"Nippon" redirects here.
and largest city
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Prime Minister||Yoshihide Suga|
|Upper house||House of Councillors|
|Lower house||House of Representatives|
|First constitution||November 29, 1890|
|Current constitution||May 3, 1947|
|Total||377,975 km (145,937 sq mi) (61st)|
|Water (%)||1.40 (as of 2015)|
|2020 estimate||125,960,000 (11th)|
|Density||334/km (865.1/sq mi) (24th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
|Total||$5.451 trillion (4th)|
|Per capita||$43,194 (28th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
|Total||$5.080 trillion (3rd)|
|Per capita||$40,256 (22nd)|
medium · 78th
very high · 19th
|Currency||Japanese yen (¥)|
|Time zone||UTC+09:00 (JST)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP|
Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan comprises an archipelago of 6852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the country's five main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.
About three-fourths of the country's terrain is mountainous, concentrating its population of 126.2 million on narrow coastal plains.
Main article: Names of Japan
The characters 日本 mean "sun origin", in reference to Japan's relatively eastern location.
It is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun".
The name Japan is based on the Chinese pronunciation and was introduced to European languages through early trade.
The old Malay name for Japan, Japang or Japun, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect and encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia, who brought the word to Europe in the early 16th century.
The first version of the name in English appears in a book published in 1577, which spelled the name as Giapan in a translation of a 1565 Portuguese letter.
Main article: History of Japan
Prehistoric to classical history
Clay vessels from the period are among the oldest surviving examples of pottery.
From around 1000 BC, Yayoi people began to enter the archipelago from Kyushu, intermingling with the Jōmon; the Yayoi period saw the introduction of practices including wet-rice farming, a new style of pottery, and metallurgy from China and Korea.
Japan first appears in written history in the Chinese Book of Han, completed in 111 AD.
The far-reaching Taika Reforms in 645 nationalized all land in Japan, to be distributed equally among cultivators, and ordered the compilation of a household registry as the basis for a new system of taxation.
These reforms culminated with the promulgation of the Taihō Code, which consolidated existing statutes and established the structure of the central and subordinate local governments.
These legal reforms created the ritsuryō state, a system of Chinese-style centralized government that remained in place for half a millennium.
The period is characterized by the appearance of a nascent literary culture with the completion of the Kojiki (712) and Nihon Shoki (720), as well as the development of Buddhist-inspired artwork and architecture.
A smallpox epidemic in 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan's population.
This marked the beginning of the Heian period (794–1185), during which a distinctly indigenous Japanese culture emerged.
Japan's feudal era was characterized by the emergence and dominance of a ruling class of warriors, the samurai.
After Yoritomo's death, the Hōjō clan came to power as regents for the shōguns.
After the death of Nobunaga in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in the early 1590s and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597.
When open war broke out, Ieyasu defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.
The shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyōs, and in 1639 the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868).
Modern Japan's economic growth began in this period, resulting in roads and water transportation routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures contracts, banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers.
The Edo period also gave rise to kokugaku ("national studies"), the study of Japan by the Japanese.
Subsequent similar treaties with other Western countries brought economic and political crises.
During the Meiji era (1868–1912), the Empire of Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia and as an industrialized world power that pursued military conflict to expand its sphere of influence.
The Japanese population doubled from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million by 1935, with a significant shift to urbanization.
This process accelerated during the 1930s, spawning a number of radical nationalist groups that shared a hostility to liberal democracy and a dedication to expansion in Asia.
The Empire of Japan invaded other parts of China in 1937, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).
In 1940, the Empire invaded French Indochina, after which the United States placed an oil embargo on Japan.
On December 7–8, 1941, Japanese forces carried out surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, as well as on British forces in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, among others, beginning World War II in the Pacific.
Throughout areas occupied by Japan during the war, numerous abuses were committed against local inhabitants, with many forced into sexual slavery.
After Allied victories during the next four years, which culminated in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender.
The war cost Japan its colonies and millions of lives.
The Allies (led by the United States) repatriated millions of Japanese settlers from their former colonies and military camps throughout Asia, largely eliminating the Japanese empire and its influence over the territories it conquered.
In 1947, Japan adopted a new constitution emphasizing liberal democratic practices.
The Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyushu.
The Nanpō Islands are south and east of the main islands of Japan.
Together they are often known as the Japanese archipelago.
As of 2019, Japan's territory is 377,975.24 km (145,937.06 sq mi).
Japan has the sixth longest coastline in the world (29,751 km (18,486 mi)).
Because of its many far-flung outlying islands, Japan has the sixth largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, covering 4,470,000 km (1,730,000 sq mi).
As a result, the habitable zones, mainly in coastal areas, have extremely high population densities: Japan is one of the most densely populated countries.
Approximately 0.5% of Japan's total area is reclaimed land (umetatechi).
Late 20th and early 21st century projects include artificial islands such as Chubu Centrair International Airport in Ise Bay, Kansai International Airport in the middle of Osaka Bay, Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise and Wakayama Marina City.
Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes because of its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
It has the 17th highest natural disaster risk as measured in the 2016 World Risk Index.
Japan has 111 active volcanoes.
Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunami, occur several times each century; the 1923 Tokyo earthquake killed over 140,000 people.
Main article: Geography of Japan § Climate
The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate but varies greatly from north to south.
The northernmost region, Hokkaido, has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters and very warm to cool summers.
Precipitation is not heavy, but the islands usually develop deep snowbanks in the winter.
In the Sea of Japan region on Honshu's west coast, northwest winter winds bring heavy snowfall during winter.
In the summer, the region sometimes experiences extremely hot temperatures because of the foehn.
The Central Highland has a typical inland humid continental climate, with large temperature differences between summer and winter.
The Pacific coast features a humid subtropical climate that experiences milder winters with occasional snowfall and hot, humid summers because of the southeast seasonal wind.
The Ryukyu and Nanpō Islands have a subtropical climate, with warm winters and hot summers.
Precipitation is very heavy, especially during the rainy season.
The average winter temperature in Japan is 5.1 °C (41.2 °F) and the average summer temperature is 25.2 °C (77.4 °F).
The highest temperature ever measured in Japan, 41.1 °C (106.0 °F), was recorded on July 23, 2018, and repeated on August 17, 2020.
The main rainy season begins in early May in Okinawa, and the rain front gradually moves north.
In late summer and early autumn, typhoons often bring heavy rain.
According to the Environment Ministry, heavy rainfall and increasing temperatures have caused several problems in the agricultural industry and elsewhere.
Main article: Wildlife of Japan
Japan has nine forest ecoregions which reflect the climate and geography of the islands.
They range from subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the Ryūkyū and Bonin Islands, to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests in the mild climate regions of the main islands, to temperate coniferous forests in the cold, winter portions of the northern islands.
Four sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding natural value.
In the period of rapid economic growth after World War II, environmental policies were downplayed by the government and industrial corporations; as a result, environmental pollution was widespread in the 1950s and 1960s.
Responding to rising concern, the government introduced several environmental protection laws in 1970.
The oil crisis in 1973 also encouraged the efficient use of energy because of Japan's lack of natural resources.
As of 2020, more than 22 coal-fired power plants are planned for construction in Japan, following the switching-off of Japan's nuclear fleet after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Japan ranks 20th in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, which measures a nation's commitment to environmental sustainability.
Japan is the world's fifth largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
As the host and signatory of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Japan is under treaty obligation to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and to take other steps to curb climate change.
In 2020 the government of Japan announced a target of carbon-neutrality by 2050.
Environmental issues include urban air pollution (NOx, suspended particulate matter, and toxics), waste management, water eutrophication, nature conservation, climate change, chemical management and international co-operation for conservation.
It consists of a lower House of Representatives with 465 seats, elected by popular vote every four years or when dissolved, and an upper House of Councillors with 245 seats, whose popularly-elected members serve six-year terms.
The Constitution of Japan, adopted in 1947, is the oldest unamended constitution in the world.
Statutory law originates in the legislature, and the constitution requires that the emperor promulgate legislation passed by the Diet without giving him the power to oppose legislation.
The main body of Japanese statutory law is called the Six Codes.
Japan's court system is divided into four basic tiers: the Supreme Court and three levels of lower courts.
In the following table, the prefectures are grouped by region:
Main article: Foreign relations of Japan
Japan signed a security pact with Australia in March 2007 and with India in October 2008.
