Japan, also known as Nippon, is an island country in eastern Asia. It is located in the Pacific Ocean and it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
Japan is a great power and a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the OECD, and the Group of Seven. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, the country maintains Self-Defense Forces that rank as one of the world's strongest militaries. After World War II, Japan experienced record growth in an economic miracle, becoming the second-largest economy in the world by 1990. As of 2021, the country's economy is the third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by PPP. A global leader in the automotive and electronics industries, Japan has made significant contributions to science and technology. Ranked "very high" on the Human Development Index, Japan has the world's highest life expectancy, though it is experiencing a decline in population. The culture of Japan is well known around the world, including its art, cuisine, music, and popular culture, which encompasses prominent comic, animation and video game industries.
- I don’t see any adults here in Japan. The fact that you see salarymen reading manga and pornography on the trains and being unafraid, unashamed or anything, is something you wouldn’t have seen 30 years ago, with people who grew up under a different system of government. They would have been far too embarrassed to open a book of cartoons or dirty pictures on a train. But that’s what we have now in Japan. We are a country of children.
- One culture, one civilization, one language, and one ethnic group.
- The Japanese have a wonderful power of self-control. They don't lose their temper or quarrel with you, but if their honour is violated they may kill you. They can be bitter enemies.... The Japanese also have a high sense of chivalry.... But these things perhaps belong to the past. It is a great pity that people who have carried such ideals into practice are losing them through contact with European civilization. That is a great harm that European vulgarizing has done to Japan. Now you find most people mercantile in their outlook and they will do anything for the sake of money.....
- Won't you stretch imagination for a moment and come with me. Let us hasten to a nation lying over the western sea. Hide behind the cherry blossoms; here's a sight that will please your eyes. There's a lady with a baby of Japan, singing lullabies. Hear her as she sighs.
- The Japanese can only fulfill it by the sword.
- Friedrich von Bernhardi, Germany and the next War (1911), Chapter XIII
- We call on all churches and religions that have a presence in Japan to speak out against the new asset-freezing law and the dissolution. No matter how much they can disagree with the Family Federation [for World Peace and Unification, formerly the Unification Church,] on many subjects, the new law and a precedent allowing for dissolution of religious organizations that only lost civil as opposed to criminal cases would threaten them as well.
- Bitter Winter, "The Proposed Freezing of Assets of Religious Corporations the Government Seeks to Dissolve: A Danger for All Faiths in Japan" (October 31, 2023)
- B.H. Chamberlain, in his Things Japanese (London, 1898), says: "All education was for centuries in Buddhist hands; Buddhism introduced art, introduced medicine, moulded the folklore of the country, created its dramatic poetry, deeply influenced politics and every sphere of social and intellectual activity. In a word, Buddhism was the teacher under whose instruction the nation grew up." A.S. Geden, while quoting the above passage, further adds that "In a larger sense of these terms, Japan owes more educationally to Buddhist influence and instruction than perhaps any other nation, with the possible exception of the Burmese". When Europe forced its way into Japan, it found that most Japanese, men as well as women, could read and write. They were educated by Buddhist monks in their "temple-huts", known as tera-koya. Attendance at these schools was entirely voluntary. "There were also schools open for girls, which were, it may be assumed, always under the direction of the nuns".
- B.H. Chamberlain, A.S. Geden. quoted in Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Ch. 6.
- Japan has demonstrated the possible industrial dynamism of a highly deferential society, indeed a society which has only recently masked the values and practices of a divine-right monarchy.
- J. C. D. Clark, English Society 1688–1832: Ideology, Social Structure and Political Practice During the Ancien Regime (1985), p. 73
- Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
- Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan (3 May 1947)
- The right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no particular race, but belongs alike to all and to all alike. It is the right you assert by staying here, and your fathers asserted by coming here. It is this great right that I assert for the Chinese and the Japanese, and for all other varieties of men equally with yourselves, now and forever.
- I was against it on two counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender, and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.
