Japanese Assignment Geographical Setting Japan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean.

It lies off the northeast coast of mainland Asia and faces Russia,Korea, and China. Four large islands and thousand s of smaller ones make up Japan. The four major islands-Hokkaido,Honshu,Kyushu and Shikoku form a curve that extends for about 1,900 kilometres. Topography Japan is a land of great natural beauty. mountains and hills cover about 70% of the country. IN fact, Japanese islands consist of the rugged upper part of a great m ountain range that rises from the floor of the North Pacific Ocean. Jagged peaks, rocky gorges, and thundering mountain waterfalls provide some of the country's most spectacula r scenery. Thick forests thrive on mountansides, adding to the scenic beauty of th e Japanese islands. Forests cover about 68% of the country's land. Japan lies on an extremely unstable part of the earth's crust. As a result, the land is constantly shifting. This shifting causes two of Japan's most striking featuresearthquakes and volcanoes. The Japanese islands have about 1500 earthquakes a ye ar. Most of them are minor tremors that cause little damage, but severe earthqaukes occur every few years. Underseaquakes sometimes cause huge, destructive tidal waves, c alled tsunami, along Japan's Pacific coast. The Japanese islands have more than 150 ma jor volcanoes. Over 60 of these volcanoes are active. Numerous short, swift rivers cross Japan's rugged surface. most of the rivers ar e too shallow and steep to be navigated. Their waters are used to irrigate farmland, a nd their rapids and falls supply power for hydroelectric plants. Many lakes nestle among the Japanese mountains. Some lie in the craters of extinct volcanoes. A large number of hot springs gush from the ground throughout the country. The Japanese islands have a total land area of about 337,708 sqkm. The islands , in order of size, are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. The sea of Japan washes the country's west coast and the Pacific ocean lies to the east. Climate Regional climates in Japan can be compared to those of the East Coast of the Uni ted States. Kyushu and Shikoku have a climate much like that of Perth. They have lon g hot summers and mild winters. The island Honshu's generally has warm,humid summers. Winters are mild in the south and cold and snowy in the north. Honshu has balmy, sunny autumns and springs. Hokkaido has cool summers and cold winters much like Tasmania.

During the summer. Several typhoons strike the country each year. humid weather in central and south ern Japan. many Japanese lived in large family units that included grandparents. Parental Roles The parents still sometimes decide the marraige partner for their child to mar ry. which gather moistu re as they cross the Sea of Japan. These winds. These consist of only parents and children. Summer monsoons cause hot. The Nuclear Family Today most of the Japanese live in the style of a nuclear family. Marriage and Courtship-Most young people now select their own marraige partners on the basis of shared interests and mutual attraction. carrying warm. The Japanese still have strong family ties and a deep resp ect for authority. the bride and groom had never met be fore the wedding. Marriage and Courtship-When a child was old enough to marry. All the areas of the country--except eas tern Hokkaido--recieve at least 100 centimetres of rain yearly. and children were expected to show unquestioning obedience to their parents. Japanese families were bound together by a strict set of cus toms. But since WW2 relationships with families have become a little less f ormal. The warm. In some cases. moist air f rom the pacific ocean. monsoons from the northwest bring cold air to northern Japan. T he heavy rains and violent winds of these storms often do great damage to houses an d crops Family The Extended Family Family life has always been important in Japan. Female and Male roles . deposit heavy snows on the country's northwest coas t. mainly in late summer and early Autumn. the parents selecte d a suitable marraige partner. In winter. Husbands had complete authority over their wives. children. monsoons blow from the southeast . dark-blue Japan Current flows northward along the country's south coast and along the east coast as far north as Tokyo. Before 1945. The Japan current has a warming effect on the climate of theses regions. Seasonal winds called monsoons also affect Japan's climate. The cold Oyashio Current flows southward along the east coasts of Hokkaido and northern Honshu. parents. Japan has two major r ainy seasons--from mid-June to early July and from September to October. and more democratic. and sometimes uncles and their families. Rain is abundant through most of Japan.Two Pacific Ocean currents--the Japan Current and the Oyashio Current--influence Japan's climate. cooling these areas.

