Trish, Jennifer, Adriane, Holly, and
History of Japan
¥ Japanese history can
be traced as far back
as 4000 BCE and is
handmade pottery with
¥ In 300 BCE the
introduction of rice
agriculture begins the
development of a
social hierarchy in
¥ In the 5th and 6th
and the Chinese
system of writing were
imported from China.
¥ Japanese emperors
were leaders in name
only, the real power
was held by court
nobles, regents, and
The Western World Discovers
¥ In 1542 the first
in Japan, when
explores landed on
firearms to Japan.
Japan Closes Its Doors
¥ The shoguns
severed most of
Japan’s ties with
for 251 years
¥ Only limited trade
was allowed in
Perry Reopens Japan
¥ In 1854
forced Japan to
reopen its ports to
Japan in WWI
¥ Japan entered
WWI in 1914 and
fought with the
Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor
¥ On December 7,
planes bombed the
military bases at
Defeat for Japan
¥ Rather than invade
Japan, the US
opted to use its
new atomic bomb
on the Japanese
cities of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki in
order to end the
was in the Pacific.
Geography and Climate
¥ Located in the Pacific Ocean
¥ Off the coast of China
¥ Set in the Sea of Japan
¥ Japan consists of several thousands
of islands, of which Honshu,
Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are
the four largest.
¥ Japan's area is comparable to California.
¥ Japan's northernmost islands are located
approximately on same geographical
latitude as Portland while her southernmost
islands are about on the same latitude as
¥ Tokyo, Japan is located at 35 40 N and
139 45 E.
¥ According to experts, about 60% of the
Japanese landscape is steep mountainous
regions covered with forest.
¥ Approximately 70% of the total Japanese
population is concentrated in the plains and
basins, an area comprising just 24% of the
¥ People must make good use of available lands.
There are many terraced fields. Those fields
are used often for crops and fruits such as
mandarin orange trees or apples.
¥ Today the number of farmers is decreasing as
the population grows.
¥ Only 40 % of the crops currently consumed
are produced in Japan, and 60 % of the crops
are imported from other countries. For
¥ 90% of soy beans are imported from China and
¥ Some kinds of vegetables from South America
¥ Fruits such as bananas and oranges from South
Asia, America, and other countries.
¥ Rice from other countries
¥ Seafood and Meat
¥ The population of Japan is about
¥ Almost the whole population is
Japanese. More than half of the non-
Japanese population is Korean.
¥ High population densities in Japan cause
many social problems such as a rising land
costs and land contamination because of a
concentration of people in a small area.
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
¥ Japan is located in an area where 4
tectonic plates are connected to each
¥ The land sits on two plates, the North
American plate and the Eurasian plate.
¥ This is one of the reasons why Japan
experiences so many earthquakes.
¥ Also, there are many volcanoes
throughout the country. Those
volcanoes are still active and some of
them frequently erupt .
¥ Large and small
frequently. As a
buildings in Japan
are built to have
greater endurance to
the destruction of an
Volcanic activity in
¥ A positive side
effect of the large
volcanoes is that
there are many
natural hot springs.
¥ The most famous
volcano is Mt. Fuji,
which is the highest
point of Japan and
one of the most
beautiful mountains in
the world. It can be
seen from Tokyo when
the weather is clear.
¥ It has an elevation of
¥ Spring: When winters nears its end, the cold
seasonal winds blowing from the continent become
weaker and more intermittent. At this time, low
pressure air masses originating in China enter the
Sea of Japan; these give rise to strong, warm
southerly winds which travel toward this low-
pressure zone from the Pacific Ocean.
¥ The first of these winds is called haru ichiban. While
it announces the warmth of the coming spring, it
sometimes causes avalanches along with hot and
¥ In early spring, plum
followed by peach
blossoms. During the
last ten days or so of
March, the cherry
blossoms so beloved
by the Japanese
people begin to bloom.
¥ Before the arrival of real summer-like weather, Japan
has a damp rainy season know as baiu. From May
until July, there is a high-pressure mass of cold air
above the Sea of Okhotsk to the north of Japan,
while over the Pacific Ocean there develops a high-
pressure mass of warm, moist air.
