Japan, officially Nippon (日本) 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 Akutan Zero
was a type 0 model 21 Mitsubishi A6M Zero
Japanese fighter plane which crash-landed
on Akutan Island
during World War II
. It was captured intact by the Americans in July 1942 and became the first flyable Zero acquired by the United States during the war. Following its capture, it was repaired and flown by American test pilots. As a result of information gained during these tests, American strategists were able to devise tactics to defeat the Zero, which was the Imperial Japanese Navy
's primary fighter plane throughout the war. The Akutan Zero was "a prize almost beyond value to the United States", and "probably one of the greatest prizes of the Pacific war
". Japanese historian Masatake Okumiya
noted that the acquisition of the Akutan Zero "was no less serious" than the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway
, and that it "did much to hasten [Japan's] final defeat". The Akutan Zero was destroyed in a training accident in 1945. Pieces of it are preserved in several museums in the United States.
Selected image -
On this day...
- 1898 - Shinichi Suzuki (d. 1998), violinist and educator
- 1936 - Hiroo Kanamori, Japanese-American seismologist and academic
- 1972 - Musashi, martial artist and kick-boxer
- 1976 - Rena Inoue, Japanese-American figure skater
- 1977 - Hiroyuki Hirayama, actor
- 1979 - Koichiro Nishi, actor
- 1981 - Tsubasa Imai, singer, actor, and dancer
- 1983 - Toshihiro Matsushita, footballer
- 1983 - Riki Miura, actor
- 1983 - Junichi Miyashita, swimmer
- 1985 - Tomokazu Nagira, footballer
- 1987 - Hideto Takahashi, footballer
- 1988 - Tori Matsuzaka, actor
- 1988 - Yuko Oshima, singer and actress
- 1989 - Tokio Emoto, actor
- 1990 - Saki Kumagai, footballer
- 1990 - Arisa Murata, skier
- 1992 - Nanami Sakuraba, actress and singer
Film and television
Selected quote -
||It is necessary that I am viewed as a product. I am a product.
|— Ayumi Hamasaki, pop singer
Selected biography -
Katsuhiko Nakajima is a Japanese professional wrestler, represented as a freelancer by his mentor Kensuke Sasaki's Kensuke Office dojo and agency. He along with Sasaki and other Kensuke Office graduates currently most frequently wrestle in Pro Wrestling Noah (or simply NOAH), as well as sporadic self-produced independent shows. Prior to that Nakajima participated in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), where he is a former AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion. Having made his professional debut aged 15, Nakajima has already made a significant impact on puroresu, earning the nickname "Supernova" and facing Hall of Famers such as Kenta Kobashi, Satoru Sayama, Jushin Liger, and Tatsumi Fujinami. He has competed in several notable Japanese promotions, including New Japan Pro Wrestling, AJPW, Pro Wrestling ZERO1, Michinoku Pro, Dragon Gate, and currently, NOAH. He has set several age records over his short career, including being the youngest wrestler to compete in AJPW's Champion's Carnival tournament and the youngest to hold the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship. He won the Tokyo Sports Grand Prix "Rookie of the Year" award in 2004 and the Fighting Spirit award in 2005.
Selected prefecture -
is a prefecture
located on Kyūshū Island
. The capital is the city of Fukuoka
. It includes the former provinces
, and Buzen
. Fukuoka Prefecture has signed Friendship Agreements with Bangkok, Thailand
, Delhi, India
, and Hanoi, Vietnam
. Fukuoka Prefecture faces the sea on three sides, bordering on Saga
, and Kumamoto
prefectures and facing Yamaguchi Prefecture
across the Kanmon Straits
. Fukuoka includes the two largest cities on Kyūshū
, and much of Kyūshū's industry. It also includes a number of small islands
near the north coast of Kyūshū. Twenty-eight cities are located in Fukuoka Prefecture. Its main cities form one of Japan's main industrial centers, accounting for nearly 40% of the economy of Kyūshū. Major industries include automobiles, semiconductors and steel. The most popular places for tourists are Fukuoka City
, especially at the time of the Dontaku festival, and Dazaifu, although Kitakyushu
has also tried to attract tourists.
Did you know... -
In the news
Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E