Japan, pronounced in Japanese as “Nippon” or “Nihon”, is a Pacific Ocean island nation off the coast of mainland Asia. It is comprised of approximately 6,900 islands. The most prominent and populous islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu, making up 97% of the country. Within these islands, there are 47 prefectures with a total population of 127 million (11th in the world).
73% of the country is mountainous, however, a majority of people live on the coastlines, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Japan has their own language and culture. the national language of Japan is Japanese. They don’t like to speak any language except Japanese. They hardly talk in English not even with a tourist. They like to communicate by their own traditional language. Japanese language is written with a combination of three different types of scripts Hiragana, Katagana and Kanji. Among them Kanji is Chinese character and Hiragana and Katagana are symbolic scripts. Recently the Latin alphabet Romaji is used by modern Japanese.
The Japanese culture has changed a lot compared to the prehistoric culture with was highly influenced by China. During the early Edo Era Japan stopped connecting with the outside world and started developing their own rules and regulations which created an unique Japanese culture.
Early Japanese culture was heavily influenced by China. During the Edo era, Japan exercised a strict isolationist policy, closing its doors to all relationships with the outside world. This cultivated a distinct Japanese culture. After a time Edo era fell down and they started to adopt culture from different part of the world and mixed them with their Edo culture. As a result over the past year their lifestyle, dress up and food changed a lot. but although they have included western culture in their country but still they did not erase their prehistoric culture like their authentic dressing style and foods.
Japan is a country of festival. They have many traditional festivals like:
- Shogatsu (New Year)
- Golden Week
- The Emperor’s Birthday
Each festival has its own color and purpose. The largest holiday they get is during the New Year celebration. They celebrate with many traditional food and culture and the celebration varies in different part of the country. During spring and summer time Matsuri take place which is the celebration for the gods of land and sea.