the japanese language. which are supported by the government. Secondary Education Senior high school runs for three years. Further education builds on this basic knowledge to prepare people for more intellectual jobs. Higher Education Japan has about 460 Universities and about 600 junior and technical colleges.Education Role in Society Japanese law requires children to complete six years of elementary school. Large numbers of stude nts compete for admission to the top Japanese universities. Th e largest University is Nihon (Japan) University in Tokyo. homemaking. In addition. Highly regarded privat e universities include Doshisha University in Kyoto and Keio University and Waseda University in Tokyo Senior high school graduates who want to attend a college or university must pas s the entrance examination given by the school of their choice. Political System Political Structure Japan's parliment. The hous e of Representatives has 511 members. science and social studies. Students spend much time learning to read and write japanese because the language is so difficult. Almost all Japanese children complete the education requirments. mathematics. About 38% of senior high school graduates go to an institution of higher learning. Education at public schools is free during these ni ne years for children aged from 6 through 14 years of age. Some of these universities--such as the University of Tokyo and the University of Kyoto--have exceptionally high reputations. and t hree years of junior high school. many junior high school stud ents study English or another foreign language. Completing these compulsory years of schooli ng gives children the basic knowledge in a wide range of areas to succeed in adult life. moral education. 000 students. To enter senior high school the student s must pass an entrance examination. About 95% of junior high school leavers go to senior hig h school. Senior schools also offer courses to prepare students for co llege or to train them for jobs. The country has 90 National Universities. They are elected to four-year terms from electo ral . Classes include many of the same subjects studied in junior high school. which has about 80. Primary Education Japanese elementary and junior high school students study such subjects as art. makes the country's laws. it consists of two houses. physical education. music.

a conservative party which has more seats in the Government than any othe r since 1955. The highest court in the nation is the Supreme Court. and summary courts. Race. In 1993. Legal System Organisation of judiciary system The Japanese judicial system is entirely separate from and independent of the ex ecutive authority. the citizens have codes to abide by. family courts. established b y the constitution and consisting of a chief justice appointed by the emperor upon the recommendation of the cabinet and 14 associate justices appointed by the cabinet . The House of Councillors has 252 members. they control public education and m ay levy taxes. The largest members of the coallition include the Social Democratic Party o f Japan. ethnicity and subcultures There are may Chinese in Japan as well as Koreans. Fam ily and summary courts are exclusively courts of first instance. the Japan Renewal Party. judges may be removed only by public impeachment. Four types of lower courts are prescribed by the constitution: high courts. The most successful is the Liberal-Democrat ic Party (LDP). Except for reasons of health. Half the councillors are el ected every three years to six-year terms. and the Ja pan New Party. Of the councillors. The Supreme Court is the tribunal of final ap peal in all civil and criminal cases and has authority to decide on the constitutionalit y of any act of the legislature or executive. Social Organisations Group Behaviour The Japanese in general are very polite and well mannered people. 100 are elected from th e country as a whole. The original race of Japan ar . Political Parties Japan has several political parties. a coallition of other important parties was formed to oppos e the LDP. High courts hear appeals in civil and criminal cases from lower courts. within the parties there is much disru ption and complaint Role of Local Government The municipalities have fairly broad powers. the Komeito (Clean Government Party). Type of Law The Japanese do not have a law as such. district courts.districts. and 152 are chosen from 47 political divisions called prefectures. Stability of Government Although the Government itself is stable. District courts have both appellate and original jurisdiction.

In the puppet theater. developed during the late 1600's. Which religons are prominent Buddhism and Shinto are the two most prominent religons in Japan by a long way. Japanese instruments include the lutelike biwa. Traditional music also features drums. A chorus chants most of the important lines in the play. This shows that religon is very important to their everyday life. which is acted out by large. Masked actors perform the story with carefully controlled gestures and movements. which developed in the 1300's.e the Inu people. the puppet theater and the kabuki play. or shamisen. Two other forms of traditional Japanese drama. The puppet handlers work silently on stage . a narrator recites the story.3% Christian-1. Ballet and other performing Arts The oldest form of traditional Japanese performing arts is a type of drama calle d the 'no play'. and the thr ee stringed banjolike samisen. Most ty pes of Western music are also popular. Membership of each religon Most Japanese observe both Shinto and Buddhist rites so the percentages add to m ore than 100% Shinto-95.8% Buddhist-76. Most forms of Japanese music feature one instrument or voice or a group of instruments that follows the same melodic line instead of blending in h armony. Religon and Asthetics Religon and other belief systems As below Relationship with the people Just about every single person is a Shinto and three quarters of people are also buddhists. the zitherlike koto. Music Traditional Japanese music may sound thin compared with the rich harmonies of Western music. lifelike puppets. Many Japanese cities have their own proffesio nal symphony orchestras that specialize in Western music Drama. 'No plays' are serious treatments of histo ry and legend. and gongs. Performances of traditional music draw large crowds in Japan. flutes.4% Other-12% Aesthetics Visual Arts The major Japanese visual arts are Sculpture and painting.

