Portal:Japan

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The Japan Portal
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Japan, officially Nippon-koku (日本国?) 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

The Battle of Arawe was fought between Allied and Japanese forces during the New Britain Campaign of World War II. The battle was initiated by the Allies to divert Japanese attention away from the Cape Gloucester area of New Britain ahead of a major offensive there in late December 1943. A force built around the U.S. Army's 112th Cavalry Regimental Combat Team landed at Arawe on 15 December 1943 and rapidly overcame the area's small garrison. Japanese air units made large-scale raids against the Arawe area in the following days, and in late December elements of two Imperial Japanese Army battalions unsuccessfully counter-attacked the larger American force. In mid-January 1944 the 112th Cavalry Regimental Combat Team was reinforced with additional infantry and U.S. Marine Corps tanks, and launched a brief offensive that pushed the Japanese back. The Japanese units withdrew from the area towards the end of February as part of a general retreat from western New Britain. There is no consensus among historians on whether the Allied landing at Arawe was needed, with some arguing that it provided a useful diversion while others judge that it formed part of an unnecessary campaign.

Selected picture

Two Geisha conversing near the Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Credit: Daniel Bachler

Two geisha conversing near Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, Japan. One of their most recognizable characteristics, traditional white make-up, is shown in detail. Its application is hard to perfect and is a time-consuming process. It is applied before dressing to avoid dirtying the kimono. The white make-up covers the face, neck, and chest, with two or three unwhitened areas. One of these areas is a "W" or "V" shape (usually the traditional "W" shape) on the nape to accentuate this traditionally erotic area.

On this day...

August 16:

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Selected quote

—Ichiro Kono, chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016

Selected biography

Three Maiko posing on an engawa, c. 1885. Hand-coloured albumen silver print.
Adolfo Farsari was an Italian photographer based in Yokohama, Japan. Following a brief military career, including service in the American Civil War, he became a successful entrepreneur and commercial photographer. His photographic work was highly regarded, particularly his hand-coloured portraits and landscapes, which he sold mostly to foreign residents and visitors to the country. Farsari's images were widely distributed, presented or mentioned in books and periodicals, and sometimes recreated by artists in other media; they shaped foreign perceptions of the people and places of Japan and to some degree affected how Japanese saw themselves and their country. His studio—the last notable foreign-owned studio in Japan—was one of the country's largest and most prolific commercial photographic firms. Largely due to Farsari's exacting technical standards and his entrepreneurial abilities it had a significant influence on the development of photography in Japan.

In the news

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Did you know...

Aizu Matsudaira's Royal Garden

  • ... that delay certificates issued by railway companies in Japan and Germany to passengers for tardy trains are considered valid reasons by superiors for reporting late to school or work?

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