About Japan (a school project)

This is a page for the collective Social Sciences project of Elijah Reyes, Mario Manlutac, and Miguel Villegas

Foods of Japan

There are many types of food in Japan, which are:

Rice Dishes

* Sushi- Contains sushi rice, cooked with rice flavored with seasoned rice vinegar.

Rolled up seafood (and others)!

Artist's depiction of the most preferable manner of eating sushi.

Artist’s depiction of the most preferable manner of eating sushi. (In some countries, this may be considered impolite.)

* Rice balls (Onigiri)- Made with cooked rice and wrapped in nori seaweed.

* Kayu- Japanese rice porridge made by slow cooking rice in lots of water.

Seafood Dishes

* Sashimi- Usually just raw seafood.

* Yakizakana- Usually known as grilled fish

Noodle Dishes

* Soba- made of buckwheat flour or a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flour.

* Udon- Japanese noodles made of wheat flour only.

* Ramen- China originated but after a few years is now universally known as Japanese.

Wheat noodles.

Nabe Dishes

* Sukiyaki- Prepared with thinly sliced beef, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu and   konyaku noodles.

* Shabu-Shabu- Cooked by dipping beef, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu et al. in a hot pot of

water or soup.

Various foods dipped into boiling water!

* Chanko Nabe- Staple diet of sumo wrestlers.

Meat Dishes

* Yakiniku- Usually known as grilled meat.

Meat strips!

*Teppanyaki- Prepared on a teppan or a huge grill.

*Tonkatsu- Fried pork cutlets.

Breaded pork!

Soybean Dishes

*Miso Soup- Made by dissolving miso paste in dish stock.

Other Dishes

*Tempura- Seafood, vegetables, mushrooms and even meat sometimes dipped in batter and then deep fried.

Landmarks of Japan

* Jigokudani Monkey Park- Famous hot spring area near Nagano.

* Himeji Castle- Considered the best existing example of Japanese castle architecture.

* Great Buddha of Kamakura- Colossal outdoor representation of Amida Buddha who is one of Japan’s most celebrated Buddhist figures.

* Tokyo Tower- Testament to the advancement of technology and modern life.

* Tokyo Imperial Palace- Usually the place of where the Emperor of makes his home.

* Mount Fiji- Highest mountain in Japan at 3776 meters or 12388 feet.

* Golden Pavilion- The most visited tourist spot in Japan and Kyoto.

Currency of Japan

* The currency in Japan is called the Japanese Yen.

Currency of Japan..

Pressing Problems of Japan

* Struggling with structural reform

* Overseas markets. Japan needs to much more cultivate the overseas markets of their products.

* Domestic growth industries. Japan needs to foster domestic growth industries and demand for medical and elderly services.

History

Legend attributes the creation of Japan to the sun goddess, from whom the emperors were descended. The first of them was Jimmu, supposed to have ascended the throne in 660 B.C. , a tradition that constituted official doctrine until 1945. Recorded Japanese history begins in approximately A.D. 400, when the Yamato clan, eventually based in Kyoto, managed to gain control of other family groups in central and western Japan. Contact with Korea introduced Buddhism to Japan at about this time. Through the 700s Japan was much influenced by China, and the Yamato clan set up an imperial court similar to that of China. In the ensuing centuries, the authority of the imperial court was undermined as powerful gentry families vied for control. At the same time, warrior clans were rising to prominence as a distinct class known as samurai. In 1192, the Minamoto clan set up a military government under their leader, Yoritomo. He was designated shogun (military dictator). For the following 700 years, shoguns from a succession of clans ruled in Japan, while the imperial court existed in relative obscurity.

First contact with the West came in about 1542, when a Portuguese ship off course arrived in Japanese waters. Portuguese traders, Jesuit missionaries, and Spanish, Dutch, and English traders followed. Suspicious of Christianity and of Portuguese support of a local Japanese revolt, the shoguns of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867) prohibited all trade with foreign countries; only a Dutch trading post at Nagasaki was permitted. Western attempts to renew trading relations failed until 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry sailed an American fleet into Tokyo Bay. Trade with the West was forced upon Japan under terms less than favorable to the Japanese. Strife caused by these actions brought down the feudal world of the shoguns. In 1868, the emperor Meiji came to the throne, and the shogun system was abolished.

Tokyo

The Kanto plain was settled by the 3rd millennium BC; modern Tokyo still carries some local names of former villages. Hirakawa-mura, a farming and fishing village on the shores of the Hira river, had a strategic location, commanding land, sea, and river routes along the Kanto plain, In the Yamahura period (c. 12th century), Edo Shigenaga, the military governor of a large Kanto province, erected his castle there, calling it Edojuku. The construction of Edo Castle by Ōta Dōkan, a vassal of Uesugi Mochitomo, began in 1457 during the Muromachi period in what is now the East Garden of the Imperial Palace. Shrines and temples grew up nearby, and merchants developed businesses and open ferry and shipping routes.