It is the world's fifth largest donor of official development assistance, donating US$9.2 billion in 2014.
In 2017, Japan had the fifth largest diplomatic network in the world.
Japan has close economic and military relations with the United States, with which it maintains a security alliance.
The United States is a major market for Japanese exports and a major source of Japanese imports, and is committed to defending the country, with military bases in Japan.
After Japan's defeat in World War II, the Japanese-ruled Northern Mariana Islands came under control of the United States.
Japan's relationship with South Korea had historically been strained because of Japan's treatment of Koreans during Japanese colonial rule, particularly over the issue of comfort women.
In 2015, Japan agreed to settle the comfort women dispute with South Korea by issuing a formal apology and paying money to the surviving comfort women.
The 1990s saw increased interest in Korean culture in Japan, particularly related to food, travel, and the World Cup.
The spread of the Korean Wave in the early 2000s (called the hanryu or kanryu wave in Japan) accelerated this trend, manifesting for example in a cult following for Korean television series Winter Sonata.
Japan is engaged in several territorial disputes with its neighbors.
Japan contests Russia's control of the Southern Kuril Islands, which were occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945.
South Korea's control of the Liancourt Rocks is acknowledged but not accepted as they are claimed by Japan.
Main article: Japan Self-Defense Forces
Japan is the second-highest-ranked Asian country in the Global Peace Index.
Japan maintains one of the largest military budgets of any country in the world.
The country's military (the Japan Self-Defense Forces) is restricted by Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces Japan's right to declare war or use military force in international disputes.
The deployment of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan marked the first overseas use of Japan's military since World War II.
The Government of Japan has been making changes to its security policy which include the establishment of the National Security Council, the adoption of the National Security Strategy, and the development of the National Defense Program Guidelines.
In May 2014, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said Japan wanted to shed the passiveness it has maintained since the end of World War II and take more responsibility for regional security.
Recent tensions, particularly with North Korea and China, have reignited the debate over the status of the JSDF and its relation to Japanese society.
Domestic law enforcement
Main article: Law enforcement in Japan
As the central coordinating body for the Prefectural Police Departments, the National Police Agency is administered by the National Public Safety Commission.
The Special Assault Team comprises national-level counter-terrorism tactical units that cooperate with territorial-level Anti-Firearms Squads and Counter-NBC Terrorism Squads.
Additionally, there is the Japan Coast Guard which guards territorial waters.
The coast guard patrols the sea surrounding Japan and uses surveillance and control countermeasures against smuggling, marine environmental crime, poaching, piracy, spy ships, unauthorized foreign fishing vessels, and illegal immigration.
The Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law strictly regulates the civilian ownership of guns, swords and other weaponry.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, among the member states of the UN that report statistics, the incidence rates of violent crimes such as murder, abduction, sexual violence and robbery are very low in Japan.
Main article: Economy of Japan
Japan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP, and the fourth largest national economy in the world, after the United States, China and India, in terms of purchasing power parity.
As of 2019, Japan's public debt was estimated at around 230 percent of its annual gross domestic product, the largest of any rated nation.
As of 2019, Japan's labor force consisted of some 67 million workers.
Japan has a low unemployment rate of around 2.4 percent.
Around 16 percent of the population were below the poverty line in 2017.
Japan's exports amounted to 18.5% of GDP in 2018.
As of 2019, Japan's main export markets were the United States (19.8 percent) and China (19.1 percent).
Its main exports are transportation equipment, motor vehicles, iron and steel products, semiconductors and auto parts.
Japan's main import markets as of 2019 were China (23.5 percent), the United States (11 percent), and Australia (6.3 percent).
Japan's main imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, and raw materials for its industries.
Japan ranks 29th of 190 countries in the 2019 ease of doing business index.
The Japanese variant of capitalism has many distinct features: keiretsu enterprises are influential, and lifetime employment and seniority-based career advancement are relatively common in the Japanese work environment.
It is ranked sixth in the Global Competitiveness Report for 2015–2016.
Agriculture and fishery
Main article: Agriculture, forestry, and fishing in Japan
The Japanese agricultural sector accounts for about 1.2% of the total country's GDP.
