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.
The National Diet of Japan
's bicameral legislature
. It is composed of a lower house
, called the House of Representatives
, and an upper house
, called the House of Councillors
. Both houses of the Diet
are directly elected under a parallel voting system
. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister
. The Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet
in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji constitution
. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the postwar constitution
and is considered by the Constitution to be the highest organ of state power. The National Diet Building
is located in Nagatachō
, Chiyoda, Tokyo
. The houses of the Diet are elected under a parallel voting system. This means that the seats to be filled in any given election are divided into two groups, each elected by a different method; the main difference between the houses is in the sizes of the two groups and how they are elected. Voters are also asked to cast two votes: one for an individual candidate in a constituency, and one for a party list. Any citizen of Japan at least twenty years of age (the age of majority
in Japan) may vote in these elections. Japan's parallel voting system is not to be confused with the Additional Member System
used in many other nations. The Constitution of Japan
does not specify the number of members of each house of the Diet, the voting system, or the necessary qualifications of those who may vote or be returned in parliamentary elections
, thus allowing all of these things to be determined by law. However it does guarantee universal adult suffrage and a secret ballot. It also insists that the electoral law must not discriminate in terms of "race, creed, sex, social status, family origin, education, property or income".
Kishū kumano iwatake tori (Iwatake mushroom gathering at Kumano in Kishu), 1860, a ukiyo-e print created by Hiroshige II. It is part of the series "100 Famous Views of Japan".
On this day...
||Tokyo 2016 is making the environment an absolute priority as we bid to unite Green with 2016. This is a concrete commitment that we will offer the world.
|— Ichiro Kono, chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016
was a Japanese woodblock print artist. Talented as a child, at about thirteen he became a student of Tokyo's then-leading print maker, Utagawa Kunisada
. His deep appreciation and knowledge of kabuki
drama led to his production primarily of ukiyo-e
actor-prints, which are woodblock prints of kabuki actors and scenes from popular plays of the time. An alcoholic and womanizer, Kunichika also portrayed women deemed beautiful (bijinga
), contemporary social life, and a few landscapes and historical scenes. He worked successfully in the Edo
era, and carried those traditions into the Meiji
era. To his contemporaries and now to some modern art historians, this has been seen as a significant achievement during a transitional period of great social and political change in Japan's history. The artist who became known as Toyohara Kunichika was born Ōshima Yasohachi on June 5, 1835, in the Kyōbashi
district, a merchant and artisan area of Edo
). His father, Ōshima Kyujū, was the proprietor of a sentō
(public bathhouse), the Ōshūya
In the news
Did you know...
- ... that tanbo art (example pictured) is a Japanese practice where giant pictures are created in rice fields?
- ... that in 1967 Kōji Seki directed Perverted Criminal, Japan's first 3-D film and the world's first 3-D sex film?
These are all of the Japan-related portals on Wikipedia:
Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E