Geography

Location:

Japan consists of several thousands of islands, of which Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four largest. Japan’s closest neighbors are Korea, Russia and China. The Sea of Japan separates the Asian continent from the Japanese archipelago.

Area:

Japan’s area is comparable to that of Germany or California. Japan’s northernmost islands are located on a similar geographical latitude as Milan or Portland, while her southernmost islands are on a similar latitude as the Bahamas. More than 50% of the country is mountainous and covered by forests. Japan is politically structured into 8 regions and 47 prefectures.Edo Castle in 1525.

Culture and Clothing

Language:

Japanese is the official and primary language of Japan. Japanese is relatively small but has a lexically distinct pitch-accent system. Early Japanese is known largely on the basis of its state in the 8th century, when the three major works of Old Japanese were compiled. The earliest attestation of the Japanese language is in a Chinese document from 252 AD. Japanese is written with a combination of three scripts: hiragana, derived from the Chinese cursive script, katakana, derived as a shorthand from Chinese characters, and kanji, imported from China. The Latin alphabet, rōmaji, is also often used in modern Japanese, especially for company names and logos, advertising, and when inputting Japanese into a computer. The Hindu-Arabic numerals are generally used for numbers, but traditional Sino-Japanese numerals are also common.

Music:

Local music often appears at karaoke venues, which is on lease from the record labels. Traditional Japanese music is quite different from Western Music and is based on the intervals of human breathing rather than mathematical timing. In 1873, a British traveler claimed that Japanese music, “exasperates beyond all endurance the European breast.”

Visual Arts:

Painting has been an art in Japan for a very long time: the brush is a traditional writing and painting tool, and the extension of that to its use as an artist’s tool was probably natural.

Calligraphy

The flowing, brush-drawn Japanese rendering of text itself is seen as a traditional art form as well as a means of conveying written information. The written work can consist of phrases, poems, stories, or even single characters.

Traditional Japanese sculptures mainly consisted of Buddhist images, such as Tathagata, Bodhisattva, and Myō-ō.

Ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world”, is a genre of woodblock prints that exemplifies the characteristics of per-Meiji Japanese art.

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement.

Traditional Japanese clothing distinguishes Japan from all other countries around the world. The Japanese word kimono means “something one wears” and they are the traditional garments of Japan. Originally, the word kimono was used for all types of clothing, but eventually, it came to refer specifically to the full-length garment also known as the naga-gi, meaning “long-wear”, that is still worn today on special occasions by women, men, and children. Kimono in this meaning plus all other items of traditional Japanese clothing is known collectively as wafuku which means “Japanese clothes” as opposed to yofuku (Western-style clothing). Kimonos come in a variety of colours, styles, and sizes. Men mainly wear darker or more muted colors, while women tend to wear brighter colors and pastels, and, especially for younger women, often with complicated abstract or floral patterns.

The kimono of a woman who is married (tomesode) differs from the kimono of a woman who is not married (furisode). The tomesode sets itself apart because the patterns do not go above the waistline. The furisode can be recognized by its extremely long sleeves spanning anywhere from 39 to 42 inches, it is also the most formal kimono an unwed woman wears. The furisode advertises that a woman is not only of age but also single. The obi is a very important part of the kimono. Obi is a decorative sash that is worn by Japanese men and women, although it can be worn with many different traditional outfits, it is most commonly worn with the kimono. Most women wear a very large elaborate obi, while men typically don a more thin and conservative obi.

Most Japanese men only wear the kimono at home or in a very laid back environment, however it is acceptable for a man to wear the kimono when he is entertaining guests in his home. For a more formal event a Japanese man might wear the haori and hakama, a half coat and divided skirt. The hakama is tied at the waist, over the kimono and ends near the ankle. Hakama were initially intended for men only, but today it is acceptable for women to wear them as well. Hakama can be worn with types of kimono, excluding the summer version, yukata. The lighter and simpler casual-wear version of kimono often worn in summer or at home is called yukata. Happi is another type of traditional clothing, but it is not famous worldwide like the kimono. A happi (or happy coat) is a straight sleeved coat that is typically imprinted with the family crest, and was a common coat for firefighters to wear. Japan also has very distinct footwear. Tabi, an ankle high sock, is often worn with the kimono. Tabi are designed to be worn with geta, a type of thonged footwear. Geta are sandals mounted on wooden blocks held to the foot by a piece of fabric that slides between the toes. Geta are worn both by men and women with the kimono or yukata.

  • Famous for anime video games, books and series.

 Picture1

Clockwise from top-left: Woman in kimono, a Japanese painting, Japan’s terrain, a picture of Tokyo, a woman with an instrument.

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