Only 11.5% of Japan's land is suitable for cultivation.
Because of this lack of arable land, a system of terraces is used to farm in small areas.
This results in one of the world's highest levels of crop yields per unit area, with an agricultural self-sufficiency rate of about 50%.
Japan's small agricultural sector, however, is also highly subsidized and protected.
There has been a growing concern about farming as farmers are aging with a difficult time finding successors.
Japan ranked seventh in the world in tonnage of fish caught and captured 3,167,610 metric tons of fish in 2016, down from an annual average of 4,000,000 tons over the previous decade.
Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch, prompting critiques that Japan's fishing is leading to depletion in fish stocks such as tuna.
Japan has also sparked controversy by supporting commercial whaling.
Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the "largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods".
Japan's industrial sector makes up approximately 27.5% of its GDP.
The country's manufacturing output is the third highest in the world.
Japan is the third largest automobile producer in the world and is home to Toyota, the world's largest automobile company.
The Japanese shipbuilding industry faces competition from South Korea and China; a 2020 government initiative identified this sector as a target for increasing exports.
Services and tourism
Japan's service sector accounts for about 70% of its total economic output.
Banking, retail, transportation, and telecommunications are all major industries, with companies such as Toyota, Mitsubishi UFJ, -NTT, ÆON, Softbank, Hitachi, and Itochu listed as some of the largest in the world.
Japan attracted 31.9 million international tourists in 2019.
For inbound tourism, Japan was ranked 11th in the world in 2019.
The 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranked Japan 4th out of 141 countries overall, which was the highest in Asia.
Science and technology
Japan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly in the natural sciences and engineering.
The country ranks twelfth among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index.
Relative to gross domestic product, Japan's research and development budget is the second highest in the world, with 867,000 researchers sharing a 19-trillion-yen research and development budget as of 2017. which The country has produced twenty-two Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry or medicine and three Fields medalists.
Japan leads the world in robotics production and use, supplying 55% of the world's 2017 total.
Japan has the second highest number of researchers in science and technology per capita in the world with 14 per 1000 employees.
The Japanese consumer electronics industry, once considered the strongest in the world, is in a state of decline as competition arises in countries like South Korea and China.
However, video gaming in Japan remains a major industry.
In 2014, Japan's consumer video game market grossed $9.6 billion, with $5.8 billion coming from mobile gaming.
The explorer entered a lunar orbit on October 4, 2007, and was deliberately crashed into the Moon on June 11, 2009.
Main article: Transport in Japan
Japan has invested heavily in transportation infrastructure.
The country has approximately 1,200,000 kilometers (750,000 miles) of roads made up of 1,000,000 kilometers (620,000 miles) of city, town and village roads, 130,000 kilometers (81,000 miles) of prefectural roads, 54,736 kilometers (34,011 miles) of general national highways and 7641 kilometers (4748 miles) of national expressways.
Since privatization in 1987,dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; major companies include seven JR enterprises, Kintetsu, Seibu Railway and Keio Corporation.
The high-speed Shinkansen (bullet trains) that connect major cities are known for their safety and punctuality.
There are 175 airports in Japan.
The Keihin and Hanshin superport hubs are among the largest in the world, at 7.98 and 5.22 million TEU respectively.
Main article: Energy in Japan
Nuclear power was down from 11.2 percent in 2010.
By May 2012 all of the country's nuclear power plants had been taken offline because of ongoing public opposition following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, though government officials continued to try to sway public opinion in favor of returning at least some to service.
The Sendai Nuclear Power Plant restarted in 2015, and since then several other nuclear power plants have been restarted.
Japan lacks significant domestic reserves and so has a heavy dependence on imported energy.
The country has therefore aimed to diversify its sources and maintain high levels of energy efficiency.
Water supply and sanitation
Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Japan
Responsibility for the water and sanitation sector is shared between the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, in charge of water supply for domestic use; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, in charge of water resources development as well as sanitation; the Ministry of the Environment, in charge of ambient water quality and environmental preservation; and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in charge of performance benchmarking of utilities.
Access to an improved water source is universal in Japan.
About 98% of the population receives piped water supply from public utilities.
Japan has a population of 126.3 million, of which 124.8 million are Japanese nationals (2019).
