Brief History

The first inhabitants of Japan were Paleolithic people who came from Mainland Asia about 35,000 years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age, the Jomon culture arose. Around the same time, the Ainu people, coming from Siberia, arrived in Japan. These two groups of people survived for thousands of years, and were primarily hunters and gatherers. Japan’s first emperor came to power in 660 B.C. Emperors ruled the country until the 12th century A.D., when a class of warriors called samurai took over. Their military leaders were called shoguns. In 1635, Japan closed its borders and no one was allowed to visit or leave Japan. This isolation lasted over 200 years, until the shoguns were overthrown in 1868. During World War II, Japan allied with the Axis Powers of Germany and Italy. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the United States navy fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This caused the United States to enter World War II. After several years of fighting, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This event killed about 140,000 people, and Japan surrendered a few days later.

National Flag

The national flag of Japan is white with a crimson-red circle at its center. The white background represents the honesty and integrity of the Japanese people, and the red circle symbolizes the sun. This flag was adopted on August 5, 1854.


Japan is an island nation located in Northeast Asia. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, and the East China Sea. Japan is a mountainous country with forests, lakes, rivers, and beaches.


World Land Mass Ranking: 62nd


Highest Mountain: Mont Fuji, 4,087 m (15,773 ft)


Longest River: Shinano River, 367 km (228 mi)

Main Languages


Japan Population: 125 million (as of 2023)

Capital City: Tokyo

Capital City Population: 37 million (as of 2023)


The climate of Japan varies greatly from region to region. In the north, it is relatively cold, with snowy and icy winters. The central regions have a temperate climate, and southern Japan is subtropical. Overall, Japan is a humid and rainy country with four distinct seasons.

Key People

Hayao Myazaki
Naomi Osaka


Akira Kurosawa


Oda Nobunaga

  • Cuisine

    Japanese cuisine is influenced by the country’s rich history, and each region of Japan has its own distinct foods. Japanese cuisine is popular worldwide, and characterized by fresh ingredients and unique flavors. White rice, soy sauce, miso, wasabi, noodles, sea food, and fresh produce are all common ingredients in Japanese cuisine. Some popular Japanese dishes are sushi, ramen, tempura, miso soup, and sashimi.

  • Sports

    Although baseball is traditionally an American sport, it is also the most popular sport in Japan. Baseball was first introduced to the country in 1872. Now japan has 12 baseball teams in their premier league, and many Japanese baseball players have been in the MLB. The national sport of Japan is Sumo, which is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling. Other sports that are popular in Japan include karate, football, tennis, and basketball.

  • Culture

    Japanese culture is a unique mix of ancient traditions and modern beliefs and development. Family is valued in Japan, and people are expected to respect their elders. Shinto, the country’s oldest religion, and Buddhism, which was introduced in the 6th century, are the main religions in Japan. Art is an important part of Japanese culture, especially ceramics, origami, jade carving, architecture, and manga.

10 facts about Japan

1. The national flower of Japan is the cherry blossom.
2. Japan is home to 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3. There are over 90,000 species of wildlife in Japan.
4. The life expectancy in Japan is 85 years
5. Japan consists of over 6,800 islands.
6. In Japan there are more pets than children.
7. About 1500 earthquakes strike Japan each year.
8. Tokyo is the world’s most populated city.
9. The yen is the official currency of Japan.
10.There are 108 active volcanoes in Japan.

Q&A Corner

1. What language is spoken in Japan? +
2. What is the tallest mountain in Japan? +
3. What is the capital city of Japan? +
4. Name a sea that borders Japan? +
5. What is the most popular sport in Japan? +
6. Name a food that is popular in Japanese cuisine? +
7. What is the longest river in Japan? +
8. What is the population of Japan (as of 2023)? +
9. When did the first Japanese emperor come to power? +
10. Name a key/famous Japanese person? +