Facts About Japan

Interesting Facts About Japan

Japan is referred to as the Land of rising sun.The Japanese "know Japan" as "Nippon" or "Nihon" meaning "Origin of the Sun".

Japan is located in the North Pacific off the coast of Russia and the Korean peninsula. The area of Japan is 377,873km², which makes it slightly smaller in land mass than California. Japan consists of four main larger islands and more than 4000 smaller islands. The main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Honshu is the largest with an area of 231,000km². A modern railroad system connects the major islands with Japan's high-speed Shinkansen connecting major urban areas.

Japan is immediate neighbor to China, Russia and Korea. Consisting of many islands, the four main and prominent ones are Honshu , Hokkaido , Kyushu and Shikoku .

Honshu is the largest, measuring an area of 87,805 square miles. Almost 80 percent of the Japanese population lives here. Japan’s tallest mountain Mount Fuji (3,776m) is situated here. Although the volcano here has been dormant since 1708, geologists classify it as an active volcano. Tokyo stands on the Kanto plain. The Kanto plain is Japan’s largest lowland, spreading across from the Japanese Alps to the Pacific.

Situated southernmost, Kyushu is the third largest of the four, covering an area of 14,114 square miles. About 11% of the Japanese population live here.

Shikoku the smallest of the four islands.

Japan is the 60th largest country in the world, slightly bigger than Germany and about 9 times the size of the Netherlands.

History of Japan says Japan has the oldest surviving monarchy, which happens to be the oldest continuous hereditary in the world.

Japan's national flag is called the Hinomaru.The flag has a red circle against a white background. This red circle symbolizes the rising sun.

Location is Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula.

The islands of Japan are located in an area known as The Ring of Fire in the Pacific.This is an area with many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Japan's national flag is called the Hinomaru . The flag has a red circle against a white background. This red circle symbolizes the rising sun. The Japanese deity "Amaterasu Omikami" is a sun goddess.

Kimigayo, which means "The Emperor's Reign", is Japan’s national anthem. The lyrics are from a 5-line, 31-syllable poem written in the tenth century. The music was composed in 1880 by an Imperial Court musician Hiromori Hayashi and later harmonized according to the Gregorian mode.

Geographic coordinates are36 00 N, 138 00 E.

Area of Japan in total is 377,835 sq km.land is 374,744 sq km and water is3,091 sq km.above includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)

Territorial sea is 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits""La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait.
 
Climate varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north.The climate of Japan varies considerably depending on the region and season. Summer is usually very hot and humid, known to the Japanese as "mushiatsui". From mid July there is a rainy season which lasts around one month. Winters are usually mild, with the northern areas of Japan receiving more snow. Spring and autumn are usually sunny with mild temperatures.
 
Terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous.Japan is over 70% mountainous terrain with approximately 18% of the land mass suitable for settlement. Japanese cities are typically sprawling and densely populated. Tokyo, a megalopolis and capital of Japan, is located on Honshu island. Central Tokyo has a population of 12 million people, with the population of the Greater Tokyo Area estimated at over 35 million people.
 
Elevation extremes are lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m.highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m.
 
Natural resources are negligible mineral resources, fish.

Environment""current issues are air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere 

Population of Japan is 126,182,077.

Total population is 80.11 years.male: 77.02 years.female is 83.35 years.Total fertility rate: 1.48 children born/woman.

Age 15 and over can read and write.

Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world!

Religion observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%).There are also considerable numbers of Brazilians, Chinese, and Filipinos residing in Japan.There is also an ethnic minority of indigenous people, called Ainu, who live mostly in northern Hokkaido.
 
Over 99% of the population speak Japanese as their first language. Many Japanese also have some ability in writing and speaking English as it is a mandatory part of the curriculum in the Japanese educational system. Japanese uses four different writing systems; Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana (phonetic alphabet for native words), Katakana (phonetic alphabet for foreign words), and Romaji (western alphabet used to write Japanese). Japanese vocabulary has been strongly influenced by loanwords from other languages, with most loanwords coming from Chinese and English.

Sumo is often considered to be Japan’s national sport.However, baseball is the most popular spectator sport in Japan.
 
Japan has a very successful football (soccer) team.They have won the Asian Cup three times.
 
Karaoke is extremely popular in Japan. It is now the most widely practiced cultural activity!
 
