Images containing a personification of the country of Japan or anything related to it.
Japan (Japanese: 日本, Nippon or Nihon, and formally 日本国, Nihonkoku) is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 14,125 islands, with the five main islands being Hokkaido, Honshu (the "mainland"), Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.
Japan is the eleventh most populous country in the world, as well as one of the most densely populated. About three-fourths of the country's terrain is mountainous, concentrating its highly urbanized population on narrow coastal plains. Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Japan has the world's highest life expectancy, though it is experiencing a population decline.
Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period (30,000 BC). Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an emperor and the imperial court based in Heian-kyō. Beginning in the 12th century, political power was held by a series of military dictators (Shogun) and feudal lords (Daimyo) and enforced by a class of warrior nobility (Samurai) during a period known as the Sengoku Jidai. After a century-long period of civil war, the country was reunified in 1603 under the Tokugawa shogunate, which enacted an isolationist foreign policy during the Edo Jidai.
In 1854, a United States fleet commanded by Admiral Perry forced Japan to open trade to the West, which led to the end of the shogunate and the restoration of imperial power in 1868, following a civil war. In the Meiji period, the Empire of Japan adopted a Western-modeled constitution and pursued a program of industrialization and modernization. Following the Meiji period, amidst a rise in militarism and ultranationalism during the Taishou and early Shouwa periods, Japan seized Korea in 1906 and invaded China in 1937 and entered World War II as an Axis power in 1941. After suffering defeat in the Pacific War and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered in 1945 and came under a seven-year Allied occupation, during which it adopted a new constitution in 1947. Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature, the National Diet. Following the latter half of the Shouwa period, there was the Heisei period, and the current Reiwa era.
Japan is a developed country and a great economic power, having one of the highest gross domestic product per capita, with one of the largest domestic product base. Japan has renounced its right to declare war to other countries, though it maintains a Japan Self-Defense Force that ranks as one of the world's strongest armies. A global leader in the automotive, robotics, and electronics industries, the country has made significant contributions to science and technology. It is part of multiple major international and intergovernmental institutions.
Japan is considered a cultural superpower as the culture of Japan is well known around the world, including its art, cuisine, film, music, and popular culture, which encompasses prominent manga, anime, and video game industries.