- The Japanese spirit wavered from then on between the lure of the West and the need to preserve her territorial integrity. Slowly, inexorably, Western civilization covered up with its veneer this other civilization patiently built up in the course of centuries, long nurtured in suffering and in pride by generations of men and women. But this was only in semblance. The Japan of old still dwells deep in the soul of every inhabitant of her islands and manifests itself at every turn in some euphuistic subtlety or an exquisitely delicate courtesy. ... The spirit of Japan, conceived in the Nara epoch, carried in the womb of her islands throughout the Heian period, delivered in the anguish of the Middle Ages, schooled by the rod of iron of the Tokugawas, fully grown now, benefited from all her past experiences. She cannot forget them.
- Frédéric, Louis (1984). Daily life in Japan at the time of the samurai, 1185-1603. Tokyo: Tuttle.
- So why is Japan different? Why do its top officials – and this trend extends across senior government posts – resign office, seemingly at the drop of a hat? The theories are endless, most of them relying on oft-repeated but simplistic stereotypes about the supposed centrality of honor, saving face, and respect in Japanese culture... Japan's problems are too vast, and its strengths too great, to be ruled by something as capricious and frivolous as the whims of the majority.
- Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That's why these people are so hard workers. I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over.
- Japan must import all of its major minerals, from oil to aluminum. Without those imports-particularly oil-Japan stops being an industrial power in a matter of months.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009), p. 67, Doubleday
- In the U.S., if you are a singer, you're usually a singer for life. In Japan, you branch out... Japan needs more child care places that are government funded. Big companies need to have day care centers. I used to take my kids on location. Sometimes my boss held my baby while I worked.
- People all over the world refer to Japan as the Land of the Gods, and call us the descendants of the gods. Indeed, it is exactly as they say: our country, as a special mark of favour from the heavenly gods, was begotten by them, and there is thus so immense a difference between Japan and all the other countries as to defy comparison. Ours is a splendid and blessed country, the Land of the Gods beyond any doubt, and we, down to the most humble man and woman, are the descendants of the gods... Japanese differ completely from and are superior to the peoples of China, India, Russia, Holland, Siam, Cambodia, and all other countries of the world, and for us to have called our country the Land of the Gods was not mere vainglory. It was the gods who formed all the lands of the world at the Creation, and these gods were without exception born in Japan. Japan is thus the homeland of the gods, and that is why we call it the Land of the Gods.
- Hirata Atsutane, Kodō Taii (Summary of the Ancient Way) (1811), quoted in Ryusaku Tsunoda, William Theodore de Bary and Donald Keene (eds.), Sources of Japanese Tradition (1958), p. 544
- You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?
- [The Immigration Agency] considers filming while knowing that recording is prohibited inside the facilities to be an unforgivable act, no matter how much it is based on personal conviction.
- The Immigration Agency Opening the 'Black Box' of Japan's immigration system (May 22, 2022)
- Two lawsuits filed [in October 2023] in Japan will test both the independence of Japanese courts and whether unpopular groups can be accused of almost anything with impunity. Democratic countries protect freedom of speech, which certainly includes criticizing groups one does not like. There is, however, a clear line separating harsh criticism from outright lies.
- Massimo Introvigne, "Japan: Anti-Cult Journalist Eight Suzuki Sued for False Statements", Bitter Winter (October 17, 2023)
- In response to the M7 earthquake at Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture, we have immediately set up the Prime Minister’s Office of Response - Disaster Counter Measure HQ. Putting human lives as priority, we are making every effort to assess damages - putting forth all efforts in disaster response. For those in affected areas, please pay close attention to the latest information and place personal safety as your priority.
- Fumio Kishida in a Tweet on X according to to LIVE UPDATES Powerful earthquake hits western Japan, triggering tsunami warnings (1 january 2024) for more see: w:2024 Sea of Japan earthquake
- Great Japan is the divine land. The heavenly progenitor founded it, and the Sun Goddess bequeathed it to her descendants to rule eternally. Only in our country is this true; there are no similar examples in other countries. This is why our country is called the divine land.
- If you look at the statistics of the Japanese economy around 1995–1997, it had a couple of years of 2–3 percent growth. That was the Keynesian influence of the then-head of the Economic Planning Agency. He was a good Japanese exponent of Keynesianism. Japan built beautiful bridges and other infrastructure, but abandoned these sorts of projects because its debt is so big, and its deficit is so big, that it will not do them anymore. … I think Japan could stand a really good Keynesian sustained stimulus.