The top two universities in Japan are the University of Tokyo and Keio University.
 
Tokyo is both the capital city, and the largest city, in Japan. More than 30 million people live in the Tokyo metropolitan area, making it the largest metropolitan area in the world.
 
The official currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen.
 
The Mongol invasions of Japan (in 1274 and 1281) were successfully repelled by the Japanese. Japan was granted membership to the United Nations in 1956.
 
The major imports to Japan are fossil fuels, food (mainly beef), chemicals, textiles, machinery and equipment.
 
About a quarter of the electricity needs of Japan are supplied by nuclear power.
 
The Japanese drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Raw horse meat is a popular food in Japan.

Sometimes the trains are so crowded railway staff are employed to cram passengers inside.

Japanese celebrate Christmas, but it is more like Valentine's Day in the western world.

Poorly written English can be found everywhere, including T-shirts and other fashion items.

More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes.

Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan, is an active volcano.

Many Japanese do not know the difference between Shintoism and Buddhism.

A nice musk melon, similar to a cantaloupe, may sell for over $300US.

There are four different writing systems in Japan, romaji, katakana, hiragana, and kanji.

Coffee is very popular and Japan imports approximately 85% of Jamaica's.

The islands of Japan are actually the exposed tops of huge undersea ridges.These ridges rise up out of the Pacific Ocean. Because of this, more than eighty percent of the land is rugged mountains and hills.

Japan's literacy rate is almost 100%.

Independence is 660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu).

National holiday is on the Birthday of the Emperor, 23 December (1933).

Constitution was framed on 3 May 1947.

Suffrage is 20 years of age.

Legal system is modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

The monarch is hereditary; the Diet designates the prime minister; the constitution requires that the prime minister must command a parliamentary majority, therefore, following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister.

Supreme Court,chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet, all other justices are appointed by the cabinet. 

chief of state is Emperor.Head of government is Prime Minister and Cabinet appointed by the prime minister.

Industries are among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of steel and nonferrous metallurgy, heavy electrical equipment, construction and mining equipment, motor vehicles and parts, electronic and telecommunication equipment, machine tools, automated production systems, locomotives and railroad rolling stock, ships, chemicals; textiles, processed foods.

Currency is yen (¥).

GDP is 4.34 Trillion.

Exports is Motor vehicles, semiconductors, and office machinery.

Agriculture is of Rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit, pork, fish.

Sumo is Japan's national sport, although baseball is also very popular.

Sumo wrestlers eat a stew called Chankonabe to fatten up. Many restaurants in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo serve this nabe (Japanese word for stew).

Many toilets in Japan have a built-in bidet system for spraying your backside.

When you use the restroom in some one's home, you should put on special bathroom slippers so as not to contaminate the rest of the home.

Noodles, especially soba (buckwheat), are slurped very loudly when eaten. It is often said slurping symbolizes the food is delicious, but the slurping also serves to cool down the hot noodles for eating.

Japan is the world’s largest consumer of Amazon rain forest timber.

Vending machines in Japan sell beer, hot and cold canned coffee, cigarettes, and other items.

When moving into an apartment it is often required to give the landlord a "gift" of money equal to two months' rent.

There are around 1,500 earthquakes every year in Japan.

It is not uncommon to eat rice at every meal, including breakfast.

Average life expectancy in Japan is one of the highest in the world. Japanese people live an average of 4 years longer than Americans.

Japan is the largest automobile producer in the world.

The Japanese language has thousands of foreign loan words, known as gairaigo. These words are often truncated, e.g. personal computer = paso kon.The number of foreign loan words is steadily increasing.

Tsukiji market in Tokyo is the world's largest fish market.

Although whaling is banned by the IWC, Japan still hunts whales under the premise of "research".  The harvested whale meat ends up in restaurants and supermarkets.

Some men in Japan shave their heads to apologize.

Some women in Japan cut their hair after breaking up with a boyfriend.

Tokyo has had 24 recorded instances of people either killed or receiving serious skull fractures while bowing to each other with the traditional Japanese greeting.

The first novel, The Tale of Genji, was written in 1007 by a Japanese noble woman, Murasaki Shikibu.

The term karaoke means "empty orchestra" in Japanese.

In a Sumo training "stable" the junior rikishi Sumo wrestlers must wash and bathe their senior sumo wrestlers and make sure their hard to reach places are clean.

