Japan, officially Nippon (日本) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.
A major economic power, Japan has the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.
Selected article -
was the last major Japanese naval operation
in the Pacific Theater
of World War II
. Other renderings of this operation's title in English include Operation Heaven One and Ten-ichi-gō. In April 1945, the Japanese battleship Yamato
, the largest battleship in the world, along with nine other Japanese warships, embarked from Japan on a deliberate suicide attack upon Allied forces
engaged in the Battle of Okinawa
. The Japanese force was attacked, stopped, and almost completely destroyed by United States
-borne aircraft before reaching Okinawa
and five other Japanese warships were sunk. The battle demonstrated U.S. air supremacy in the Pacific theater
by this stage in the war and the vulnerability of surface ships
without air cover to aerial attack. The battle also exhibited Japan's willingness to sacrifice large numbers of its people in desperate attempts (see kamikaze
) to slow the Allied advance on the Japanese home islands
. By early 1945, following the Solomon Islands campaign
, the Battle of the Philippine Sea
and the Battle of Leyte Gulf
, the once formidable Imperial Japanese Navy
's Combined Fleet was reduced to just a handful of operational warships and a few remaining aircraft and aircrew. Most of the remaining Japanese warships in the Combined Fleet were stationed at ports in Japan, with most of the large ships at Kure, Hiroshima
. With the invasions of Saipan
and Iwo Jima
, Allied forces began their campaign against the Japanese homeland. As the next step before a planned invasion
of the Japanese mainland
, Allied forces invaded Okinawa
on April 1, 1945.
Selected image -
On this day...
- 1161 - Emperor Takakura (d. 1181)
- 1934 - Takayuki Kubota, Japanese-American martial artist and actor
- 1940 - Tarō Asō, politician, 92nd Prime Minister of Japan
- 1969 - Megumi Kudo, wrestler
- 1971 - Masashi Hamauzu, composer
- 1972 - Sawa Suzuki, actress
- 1976 - Yo Hitoto, singer
- 1976 - Yui Horie, voice actress and singer
- 1977 - Namie Amuro, singer, dancer, and actress
- 1983 - Yuna Ito, American-Japanese singer-songwriter and actress
- 1985 - Mami Yamasaki, model and actress
- 1988 - Arisa Sato, model and weather caster
Selected quote -
||I have lived in the United States and I know the might of their industrial complex. The United States is a sleeping giant and I am afraid that our attack has awakened it.
|— Chuichi Nagumo, admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy
Selected biography -
Tōru Takemitsu was a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Though largely self-taught, Takemitsu is recognised for his skill in the subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre, drawing from a wide range of influences, including jazz, popular music, avant-garde procedures and traditional Japanese music, in a harmonic idiom largely derived from the music of Claude Debussy and Olivier Messiaen. In 1958, the international attention he drew with his Requiem for strings (1957) resulted in several commissions from across the world, and settled his reputation as the leading Japanese composer of the 20th century. He was the recipient of numerous awards, commissions and honours; he composed over one hundred film scores for ensembles of various sizes and combinations. He also found time to write a detective novel, and appeared frequently on Japanese television as a celebrity chef. In the foreword to a selection of Takemitsu's writings in English, conductor Seiji Ozawa commented: "I am very proud of my friend Tōru Takemitsu. He is the first Japanese composer to write for a world audience and achieve international recognition."
Selected prefecture -
is a prefecture
located in the Chūgoku region
on Honshū island
. The capital is the city of Tottori
. It is the least populous prefecture in Japan. Tottori is home to the Tottori Sand Dunes
, Japan's only large dune system. The prefecture is heavily agricultural and its products are shipped to major cities. Some of the famous products are nashi pear
, Welsh onion), and watermelon
. Tottori Prefecture's symbol is derived from the first mora
" combined with the picture of a flying bird, and symbolizes peace, liberty, and the advancement of the Tottori prefecture. It was enacted in 1968 to celebrate the 100th year from the first year of the Meiji Era
Did you know... -
In the news
Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E