Japan Trish, Jennifer, Adriane, Holly, and Heather
History of Japan • Japanese history can be traced as far back as 4000 BCE and is characterized by handmade pottery with rope designs. • In 300 BCE the introduction of rice agriculture begins the development of a social hierarchy in Japan.
Buddhism • In the 5th and 6th centuries, Buddhism and the Chinese system of writing were imported from China. • Japanese emperors were leaders in name only, the real power was held by court nobles, regents, and shoguns.
The Western World Discovers Japan • In 1542 the first Europeans arrived in Japan, when Portuguese explores landed on Kyushu. They introduced Christianity and firearms to Japan.
Japan Closes Its Doors • The shoguns severed most of Japan’s ties with foreign countries for 251 years • Only limited trade was allowed in Nagasaki.
Perry Reopens Japan • In 1854 Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to reopen its ports to Western ships.
Japan in WWI • Japan entered WWI in 1914 and fought with the allies.
Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor • On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombed the United States military bases at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Defeat for Japan • Rather than invade Japan, the US opted to use its new atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end the was in the Pacific.
Location • Located in the Pacific Ocean • Off the coast of China • Set in the Sea of Japan • Japan consists of several thousands of islands, of which Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four largest.
Land Area • Japan's area is comparable to California. • Japan's northernmost islands are located approximately on same geographical latitude as Portland while her southernmost islands are about on the same latitude as the Bahamas. • Tokyo, Japan is located at 35 40 N and 139 45 E.
Land Quality • According to experts, about 60% of the Japanese landscape is steep mountainous regions covered with forest. • Approximately 70% of the total Japanese population is concentrated in the plains and basins, an area comprising just 24% of the habitable land. • People must make good use of available lands. There are many terraced fields. Those fields are used often for crops and fruits such as mandarin orange trees or apples.
Agriculture • Today the number of farmers is decreasing as the population grows. • Only 40 % of the crops currently consumed are produced in Japan, and 60 % of the crops are imported from other countries.For example: • 90% of soy beans are imported from China and America. • Some kinds of vegetables from South America • Fruits such as bananas and oranges from South Asia, America, and other countries. • Rice from other countries • Seafood and Meat
Population • The population of Japan is about 125,000,000. • Almost the whole population is Japanese. More than half of the non- Japanese population is Korean.
Land Problems • High population densities in Japan cause many social problems such as a rising land costs and land contamination because of a concentration of people in a small area. Rice Field
Volcanoes and Earthquakes • Japan is located in an area where 4 tectonic plates are connected to each other. • The land sits on two plates, the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. • This is one of the reasons why Japan experiences so many earthquakes. • Also, there are many volcanoes throughout the country. Those volcanoes are still active and some of them frequently erupt .
Large and small earthquakes occur frequently. As a result, many buildings in Japan are built to have greater endurance to the destruction of an earthquake. Volcanic activity in Sakura Island
A positive side effect of the large number of volcanoes is that there are many natural hot springs.
Mt. Fuji • The most famous volcano is Mt. Fuji, which is the highest point of Japan and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. It can be seen from Tokyo when the weather is clear. • It has an elevation of 12,387 feet.
Climate • Spring: When winters nears its end, the cold seasonal winds blowing from the continent become weaker and more intermittent. At this time, low pressure air masses originating in China enter the Sea of Japan; these give rise to strong, warm southerly winds which travel toward this low-pressure zone from the Pacific Ocean. • The first of these winds is called haru ichiban. While it announces the warmth of the coming spring, it sometimes causes avalanches along with hot and dry weather.
Spring cont. • In early spring, plum blossoms appear, followed by peach blossoms. During the last ten days or so of March, the cherry blossoms so beloved by the Japanese people begin to bloom.
Summer • Before the arrival of real summer-like weather, Japan has a damp rainy season know as baiu. From May until July, there is a high-pressure mass of cold air above the Sea of Okhotsk to the north of Japan, while over the Pacific Ocean there develops a high-pressure mass of warm, moist air. • Along the line where these cold and warm air masses meet, known as the baiu zensen, which extends from southern China over the Japanese archipelago, causes prolonged periods of continuous rainfall.
Summer cont. • After the middle of July, high-pressure air masses over the Pacific Ocean become predominant and the rainy season comes to an end as the baiu zensen is pushed northward. Seasonal winds from the Pacific Ocean bring warm, moist air to Japan, and the country has hot summer weather with many days when temperatures rise to more than 30 degrees centigrade. (86 degrees F)
Fall • From the end of summer through September, Japan is often struck by typhoons. • Typhoons originate from large masses of tropical low-pressure air in the North Pacific between the latitudes of approximately 5 and 20 degrees, and are the same phenomenon as hurricanes and cyclones in other parts of the world. • When a typhoon begins to take shape, it gradually moves north. Every year, during this period, around 30 typhoons form, of which on the average about 4 reach Japan, sometimes causing great destruction.
