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Japan (Japanese: 日本, Nippon or Nihon, and formally 日本国, Nihonkoku) is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 6852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu (the "mainland"), Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by 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 125.5 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 (the Book of Han) 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-kyō. Beginning in the 12th century, political power was held by a series of military dictators (shōgun) and feudal lords (daimyō) 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. Amidst a rise in militarism and overseas colonization, Japan invaded China in 1937 and entered World War II as an Axis power in 1941. 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 and began a military alliance with the United States. Under the 1947 constitution, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature, the National Diet. (Full article...)

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The Charter Oath as officially published
The Charter Oath as officially published
The Charter Oath was promulgated at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji of Japan on April 7, 1868. The Oath outlined the main aims and the course of action to be followed during Emperor Meiji's reign, setting the legal stage for Japan's modernization. It remained influential, if less for governing than inspiring, throughout the Meiji period and into the twentieth century, and can be considered the first constitution of modern Japan. The first draft of the Oath was written by junior councilor Yuri Kimimasa in January 1868, containing progressive language that spoke to the frustrations that the radical but modestly born Meiji leaders had experienced in "service to hereditary incompetents." Yuri's language was moderated by his colleague Fukuoka Takachika in February to be "less alarming," and Kido Takayoshi prepared the final form of the Oath, employing "language broad enough to embrace both readings." The Oath was read aloud by Sanjo Sanetomi in the main ceremonial hall of the Kyoto Imperial Palace in the presence of the Emperor and more than 400 officials. After the reading, the nobles and daimyō present signed their names to a document praising the Oath, and swearing to do their utmost to uphold and implement it. Those not able to attend the formal reading afterward visited the palace to sign their names, bringing the total number of signatures to 767. (Full article...)

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On this day...

September 21:

Events

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In the news

20 September 2022 – 2022 Pacific typhoon season
Four people are killed and 114 others are injured as Typhoon Nanmadol makes landfall on the island of Kyushu, Japan. (BBC News)
17 September 2022 – 2022 Pacific typhoon season
The Japan Meteorological Agency urges residents to evacuate southern parts of the island of Kyushu as super Typhoon Nanmadol approaches. An official for the agency warns that Nanmadol can bring "unprecedented" storms and rain to the area. (Reuters)
25 August 2022 – Assassination of Shinzo Abe
Itaru Nakamura, chief of the Japanese national police agency, resigns, taking responsibility for the failures in former prime minister Shinzo Abe's security that resulted in his assassination in Nara on July 8. (CBC)

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Selected biography – show another

Hirai Kawato (川人 拓来, Kawato Hirai, born March 13, 1997) is a Japanese professional wrestler, signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) under the ring name Master Wato (マスター・ワト Masutā Wato) where he is currently one half of the IWGP Junior Tag Champions with Ryusuke Taguchi. He was previously on an international learning excursion, working for NJPW's Mexican partner Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) under the ring name Kawato-San/Kawato San. He is a former CMLL World Lightweight Champion and competed in the main event of CMLL's 2020 Sin Piedad supercard show.

He was trained in the NJPW Noge Dojo in the Tokyo Prefecture. From 2016 until 2019 he worked as a "Young Lion" in NJPW, gaining in ring experience while still training. As a "Young Lion" he mainly faced other trainees early on, moving on to participate in various tournaments such as the 2017 Super Junior Tag Tournament (with Kushida) and finishing second in the 2017 Young Lion Cup. (Full article...)

Selected prefecture – show another

Flag of Yamanashi Prefecture
Yamanashi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Kōfu. People have been living in the Yamanashi area for about 30,000 years. As in most other Japanese regions, prehistoric society in Yamanashi progressed though the hunting, fishing and gathering stage of the Jōmon period, then the rice-producing stage of the Yayoi period and subsequent village and regional formation. The Maruyama and Choshizuka Kofun (earthen burial mounds) located on Sone Hill of Nakamichi Town (currently in southern Kōfu) are believed to have been built from the end of the 4th century. From these remains it can be assumed that the people of Sone Hill had great influence. Among the many Kaigenji generations, those of the Takeda, Ogasawara, and Nanbu families were particularly prosperous. During the Sengoku period of the 16th century, Takeda Shingen attained the status of daimyō and built Tsuzuji Mansion and the Yōgai Castle in Kōfu. From this base, he attempted to unify and control Japan. After Takeda’s death in 1582, Kai-no-Kuni came under the control of the Oda and Toyotomi Clans before being subsumed into the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period. Beneath the Edo shogunate, the Kofu Clan (based in Kuninaka, or Central and Western Yamanashi) and the Yamura Clan (based in Gunnai, or Eastern Yamanashi) were formed, but in 1724 the area came under the direct control of the Shogunate. With the development of the Koshu Kaidō (highway) and Fuji River transport, goods, materials and culture flowed into the region.