- Lawrence Klein, "Keynsianism Again: Interview with Lawrence Klein", Challenge (May-June 2001).
- South Korea spends the equivalent of 1.7 percent of its GDP on caring for the old, just one step above the stingiest OECD member; Mexico. Neighboring Japan, on the other hand, is generous to its seniors, doling out an amount corresponding to 8.9 percent of its GDP on the archipelago’s vast grey-haired population.
- Se-woong Koo, "No Country For Old People" (24 September 2014), Korea Exposé.
- The Japanese people, since the war, have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history. With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have, from the ashes left in war's wake, erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity; and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice. Politically, economically, and socially Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust. That it may be counted upon to wield a profoundly beneficial influence over the course of events in Asia is attested by the magnificent manner in which the Japanese people have met the recent challenge of war, unrest, and confusion surrounding them from the outside and checked communism within their own frontiers without the slightest slackening in their forward progress. I sent all four of our occupation divisions to the Korean battlefront without the slightest qualms as to the effect of the resulting power vacuum upon Japan. The results fully justified my faith. I know of no nation more serene, orderly, and industrious, nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.
- Stories of past glories or of past wrongs are useful tools in the present but they, too, often come at the cost of abusing history. History is also abused when people try to ignore or even suppress evidence that might challenge their preferred view of the past. In Japan at present, the nationalist right is furious with archaeologists who are going to examine some of the scattered tombs where generations of the Japanese royal family are buried. Scholars have been asking for years for the right to investigate the sites, some of which go back to the third or fourth century. The nationalist fury grows out of their belief that the emperor is sacred and is, moreover, descended in an unbroken line from the sun. Japan, in the nationalist view, is a “divine land.” The more prosaic answer is that the royal family came originally from China or Korea; even if that is not true, it is probable that there was a good deal of intermarriage between Japan and the mainland so that the imperial family’s bloodline may contain non-Japanese genes. If the investigations find evidence to confirm that hypothesis, a key part of the nationalists’ mythology is destroyed.
- Margaret MacMillan, The Uses and Abuses of History (2008), pp. 72-73
- A nation of deities with the Emperor at its center.
- Ensure Japan's security and defend the kokutai.
- The basic stupidity of modern Japan is that we’ve learned absolutely nothing from our contact with other Asian peoples.
- Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase'
- How courteous is the Japanese;
He always says, “Excuse it, please.”
He climbs into his neighbor’s garden,
And smiles, and says, “I beg your pardon”;
He bows and grins a friendly grin,
And calls his hungry family in;
He grins, and bows a friendly bow;
“So sorry, this my garden now.”
- Today is a chance for Americans, especially our young people, to say thank you for all the things we love from Japan. Like karate and karaoke. Manga and anime. And, of course, emojis.
- In Asia, the memories of Imperial Japan are still fresh.
- Hana-ogi: It is very difficult for Japanese women to speak in public. I have never done so, but, perhaps, now it is the time.
- Sayonara (1952). written by Paul Osborn. As well as Japanese animation, technology has a huge influence on Japanese society, and also Japanese novels. I think it's because before, people tended to think that ideology or religion were the things that actually changed people, but it's been proven that that's not the case. I think nowadays, technology has been proven to be the thing that's actually changing people. So in that sense, it's become a theme in Japanese culture.
- Mamoru Oshii, "Mamoru Oshii", Tasha Robinson, A.V. Club, Sep 15, 2004.
- Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address to Congress Requesting a Declaration of War with Japan, (8 December 1941)
- It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address to Congress Requesting a Declaration of War with Japan, (8 December 1941)
- Japan's scheme of conquest goes back half a century. It was not merely a policy of seeking living room: it was a plan which included the subjugation of all the peoples in the Far East and in the islands of the Pacific, and the domination of that ocean by Japanese military and naval control of the western coasts of North, Central, and South America. The development of this ambitious conspiracy was marked by the war against China in 1894; the subsequent occupation of Korea; the war against Russia in 1904; the illegal fortification of the mandated Pacific islands following 1920; the seizure of Manchuria in 1931; and the invasion of China in 1937.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1942 State of the Union Address
- The government is putting as much money into the economy through this package, and through additional spending, as the increased sales tax will put out.
