Details for World of Wonder 10/9

By Laurie Triefeldt

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2017
The red-crowned crane,
also known as the
Japanese crane, is
a symbol of luck,
longevity and
fidelity.

Japan is home to more
than 200 species of
cherry tree.

JAPAN

Exploring the realms of history, science, nature and technology

LAND OF THE RISING SUN
Koi, a kind of
carp, is the
national fish
of Japan.

Located on the western edge of the Pacific
Ocean, east of China, Korea and Russia,
Japan consists of several thousand
islands and a population of more than
126 million, making it the eighth most
densely populated country in the world.

These freshwater
fish have been
bred for their color
and large size
since the 1850s.

In a word

Nippon is the Japanese word for
“Japan.” It means “source of the
sun.” Japanʼs flag is white with a
red circle symbolizing the sun.

A unique culture

The Japanese are a very gracious
people who greet one another by
bowing instead of shaking hands.
Bowing shows respect for parents, teachers and older people,
and is also used to say “thank
you.” A deep bow is used for
people who are important.
Japan has many Shinto
shrines and Buddhist
temples. Shintoism
teaches harmony with
nature, while Zen
Buddhism emphasizes meditation and
concentration. Pure Land
Buddhism stresses that goodness in this life will lead to a happy afterlife, and Confucianism,
which is a code of values and not
a religion, stresses loyalty, respect and obedience.

What’s for dinner?

Chopsticks are used in Japan
instead of forks, and rice (the
countryʼs biggest crop) is served
with most meals. Lunch might
also contain noodles, fresh fruit
and sushi (SOO-shi), which is
fish (sometimes raw) or vegetables wrapped in rice and
seaweed. Fish and vegetables
cooked in batter, called tempura,
are delicious and sometimes
served for dinner. Displaying food
in a beautiful way is a very important part of Japanese dining.

The Japanese
macaque, also
known as the snow
monkey, is found
throughout Japan.
It often lives in
colder regions of
the country.

RUSSIA
Sapporo

CHINA
NORTH
KOREA

Government

HOKKAIDO
Aomori
Sea of Japan
(East Sea)
Sendai

Nigata

SOUTH
KOREA

HONSHU
Matsue

Mt. Fuji

Hiroshima

Tokyo

Nagoya

Nagasaki

Pacific
Ocean

Yokohama

Osaka

KYUSHU Miyazaki
SHIKOKU
Philippine
Sea

0
0

Okinawa City

Kilometers
Miles

400
240

Also known as shinobi,
ninja were specially
trained spies and assassins in feudal Japan.
Shrouded in mystery,
these warriors have become the stuff of legends
and folktales. Today,
ninja have found their
way into pop culture and
are often portrayed in
films, books and games.

Japan is located in the temperate zone
and has four distinct seasons, but the
climate varies extremely from north to
south. Tornadoes are rare in Japan, but
the country often suffers flooding from
typhoons, plus volcanic eruptions and
earthquakes.

Japan is a democracy based on
sovereignty of the people, respect for basic human rights and
pacifism. Its parliament, called the
National Diet, has two chambers,
the House of Representatives and
the House of Councillors, and is
led by a prime minister instead
of a president. The government
has three independent branches:
legislative, executive and judicial.
The emperor is not involved in
governing; instead, he symbolizes
the state and Japanese unity.

Origami

Origami is an ancient Japanese
art that involves folding a single
square of paper to create a shape
such as a bird, flower or fish. Each
year, children around the world
send garlands of origami cranes to
the Peace Park in Hiroshima. You
can learn how to make origami
by getting a book at the library or
doing a search for origami on the
internet.

Just the facts
Total area
The Imperial
Seal of Japan,
also known as the
Chrysanthemum
Seal, is a crest
used by the
members of the
imperial family.

The Japanese raccoon dog is also known as
tanuki. This animal has played a significant
role in Japanese folklore since ancient times
and is commonly seen in Japanese
art. According to legend,
the tanuki is reputed to
be fun-loving and
mischievous.

145,936 sq. mi.
(377,972 sq. km)

Population

126,740,000

Capital city

Tokyo

Currency
Official language
Print (1794–1795) by
Tōshūsai Sharaku, the
Japanese print designer.

Kabuki plays tell
stories often set in
Japanʼs feudal times.
The actors wear
elaborate costumes
and bold makeup. In
bunraku (meaning
“doll theater”), lifelike
puppets are operated with rods.

The lychee is the
national fruit of Japan.

The green pheasant
is the national bird
of Japan.
SOURCES: World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc.; http://www.worldatlas.com; CIA World FactBook; www.kids-world-travel-guide.com
Chat with the author and like us on Facebook — www.facebook.com/worldofwonder2014
© 2017 Triefeldt Studios, Inc.
Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication

The Japanese word for
cherry tree is sakura.
Each spring, the Japanese
hold festivals to celebrate
the cherry blossoms.

Yen
Japanese

Highest elevation
Mt. Fuji
12,389 ft. (3,776 m)
Lowest elevation

Sea level

Agriculture Vegetables, rice, fish,
poultry, fruit, dairy products,
pork, beef, flowers, potatoes,
taro, yams, sugar cane, tea,
legumes, wheat and barley
Industries
Motor vehicles,
electronic equipment, machine
tools, steel and nonferrous metals,
ships, chemicals, textiles,
processed foods
Natural resources
Fish,
agriculture and small
amounts of metals
and minerals

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