• The Japanese flag is made up of a redcircle, symbolizing the sun, against a whitebackground.• It is known as the ”Hinomaru” inJapanese, meaning "circle of the sun."Because Japan lies at the far West of thePacific Ocean, the sun rise over the sea tothe East is a spectacular sight.• That image is the inspiration for the designof the flag.WHITE WITH A RED DISC :(representing the sun without rays) in the center• According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism isassociated with colors. The colors on the Japanese flagrepresent the following:– White - peace and honesty.– Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour.
JAPAN GEOGRAPHY• Location:Japan consists of several thousands of islands,of whichHonshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku arethe four largest. Japans closest neighboursare Korea, Russia and China. The Sea of Japanseparates the Asian continent from theJapanese archipelago.
AREA:Japans area is comparable to that ofGermany or California. Japans northernmostislands are located on a similar geographicallatitude as Milan or Portland, while hersouthernmost islands are on a similar latitude asthe Bahamas. More than 50% of the country ismountainous and covered by forests. Japan ispolitically structured into 8 regions and47 prefectures.
Population:The population of Japan is about125,000,000, including approximatelytwo million foreign residents. Morethan half of the non Japanesepopulation is of Korean descent
Earthquakes and Volcanoes:Because Japan is located in a region, where severalcontinental plates meet, the country experiencesfrequent earthquakes. Please visit the special pageabout earthquakes. For the same reason, there aremany volcanoes in Japan. Japans most famous volcanoand highest mountain is Mt.Fuji.
- FOUR DISTINCT SEASON - Winter: from December to February, is quite dryand sunny along the Pacific coast and thetemperatures rarely drop below 0°C. Thetemperatures drop as you move north, with theCentral and Northern regions experiencingsnowfall. Southern Japan is relatively temperateand experiences a mild winter.Spring is from March to May. Temperatures arewarm but not too hot, plus there isn’t too muchrain. The famous cherry blossoms are out duringthis time and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy.Summer begins in June and the countryexperiences a three to four-week rainy seasonduring which the farmers plant their rice. It is hotand humid during this time and temperatures areoften in the high 30’s. Summer wraps up in August.Autumn is from September to November and ischaracterized by light breezes and coolertemperatures of around 8-10oC. It’s during autumnthat many exhibitions, music concerts and sportstournaments are held in Japan.
Let’s learn a little bit of Japanese(のは、日本を少し学びましょう)(No wa, Nihon o sukoshi manabimashouYes HaiNo LieThank you ArigatoThank you very much Arigato gozaimasuYoure welcome DouitashimashitePlease DouzoExcuse me sumimasen, shitsurei shimasuHello Kon-nichiwaGoodbye SayounaraSo long JaamataashitaGood morning O hayou gozaimasuGood afternoon Kon-nichiwaGood evening KonbanwaGood night OyasuminasaiI do not understand WakarimasenHow do you say this in [English]?Kore wa [nihongo] de nan to iimasuka?Do you speak ... Anata wa ...go wo hanasemasuka
RELIGIONJapans two major religions :1. Shinto 2. BuddhismShinto is as old as the Japanese culture and; Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6thcentury.Since then, the two religions have been co-existing relatively harmoniously and have evencomplemented each other to a certain degree. MostJapanese consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both.Religion does not play a big role in the everydaylife of most Japanese people today. The average persontypically follows the religious rituals at ceremonies likebirth, weddings and funerals, may visita shrine or templeon New Year and participates at localfestivals (matsuri), most of which have a religiousbackground.
WEDDINGContemporary Japanese weddings arecelebrated in a great variety of ways.Many contain traditional Japanese andWestern elements side by side.Traditionally, the religious wedding ceremony isheld in Shinto style at a shrine. Nowadays, thisshrine may be located inside the hotel where thefestivities take place. A Shinto priest conducts theceremony, which is visited by only the close familymembers of the couple.In the ceremony, the couple ispurified, drinks sake, and thegroom reads the words ofcommitment. At the end of theceremony, symbolic offerings aregiven to the kami. The couple isdressed in traditional kimono
• After the ceremony, the couple welcomes all the guests, and the receptionparty is held. Usually the party is visited by about 20 to 200 guests amongwhom are relatives, friends, co-workers and bosses of the bride andgroom. The party normally starts with the introductions of the bride andgroom.• Afterwards, a meal is held and several guests make contributions such asspeeches, songs and the like. During the whole celebrations, the groomand especially the bride may change their dresses several times. At thevery end of the party, the couple will make a speech to all the guests andthank everybody.