- This has happened before and in some cases the islands disappeared. If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory.
- It is a common concern of the international community that China tries to change the situation and increase tensions in the South China Sea by carrying out extensive and rapid land reclamation, building its base in the region and utilizing it for military purposes. We have deep concerns over such actions and want to re-emphasize that Japan cannot accept (them)
- Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference, Japan's chief government spokesman on China deploying missiles in an island in the South China Sea, quoted on Edition.CNN (February 18, 2016), "China said to deploy missiles on South China Sea island"
- In Japan, strong girls are very popular. The tradition of my country has in the Tarazuka, the Japanese theater in which only women take part, the maximum level of feminine emancipation. These actress cover all roles of the plays, even the male ones. I was inspired by them to create Haruka. It wasn't easy to make children understand how there could be true love between two women. Haruka is a tomboy, she talks and dresses like a boy, and therefore it's natural she falls in love with Michiru.
- The senshi are very sexy, and boys like it. In Japan, moreover, boys are quite weak and they search for a strong partner. They want to be dominated, and the senshi are ready to do it.
- Business travellers visiting Japan are usually easily forgiven for whatever they do, including dressing down for Cool Biz. When in doubt, they can always say sumimasen (or 'excuse me') at the beginning of the meeting, should they find themselves underdressed for the occasion.
- A year ago this time, the third quarter figure for 2012... we were talking about negative growth of more than 3%.
- Japan has a lot of engineers who work at desks. When it comes to implementation, though, they lose confidence and haven't got the courage of their convictions when other people criticize them. Engineers like that can't build cars. Success in this industry demands engineers who have the courage and the decisiveness to implement ideas.
- Kiichiro Toyoda in the 1940s cited in: Satoshi Hino (2005). Inside the Mind of Toyota: Management Principles for Enduring Growth. p. 93
- It seems that the ideology of sacred kingship was created, restored, and reinforced in Japan at the time of national crisis. The second half of the seventh century was exactly such a period. Japan faced a national crisis again in the second half of the nineteenth century when, according to its internal logic, the ideal of the ritsu-ryō state with its sacred kingship ideology woke up from its long sleep and was reestablished with some inevitable modifications. In this respect, I hold that the conceptions of state and kingship in ancient Japan have provided for Japanese society a structural continuity that has never been lost, though the society has undergone various historical changes and transformations from archaic times down to the present.
- Manabu Waida, 'Sacred Kingship in Early Japan: A Historical Introduction', History of Religions, Vol. 15, No. 4 (May, 1976), p. 342
- Still, it was the restructuring of Japan that formed the main model for future American initiatives outside Europe. Although there were disagreements among US advisers as to how radical the restructuring of Japan should be, the basic direction was not in dispute: it was only through becoming more like the United States that Japan – the only non-European economic and military power – could be redeemed. The key to success was not only the rebuilding of Japanese institutions, but also the remolding of ‘‘the Japanese brain.’’ ‘‘Our problem,’’ according to an 1945 instructional film for the occupation forces, ‘‘is in the brain inside of the Japanese head. There are seventy million of these in Japan, physically no different than any other brains in the world, actually all made from exactly the same stuff as ours. These brains, like our brains, can do good things or bad things, all depending on the kind of ideas that are put inside.’’ The mix of coercion, enticement, and appeal to the popular will that the occupation authorities used to put ideas into Japanese brains emphasized the new role that the state had come to occupy in American policy at home and abroad. In the beginning phase of the restructuring of Japan – just as in the implementation of the Marshall Plan in Europe – it was veterans of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs who set the aims, and in doing so they reflected a much more positive view of what the state would be able to do than had been usual in American policy abroad. Even though the Cold War soon saw New Dealers lose influence within the occupation regime and in US foreign policy in general, all postwar American administrations up to Ronald Reagan were much more willing to use state power for social development purposes than any of their predecessors had been.
- Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Intervention and the Making of Our Times (2012), p. 24
Videos of the January 1, 2024 earthquake in Japan edit
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