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Japan The Land of the Rising Sun Stuff Japan is an archipelago – A chain of islands 4 Main Islands 1. Honshu 2. Shikoku 3. Kyushu 4. Hokkaido Arable land – able to be farmed (13%) Tectonic activity Ring of Fire – A region of tectonic activity along the Pacific Rim Earthquakes Earthquakes – 7,500/yr, 1,500 are felt at the surface Seismograph – Measures movements within the earth’s crust Volcanoes – 170, 75 active Benefit Creates natural hot springs – leads to resorts and tourism Stuff Climate follows US east coast Monsoon – A shift in prevailing winds Typhoon – A tropical hurricane. Common in Japan Stuff Population – 128 million Density – 870/mi2 Land and housing cost – very expensive Many families live – in high rise apartments Stuff Homogenous – Ethnically the same National unity – very strong Discrimination – is evident against minorities Only significant minority – Koreans - .6% Religion Shinto – ancient religion 1. Respect forces of nature 2. Worship (respect) the spirits of dead ancestors 3. Many homes have a Shinto shrine 4. It is no longer the focus of life Stuff Buddhism – Most common today Popular (pop culture) same as US History Isolation – for centuries Japan chose to isolate themselves, trading only with their neighbors 1543 – Portuguese traders arrived 1639 – Japan was fearful of a takeover so they kickes out the Westerners (Europeans) History 1853 – US forcefully re-opens Japan. Japan was forced to sign unfair trade agreements Commodore Matthew C. Perry – led the expedition to Japan Edo – Name for Tokyo until the 1860’s History 1868 – A new government takes over with the goal of “defeating” the foreigners Emperor Meiji – The new emperor. He was a reformer Meiji Reforms (1869 – 1912) 1. Sent many Japanese students to America to study 2. Became more democratic 3. Set up a new school system with education available to all 4. Developed an extensive railroad and telegraph network Early 1900’s – the unfair practices ended History Japan adopted western ideas – but they did not wish to become a western society Imperialism – taking over weaker nations for their natural resource History December 17, 1941 – Japan attacks the US at Pearl Harbor August 1945 – The US drops two nuclear bombs on Japan – Hiroshima, Nagasaki History 1945 – 1952 – US occupied Japan 1. Removed military leaders 2. The emperor was stripped of his power 3. The military was disbanded 4. Introduced democracy Economy Economic growth – Japan has the fastest growing economy since WWII World’s workshop – Japan’s nickname because they import raw materials and export finished products Economy Products – cars, motorcycles, electronics By 1960 Japan had the #2 economy in the world How did they do it? Greatest natural resource People Education Education is very important in Japanese culture. Very welleducated people 1. Long school days 2. Short vacations 3. Lots of homework 4. Assignments over summer vacation Education To enter high school – one must pass an exam To enter college – one must pass an exam Fierce competition – for spots in the top universities Juku – “cram” schools. Many students attend juku schools after the regular school day Education Recent changes – relaxing the strict tradition 1. No more Saturday school 2. More extracurricular activities available 3. “Zest for living” program Business Japan’s workforce is very dedicated 1. Good attitude and cooperation 2. Work long hours 3. Take pride in company success Business In return, companies – take care of employees 1. Low rent apartments 2. Company paid vacations Paid medical, child care, low interest loans Business Many workers are hired right out of college and work for the same company until retirement. Quitting or being fired is rare. Business Recent changes – Japan’s economy has sufferd a downturn 1. increased competition (S. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong) 2. Tariff – A tax on imports. Designed to favor domestic manufacturers 3. Quota – A fixed quantity of something (Japanese imports) Business Late 1990’s – Japan suffered a recession. It was the first economic setback since WWII. Businesses failed and the economy suffered. Recovery has been slow. Japan has still not fully recovered. The End!