Contrary to popular belief, whale meat is not a delicacy in Japan. Many Japanese dislike the taste and older Japanese are reminded of the post-World War II period when whale meat was one of the few economical sources of protein.

In their effort to make things cute and cuddly rampant inbreeding of dogs has resulted in one of the highest rate of genetic defects in the world for canines.

Raised floors help indicate when to take off shoes or slippers. At the entrance to a home in Japan, the floor will usually be raised about 6 inches indicating you should take off your shoes and put on slippers. If the house has a tatami mat room its floor may be rasied 1-2 inches indicating you should to take off your slippers.

Ramen noodles are a popular food in Japan and it is widely believed extensive training is required to make a delicious soup broth. This is the subject of the movies Tampopo (1985) and The Ramen Girl (2008).

On average, it takes about 7-10 years of intensive training to become a fugu (blowfish) chef. This training may not be needed in the future as some fish farms in Japan are producing non-poisonous fugu.

Ovens are not very common in Japanese kitchens, but most households own a rice cooker.

Geisha means "person of the arts" and the first geisha were actually men.

It was customary in ancient Japan for women to blacken their teeth with dye as white teeth were considered ugly. This practice persisted until the late 1800's.

In ancient Japan, small eyes, a round puffy face, and plump body were considered attractive features.

Some traditional Japanese companies conduct a morning exercise session for the workers to prepare them for the day's work.

Japan is the leading industrial state of Eastern Asia? Only the United States reproduces more than the country of Japan. This is quite an amazing feat seeing as how it had to rise up after the end of World War II when it found itself almost destroyed.

It is considered quite rude to blow your nose in public,but it is also considered rude to openly express your emotions in public. This is why a straight face showing absolutely no emotions is worn by most of the people in Japan. It is also unheard of to show any signs of affection in public.

Not only is it good manners to show someone respect, but their material possesions are respected and shown the same consideration in Japan. For example, your coat, shoes, etc., will be carefully hung up or set aside and probably even be brushed off by the time that you retrieve them.

It is Japanese custom to slurp while you eat foods such as soup. If you do not slurp, then your host will think that you do not like your food and will take offense.

Never stick the chopsticks upright into your bowl of rice or other food as this is an old Japanese custom for offering food, especially rice, to the dead.

Japan has numerous volcanoes, about two hundred, and many earthquakes. In fact, Japan has about three minor earthquakes every day of the year. Japan does have severe earthquakes too, such as the Great Kanto Earthquake that shook the country in 1923. This historic disaster demolished the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama and more than one hundred and twenty thousand lives were lost at that time. Japan is home to ten percent of the world's active volcanoes.

There is no need to send invitations to weddings, funerals, and the like as they are community events which are shared by all in Japanese villages. All of the village women prepare food and the entire village either mourns or congratulates the newly-wed couple.

A Japanese man is considered to be entering into the phase of old age by the time he reaches sixty years of age. This is commemorated with a special ceremony. The man wears a special red kimono. The red kimono means that he no longer has the responsibilities of being a mature adult.
 
The floors are covered with straw mats which are called tatamis.In order to keep the tatamis clean for sitting upon,the Japanese take their shoes off.

A can of Coca-Cola costs more than one dollar US from a vending machine
 
Japanese people, in general, can't drive very well.
 
Restaurants in Japan (including many fast-food places) give you moist towels or wipes before or with your meal.
 
At many businesses in Japan, they offer alcohol to the employees after six pm.
 
It is usually mandatory to give a landlord a gift of money of $1,000-$2000 when moving into his apartment building.
 
On Respect for the Aged Day, tobacco companies will hand out free cigarettes to the elderly outside of train stations and department stores.
The Japanese love corn, sesame seeds, and mayonnaise on their pizza.
 
There are no 24 hour ATMs in Japan (closed on holidays and many only open during normal bank hours).
 
Many Japanese teachers think that Japanese parents are lazy.
 
The green traffic light is called "blue".
 
Newspaper editors make their headlines so as to not attract attention.
 
KFC is the place to be on Christmas Day.
 
Japan has about 1,500 earthquakes each year and 200 volcanoes.
 
In the Japanese language, it is considered rude to say the word "no" directly.
 
It is nearly impossible to become a naturalized citizen of Japan.
 
