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

Japan, officially Nippon () 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 Honsh?, Hokkaid?, Ky?sh? 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.

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The highest-selling albums and mini-albums in Japan are ranked in the Oricon Weekly Chart, published by Oricon Style magazine. The data are compiled by Oricon based on each album's weekly physical sales. Thirty-seven albums reached the peak of the chart in 2008. R&B singer Namie Amuro's Best Fiction had the longest chart run of 2008. The album remained at the top of the charts from its issue date of August 11 to September 15. Amuro became the first solo female artist in 28 years to have an album chart number one for six consecutive weeks after Saki Kubota, who had an album at number one for seven consecutive weeks in 1980. Pop singer Mariya Takeuchi's greatest hits album Expressions stayed atop the charts for three consecutive weeks, making her the first artist over 50 years of age to accomplish this. Other artists who had extended runs on the chart include Kobukuro, Kumi Koda, Exile, Madonna, Superfly, Greeeen, and Mr. Children; each spent two straight weeks on the chart. Korean pop singer BoA's Japanese album The Face debuted at number one, making her the second artist after Ayumi Hamasaki to have six consecutive number-one studio albums since her debut. American pop singer Madonna's Hard Candy became the singer's first album in 18 years to debut at number one on the Oricon chart. With the release of their second album, Game, girl group Perfume became the second technopop group (after Yellow Magic Orchestra) to have a number-one album on the charts.

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Sumo wrestler Somagahana Fuchiemon

A Utagawa Kunisada ukiyo-e print depicting sumo wrestler Somagahana Fuchiemon.

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October 14:




Holidays, observances, and anniversaries

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Portrait of Teika by Kikuchi Y?sai
Fujiwara no Teika, also known as Fujiwara no Sadaie or Sada-ie, was a Japanese waka poet, critic, calligrapher, novelist, anthologist, scribe, and scholar of the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. His influence was enormous, and he is even to this day counted as among the greatest of Japanese poets, and perhaps the greatest master of the waka form - an ancient poetic form consisting of five lines with a total of 31 syllables. His critical ideas on composing poetry were extremely influential and studied until as late as the Meiji era. A member of a poetic clan, Teika was born to the noted poet Fujiwara no Shunzei. After coming to the attention of the Retired Emperor Go-Toba (1180-1239; r. 1183-1198), Teika began his long and distinguished career, spanning multiple areas of aesthetic endeavor. His relationship with Go-Toba was at first cordial and led to commissions to compile anthologies, but later resulted in his banishment from the retired emperor's court. His descendants and ideas would dominate classical Japanese poetry for centuries afterwards.

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Flag of Hyogo Prefecture
Hy?go Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kinki region on Honsh? island. The capital is Kobe. The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo. Present-day Hy?go Prefecture includes the former provinces of Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and parts of Tanba and Settsu. In 1180, near the end of the Heian period, Emperor Antoku, Taira no Kiyomori, and the Imperial court moved briefly to Fukuhara, in what is now the city of Kobe. There the capital remained for five months. Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the city of Himeji. The Ako han, home of the Forty-seven r?nin, is in Hy?go Prefecture. Southern Hy?go Prefecture was severely devastated by the magnitude 7.2 Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which destroyed major parts of Kobe and Awaji, as well as Takarazuka and neighboring Osaka Prefecture, killing nearly 5500 people. Hy?go has coastlines on two seas: to the north, the Sea of Japan, to the south, the Inland Sea. The northern portion is sparsely populated, except for the city of Toyooka, and the central highlands are only populated by tiny villages. Most of Hy?go's population lives on the southern coast, which is part of the Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe metropolitan area. Awaji Island is an island in the Inland Sea, lying between Honsh? and Shikoku. Summertime weather throughout Hy?go is hot and humid. During the winter, the north side tends to get lots of snow, while the south side only gets occasional flurries. Hy?go borders on Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.

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Yuzuru Hiraga


In the news

13 October 2019 -
48 people are confirmed dead, about 100 others are injured and 17 are missing after Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall in Japan. (Sky News)
12 October 2019 -
Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall in Japan, the biggest storm to hit the region in decades, with over seven million people urged to evacuate. (BBC)
11 October 2019 - 2019 Japan-South Korea trade dispute
Japan and South Korea hold the first round of talks in Geneva to address a South Korea complaint with World Trade Organization over Japanese export controls. (Yonhap)
7 October 2019 -
A North Korean fishing boat collides with a Japanese Fisheries Agency vessel and sinks off Japan. At least 20 North Koreans are pulled from the water. The Japanese ship had been attempting to warn the North Korean vessel away from Japanese territory. (Bloomberg) (The New York Times)
2 October 2019 - Japan-North Korea relations, North Korean missile tests
Japanese Prime Minister Shinz? Abe condemns in the strongest terms the latest North Korean missile tests and says they clearly violate United Nations Security Council resolutions. (BBC)
North Korean state media says the country has successfully tested a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) off the coast of Wonsan. (Deutche Welle) (Reuters)

Japan topics

Eras Paleolithic | J?mon | Yayoi | Kofun | Asuka | Nara | Heian | Kamakura | Muromachi | Azuchi-Momoyama | Edo | Meiji | Taish? | Sh?wa | Heisei
History Economic history | Educational history | Military history | Naval history | Sengoku period | Meiji Restoration | Empire of Japan | Occupied Japan | Post-occupation Japan
Politics Constitution | Government | Emperors | Imperial Household Agency | Prime Ministers | Cabinet | Ministries | National Diet (House of Councillors · House of Representatives) | Judicial system | Law of Japan | Elections | Political parties | Japanese political values | Japan Self-Defense Forces | Foreign relations
Culture Clothing | Customs and etiquette | Education | Festivals | Food | Holidays | Language | Religion | Imperial House of Japan | National symbols of Japan | National Treasure (Japan) | Monuments of Japan | Media of Japan | Honne and tatemae | Kawaii | Yamato-damashii | Wa | Miai | Ishin-denshin | Isagiyosa | Hansei | Amae | Kotodama | Onsen | Geisha | Kimono | Bushido | Shogun | Samurai | Ninja | Yakuza | Mythology | Karaoke
Art Architecture | Cinema | Literature | Music | Pornography | Theatre (Noh · Kabuki · Bunraku) | Anime | Manga | Ukiyo-e | Japanese tea ceremony | Japanese aesthetics | Ikebana | Poetry | Bonsai | Origami
Sports Sumo wrestling | Nippon Professional Baseball | Football J1 League | Super GT | All Japan Road Race Championship | Judo | Karate | Kendo | Ky?d? | Jujutsu | Ninjutsu | Aikido
Economy Japanese Companies | Primary sector | Industry | Tourism | Currency | Tokyo Stock Exchange | Japanese economic miracle | Communications | Transportation (Shinkansen · Tokyo Metro · Railway companies) | Japan Business Federation | Housing in Japan
Science and Technology Consumer electronics in Japan | Japanese automotive industry | Japanese inventions | Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) | Nuclear power in Japan | Japanese robotics
Geography Geography of Japan | Japanese archipelago | Islands of Japan | Cities | Lakes | Rivers | Waterfalls | Mountains | National Parks | Japanese Alps | Mount Fuji | Lake Biwa | Seto Inland Sea | Sea of Japan
Demographics Demographics | Yamato people | H?fu (half Japanese people) | Ainu people | Japanese people | Japanese names | Aging of Japan
Animals Animals in Japan | Japanese macaque | Japanese raccoon dog (Tanuki) | Japanese Green pheasant | Koi | Japanese Bobtail | Hokkaido dog | Shiba Inu | Akita (dog) | Japanese giant hornet | Japanese badger
Other Tokyo | Kyoto | Nara | Osaka | Sapporo | Okinawa | Kinkaku-ji | Kiyomizu-dera | Yakushi-ji temple | T?dai-ji temple | Sens?-ji temple | Meiji Shrine | Akihabara | Shinjuku | Tokyo Tower | Tokyo Imperial Palace | Himeji Castle | Matsumoto Castle | Osaka Castle | Nagoya Castle | Tokyo Disney Resort

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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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