Japan

Article

November 28, 2021

Japan (AFI: [ʤapˈpoːne]; in Japanese 日本 Nihon? Or Nippon?, Officially 日本国 Nihon-koku? Or Nippon-koku?) Is an island state in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Japan is bounded to the west by the Sea of ​​Japan, to the north by the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, to the east by the North Pacific Ocean and to the south by the East China Sea. It is a mostly mountainous archipelago of 6,852 islands, the five largest of which are Hokkaidō, Honshū, Kyūshū, Shikoku, and Okinawa, which alone account for about 97% of Japan's land area. Many islands are mountains, some of volcanic origin. The highest peak is Fuji, an active volcano. With a population of approximately 126 million inhabitants, it is the 11th most populous state in the world. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes Tokyo and several nearby prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million residents. Archaeological research indicates that the archipelago has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic and the first written mention can be found in a Chinese history book of the 1st century BC. The country was long dominated by feudal lords and the warrior caste of the samurai, then from Bakufu until 1867, when it became a limited parliamentary empire. It was one of the great powers between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries until the defeat of 1945, after which it embarked on a path of democratization: in 1947 a new constitution deprived the emperor of Japan of numerous powers and sanctioned the rebirth of the parliament. A major Asian regional power, Japan has the third largest economy by gross domestic product and the fourth largest by purchasing power; it is also the fourth largest exporter and the sixth largest importer worldwide. It is also a member of the G7. The state has a modern military apparatus used for self-defense, for peacekeeping missions and to help allies abroad in compliance with the Constitution. Japan ranks nineteenth in the world for human development, boasts a very high quality of life and one of the highest life expectancies in the world: this has in any case led to a constant aging of the population, demographic pressure and economic and social repercussions. which, together with the environmental emergency, constitute the main challenges facing the country today.

Etymology of the name

In Japanese Japan is said Nihon () or Nippon (, more formal and used on official occasions, such as international sporting events) and is written with the characters 日本?, Which mean respectively "sun" (日 nichi?) And "origin" (本 hon?); together they therefore have the meaning of "origin of the Sun". For this reason Japan is often identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun" or the "Land of the Rising Sun". This is in fact the name that the Chinese have given to the country that is to the east compared to theirs: the origin of the sun. Before the introduction of the name Nihon Japan was known by the name Wa (倭?) Or Wakoku (倭国?). The Italian exonym "Japan" is similar to the French Japon, the German Japan and the English Japan, which they all derive from the Chinese pronunciation RìběnP (or RìběnguóP) of the characters 日本. The name "Japan", together with the homologous forms in the other Western languages, was introduced in Europe by Marco Polo, who referred to the country using the term "Cipango" or "Zipangu", a distortion of the Chinese Rìběnguó. From the Meiji renewal until the end of World War II, Japan's full name was Dai Nippon Teikoku (大 日本 帝国?), Which means "Empire of Greater Japan". Since then the official name has become Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku (日本国?) Where the suffix koku (国?) Means "country", "nation" or "state".

History

Prehistory and Classical Age

It is believed that the first humans, homo sapiens or even erectus, arrived in Japan about 200,000 years ago at

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