(Note to viewers of previous blog posts: Remember how I used to talk solely in English? How I said I was a university student that would be studying at Kansai Gaidai in the future? Well, that was Katharine or in other words: Kyasarin.
From now on, Shizuko will take over. She is the role I have created. If you will note from a previous post, Shizuko was the Japanese name I chose for myself. ‘shizu’ is written with the kanji for ‘peaceful’ or ‘quiet’ (静) and ‘ko’ is written with the kanji for ‘child’ (子). She is true to her name. Her parents gave her this name because She is studying at the Osaka university, Kansai Gaidai. She is your typical Japanese female college student who loves anime and manga. Like most girls, she likes to use emoticons in her messages. Her hobbies are reading manga and shopping in Akihabara. She dislikes waking up in winter, and bitter melon.)
Minna-san, konbanwa~ (Good evening, everyone.~)
Watashi wa Shizuko desu~ (*＾▽＾)／ (I am Shizuko.~)
Watashi wa nihonjin desu. (I am Japanese.)
Hatachi sai.~ (I’m 20 years old.)
I will be telling you about my country today! Please look forward to it!
The name of my country is Japan in English and in Japanese, it’s Nihon/Nippon (日本).
According to Wikipedia: “Japan is an island nation in East Asia. It’s located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
According to Japan’s Geogrpahy, five of the largest rivers in Japan are the Yoshinogawa, Ara-kawa, Mogami-gawa, Chickugo-gawa, Fuji-kawa, Ishikari-gawa, Shimanto-gawa, Shonai-gawa, Watarase-gawa
The characters that make up Japan’s name mean “sun-origin”(日本), which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Rising Sun”.
According to Wikipedia:
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which together comprise about ninety-seven percent of Japan’s land area. Japan has the world’s tenth-largest population, with over 126 million people. Honshū’s Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
Archaeological research indicates that people lived in Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other nations followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan’s history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shogunates in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was only ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. Nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection followed before the Meiji Emperor was restored as head of state in 1868 and the Empire of Japanwas proclaimed, with the Emperor as a divine symbol of the nation. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victory in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since adopting its revised constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected legislature called the Diet.
Now let me tell you about the general facts of Japan! These will be mostly statistics.
All these stats are courtesy of The CIA World Factbook.
-0.1% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
127,253,075 (July 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
- Status as a student in Japan: Middle class
- Percentage of students go to college: 1/3 of the population 53.7% graduate
Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)
country comparison to the world: 33
16 (2013) gas 4,456 km; oil 174 km; oil/gas/water 104 km (2013) total: 27,182 km
country comparison to the world: 11standard gauge: 4,251 km 1.435-m gauge (4,251 km electrified)dual gauge: 486 km 1.435-1.067-m gauge (486 km electrified)narrow gauge: 96 km 1.372-m gauge (96 km electrified); 22,301 km 1.067-m gauge (15,222 km electrified); 48 km 0.762-m gauge (48 km electrified) (2009)
total: 1,210,251 km
country comparison to the world: 5paved: 973,234 km (includes 7,803 km of expressways)unpaved: 237,017 km (2008)
1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 45
Chiba, Kawasaki, Kobe, Mizushima, Moji, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Tomakomai, Yokohama
Leisure Activities: Karaoke, Basketball, Soccer, Go, Shogi, Skiing
Business and Industry:
$4.704 trillion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5$4.612 trillion (2011 est.)$4.638 trillion (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollars
$5.964 trillion (2012 est.) 2% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136-0.6% (2011 est.)4.7% (2010 est.)
$36,900 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38$36,100 (2011 est.)$36,200 (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollars
21.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6422% of GDP (2011 est.)23.5% of GDP (2010 est.)
household consumption: 60.9%government consumption: 20.5%investment in fixed capital: 21.2%investment in inventories: -0.6%exports of goods and services: 14.7%imports of goods and services: -16.6%(2012 est.) agriculture: 1.1%industry: 26.3%services: 72.5% (2012 est.) rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish among world’s largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods 2% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
65.55 million (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
agriculture: 3.9%industry: 26.2%services: 69.8% (2010 est.)
