Japan
   Currently a democratic nation state with a constitutional monarchy and a common language, Japanese. It comprises about 3,000 islands bordering the East Asian mainland, close to Korea. The southern (Ryukyu) islands reach almost to Taiwan and the northern islands are close to Siberia. The inhabitants are mainly ethnic Japanese and some indigenous Ainu, with significant minorities of Koreans (most of whom are third or fourth generation and largely indistinguishable from the Japanese) and now other Asian and western peoples. The word 'Japan' (nihon, nippon) means [land of the] sun's origin; land of the rising sun, which suggests a Chinese perspective. A more 'Japanese' term used for Japan is Yamato (after the earliest political centre) or more commonly 'waga kuni' 'our country'. From the Meiji period until 1945 the notion that the emperor, the land and its people were descended from the Japanese deities and that a citizen of Japan was one who followed Shinto and revered the emperor as a deity, regardless of any other personal or family religious affiliation, was successfully disseminated through the education system and extended to overseas Koreans and Chinese in the Japanese empire. Since 1945 there has been freedom of religion in Japan coupled with separation of religion and state, leading to a flourishing religious pluralism. In recent times efforts have been made to promote Shinto as a broad-minded form of spirituality, possibly with environmental overtones, which though indigenous to the Japanese nation is not coterminous with the Japanese state and is therefore open in principle to non-Japanese people.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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  • Japan — • Called in the language of the country Nihon or Nippon (Land of the Rising Sun), and Dai Nihon or Dai Nippon (Great Japan), situated north west of the Pacific Ocean and east of the Asiatic continent Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Japan — Ja*pan , a. Of or pertaining to Japan, or to the lacquered work of that country; as, Japan ware. [1913 Webster] {Japan allspice} (Bot.), a spiny shrub from Japan ({Chimonanthus fragrans}), related to the Carolina allspice. {Japan black} (Chem.),… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Japan —    Japan emerged as a world power toward the end of the 19th century and confirmed its position with the defeat of the Imperial Russian fleet in 1904. Theodore Roosevelt helped mediate the peace settlement in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1905,… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Japan — Ⅰ. Japan, Sea of or East Sea An enclosed arm of the western Pacific Ocean between Japan and the Asian mainland. Several straits connect it with the East China Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Okhotsk. Ⅱ. Ja·pan (jə păn’) A country… …   Word Histories

  • JAPAN — (manga) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Japan. Japan ジャパン (Japan) Type Seinen Genre Science fiction …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Japan — und Korea. Japanische Kultur und Kunst I. Japanische Kultur und Kunst II. Japanische Kultur und Kunst III …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Japan — Japan, das Land der Fabeln und Mährchen, wie China, dem forschenden Auge des Europäers gleich tief verschleiert wie dieses, ein asiatisches Kaiserthum mit 45 Mill. Ew., ein großes Inselreich im Osten Asiens, das sich vom chinesischen Meere in… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

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