¥ Along the line where these cold and warm air
masses meet, known as the baiu zensen, which
extends from southern China over the Japanese
archipelago, causes prolonged periods of continuous
¥ After the middle of July,
high-pressure air masses
over the Pacific Ocean
become predominant and
the rainy season comes to
an end as the baiu zensen
northward. Seasonal winds
from the Pacific Ocean
bring warm, moist air to
Japan, and the country has
hot summer weather with
many days when
temperatures rise to more
than 30 degrees
centigrade. (86 degrees F)
¥ From the end of summer through September, Japan
is often struck by typhoons.
¥ Typhoons originate from large masses of tropical
low-pressure air in the North Pacific between the
latitudes of approximately 5 and 20 degrees, and are
the same phenomenon as hurricanes and cyclones
in other parts of the world.
¥ When a typhoon begins to take shape, it gradually
moves north. Every year, during this period, around
30 typhoons form, of which on the average about 4
reach Japan, sometimes causing great destruction.
¥ After the middle or latter
part of October, Japan
enjoys generally clear
weather; it is neither hot
nor cold. The country also
enjoys especially fine
weather at the beginning of
November. Many of the
trees take on bright autumn
colors, making this time of
the year a truly beautiful
¥ Toward the end of November, cold seasonal winds
begin blowing over Japan from the continent. These
northwesterly winds pick up moisture over the Sea of
Japan and drop much of this moisture in the form of
rain and snow on the western side of Japan as they
are impeded in their eastern advance by the ridge of
mountains that runs through the central part of the
¥ By contrast, the Pacific side of the country enjoys
generally clear skies during the winter season. In
Tokyo, despite the fair skies, winter temperatures
average around 5 degrees ( 41 degrees F).
Snow in Japan
Shoe boxes in a Japanese school
¥ Elementary and junior high schools prepare
students for the rugged regimen of high school by
supporting and encouraging a positive
engagement in work.
¥ Japanese students lead all international tests of
children’s ability in math and science.
¥ 40-50 percent of high school students plan on
attending top universities and must take private
after school preparation classes called juku.
¥ Japanese students test higher than any other
national group in liking to go to school.
¥ Most schools require a uniform.
¥ High school classes average 43- 45 students per
¥ -(Matsumotojo) is one
of the most complete
and beautiful among
castles. It is also a
good example of a
"hirajiro", a castle built
on the plain rather
than on a hill or
¥ -Matsumotojo's castle
tower and smaller,
second turret were
built from 1592 to
¥ The word geisha is a Sino-
Japanese word meaning "a
skilled person" and referred to
girls in Japan who were
professional singers and
¥ The true geisha were required
to undergo a period of
strenuous training in singing
and dancing, which
sometimes began as early as
at the age of seven.
¥ A geisha’s fee was based
upon the amount of time she
spent entertaining a guest.
The time was calculated on
the basis of the burning
duration of an incense stick,
which was variously reported
to be from twenty-five to thirty
¥There are two types of
the “love” marriage (we
are familiar with in the
West) and arranged
were common in the
past but now are only
around 25- 40 percent.
¥The divorce rate for
arranged marriages is
lower than for “love”
Kabuki Actors of Japan's
¥ Kabuki is one
traditional theatrical arts.
¥ It began in the16th century
and is still an important part
of Japan’s culture today.
¥ All female parts are played
by male impersonators
known as onnagata.
¥ Until kabuki, the people of
Japan had never seen
theater of such color,
glamour, excitement and
The Japanese Housewife
-In the 1960s women in Japan typically left the
workplace when they had children and did not
The recent trend for
Japanese women is
the neo- housewife.
They are creating
themselves from the
A Drawing of Fifty Yen Coin
One Yen ¥1
Five yen coin ¥5
Ten yen coin ¥10
Fifty yen coin ¥50
One hundred yen coin
Five hundred yen coin
One-thousand yen bill
Two-thousand yen bill
Five-thousand yen bill
Ten-thousand yen bill
¥ Kyoto is a city that has a very natural setting which seems to
enhance the quality of life for its inhabitants.
¥ At the foot of the mountains surrounding Kyoto, magnificent
structures and gardens created during various periods since
the 8th century have been well preserved.
noodles that have
The great variance in Japanese
¥ Mount Fuji
Major Religions in Japan
Nara's Todaiji, Buddhist Temple
Ise Jingu, Shinto’s most sacred shrine
¥ Means “The Way of the Gods”
¥ No founder or sacred scriptures, it is deeply
rooted in the Japanese people and their
¥ Shinto gods are called kami, they’re sacred
spirits that take the form of human things and
concepts such as wind, rain, mountains, trees,
river and fertility.
