Major cities including Tokyo have a temperate to subtropic climate.
Winter is mild and summer is hot and humid.
The summer monsoon arrives is May or June and heavy rainfall takes place.
Typhoons hit parts of the country every summer.
Hokkaido and the Sea of Japan coast is colder and get large amounts of snow.
South is tropical and warmer.
Terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous.
Ethnic Groups and Minorities
The Ainu were one of the earliest inhabitants of Japan. Ainu are primarily a hunting and fishing people. They are racially different from Japanese. There are only about 25,000 Ainu left. Most of them live in Hokkaido.
Okinawans are not that different from the majority of japanese, but they are isolated and speak a different form of Japanese.
The burakumin is a social minority. Around 2-3 million today. They are the descendants of people who slaughtered animals and executed criminals during the feudal days. Those activities were thought to be polluting acts under Buddhist and Shintoist beliefs. They are still discriminated against today.
Many people belong both to Buddhism and Shintoisom.
Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto- Shinto Shrine
Itsukushima Shinto shrine
Kinkaku-ji- Buddhist temple in Kyoto
Has a population of about 127.7 million.
Japan is the 10 th most populous country of the world.
67% of population is urbanized.
Major cities with the highest populations- Tokyo (capital)- most populous city in the world-36.507 million Osaka-Kobe -11.325 million Nagoya - 3.257 million Sapporo - 2.673 million
Japan has a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy.
The Prime Minister of Japan has the most political power.
The Emperor has little political power. The Emperor is "symbol of the state and the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power."
Current Prime Minister of Japan- Yoshihiko Noda
Current Emperor of Japan- Emperor Akihito
Emperor Akihito Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
Earthquakes- March 11, 2011 earthquake occurred near the east coast of Japan . Had a magnitude of 9.0. At least 15,703 people died. The majority of the casualties were from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima
Tsunamis- Caused by earthquakes. A tsunami took place after the earthquake in March.
Typhoons-Occur every summer and is a feature of Japanese climate. They cause flooding and landslides.
Volcanoes-67 active volcanoes in Japan. Japan has 10% of the world's total active volcanoes.