Located below is the political map of Japan. Looking at it will tell you all you need to know. Japan Political map showing the international boundary, prefectures boundaries with their capitals and national capital.
Behold the beauty of Japan! We have Mt. Fuji (the tallest mountain in Japan) and the beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom. Cherry blossoms in Japanese are called “sakura”.
I moved to Osaka to study at the Japanese university Kansai Gaidai. Here is the city map of Kansai Gaidai. This is how I get around the city.
However, I am originally from the capital city of Japan, Tokyo! ❤ The majority of the Japanese population are concentrated in Tokyo. It’s the center of the arts (music and visual arts) and technology.
We have the Tokyo Tower. Kirei desu ne~ (Pretty isn’t it?) Look familiar? It was modeled after the Eiffel Tower in France.
Pictured above is the top university in the country! Tokyo University! 東京大学! ＼（Ｔ∇Ｔ）／
Electronics! Whether you’re a professional photographer experimenting with different lenses or a gamer looking for a gaming system… Akiba (shortened name of “Akihabara”) (above) has it all! Electronics of every brand! Nokia! Canon! Sanyo! XBox 360s! Yamaha!
What I am most proud of is Akihabara the anime/pop culture district!
This is like the ultimate otaku (nerd) paradise! You can find all sorts of memorabilia not limited to just anime. Movies, music, etc. You can even find the chainsaw that they used in the movie, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.
Japan is wonderful! You should visit these places in Japan if you ever get the chance!
- Dotonbori, Osaka (道頓堀, 大阪) – Osaka is the region that I’m currently staying in for my studies. It’s a region known for its mouth-watering food. Here are the delicacies that you should try: okonomiyaki, takoyaki, doteyaki, ikayaki, jiyuken curry, me-oto zenzai, hakozushi, shabu shabu, and tecchiri. Please take a look at the site below for the explanations on each dish.
2. Japanese Onsen/Hot Springs, anywhere in Japan (温泉)
When we want to relax or relieve stress, we go to an onsen. If the onsen is in the mountains, you may encounter monkeys as pictured below. They also like to soak in the onsen. Not only is soaking in hot springs soothing, it’s also good for your health and enhances beauty. Please take a look at this website on how to take advantage of an onsen.
If you’re a foreigner going to an onsen for the first time, please take a look at Japan Talk’s “7 Things You Need to Know Before Going to a Japanese Onsen” by going to the website below.
3. Furano Flower Fields, Hokkaido (富良野, 北海道)
There are multitudes of flower types growing in the fields. It smells heavenly and looks amazing. You’ll get to see how the flowers are cultivated and at the same time enjoy the wondrous scenery. Did you know that lavender has been cultivated in Hokkaido for more than a century? Furano is mainly known for the lavender, but there are also other colorful flowers like in the picture. The main flower viewing season is between June and September. The first website shows the types of flowers you will encounter. Second is the address for the farm and the opening times.
4. Kyoto (京都)
Kyoto was the previous capital of Japan for over a milIenium. It carries the reputation of Japan’s most beautiful city. You should check out the temples and city parks. They’re resplendent. Although, Kyoto is one of the smaller Japanese cities, it has a lot of cultural heritage. These are the places you should go to. According to a 2007 visitor survey, these are the most popular places in Kyoto.
5. Yokohama (横浜)
It’s the second largest city with a population of over three million. It’s very modern. It has one of the world’s largest chinatowns and retains former Western residences in the Yamate district. It’s especially popular among expats. So, if you’re a foreigner looking to settle down in Japan, but still want to retain something similar to your old life, Yokohama’s for you!
Thanks for reading!~
Ja ne~ (See ya!) (*＾▽＾)／
- Kamachi, Noriko. Culture and customs of Japan. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999. Print.