Portal:Japan

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The Japan Portal
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Imperial Seal of Japan

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

Ōkami is an action-adventure video game developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom. It was released for Sony's PlayStation 2 video game console in 2006 in Japan and North America, and 2007 in Europe and Australia. Despite the closure of Clover Studio a few months after the game's initial release, a version for Nintendo's Wii console was developed and produced by Ready at Dawn and Capcom, which was released in North America on 15 April 2008, in Europe in June 2008, and will be released in Japan on 15 October 2009. Set sometime in classical Japanese history, Ōkami combines several Japanese myths, legends and folklore to tell the story of how the land was saved from darkness by the Shinto sun goddess, named Amaterasu, who took the form of a white wolf. It features a distinct sumi-e-inspired cel-shaded visual style and the Celestial Brush, a gesture-system to perform miracles. Ōkami was one of the last PlayStation 2 games selected for release prior to the release of the PlayStation 3. Although it suffered from poor sales, Ōkami earned high acclaim from reviewers and earned, among other awards, the title of IGN's 2006 Game of the Year. The Wii version has earned similar praise though the motion control scheme has received mixed reviews from both critics and gamers. A sequel, Ōkamiden: Chīsaki Taiyō, has been announced by Capcom for release in 2010 on the Nintendo DS.

Selected picture

Credit: Kropsoq

Prunus serrulata (Japanese Cherry) is a species of cherry native to Japan, Korea and China. Its flowers are produced in clusters of two to five together at nodes on short spurs in spring. They are white to pink, with five petals in the wild type tree.

On this day...

May 25:

Events

  • 723 - The third generation law is enacted. (Japanese Date: Seventeenth Day of the Fourth Month, 723)
  • 1892 - The Tokyo Carriage Railway launch a student discount ticket.
  • 1949 - The Ministry of International Trade and Industry is installed.
  • 1970 - Professional Baseball Match-fixing Incident: In the "Black Fog Incident" three players are expelled permanently. In the Professional baseball Commissioner Committee, match-fixing became a problem in baseball, Nishitetsu (at the time) announced the decision for the six players of the team. They joined the eliminated acts as stipulated in baseball agreement, pitcher Masaaki Ikenaga said that there is a money transfer is the disposal of permanent exile, and three other players also received the disposal of duties stopped ans strict reprimand. Activities of disposal cancellation is still continuing against the disposal of the Ikenaga players.
  • 1998 - Singer Seiko Matsuda is married for the second time. They divorced in December 2000.

Births

Selected quote

—Yoshiaki Takagi, deputy director of the Tsukiji fish market

Selected biography

Masako Katsura was a carom billiards player most active in the 1950s who trailblazed a path for women in the sport by competing and placing among the best in the male-dominated world of professional billiards. First learning the game from her brother-in-law and then under the tutelage of Japanese champion Kinrey Matsuyama, Katsura finished second in Japan's national three-cushion billiards championship three times. In exhibition she was noted for running 10,000 points at the game of straight rail. After marrying a U.S. army officer in 1950, Katsura emigrated with him to the United States in 1951, where she was invited to play in the 1952 U.S.-sponsored World Three-Cushion Championship, ultimately taking seventh place at that competition. Katsura was the first woman ever to be included in any world billiards tournament. Her fame cemented, Katsura went on an exhibition tour of the United States with 8-time world champion Welker Cochran, and later with 51-time world champion, Willie Hoppe. In 1953 and 1954 she again competed for the world three-cushion crown, taking fifth and fourth places respectively.

In the news

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Categories

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Japan topics

Eras Paleolithic | Jōmon | Yayoi | Kofun | Asuka | Nara | Heian | Kamakura | Muromachi | Azuchi-Momoyama | Edo | Meiji | Taishō | Shōwa | Heisei
History Economic history | Educational history | Military history | Naval history | Meiji Restoration | 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 | Elections | Political parties | Foreign relations
Culture Clothing | Customs and etiquette | Education | Festivals | Food | Holidays | Language | Religion
Art Architecture | Cinema | Literature | Music | Theatre (Noh · Kabuki · Bunraku)
Economy Primary sector | Industry | Currency | Tokyo Stock Exchange | Communications | Transportation (Shinkansen · Tokyo Metro · Railway companies)
Other Demographics | List of Japanese people

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