Fall cont. • After the middle or latter part of October, Japan enjoys generally clear weather; it is neither hot nor cold. The country also enjoys especially fine weather at the beginning of November. Many of the trees take on bright autumn colors, making this time of the year a truly beautiful season.
Winter • Toward the end of November, cold seasonal winds begin blowing over Japan from the continent. These northwesterly winds pick up moisture over the Sea of Japan and drop much of this moisture in the form of rain and snow on the western side of Japan as they are impeded in their eastern advance by the ridge of mountains that runs through the central part of the country. • By contrast, the Pacific side of the country enjoys generally clear skies during the winter season. In Tokyo, despite the fair skies, winter temperatures average around 5 degrees ( 41 degrees F).
Japanese education • Elementary and junior high schools prepare students for the rugged regimen of high school by supporting and encouraging a positive engagement in work. • Japanese students lead all international tests of children’s ability in math and science. • 40-50 percent of high school students plan on attending top universities and must take private after school preparation classes called juku. • Japanese students test higher than any other national group in liking to go to school. • Most schools require a uniform. • High school classes average 43- 45 students per one teacher.
.. Matsumoto Castle • -(Matsumotojo) is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is also a good example of a "hirajiro", a castle built on the plain rather than on a hill or mountain. • -Matsumotojo's castle tower and smaller, second turret were built from 1592 to 1614.
Geisha Dancers • The word geisha is a Sino-Japanese word meaning "a skilled person" and referred to girls in Japan who were professional singers and dancers. • The true geisha were required to undergo a period of strenuous training in singing and dancing, which sometimes began as early as at the age of seven. • A geisha’s fee was based upon the amount of time she spent entertaining a guest. The time was calculated on the basis of the burning duration of an incense stick, which was variously reported to be from twenty-five to thirty minutes.
Japanese Marriage • There are two types of Japanese marriages: the “love” marriage (we are familiar with in the West) and arranged marriages. • Arranged marriages were common in the past but now are only around 25- 40 percent. • The divorce rate for arranged marriages is lower than for “love” marriages.
Kabuki Actors • Kabuki is one of Japan's traditional theatrical arts. • It began in the16th century and is still an important part of Japan’s culture today. • All female parts are played by male impersonators known as onnagata. • Until kabuki, the people of Japan had never seen theater of such color, glamour, excitement and general extraordinariness.
The Japanese Housewife • In the 1960s women in Japan typically left the workplace when they had children and did not return. The recent trend for Japanese women is the neo- housewife. They are creating businesses and organizations and are separating themselves from the male- centered corporate world.
A Drawing of Fifty Yen Coin Coins One Yen ¥1 Five yen coin ¥5 Ten yen coin ¥10 Fifty yen coin ¥50 One hundred yen coin ¥100 Five hundred yen coin ¥500 Bills One-thousand yen bill ¥1000 Two-thousand yen bill ¥2000 (rare) Five-thousand yen bill ¥5000 Ten-thousand yen bill ¥10000
Kyoto • Kyoto is a city that has a very natural setting which seems to enhance the quality of life for its inhabitants. • At the foot of the mountains surrounding Kyoto, magnificent structures and gardens created during various periods since the 8th century have been well preserved.
Japanese food Buckwheat noodles that have been prepared Kyoto- style • . Sake (Japanese rice wine)
The great variance in Japanese geographic regions. • Mount Fuji
Major Religions in Japan Shinto Buddhism Nara's Todaiji, Buddhist Temple Ise Jingu, Shinto’s most sacred shrine
Shinto • Means “The Way of the Gods” • No founder or sacred scriptures, it is deeply rooted in the Japanese people and their traditions. • Shinto gods are called kami, they’re sacred spirits that take the form of human things and concepts such as wind, rain, mountains, trees, river and fertility. Some prominent rocks are worshipped as kami.
Concepts of Shinto • There are no absolutes: no absolute wrong or right, no one is perfect. • Optimistic faith, humans are thought to be inherently good and evil is caused by evil spirits. • Shinto rituals keep evil spirits away. • Death is considered impure and is not dealt with in the Shinto religion.
Shinto Shrines • Shinto shrines are the places of worship and are home of the kami. • Most shrines celebrate festivals to show the kami the outside world. Tokyo's Meiji Shrine is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji.
History of Shinto • Made Japan’s state religion during the Meiji period (1867) after conflict with the Buddhist community. • After World War II, Shinto and the state were separated.
Buddhism • Originated in India and was imported to Japan during the 6th century. • There are several sects of Buddhism: Tendai, Shingon, Jodo, Zen, and Lotus Hokke.
Theories of Buddhism • Based on principle that everyone can achieve salvation by believing in the Buddha Amida. • One can achieve self-enlightenment through meditation and discipline. • One must go through many cycles of birth, living, and death. After these cycles, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain Nirvana - a state of liberation and freedom from suffering.