In 2019, 92% of the total Japanese population lived in cities.
The capital city Tokyo has a population of 13.8 million (2018).
Japan's population is 98.1% ethnic Japanese, with small populations of foreign workers.
Japan has the second longest overall life expectancy at birth of any country in the world, at 84 years.
As of 2019 over 20 percent of the population is over 65, and this is projected to rise to one in three by 2030.
The changes in demographic structure have created a number of social issues, particularly a decline in workforce population and increase in the cost of social security benefits.
A growing number of younger Japanese are not marrying or remain childless.
Japan's population is expected to drop to around 100 million by 2050.
Immigration and birth incentives are sometimes suggested as a solution to provide younger workers to support the nation's aging population.
On April 1, 2019, Japan's revised immigration law was enacted, protecting the rights of foreign workers to help reduce labor shortages in certain sectors.
Main article: Religion in Japan
Japan's constitution guarantees full religious freedom.
Upper estimates suggest that 84–96 percent of the Japanese population subscribe to Shinto as its indigenous religion.
However, these estimates are based on people affiliated with a temple, rather than the number of true believers.
Many Japanese people practice both Shinto and Buddhism; they can either identify with both religions or describe themselves as non-religious or spiritual.
Christianity was first introduced into Japan by Jesuit missions starting in 1549.
Today, 1% to 1.5% of the population are Christians.
Throughout the latest century, some Western customs originally related to Christianity (including Western style weddings, Valentine's Day and Christmas) have become popular as secular customs among many Japanese.
About 90% of those practicing Islam in Japan are foreign-born migrants.
As of 2018 there were an estimated 105 mosques and 200,000 Muslims in Japan, 43,000 of which were ethnically Japanese.
More than 99 percent of the population speaks Japanese as their first language.
English instruction was made mandatory in Japanese elementary schools in 2020.
Few children learn these languages, but local governments have sought to increase awareness of the traditional languages.
Main article: Education in Japan
Primary schools, secondary schools and universities were introduced in 1872 as a result of the Meiji Restoration.
Almost all children continue their education at a three-year senior high school.
Starting in April 2016, various schools began the academic year with elementary school and junior high school integrated into one nine-year compulsory schooling program; MEXT plans for this approach to be adopted nationwide.
The Programme for International Student Assessment coordinated by the OECD ranks the overall knowledge and skills of Japanese 15-year-olds as the third best in the world.
Japan is one of the top-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, math and sciences with the average student scoring 529 and has one of the world's highest-educated labor forces among OECD countries.
As of 2017, Japan's public spending on education amounted to just 3.3 percent of its GDP, below the OECD average of 4.9 percent.
In 2017, the country ranked third for the percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 51 percent.
In addition, 60.4 percent Japanese aged 25 to 34 have some form of tertiary education qualification and bachelor's degrees are held by 30.4 percent of Japanese aged 25 to 64, the second most in the OECD after South Korea.
Health care is provided by national and local governments.
Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee.
People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments.
Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance.
Another significant public health issue is smoking among Japanese men.
Japan has the lowest rate of heart disease in the OECD, and the lowest level of dementia in the developed world.
Main article: Culture of Japan
See also: Japanese popular culture
Contemporary Japanese culture combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America.
Traditional Japanese arts include crafts such as ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, swords and dolls; performances of bunraku, kabuki, noh, dance, and rakugo; and other practices, the tea ceremony, ikebana, martial arts, calligraphy, origami, onsen, Geisha and games.
Twenty-two sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, eighteen of which are of cultural significance.
Art and architecture
Main article: Japanese art
The interaction between Japanese and European art has been significant: for example ukiyo-e prints, which began to be exported in the 19th century in the movement known as Japonism, had a significant influence on the development of modern art in the West, most notably on post-Impressionism.
Japanese manga developed in the 20th century and have become popular worldwide.
Japanese architecture is a combination between local and other influences.
It has traditionally been typified by wooden or mud plaster structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs.
The Shrines of Ise have been celebrated as the prototype of Japanese architecture.
Since the 19th century, however, Japan has incorporated much of Western modern architecture into construction and design.
However, it was not until after World War II that Japanese architects made an impression on the international scene, firstly with the work of architects like Kenzō Tange and then with movements like Metabolism.
