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Ch 12 - Shaping a Unique Worldview: Japanese Geography. How has Japan’s physical geography influenced the Japanese sense of identity and the Japanese Worldview?.

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ch 12 shaping a unique worldview japanese geography

Ch 12 - Shaping a Unique Worldview: Japanese Geography

How has Japan’s physical geography influenced the Japanese sense of identity and the Japanese Worldview?


Japan, the "Land of the Rising Sun", has had a long, illustrious history. Geography plays a large role in shaping Japan's history. The mountainous countryside played an important part in determining what kinds of trade and agriculture developed. Being an isolated island nation, Japan was able to close itself off from the world when foreign influence threatened the basic beliefs and foundation of its culture.

important terms and concepts
Important Terms and Concepts
  • Find the following terms and write the definition in your note book
  • Izanagi, Izanami, kami, kamikaze, kanji, kana, rituals, haiku, Ainu, kamuy, cherry blossoms, matsuri, tsunami, stoic, arable, homogeneous, assimilation.
  • Japan
section 1 the land of the rising sun
SECTION 1: The Land of the Rising Sun
  • Read the story on page 261. Answer the two questions at the bottom of the page in response to the reading.
  • How might this repeated experience influence the worldview of the Japanese people?
  • How might it influence their view of people from other places?
  • Read pages 262-263

Look at the map in the Exploring Sources box on page 263. Answer the two questions in the box.

  • What does the position of Japan say about how the Japanese viewed the importance of their country relative to the rest of the world?
  • Maps convey worldview and, as such, the map shown in Figure 12-3 expresses the Japanese cultural beliefs about its importance relative to other countries. Japan’s prominent position emphasizes the primary importance of Japanese customs, traditions, and ideas over the customs, traditions, and ideas of other countries.
  • What might this map indicate about Japanese knowledge of the rest of the world?
  • It seems to indicate that by 1850 Japanese cartographers were at least aware of the general location of the world’s major land masses.


  • The land area of Japan is ____________________ and about ________percent the size of Alberta. 80% of Japan is covered by _______________ and _____________. The largest flat areas are less than ______km across. Highest population densities occur _______________________. Ocean between Japan and Asia is ____________. Japanese writing combines the ____________ (Chinese) characters with Japanese characters called _____________.
japan s location in the world land of the rising sun
Japan’s Location in the World – Land of the Rising Sun
  • 1. Using page 259 or page 266 what are four closest neighboring countries to Japan?
  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 2. Japan is an archipelago (a chain of islands) which consists of four main islands and ________ smaller islands. These four main islands are:
  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • There are four bodies of water that surround Japan. You will need to use the map in the classroom to find one of the bodies of water. The rest will be in your text book
  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.

Fast Forward: Protecting the Canadian Identity (Page 267)

  • 1. How have satellite and cable TV changed the number of cultures that Canadians are exposed to?
  • News and entertainment programming is available in many different languages from many countries.
  • 2. To what extent do you think media such as music, TV, and movies influence your sense of identity as a Canadian?
  • whether the birthplace of an artist, musician, or actor is important, what criteria make a cultural product “Canadian”, the relative quality of Canadian music, movies, and TV programming
  • Map Assignment
  • Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan
  • Four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu)
  • Major cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Sapporo, Matsuyama, Hiroshima, Yokohama)
section 2 nature shaping a worldview
SECTION 2: Nature Shaping a Worldview
  • Read pages 268-269
  • Cherry blossoms represent: ______________ ____________ ______________
  • Think through, questions 1, 2.
  • What effect do you think the Dene way of thinking would have on how they behaved toward people new to their land?
  • Dene refers to the culture, and Denendeh refers to the land itself. The Dene people have a strong affinity to the land and the environment in which they live.
  • The quotation shows the openness of the Dene people in accepting newcomers, knowing they will soon become a part of the community because of the environment in which they live.
  • How can you extend this idea to people who come from other countries to make Canada their home?
  • Immigrants to Canada should be prepared to embrace the climate and geography of Canada, and not expect it to be like their homeland.
  • Read pages 270-271
  • Think it through: What is the worst experience you have had that was caused by the forces of nature?
  • Earthquakes and Legends
  • Read page 272
  • Do question #3
  • How are Japanese beliefs similar to Aztec explanations of how and why natural
  • disasters occur?
  • They both believe that the gods will protect them if they worship them. Disasters in both cases are connected with the actions of gods.
  • How are they different?
  • The two differ in that Aztec beliefs show the gods as punishing and to be feared.
  • Japanese beliefs see gods as supportive and helpful, causing problems only when there are problems between gods.
  • What do the two cultures believe about nature and human ability to influence it?
  • The Japanese believe that the gods are basically good and their reverence of them leads to harmony with nature. Aztec beliefs see the gods as to be feared and the need to feed the gods with human blood appeases them and allows for the Aztec empire to be

Study Figure 12-16 and complete the question below the image. Write the question in your note book

  • Time: Disasters would slow down the pace of life while people rebuild.
  • Loss of life might make people more mindful of the fragile nature of existence and potential in each day.
  • Complete question 1a (come up with three elements of nature.) and #2 on page 273 Over to You
  • #2 Winter might lead one to identify with the sports, events and challenges of the season. Prairies: might lead one to identify with wide open spaces and the vastness of our land. Mountains: might lead one to identify with the beauty, challenges, sports, recreation aspects of the mountains.

Read the Fast Forward on page 277

  • What, if any, similarities can you see in the Canadian and Japanese situation?
  • Wheat/rice is too culturally important to let other countries produce it for Canada/Japan.
  • Encouraging wheat/rice production in Canada/Japan has created one of the largest producers of wheat/rice in the world.
  • Wheat/rice production provides the livelihood for many Canadian/Japanese people.
  • How does Japanese government prohibiting rice imports fit in with the isolation and self-sufficiency of Japanese society?
  • Self-sufficiency is an important cultural value. Self-sufficiency means Japan doesn’t need to depend on other countries or worldwide market forces.
section 3 a self sufficient country
SECTION 3: A Self Sufficient Country
  • In partners using the following sub heading from your text – make your own notes to be handed in …
  • Resources and Climate of Japan
  • Rice: Symbol of a Country
  • A Homogeneous Society
  • A Distinct People
homework questions answer the following on a separate sheet of paper
Homework Questions (answer the following on a separate sheet of paper):
  • Can you suggest a Canadian Food that represents Canada’s history like Rice does for Japan?
  • Can you give some examples of where this has taken place in Canadian history? World history? Currently?
  • Page 280 # 2a,b,c,
  • FINAL TASK: ______/10 marks choose one of the following
  • Write 3 Haiku Poems and place them on a creatively illustrated poster.
  • OR
  • Write a mythical story describing how a particular natural disaster came to be. Draw a creative illustration to accompany your tale.
  • OR
  • Write a mythical story describing how the world and civilization was created. Draw a creative illustration to accompany your tale.