Did you know... – show different entries

Kutani ware

  • ... that Kutani ware (pictured), first produced about 1656 near the current city of Kaga, is a type of Japanese porcelain known for its use of multicolored glazes in bold designs?
  • ...that the story of Sada Abe, a woman who cut off her dead lover's genitals and carried them around with her for days, is one of Japan's most notorious scandals?

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

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  • 07. Japanese Garden Pano, Cowra, NSW, 22.09.2006
    07. Japanese Garden Pano, Cowra, NSW, 22.09.2006
  • 2003 Mazda 6 (GG) Classic hatchback 01
    2003 Mazda 6 (GG) Classic hatchback 01
  • Asahi Breweries headquarters building with the Asahi Flame and Skytree at blue hour with full moon, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan
    Asahi Breweries headquarters building with the Asahi Flame and Skytree at blue hour with full moon, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Ase o fuku onna2
    Ase o fuku onna2
  • BUR-10b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-Five Cents ND (1942)
    BUR-10b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-Five Cents ND (1942)
  • BUR-11a-Burma-Japanese Occupation-10 Cents ND (1942)
    BUR-11a-Burma-Japanese Occupation-10 Cents ND (1942)
  • BUR-12a-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Quarter Rupee ND (1942)
    BUR-12a-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Quarter Rupee ND (1942)
  • BUR-13b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Half Rupee ND (1942)
    BUR-13b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Half Rupee ND (1942)
  • BUR-14-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Rupee ND (1942)
    BUR-14-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Rupee ND (1942)
  • BUR-15b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-Five Rupees ND (1942-44)
    BUR-15b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-Five Rupees ND (1942-44)
  • BUR-16-Japanese occupation Burma-10 rupees (1942-44)
    BUR-16-Japanese occupation Burma-10 rupees (1942-44)
  • BUR-17b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-100 Rupees ND (1944)
    BUR-17b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-100 Rupees ND (1944)
  • BUR-9b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Cent ND (1942)
    BUR-9b-Burma-Japanese Occupation-One Cent ND (1942)
  • Beijing Castle Boxer Rebellion 1900 FINAL
    Beijing Castle Boxer Rebellion 1900 FINAL
  • Bicycle crankset Shimano 105 R7000 (chainring 50-34, length 172.5mm, 11 speed)
    Bicycle crankset Shimano 105 R7000 (chainring 50-34, length 172.5mm, 11 speed)
  • Blind monks examining an elephant
    Blind monks examining an elephant
  • Bloody Saturday, Shanghai
    Bloody Saturday, Shanghai
  • Comme des Garcons at the Met (62473)
    Comme des Garcons at the Met (62473)
  • Crested myna, Osaka, Japan
    Crested myna, Osaka, Japan
  • Daurian redstart at Daisen Park in Osaka, January 2016
    Daurian redstart at Daisen Park in Osaka, January 2016
  • Douglas MacArthur signs formal surrender
    Douglas MacArthur signs formal surrender
  • Extermination of Evil Tenkeisei
    Extermination of Evil Tenkeisei
  • Forces returning 2
    Forces returning 2
  • Gasshukoku suishi teitoku kōjōgaki (Oral statement by the American Navy admiral)
    Gasshukoku suishi teitoku kōjōgaki (Oral statement by the American Navy admiral)
  • Golden gate of Ueno Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine, Tokyo, Japan
    Golden gate of Ueno Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine, Tokyo, Japan
  • Great Wave off Kanagawa2
    Great Wave off Kanagawa2
  • Hasegawa Tohaku - Pine Trees (Shōrin-zu byōbu) - left hand screen
    Hasegawa Tohaku - Pine Trees (Shōrin-zu byōbu) - left hand screen
  • Hasegawa Tohaku - Pine Trees (Shōrin-zu byōbu) - right hand screen
    Hasegawa Tohaku - Pine Trees (Shōrin-zu byōbu) - right hand screen
  • Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. In his barracks home at Block 7 - 21 - NARA - 539206 - Restoration
    Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. In his barracks home at Block 7 - 21 - NARA - 539206 - Restoration
  • Hiroshige II - Kishu kumano iwatake tori - Shokoku meisho hyakkei
    Hiroshige II - Kishu kumano iwatake tori - Shokoku meisho hyakkei
  • HiroshimaPeaceMemorialPanorama-2
    HiroshimaPeaceMemorialPanorama-2
  • HoryujiYumedono0363edit4
    HoryujiYumedono0363edit4
  • ISS Aug2005
    ISS Aug2005
  • ISS March 2009
    ISS March 2009
  • Instrument of surrender Japan2
    Instrument of surrender Japan2
  • JAPAN-10-Constitutional Monarchy-One Yen (1873)
    JAPAN-10-Constitutional Monarchy-One Yen (1873)
  • JAPAN-M7-Tsingtao-10 Sen (1914)
    JAPAN-M7-Tsingtao-10 Sen (1914)
  • Japan 1870 20 Yen (alt)
    Japan 1870 20 Yen (alt)
  • Japanese Squirrel edit2
    Japanese Squirrel edit2
  • Japanese archer 1878b
    Japanese archer 1878b
  • Japanese pygmy woodpecker in Sakai, Osaka, February 2016
    Japanese pygmy woodpecker in Sakai, Osaka, February 2016
  • Japanese white-eye at Tennōji Park in Osaka, January 2016 III
    Japanese white-eye at Tennōji Park in Osaka, January 2016 III
  • Japaneseweavera
    Japaneseweavera
  • Kabukicho red gate and colorful neon street signs at night, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
    Kabukicho red gate and colorful neon street signs at night, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Khalili Collections A Composite Imaginary View of Japan
    Khalili Collections A Composite Imaginary View of Japan
  • Kiyonaga bathhouse women-2
    Kiyonaga bathhouse women-2
  • Koku Saitcho shounin
    Koku Saitcho shounin
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 01
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 01
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 02
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 02