Literature and philosophy
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is considered the oldest extant Japanese narrative.
During the Edo period, the chōnin ("townspeople") overtook the samurai aristocracy as producers and consumers of literature.
The popularity of the works of Saikaku, for example, reveals this change in readership and authorship, while Bashō revivified the poetic tradition of the Kokinshū with his haikai (haiku) and wrote the poetic travelogue Oku no Hosomichi.
The Meiji era saw the decline of traditional literary forms as Japanese literature integrated Western influences.
Natsume Sōseki and Mori Ōgai were significant novelists in the early 20th century, followed by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Kafū Nagai and, more recently, Haruki Murakami and Kenji Nakagami.
In its literary forms, Japanese philosophy began about fourteen centuries ago.
Confucian ideals are still evident today in the Japanese concept of society and the self, and in the organization of the government and the structure of society.
Buddhism has profoundly impacted Japanese psychology, metaphysics, and esthetics.
Japanese music is eclectic and diverse.
Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, forms an integral part of Japanese culture.
Kumi-daiko (ensemble drumming) was developed in postwar Japan and became very popular in North America.
Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop.
Karaoke is a significant cultural activity.
Noh is one of the oldest continuous theater traditions in the world.
Customs and holidays
Ishin-denshin (以心伝心) is a Japanese idiom which denotes a form of interpersonal communication through unspoken mutual understanding.
Isagiyosa (潔さ) is a virtue of the capability of accepting death with composure.
Cherry blossoms are a symbol of isagiyosa in the sense of embracing the transience of the world.
Hansei (反省) is a central idea in Japanese culture, meaning to acknowledge one's own mistake and to pledge improvement.
Kotodama (言霊) refers to the Japanese belief that mystical powers dwell in words and names.
Officially, Japan has 16 national, government-recognized holidays.
Public holidays in Japan are regulated by the Public Holiday Law (国民の祝日に関する法律, Kokumin no Shukujitsu ni Kansuru Hōritsu) of 1948.
Beginning in 2000, Japan implemented the Happy Monday System, which moved a number of national holidays to Monday in order to obtain a long weekend.
The national holidays in Japan are New Year's Day on January 1, Coming of Age Day on the second Monday of January, National Foundation Day on February 11, The Emperor's Birthday on February 23, Vernal Equinox Day on March 20 or 21, Shōwa Day on April 29, Constitution Memorial Day on May 3, Greenery Day on May 4, Children's Day on May 5, Marine Day on the third Monday of July, Mountain Day on August 11, Respect for the Aged Day on the third Monday of September, Autumnal Equinox on September 23 or 24, Health and Sports Day on the second Monday of October, Culture Day on November 3, and Labor Thanksgiving Day on November 23.
Main article: Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients.
Traditional Japanese sweets are known as wagashi.
More modern-day tastes includes green tea ice cream.
Popular Japanese beverages include sake, which is a brewed rice beverage that typically contains 14–17% alcohol and is made by multiple fermentation of rice.
Beer has been brewed in Japan since the late 17th century.
According to the 2015 NHK survey on television viewing in Japan, 79 percent of Japanese watch television daily.
Japanese newspapers are among the most circulated in the world.
Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries globally.
Japanese animated films and television series, known as anime, were largely influenced by Japanese manga and have been extensively popular in the West.
Japan is a world-renowned powerhouse of animation.
Main article: Sport in Japan
Traditionally, sumo is considered Japan's national sport.
Baseball is the most popular spectator sport in the country.
Japan's top professional league, Nippon Professional Baseball, was established in 1936.
Since the establishment of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992, association football has also gained a wide following.
The country co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with South Korea.
Golf is also popular in Japan.
Japan has significant involvement in motorsport.
Japanese automotive manufacturers have been successful in multiple different categories, with titles and victories in series such as Formula One, MotoGP, IndyCar, World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship, World Touring Car Championship, British Touring Car Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship.
Three Japanese drivers have achieved podium finishes in Formula One, and drivers from Japan also have victories at the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in addition to success in domestic championships.
The country also hosts major races such as the Japanese Grand Prix.
Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, making Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice.
The country gained the hosting rights for the official Women's Volleyball World Championship on five occasions, more than any other nation.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan.