Japan is in the far east continent of
Asia, it is considered and archipelago that constist of four main islands
Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and over 1,000 smaller islands. Japan covers
377,835 square kilometers of land surrounded by 13,430 square kilometers of
water and is mostly covered with mountains, the largest being Mount Fuji. The
population of Japan is 127 million accounring to the World Bank census in 2016,
The Jomon people survived for thousands of year when finally the Yayoi culture
surpassed the Jomon culture and migrated to Japan in 100 B.C. from continental
Asia importing rice, metals, language and religion. The Yayoi people were
primarilary farmers and gradually moved north to Kyushu and created a society.
Once the Yayoi people had settled the official
religion became Shintoism which means ‘The Way Of The Gods.’ Followers of
Shintoism believe in spiritual powers that exist within the natural world.
Nearly 500 years later Buddhism was introduced, and the Sun Dynasty ascended to
the throne. Japan is the oldest country to continue monarchy in the world,
although the Emperor essentially has no power and the country is a liberal
democracy. Emperor Akihito’s family has ruled for nearly 2,000 years and was
the first to step down in 200 years due to his declining health in 2016. In
Japanese culture Emperors symbolize tradition and unity dating back to 600 B.C.
Legend says that the first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, is a descendant of
the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami.
In 1543 the first Europeans
arrived at the southern tip of Japan, ushering Portuguese firearms and Christianity.
Japan closed its doors to the outside world in 1635 and forbade its people to travel
abroad for 200 years, Tokugawa Iemitsu impliemented an anti Christian,
antiforeigner policy after the Spanish conqured the Philippines and the loyalty
of the Westerns was now questioned.