Portal:Japan
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Portal:Japan
The Japan Portal
Location of Japan on the world map
Imperial Seal of Japan

Japan (Japanese: , Nippon [?ippo] or Nihon [?iho] ) 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 125.36 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 written mention of the archipelago appears in a Chinese chronicle finished in the 2nd century AD. Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an emperor and the imperial court based in Heian-ky?. Beginning in the 12th century, political power was held by a series of military dictators (sh?gun) and feudal lords (daimy?), 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-modeled 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. Under the 1947 constitution, 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 rank as one of the world's strongest militaries. After World War II, Japan experienced record growth in an economic miracle, becoming the second-largest economy in the world by 1990. As of 2021, the country's economy is the third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by PPP. A global leader in the automotive and electronics industries, Japan has made significant contributions to science and technology. Ranked "very high" on the Human Development Index, Japan has the world's 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 comic, animation and video game industries. (Full article...)

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Three Beauties of the Present Time
Three Beauties of the Present Time
Three Beauties of the Present Day is a nishiki-e colour woodblock print of c. 1792-93 by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Kitagawa Utamaro (c.  1753-1806). The triangular composition depicts the busts of three celebrity beauties of the time: geisha Tomimoto Toyohina, and teahouse waitresses Takashima Hisa and Naniwa Kita, each adorned with an identifying family crest. Subtle differences can be detected in the faces of the subjects--a level of individualized realism at the time unusual in ukiyo-e, and a contrast with the stereotyped beauties in earlier masters such as Harunobu and Kiyonaga. The triangular positioning became a vogue in the 1790s. Utamaro produced several other pictures with this arrangement of the same three beauties, and each appeared in numerous other portraits by Utamaro and other artists. Utamaro was the leading ukiyo-e artist in the 1790s in the bijin-ga genre of pictures of female beauties, and was known in particular for his ?kubi-e, which focus on the heads. The luxurious print was published by Tsutaya J?zabur? and made with multiple woodblocks--one for each colour--and the background was dusted with muscovite to produce a glimmering effect. (Full article...)

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Little Boy
Credit: Dake
An inside schematic view of Little Boy, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The sections 9 & 11 represent the Uranium-235.

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July 23:

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In the news

19 July 2021 -
Two United States citizens are convicted and sentenced in Japan for aiding former CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, in his escape from Japan to Lebanon in December 2019. Former U.S. Special Forces Michael Taylor is sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment while his son receives a 20 months' sentence. (DW)
17 July 2021 - Japan-South Korea relations
South Korea summons the Japanese ambassador following remarks by a Japanese senior official mocking South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Moon had hinted at a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, to which the official responded that it was not a possibility and that Moon was "masturbating". South Korea states that the remarks were highly inappropriate, but the Government of Japan said that the remarks were not directed at Moon. (CNA)
17 July 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, 2020 Summer Olympics, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports
The first case of COVID-19 is reported in the Tokyo Olympic Village by the Tokyo Olympic organizer, in a person who is not an athlete but who is involved in organizing the games. (NBC)
12 July 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
9 July 2021 - 2021 Atami landslide
The death toll from the landslide in Atami, Japan, increases to nine, as more bodies are found under the mud. Twenty-two people are still missing. (Jiji Press)
8 July 2021 - 2020 Summer Olympics, 2020 Summer Paralympics, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports
The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announce that the games will be held without spectators following a state of emergency declared in the Tokyo area beginning on July 12 following an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Japanese capital. (BBC)

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Koda at Kami Kaze Con 2005

Kumiko K?da ( , K?da Kumiko, born November 13, 1982), known professionally as Koda Kumi ( , K?da Kumi), is a Japanese singer from Kyoto, known for her urban and R&B songs.

After debuting with the single "Take Back" in December 2000, Koda gained fame in March 2003 when the songs from her seventh single, "Real Emotion/1000 no Kotoba", were used as themes for the video game Final Fantasy X-2. Her popularity grew with the release of her fourth studio album Secret (2005), her sixteenth single "Butterfly" (2005), and her first greatest hits album Best: First Things (2005), reaching the number-three, number-two, and number-one spots respectively. (Full article...)

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Flag of Gifu Prefecture
Gifu Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Ch?bu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu. Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasend?. During the Sengoku period, many people referred to Gifu by saying, "control Gifu and you control Japan." The land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honsh?, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan's history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Temmu as the 40th emperor of Japan. The land area of Gifu Prefecture consists of the old provinces of Hida and Mino, as well as smaller parts of Echizen and Shinano. The name of the prefecture derives from its capital city, Gifu, which was named by Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567.[1] The first character used comes from Qishan, a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, whereas the second character comes from Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius. Nobunaga chose those characters because he wanted to unify all of Japan and he wanted to be viewed as a great mind. Historically, the prefecture served as the center of swordmaking in all of Japan, with Seki being known for making the best swords in Japan. More recently, its strengths have been in fashion (primarily in the city of Gifu) and aerospace engineering (Kakamigahara).

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Kyoto Tower

  • ... that the 430-foot-tall (131 m) Kyoto Tower (pictured) is the tallest man-made structure in the city of Kyoto, Japan?

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

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Coordinates: 36°30?N 139°00?E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139

  1. ^ Stone ledger in front of Kashimori Shrine. Erected by Kashimori Shrine.

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