Japanese people take a hot bath every night, some do not have showers installed in their bathrooms.
 
There is no insulation in Japanese homes' walls.
 
When you go to a funeral or a wedding you must take a gift of money.
 
In Japan, flower arranging is an art.
 
The new generation of Japanese people are not as short as Westerners think.
 
You can buy batteries, beer, wine, condoms, cigarettes, comic books, hot dogs, light bulbs, and used women's underwear from vending machines.
 
Many Japanese people eat rice with or for their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 
In Japan you will find cars by the names of "It's", "Let's", "Sunny", "Perky", "Gloria", "Move", "Toppo", "Lepo" and "Dump".
 
McDonalds employees will run outside to give you your drive-thru order.
 
The Japanese visit shrines and give eachother money for New Year's.
 
It is impolite to tear the wrapping paper off of a gift.
 
Japanese junior high school students do not need to pass any of their classes to graduate.Education only through junior high school is compulsory.
 
Young women will hand you toilet paper outside of train stations.
 
There is almost no vandalism in Japan.
 
Gas station attendants will bow as the car pulls out of the station.
 
Approximately 85% of Japanese people have never tasted turkey.
 
Japan is about the size of California and has half the population of the entire United States.

Snowmen in Japan are made of two large snowballs instead of three.
 
It will always take one to two hours for a pizza to be delivered.
 
There is at least one vending machine on every corner.
 
All you ever wanted to know about the world's largest phallus festival can be found here.
 
It is not uncommon to pay $2 for a single apple. Fruits are very expensive in Japan.
 
Did you know that in 1192 Yortomo was named the first shogun by the emperor? His family ( the Minamoto clan) governed Japan.

Did you know that the  Japan's National Anthem's  name is Kimigayo? It means "His Majesty's Reign."

Did you know that there is a meaning for that boring little red dot on Japan's flag?The boring little  red dot stands for the sun.

Did you know that in Japan they have Poke'mon  cards? They call them Poke'monsters.

Most of the Japanese have rice for/with their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Vandalism rates in Japan are among the least in the world.

A vending machine for a variety of daily requirements is installed at practically every corner in Japanese cities.

The Japanese love their pizzas topped with mayonnaise and corn.

Haiku is Japanese poetry consisting of only 3 lines.

Kendo, meaning "the way of the sword’, is Japan’s oldest form of martial arts.

Origami is an ancient Japanese art of paper folding.

Sushi (popular worldwide) is a Japanese delicacy of rice and fish dipped in vinegar, wrapped in seaweed.

Japanese always remove their footwear before entering a home. This is to keep the tatami (mat) clean. The tatami is used for sitting on while eating.

The Japanese eat with chopsticks known as hashi.

The Japanese will shop daily for their meat, fish and vegetable requirements, as they like all their food fresh and unpreserved. This is one of the prime reasons that small and medium sized refrigerators are sold the most in Japan.

Miso soup is an all time favorite and could be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Its main ingredients are a soybean paste dissolved in a seaweed stock.

A traditional Japanese breakfast is steamed rice topped with natto (fermented soy beans).Rice is a staple food and served at almost every meal.

Tea is served with practically all meals.

Slippers are never worn while sitting on the tatami to have your meals.

Noh, an ancient and very popular type of Japanese theatre can last for up to eight hours.

While smoking is allowed practically anywhere in Japan, you are not allowed to smoke in local trains. Long distance trains have got designated smoking zones.

Japanese do not submerge themselves into the bath tub and then lather.They soap outside the tub and rinse it off. Only then do they submerge themselves neck deep into the hot water to refresh and relax.

Japanese use a lot of fish, beef, pork, chicken and variety of seafood in their cooking. Most of their dishes are mildly spiced, flavored with a variety of soy sauces.

Japanese drive on the left, and have their steering wheels on the right, exactly opposite of what it is in America.

The Japanese are extremely courteous people. If you require something, they will go out of their way and try to help you.

Japan is made up of 70% mountains.

Japan is made up of over 6000 islands.

There are wild monkeys in Japan.Wild monkeys don’t like to be looked at in the eye.

In Japan they eat squid, octopus, eel, all fish, crabs, prawns, etc…

Golden Retrievers are the most popular petS.

The Japanese use four different writing systems.

In Japanese, the word for “wrong” and “different” are the same.