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 03
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 03
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 04
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 04
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 05
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 05
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 06
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 06
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 07
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 07
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 08
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 08
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 09
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 09
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 10
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 10
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 11
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 11
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 12
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 12
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 13
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 13
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 14
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 14
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 15
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 15
  • Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 16
    Line scan photo of Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 in 2017, car 16
  • MAL-M10b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-1000 Dollars ND (1945)
    MAL-M10b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-1000 Dollars ND (1945)
  • MAL-M1b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-One Cent ND (1942)
    MAL-M1b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-One Cent ND (1942)
  • MAL-M2a-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-Five Cents ND (1942)
    MAL-M2a-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-Five Cents ND (1942)
  • MAL-M3b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-10 Cents ND (1942)
    MAL-M3b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-10 Cents ND (1942)
  • MAL-M4b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-50 Cents ND (1942)
    MAL-M4b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-50 Cents ND (1942)
  • MAL-M5c-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-One Dollar ND (1942)
    MAL-M5c-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-One Dollar ND (1942)
  • MAL-M6c-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-Five Dollars ND (1942)
    MAL-M6c-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-Five Dollars ND (1942)
  • MAL-M7c-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-10 Dollars ND (1944)
    MAL-M7c-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-10 Dollars ND (1944)
  • MAL-M8b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-100 Dollars ND (1944)
    MAL-M8b-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-100 Dollars ND (1944)
  • MAL-M9-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-100 Dollars ND (1945)
    MAL-M9-Malaya-Japanese Occupation-100 Dollars ND (1945)
  • Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Instrument of Surrender, officially ending the Second World War
    Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Instrument of Surrender, officially ending the Second World War
  • Manzanar calisthenics 0016u
    Manzanar calisthenics 0016u
  • Manzanar portrait Toyo Miyatake 00100u
    Manzanar portrait Toyo Miyatake 00100u
  • Maresuke Nogi, 近世名士写真 其1 - Photo only
    Maresuke Nogi, 近世名士写真 其1 - Photo only
  • Mazda RX-8 on freeway
    Mazda RX-8 on freeway
  • NI-119b-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-1 Cent (1942)
    NI-119b-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-1 Cent (1942)
  • NI-120c-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-5 Cents (1942)
    NI-120c-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-5 Cents (1942)
  • NI-121a-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-10 Cents (1942)
    NI-121a-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-10 Cents (1942)
  • NI-122b-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-half Gulden (1942)
    NI-122b-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-half Gulden (1942)
  • NI-123-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-1 Gulden (1942)
    NI-123-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-1 Gulden (1942)
  • NI-124c-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-5 Gulden (1942)
    NI-124c-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-5 Gulden (1942)
  • NI-125c-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-10 Gulden (1942)
    NI-125c-Netherlands Indies-Japanese Occupation-10 Gulden (1942)
  • Nagasakibomb
    Nagasakibomb
  • Nagoya Castle(Edit2)
    Nagoya Castle(Edit2)
  • Noru 2017-07-31 0415Z
    Noru 2017-07-31 0415Z
  • OCE-1a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-Half Shilling ND (1942)
    OCE-1a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-Half Shilling ND (1942)
  • OCE-2a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-One Shilling ND (1942)
    OCE-2a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-One Shilling ND (1942)
  • OCE-3a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-10 Shillings ND (1942)
    OCE-3a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-10 Shillings ND (1942)
  • OCE-4a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-One Pound ND (1942)
    OCE-4a-Oceania-Japanese Occupation-One Pound ND (1942)
  • Ogata Gekko - Ryu sho ten edit
    Ogata Gekko - Ryu sho ten edit
  • Olympus E-M1 Mark III Zuiko 12-100mm
    Olympus E-M1 Mark III Zuiko 12-100mm
  • PHI-102b-Japanese Government (Philippines)-1 Centavo (1942)