Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.


Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Japan Portal
Main   Geography   Projects
Location of Japan on the world map
Imperial Seal of Japan

Japan, officially Nippon (日本) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

A major economic power, Japan has the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.

Selected article - show another

A U.S. Marine patrol crosses the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal in September 1942
The Actions along the Matanikau were the two most prominent engagements across the Matanikau River in Guadalcanal during World War II. In the first of these separate but related actions (23–27 September 1942), elements of three U.S. Marine battalions attacked Japanese troop concentrations around the river. The attack was intended to destroy any Japanese forces in the area and to disrupt their attempts to use Point Cruz peninsula, the village of Kokumbona, and a series of ridges and ravines stretching inland from the coast to stage attacks on the Marine's defenses at Lunga Point. The Japanese repulsed this attack. In the second action (6–9 October), a larger force of Marines crossed the river and inflicted heavy casualties on an infantry regiment. This forced the Japanese to retreat from their positions east of the Matanikau and hindered their preparations for a planned major offensive on the U.S. Lunga defenses set for later in October.

Selected image - show another

Ginkakuji-temple on a snowy day, Kyoto, Japan.
Credit: Moja

Ginkaku-ji is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is part of the Shokoku-ji branch of Rinzai Zen.

On this day...

August 21:



Selected quote - show another

Selected biography - show another

Matsuo Bashō was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is internationally renowned, and within Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. Bashō was introduced to poetry at a young age, and after integrating himself into the intellectual scene of Edo he quickly became well known throughout Japan. He made a living as a teacher, but renounced the social, urban life of the literary circles and was inclined to wander throughout the country, heading west, east, and far into the northern wilderness to gain inspiration for his writing and haiku. His poems are influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him, often encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements.

Selected prefecture - show another

Flag of Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yamaguchi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi located in the center of the Prefecture. The largest city, by contrast, is Shimonoseki. Yamaguchi Prefecture was formerly divided into Nagato and Suō provinces. It was ruled by the Mōri clan domain during the Sengoku period. After Commodore Matthew Perry's opening of Japan, clans from Nagato (also called Chōshū) played a key role in the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the new imperial government. One of the prefecture's major attractions is the famous Kintai Bridge in the town of Iwakuni. This five arced wooden structure is considered a symbol of Western Honshū. The area on the banks of the Nishiki river close to the bridge is considered among the best places in Japan for Hanami, when groups of family and friends gather in early April to view Cherry Blossoms. Thirteen cities lie within the prefecture's boundaries, including the capital Yamaguchi and Shimonoseki, the prefecture's largest city. There are also four districts comprising seven towns.

Did you know... - show different entries

left side view of beige snail with a bit darker head and with brown oblong shell


In the news

12 August 2019 – Japan–South Korea relations
In a tit-for-tat move, South Korea removes Japan from its preferred trade list. (US News)
7 August 2019 –
The death toll of the heat wave in Japan rises to 57, while 18,347 others are hospitalized. (Japan Times)
4 August 2019 – 2019 Women's British Open
In golf, Japan's Hinako Shibuno wins the year's final major championship by one shot over American Lizette Salas. Shibuno, a 20-year-old rookie on the Japan LPGA Tour, was playing outside her home country for the first time, and was also playing for the first time in a major recognized by the U.S. LPGA. (AP via ESPN)
2 August 2019 – Capital punishment in Japan
Japan carries out the first executions this year, hanging Koichi Shoji, 64, who killed two women in 2001, and serial killer Yasunori Suzuki, 50, who killed three women between 2004 and 2005 in Fukuoka Prefecture. (Kyodo News)
30 July 2019 –
Eleven deaths and multiple hospitalizations are attributed to the ongoing heat wave in Japan. (BBC)
27 July 2019 – Japan–North Korea relations
Japan warns on Saturday that the new North Korean projectiles have trajectories that are not typical for conventional ballistic missiles, making them difficult or impossible to intercept en route to Japan. (Al-Manar)

Japan topics

Eras Paleolithic | Jōmon | Yayoi | Kofun | Asuka | Nara | Heian | Kamakura | Muromachi | Azuchi-Momoyama | Edo | Meiji | Taishō | Shōwa | Heisei
History Economic history | Educational history | Military history | Naval history | Sengoku period | Meiji Restoration | Empire of Japan | Occupied Japan | Post-occupation Japan
Politics Constitution | Government | Emperors | Imperial Household Agency | Prime Ministers | Cabinet | Ministries | National Diet (House of Councillors · House of Representatives) | Judicial system | Law of Japan | Elections | Political parties | Japanese political values | Japan Self-Defense Forces | Foreign relations
Culture Clothing | Customs and etiquette | Education | Festivals | Food | Holidays | Language | Religion | Imperial House of Japan | National symbols of Japan | National Treasure (Japan) | Monuments of Japan | Media of Japan | Honne and tatemae | Kawaii | Yamato-damashii | Wa | Miai | Ishin-denshin | Isagiyosa | Hansei | Amae | Kotodama | Onsen | Geisha | Kimono | Bushido | Shogun | Samurai | Ninja | Yakuza | Mythology | Karaoke
Art Architecture | Cinema | Literature | Music | Pornography | Theatre (Noh · Kabuki · Bunraku) | Anime | Manga | Ukiyo-e | Japanese tea ceremony | Japanese aesthetics | Ikebana | Poetry | Bonsai | Origami
Sports Sumo wrestling | Nippon Professional Baseball | Football J1 League | Super GT | All Japan Road Race Championship | Judo | Karate | Kendo | Kyūdō | Jujutsu | Ninjutsu | Aikido
Economy Japanese Companies | Primary sector | Industry | Tourism | Currency | Tokyo Stock Exchange | Japanese economic miracle | Communications | Transportation (Shinkansen · Tokyo Metro · Railway companies) | Japan Business Federation | Housing in Japan
Science and Technology Consumer electronics in Japan | Japanese automotive industry | Japanese inventions | Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) | Nuclear power in Japan | Japanese robotics
Geography Geography of Japan | Japanese archipelago | Islands of Japan | Cities | Lakes | Rivers | Waterfalls | Mountains | National Parks | Japanese Alps | Mount Fuji | Lake Biwa | Seto Inland Sea | Sea of Japan
Demographics Demographics | Yamato people | Hāfu (half Japanese people) | Ainu people | Japanese people | Japanese names | Aging of Japan
Animals Animals in Japan | Japanese macaque | Japanese raccoon dog (Tanuki) | Japanese Green pheasant | Koi | Japanese Bobtail | Hokkaido dog | Shiba Inu | Akita (dog) | Japanese giant hornet | Japanese badger
Other Tokyo | Kyoto | Nara | Osaka | Sapporo | Okinawa | Kinkaku-ji | Kiyomizu-dera | Yakushi-ji temple | Tōdai-ji temple | Sensō-ji temple | Meiji Shrine | Akihabara | Shinjuku | Tokyo Tower | Tokyo Imperial Palace | Himeji Castle | Matsumoto Castle | Osaka Castle | Nagoya Castle | Tokyo Disney Resort

Related Portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides



Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139