American shows shown in Japan are: Ally McBeal, Dharma and Greg, Beverly Hills 90210, Full House, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Boy Meets World, Animal Rescue Kids.

In Japan, Ally Mc Beal is called “Ally My Love” because McBeal when said in a Japanese dialect sounds like McBeer.

Junior High and High School students wear uniforms.Elementary school students wear yellow CAPS.

At McDonalds the hamburgers are the same size as in America, but the drink sizes are one size smaller.

McDonalds” in a Japanese dialect sounds lilke “Ma-ku-do-na-ru-do”.

Instead of “Ohayo Gozaimasu” (good morning), Japanese youngsters often say “Oha!”

In Japan, when you move into an apartment, you have to bring your own light fixtures.

There’s no such thing as central heat and air in Japan.

One US dollar is approximately 120 yen.

Japanese department stores are usually multiple stories, with a grocery store on the bottom, clothes and bedding in the middle, and restaurants on the top.
 
There are very few public trashcans in Japan.

A traditional Japanese toilet looks like a urinal lying on the floor.

In Japan even local calls are charged by the minute.

In Japan you eat your soup with chopsticks.

In Japan many people wear uniforms i.e. bank tellers, grocery store clerks, postal workers….

 In Japan, most people say that they are Buddhist, but don’t believe in the Buddha.

Aspiring young Japanese musicians play on street corners and in subway stations hoping to get discovered.

The “WALK” lights on Japanese street corners make a chirping sound so that the blind can know when to cross the street.

Japanese subways are very clean and safe.

People sleep on their way home on the subway and the train.

Japanese cars are mostly the same size as American cars.

Japanese streets are very narrow.Streets in Japan don’t have names.

In Japan,fair skin is regarded as beautifuL.Many Japanese women dye their hair brown.

There are very few original castles in Japan because of bombing during WW2.The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, due to atomic bomb explosion, costed Japan a lot interms of monetary, and many other long term after effects.

Japan is the world’s largest consumer of tropical rainforest timber.

Japan has 28 National Parks and 55 Quasi-National Parks.

Japan is divided into nine large regions and further divided into 47 smaller prefectures.

Japan has the seventh largest population in the world.

The Shinkansen (bullet train) is very famous bullet train from Japan.

The Japanese know more about American politics than Americans do.

Popular Japanese bands are: Glay, Smap, Hana Hana, Shingo Mama, The Yellow Monkey, Luna Sea, Whiteberry, Arc~en~Ceil, Da Pump, Kinki Kids, etc…

Popular Japanese music is terrible.

Western celebrities in Japanese commercials are: Catherine Zeta-Jones for Lux Super Rich Shampoo, Cameron Diaz for Aeon Language School, Ewan McGregor for Aeon Language School, Nicholas Cage for Pachinko (what a dork), Brad Pitt for both Roots canned coffee and jeans, Tiger Woods for Wonda canned coffee, George Clooney for Toyota, Naomi Campbell for Lipton Canned Tea.

In Japan you can buy canned coffee, hot or cold, in vending machines.
 
Because Japan has a socialized medical system, if you get the tiniest bit sick people think you should go to the doctor so you can get your medicine for free instead of paying $15 for cold medicine

Kyoto and Nara were consciously spared from bombing during World War 2 because of the cultural significance of their architecture and way of life.

The name “Tokyo” when broken down into kanji means “east” and “capital”.

The name “Kyoto” when broken down into kanji means “capital” and “capital”.

In Japanese, languages all end in –go : Nihongo, Eigo, Spango, etc….

In Japanese, citizen terms end in –jin : Nihonjin, Amerikajin, Perujin, etc.…

A magnitude 9.0 quake ravaged Japan Friday, shaking buildings in Tokyo for several minutes. Japanese officials confirm at least two thousand dead, with thousands more injured or missing. Within the same 24-hour period more than 150 aftershocks of magnitude greater than 4.5 occurred.The dead and the missing toll is more than 8,000 following the tsunami which hit Japan worst.Following all this Japan is worst hit with the nuclear power plant reactor breaking off in Fukushima, leading to spread of radiation in Pacific sea towards Russia, U.S.A.Japan is worst hit with billion of rupees cost.The rescue operations are on for the missings and areas around Fukushima are evacuated.


by Jigna Chinoy

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