Japan Essay

Japan Essay

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Japan

Geographical Setting

Japan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean. It lies off the northeast
coast of mainland Asia and faces Russia,Korea, and China. Four large islands and
thousands of smaller ones make up Japan. The four major islands-
Hokkaido,Honshu,Kyushu and Shikoku form a curve that extends for about 1,900
kilometres.

Topography

Japan is a land of great natural beauty. mountains and hills cover about 70% of
the country. IN fact, Japanese islands consist of the rugged upper part of a
great mountain range that rises from the floor of the North Pacific Ocean.
Jagged peaks, rocky gorges, and thundering mountain waterfalls provide some of
the country's most spectacular scenery. Thick forests thrive on mountansides,
adding to the scenic beauty of the Japanese islands. Forests cover about 68% of
the country's land.

Japan lies on an extremely unstable part of the earth's crust. As a result, the
land is constantly shifting. This shifting causes two of Japan's most striking
features-- earthquakes and volcanoes. The Japanese islands have about 1500
earthquakes a year. Most of them are minor tremors that cause little damage, but
severe earthqaukes occur every few years. Underseaquakes sometimes cause huge,
destructive tidal waves, called tsunami, along Japan's Pacific coast. The
Japanese islands have more than 150 major volcanoes. Over 60 of these volcanoes
are active.

Numerous short, swift rivers cross Japan's rugged surface. most of the rivers
are too shallow and steep to be navigated. Their waters are used to irrigate
farmland, and their rapids and falls supply power for hydroelectric plants. Many
lakes nestle among the Japanese mountains. Some lie in the craters of extinct
volcanoes. A large number of hot springs gush from the ground throughout the
country. The Japanese islands have a total land area of about 337,708 sqkm. The
islands , in order of size, are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. The sea of
Japan washes the country's west coast and the Pacific ocean lies to the east.

Climate

Regional climates in Japan can be compared to those of the East Coast of the
United States. Kyushu and Shikoku have a climate much like that of Perth. They
have long hot summers and mild winters. The island Honshu's generally has
warm,humid summers. Winters are mild in the south and cold and snowy in the
n...


... middle of paper ...


...ies of the language for use in different social contexts; these varieties
are called social styles of speech. A large number of dialects are spoken
throughout Japan's four main islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu), as
well as on the smaller islands, such as the Ryukyu Islands. Some dialects-for
instance, those spoken in the southern parts of Japan, notably on the islands of
Kyushu and Okinawa-are virtually incomprehensible to the speakers of other
dialects. As a result of this diversity of dialects, the Japanese use a standard,
or common, dialect to facilitate communication throughout the country. The two
dialect families with the largest number of speakers are the dialect spoken in
and around Tokyo, which is the common dialect, and the dialects of the Kansai
region in western Japan, spoken in cities such as Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Due to
the spread of the common dialect through television and radio, most people
outside the Tokyo region speak the common dialect as well as a local dialect.

Refrences:

World Book Encyclopedia (Cd Rom) Grolier Encyclopedia (Cd Rom) Encarta 96
Encyclopedia (Cd Rom) JETRO (Internet Site) CIA World Factbook (Internet Site)

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