Japan is an island in East Asia, located in the Pacific Ocean, off the east coast of China. The “Land of the Rising Sun” it’s famous name actually means “Sun-Origin”. The region has a volcanic landscape and includes around 6,852 islands. The four largest islands, apart from Japan, are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The most prominent islands make up about 97% of the land area. The main islands are often referred to as the Home Islands. Japanese people are 98.5% of the total population, so it has far fewer foreigners than most other countries. Almost 9.1 million people live in Tokyo, which is the capital city.
Shōguns ruled in the name of the Emperor
Military Shōguns controlled the region from the 12th-century until 1868. The Shōguns were a type of military general who ruled in the name of their Emperor. This marked 700 years of Samurai rule. Afterwards, Japan went into an extended period of isolation very early in the 17th-century. This ended in 1853 when the United States Naval Fleet pressured Japan to open up to the West.
After almost two decades of internal conflict, the Imperial Court of Japan regained its political power in 1868. Several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma helped to achieve this power. The Empire, initially created in the late 19th-century, expanded during a period of increasing militarism. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 concluded in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This led to the surrender of Imperial Japan.
Military might used only for self-defence
The country has a highly skilled workforce. Therefore, it ranks as one of the most highly educated countries in the world. Additionally, the state has officially renounced the right to declare war, although still maintains a modern military. This military might is used purely for self-defence and peacekeeping roles. Japan’s ancient culture and customs and its delicious and unusual cuisine continue to gain world renown.
The Pacific Ring of Fire
Significant oceanic movements, occurring hundreds of millions of years ago, formed the archipelago. The islands of Japan reside in a volcanic zone called the “Pacific Ring of Fire”. Subsequently, the region has 108 active volcanoes. Frequent earthquakes can often result in a tsunami, causing tremendous destruction and loss of life. These can occur several times each century. For example; the 1923 Tokyo earthquake killed over 140,000 people. Several new findings of volcanoes have emerged during the 20th-century.