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Japan PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun. Stuff. Japan is an archipelago – A chain of islands. 4 Main Islands. Honshu Shikoku Kyushu Hokkaido Arable land – able to be farmed (13%). Tectonic activity. Ring of Fire – A region of tectonic activity along the Pacific Rim. Earthquakes.

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The Land of the Rising Sun


Japan is an archipelago – A chain of islands

4 Main Islands





Arable land – able to be farmed (13%)

Tectonic activity

Ring of Fire – A region of tectonic activity along the Pacific Rim


Earthquakes – 7,500/yr, 1,500 are felt at the surface

Seismograph – Measures movements within the earth’s crust

Volcanoes – 170, 75 active


Creates natural hot springs – leads to resorts and tourism


  • Climate follows US east coast

  • Monsoon – A shift in prevailing winds

  • Typhoon – A tropical hurricane. Common in Japan


Population – 128 million

Density – 870/mi2

Land and housing cost – very expensive

Many families live – in high rise apartments


Homogenous – Ethnically the same

National unity – very strong

Discrimination – is evident against minorities

Only significant minority – Koreans - .6%


Shinto – ancient religion

Respect forces of nature

Worship (respect) the spirits of dead ancestors

Many homes have a Shinto shrine

It is no longer the focus of life


Buddhism – Most common today

Popular (pop culture) same as US


  • Isolation – for centuries Japan chose to isolate themselves, trading only with their neighbors

  • 1543 – Portuguese traders arrived

  • 1639 – Japan was fearful of a takeover so they kickes out the Westerners (Europeans)


1853 – US forcefully re-opens Japan. Japan was forced to sign unfair trade agreements

Commodore Matthew C. Perry – led the expedition to Japan

Edo – Name for Tokyo until the 1860’s


1868 – A new government takes over with the goal of “defeating” the foreigners

Emperor Meiji – The new emperor. He was a reformer

Meiji Reforms (1869 – 1912)

  • 1. Sent many Japanese students to America to study

  • 2. Became more democratic

  • 3. Set up a new school system with education available to all

  • 4. Developed an extensive railroad and telegraph network

    Early 1900’s – the unfair practices ended


  • Japan adopted western ideas – but they did not wish to become a western society

  • Imperialism – taking over weaker nations for their natural resource


December 17, 1941 – Japan attacks the US at Pearl Harbor

August 1945 – The US drops two nuclear bombs on Japan – Hiroshima, Nagasaki


1945 – 1952 – US occupied Japan

Removed military leaders

The emperor was stripped of his power

The military was disbanded

Introduced democracy


Economic growth – Japan has the fastest growing economy since WWII

World’s workshop – Japan’s nickname because they import raw materials and export finished products


Products – cars, motorcycles, electronics

By 1960 Japan had the #2 economy in the world

How did they do it?

Greatest natural resource - People


Education is very important in Japanese culture. Very well-educated people

Long school days

Short vacations

Lots of homework

Assignments over summer vacation


  • To enter high school – one must pass an exam

  • To enter college – one must pass an exam

  • Fierce competition – for spots in the top universities

  • Juku – “cram” schools. Many students attend juku schools after the regular school day


Recent changes – relaxing the strict tradition

1. No more Saturday school

2. More extracurricular activities available

3. “Zest for living” program


Japan’s workforce is very dedicated

Good attitude and cooperation

Work long hours

Take pride in company success


  • In return, companies – take care of employees

  • 1. Low rent apartments

  • 2. Company paid vacations

  • Paid medical, child care, low interest loans


  • Many workers are hired right out of college and work for the same company until retirement. Quitting or being fired is rare.


  • Recent changes – Japan’s economy has sufferd a downturn

  • 1. increased competition (S. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong)

  • 2. Tariff – A tax on imports. Designed to favor domestic manufacturers

  • 3. Quota – A fixed quantity of something (Japanese imports)


  • Late 1990’s – Japan suffered a recession. It was the first economic setback since WWII. Businesses failed and the economy suffered. Recovery has been slow. Japan has still not fully recovered.

The End!

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