The Japanese also eat a wide variety of fruits and varieties of seaweed. modern apartment buildi ngs and traditional Japanese houses. a long novel written in the 1000's is generally considered t he greatest work of Japanese fiction. It is served at almost every meal. Me . The people also enjoy new dramas by Japanese playwrights. Folklore The Tale of Genji. Meat and Vegetable Consumption and Foods availible The main food of the japanese people is rice. Renters or Home Owners Due to short supply of land for sale. Fish provides the chief source of protein in the Japanese diet. as well as Western plays. The Japanese would eat a lot more vegetables than meat because meat is incredibl y expensive. Living Conditions Diet and Nutrition. foods wrapped in seeweed and other ingredients.in view of the audience. most Japanese can not afford to buy land f or a house and therefore a large number. Soybeans are another major source of protein in the Japanese diet. and a lively and exaggerated style. shellfish. charcoal-grilled pieces of poultry on a skewer. The traditional types of theater remain popular in Japan. Favourite Japan ese snacks include various kinds of noodles in broth and yakitori. sliced vegetables. Clothing National Dress The kimono Types of clothing worn at work The types of clothing worn to work are just the same as in the western world. Kabuki features colourful costumes and makeup.. Kabuki plays are melodramatic representations of histor ical or domestic events. Typical meals A popular Japanese dish called sushi consists of rice flavoured with vinegar and topped with raw fish. Other traditional dishes include sukiyaki (beef cooked with vegetab les) and tempura (fish and vegetables fried in batter) Housing Types of Houses availible There are two major types of housing availible in Japan. especially in the crowded cities rent apartm ents. spectacular scen ery.

its no wonder people can speak more than they can write. Self-employed people and employees in the private and public sectors are included under the medical plan. but an increasing life expect ancy and government encouragement has extended the average age of retirement to 65. In the mid-1990s life expectancy at b irth was 76 years for men and 82 years for women. the National Health Insura nce Law. and this geography limited contact . judo. A medical insurance system has been in effect in Japan since 1927. Many Japanese practice aikido. table tennis. the Law for the Welfare of Disabled Persons. Their favourite spectator sports are baseball and sumo wrestling. ice skating.800 physicians and 1. jogging and mountain climbing. Considering how hard these characters are to remember. and other leisure t ime activities. hunting. hiragana and thousands of chinese symbols called 'Kanji'. Health conditions are generally excellent. the infant mortality rate was a very lo w 4. Social Security and Health Care In the early 1990s about 18 percent of the annual national budget was allocated for social security purposes.7 million hospita l beds. tennis and volleyball. Language Official Language The official language of Japan is Japanese. ot her popular sports include bowling. Kendo is also popul ar. Old Age Welfare Law.n wear suits with smart ties and women wear conservative tailored attire Recreation Types and Demand The Japanese people enjoy a wide variety of sports. Percentage of Income spent on leisure activities The Japanese would probably spend around % of their income on leisure activit ies. and karate. skiing. Japanese also enjoy fishing. hobbies. The entire population is covered by various insurance systems . Most working people once retired at the age of 55. golf. and the Maternal an d Child Welfare Law. Social welfare services have greatly expanded since World War II. the Welfare Pension Insurance Law. Spoken Versus written language Spoken Japanese is much easier than written japanese to master. Written Japanese consists katakana. Dialects Japan comprises numerous mountainous islands. especially the chinese on es.3 per 1000 live births. Japan has about 211. legislation en acted or amended in the postwar years includes the Livelihood Security Law for Needy Persons.

as well as on the smaller islands. of the Japanese language. most people outside the Tokyo r egion speak the common dialect as well as a local dialect. notably on the islands of Kyushu and Okinawa-are virtually incomprehensible to t he speakers of other dialects. these varieties are called social styles of sp eech. such as the Ryu kyu Islands. As a result of this diversity of dialects. Honshu. Shikoku.between the Japanese peoples living in different regions of the country. Japanese has also developed separate varieties of the languag e for use in different social contexts. A large number of dialects are spoken throughout Japan's four main islands (Hokk aido. or dialect s. those spoken in the southern parts of Japan . Some dialects-for instance. dialect to facilitate communication throughout the country. the Japan ese use a standard. Refrences World Book Encyclopedia (Cd Rom) Grolier Encyclopedia (Cd Rom) Encarta 96 Encyclopedia (Cd Rom) JETRO (Internet Site) CIA World Factbook (Internet Site) Q . or common. and Kyushu). Osaka. The two dialect families with the largest number of speakers are the dialect spoken in and around Tokyo. which is the common dialect. spoken in cities such as Kyoto. and the dialects of the Kansai region in western Japan. As a re sult. Due to the sprea d of the common dialect through television and radio. and Kobe. people in the various regions of Japan developed differing varieties.

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