain on the pacific
coast of central honshu. Tokyo means "Eastern capital" in Japanese.
Japan has had other capital cities throughout the ages, including nara and kyoto;
tokyo was not officially designated as the capital until 1868, with the Meiji
Palace and its vicinity
The name "Tokyo"
is also not original - until it became capital, the city was known as "Edo."
present day tokyo is the site of the imperial palace, the Diet
(legislature), the Supreme
Court, the Prime Minister's office and other
ministries. Tokyo covers more than 800 square miles (2000 square kilometers).
the approximate population of tokyo is 12 million people, making it one of the
most populous cities in the world. for further information on tokyo, please
visit tokyo's official website at
7. What are the most populous cities in Japan?
|Minato-mirai area, Yokohama
Japan's most populous city is Tokyo,
with approximately 12 million people. This is followed by yokohama, osaka
and nagoya, all south of tokyo but also on the island of honshu. Approximately
27% of the population lives in tokyo and the surrounding prefectures, and the
large majority of Japanese people live in urban areas.
Since much of the land in Japan is not flat enough for houses or roads,
the population density in large cities like tokyo is extremely high. For
further information, please visit the Japan's statistics bureau at http://www.stat.go.jp/
is the time difference between Japan and the united states?
is nine hours ahead of greenwich mean time http://greenwichmeantime.com/, the standard by which the world's
time is calculated. However, Japan does not have daylight savings time,
so the time difference between Japan and the united states changes depending on
the time of year. If it is 12:00 am (midnight) in washington, dc, it is
2:00 pm the following day in Japan in the winter (non-daylight savings time).
In the summer (daylight savings time), if it is 12:00 am (midnight) in washington,
dc, it is 1:00 pm the following day in Japan. all of Japan is in the same
9. What is the geography and climate
Japan is an island nation in the pacific ocean, off the
coast of east asia. The countries nearest Japan are russia, china and the
republic of korea. Japan is comprised of more than 6800 islands, with four
of them making up more than 99% of the country. These are (from north to
south) hokkaido, honshu, shikoku and kyushu. The land area of Japan is approximately
377,873 square kilometers, which is roughly the same size as the state of montana
and slightly smaller than california. Japan is 68% mountainous, and includes
many volcanoes, the most famous being Mt. Fuji.
10% of the world's volcanoes are located in Japan. only about 13% of Japan
is arable farmland. at present, Japan is administratively divided into 47
Geography of Japan (Japan Fact Sheet, Japan information network)
The climate of Japan varies greatly from north to south.
hokkaido, with a subarctic weather pattern, has a yearly average temperature
of 8ｰC (46ｰF), while Japan's southernmost islands in okinawa prefecture belong
the subtropical climate zone and have a yearly average temperature of over 22ｰC
(72ｰF). The most notable features of the climate are the wide range of yearly
temperatures and the large amount of rainfall. Spring tends to be mild,
and is famous as Cherry-Blossom viewing season
throughout Japan. The onset of the rainy season (tsuyu) takes place
in early june, and ushers in summer. July and August are traditionally
very hot and humid in most of Japan.
|Heavy snow in Niigata (Japan Fact
Sheet, Japan information network)
the time of Typhoons (tropical storms), which
due to Japan's proximity to water. Foliage viewing is a popular pastime
in October and November, especially in northern Japan. Winter tends to
be chilly, and heavy snows can occur both in the northern island of hokkaido
the hokuriku region of western honshu, which faces the sea of Japan and is separated
from other regions by high mountains. Nagano prefecture, which borders
hokuriku region, was home to the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. The southernmost
Japan, Okinawa, is tropical year round.
Fact Sheet, Japan information network
10. What natural
disasters occur in Japan?
|Miyake-jima,Tokyo (Japan metrological
Because Japan is completely surrounded by
water and has many volcanoes, it is prone to natural disasters. In summer
and autumn, there are enormous typhoons, powerful tropical storms that cause
and mudslides. large underwater earthquakes can also create strong, destructive
tidal waves called Tsunami. in addition to underwater earthquakes,
seismic tremors occur regularly inland. Very large earthquakes have occurred
in several areas of Japan, including Hokkaido, Tokyo and Kobe.
|Mt. Fuji |
The 1995 kobe quake took 6400 lives and caused mass destruction.
There are also active volcanoes in Japan, such as miyake-jima and unzen-fugendake.
Mt. Fuji, which last erupted in 1707, may erupt again
in the future, and could cause damage, depending upon the type and size of the
11. What religions are represented in Japan?
Japan has two main religions, Shinto and Buddhism. The Shinto religion
is native to Japan, and began in ancient history as the belief in spiritual forces
(Kami) found in nature. Buddhism came to Japan from india around
the middle of the 6th century. Because neither Shinto nor buddhism
is an exclusive religion, many Japanese people participate in elements of both
faiths. For example, wedding ceremonies are performed according to Shinto
ritual, while funerals usually follow Buddhist rites. A small percentage
of Japanese practice Christianity, which was brought to Japan by missionaries
in the 16th century. In addition, there are communities and
places of worship for Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mormons,
Hindus, Muslims and followers of many other faiths.
(Buddhist Temple), Tokyo