The Human Geography of Japan. By Kieran McLaughlin, M.S. Ed. Physical Geography. Land area – 145,882 square miles, smaller than Montana Four Main Islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku Japan is mostly mountainous and the cities are located on the coast
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Kieran McLaughlin, M.S. Ed.
Japan’s population is declining .14% annually. This is a major concern.
70% of people live in urban areas
About %50 live in three major urban areas: Nagoya, Tokyo, and Osaka.
As a result, the cost of living is high and housing is expensive
Japan is 98.5 percent ethnic Japanese
Immigration is very limited and push factors rarely exist to cause Japanese to emigrate
The Ainu, an indigenous group, live mostly in HokkaidoPopulation Geo. Cont…
Loyalty to the group and superiors takes precedent over personal feeling
The Japanese feel an obligation to return favors and gifts Imuyage.
The following characteristics are admired in Japanese society: honor, patience, respect and politeness is extremely important
Uniformity in appearance is a Japanese characteristic
Businessmen wearing black pants, a white shirt, and a tie are very common
Women wear dresses or slacks
In general students wear uniforms to school
Outside of school, youth wear the latest American and European fashions
Traditional Japanese clothing such as kimonos and yukatas are worn for special occasions and at onsensCultural Geography
Bowing is the traditional Japanese greeting
Lower bows = more reverence
Japanese will generally prefer shaking hands with Westerners
Last names including san are utilized for first names
The use of first names is reserved for family and friends
Exchanging business cares is very common, cards are offered and accepted with both hands.
You must also read the card in the person’s presence or it is considered a sign of disrespectCultural Geography Cont…
One would remove shoes before stepping into a home
Slippers are often worn inside, but not in rooms with tatami mats
Guests are usually offered the most comfortable seat and sleeping arrangements
During my home stay, I slept in my host parent’s bedroom
It is very important to provide a gifts for the families you are staying with. Many times they will not open it while you are in the room.
Food is the most common gift
Japanese commonly bath and change into pajamas before they have dinner
Japanese style bathrooms include a bathing room with a stool and a toilet located in another room next door
The toilets are generally washlets made by TotoCultural Geography Cont…
It is considered bad manners to eat while walking in public
People eat at street stands rather than walk
A bowl is traditionally held at chest level
It is not polite to drink soup directly from a bowl
Chopsticks are traditionally used, utensils are used for western meals
The main meal is eaten in the evening
The diet consists largely of rice, fresh vegetables, seafood, fruit, and small portions of meat
Sake and soy sauce
Tea is usually part of every meal
Fast food is becoming increasingly popular (Starbucks, McDonalds, Wendy’s, and KFC)
Common Japanese food: miso soup, noodles, sashimi, tofu, and pork.Cultural Geography Cont…
Dates back to 1934, the current league of 12 teams was established in 1958
The Yomuri (Tokyo) Giants are the Japanese equivalent of the NY Yankees
Traditional Japanese Inn centered around hot springs
Guests wear Yukatas, eat traditional food, and participate in communal bathingCultural Geography Cont…