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Portal:Japan

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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.

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Typical interior scene in a Manzanar barrack apartment. Note the cloth partition separating one apartment from another, lending a small amount of privacy 30 June 1942
Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California's Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles (370 km) northeast of Los Angeles. Manzanar (which means “apple orchard” in Spanish) was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former camp sites, and was designated the Manzanar National Historic Site. Long before the first prisoners arrived in March 1942, Manzanar was home to Native Americans, who mostly lived in villages near several creeks in the area. Ranchers and miners formally established the town of Manzanar in 1910, but abandoned the town by 1929 after the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to virtually the entire area. As different as these groups might seem, they are tied together by the common thread of forced relocation. Since the last prisoners left in 1945, former prisoners and others have worked to protect Manzanar and to establish it as a National Historic Site that preserves and interprets the site for current and future generations. The primary focus is the Japanese American Internment era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site also interprets the town of Manzanar, the ranch days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute, and the role that water played in shaping the history of the Owens Valley.

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Atomic Bomb Dome and Aioi Bridge in Hiroshima, Japan.
Credit: Dean S. Pemberton

Panorama shot of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Aioi Bridge, seen at the left side of the image, was the original target of the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945.

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Masako Katsura was a carom billiards player most active in the 1950s who trailblazed a path for women in the sport by competing and placing among the best in the male-dominated world of professional billiards. First learning the game from her brother-in-law and then under the tutelage of Japanese champion Kinrey Matsuyama, Katsura finished second in Japan's national three-cushion billiards championship three times. In exhibition she was noted for running 10,000 points at the game of straight rail. After marrying a U.S. army officer in 1950, Katsura emigrated with him to the United States in 1951, where she was invited to play in the 1952 U.S.-sponsored World Three-Cushion Championship, ultimately taking seventh place at that competition. Katsura was the first woman ever to be included in any world billiards tournament. Her fame cemented, Katsura went on an exhibition tour of the United States with 8-time world champion Welker Cochran, and later with 51-time world champion, Willie Hoppe. In 1953 and 1954 she again competed for the world three-cushion crown, taking fifth and fourth places respectively.

In the news

March 7: 9 people die in a helicopter crash in Nagano.
  • July 5: FIFA World Cup 2018 Last 16: Brazil, Belgium advance at expense of Mexico, Japan
  • July 1: FIFA World Cup 2018 day 12, 13, 14, 15: Iran, Nigeria, Germany, Senegal out of the tournament
  • June 27: FIFA World Cup 2018 day eight, nine, ten, eleven: Belgium, England confirm knockout phase qualification; Poland, Costa Rica miss out Last 16
  • June 20: FIFA World Cup 2018 day six: Japan, Senegal, Russia win three points
  • June 12: Japan's National Diet passes law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate within three years
  • January 23: Federer beats Nishikori in Australian Open's fourth round
  • December 24: Fire engulfs 140 buildings in Itoigawa, Japan
  • October 6: Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize for research on autophagy
  • October 3: Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta
  • August 25: North Korea fires balistic missile from submarine
Knewsticker.png Wikinews Japan

Did you know...

Depiction of Naoe Kanetsugu in a rice field, an example of Tanbo art

  • ... that tanbo art (example pictured) is a Japanese practice where giant pictures are created in rice fields?

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Demographics Demographics | Yamato people | Hāfu (half Japanese people) | Ainu people | Japanese people | Japanese names | Aging of Japan
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Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139

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