Some prominent rocks
are worshipped as kami.
Concepts of Shinto
¥ There are no absolutes: no absolute
wrong or right, no one is perfect.
¥ Optimistic faith, humans are thought
to be inherently good and evil is
caused by evil spirits.
¥ Shinto rituals keep evil spirits away.
¥ Death is considered impure and is not
dealt with in the Shinto religion.
¥ Shinto shrines are the places of
worship and are home of the kami.
¥ Most shrines celebrate festivals to
show the kami the outside world.
Tokyo's Meiji Shrine is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji.
History of Shinto
¥ Made Japan’s state religion during the
Meiji period (1867) after conflict with
the Buddhist community.
¥ After World War II, Shinto and the
state were separated.
¥ Originated in India and was imported to
Japan during the 6th century.
¥ There are several sects of Buddhism:
Tendai, Shingon, Jodo, Zen, and Lotus
Theories of Buddhism
¥ Based on principle that everyone can
achieve salvation by believing in the
¥ One can achieve self-enlightenment
through meditation and discipline.
¥ One must go through many cycles of birth,
living, and death. After these cycles, if a
person releases their attachment to desire
and the self, they can attain Nirvana - a
state of liberation and freedom from
Three Trainings of Buddhism
¥ Sila: Virtue, good conduct, and
morality. Involves equality and the
Golden Rule: treat others as you
would have them treat you.
¥ Samadhi: Concentration, meditation,
¥ Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom,
The Five Precepts of Buddhism
¥ Do not kill.
¥ Do not steal.
¥ Do not lie.
¥ Do not misuse sex.
¥ Do not consume alcohol or other
drugs (this includes television and the
The Eightfold Path
¥ Samma ditthi Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths
¥ Samma sankappa: Right thinking; following the right path in
¥ Samma vaca: Right speech: no lying, criticism, condemning,
gossip, harsh language
¥ Samma kammanta Right conduct by following the Five
¥ Samma ajiva: Right livelihood; support yourself without
¥ Samma vayama Right Effort: promote good thoughts;
conquer evil thoughts
¥ Samma sati Right Mindfulness: Become aware of your body,
mind and feelings
¥ Samma samadhi Right Concentration: Meditate to achieve a
higher state of consciousness
Buddhism and Politics
¥ Buddhism was welcomed by ruling nobles and
gained strong political influence.
¥ Reason that the government moved the capital in
784 to Nagaoka and again in 794 to Kyoto.
¥ In the 16th century Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi
Hideyoshi fought the militant Buddhist monasteries
and practically extinguished activities on the
¥ Attacked again during the Meiji period when
Shinto became the new state religion.
¥ Current constitution adopted in 1946
during the occupation of Allied
¥ Japanese Parliament is called the diet
and consists of 500 members in the
House of Representatives and 252
members in the House of Councillors.
¥ Parliament is elected by the people.
Political Structure Continued
¥ The cabinet is headed by the Prime
Minister who is elected by the diet. The
cabinet consists of members selected by
the Prime Minister, usually members of
¥ Highest Court is the Supreme Court.
Judges are appointed by the cabinet.
Diet Building in
¥ New constitution came into effect in 1947,
replacing the Meiji constitution of 1889.
¥ The emperor lost all governmental power
and became only symbolic.
¥ Sovereign power lies with the people.
¥ A complete division of legislature,
executive, and judiciary branches.
¥ The prohibition of leading war or
maintaining an army.
¥ During the occupation of Allied powers (1945-
1952) the United States encouraged Japan to re-
establish a defense force for self-defense. They
argued that this would not contradict the
¥ The National Police Reserve was established in
1950, which later became the Self Defense Force
¥ SDF’s purpose is to preserve peace, public order
and Japan’s independence and safety.
¥ Consists of 250,000 members and is commanded
by the Prime Minister.
¥ First emperor was enthroned in 660
BC, Emperor Jimmu, a descendent of
the Sun Goddess Amaterasu (the
most important kami).
¥ In 1868 Emperor Meiji became
leader. Under his new constitution,
the Emperor held sovereign power,
political power, and military power.
¥ Have only a symbolic function, participates
at ceremonies and diplomatic meetings.
¥ In 1989, Emperor Akihito became the 125th
emperor. He married Michiko, who was the
first empress not from the nobility.