Legendary Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇)
Samurai warriors battling Mongols during the Mongol invasions of Japan, depicted in the
Emperor Meiji (明治天皇); 1852–1912
Japan's imperial ambitions ended on September 2, 1945, with the country's surrender to the Allies.
The Japanese archipelago
Mount Fuji in Spring, view from Arakurayama Sengen Park
Autumn maple leaves at Kongōbu-ji on Mount Kōya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The National Diet Building
Japan is a member of both the G7 and the G20.
JMSDF class destroyer
The Tokyo Stock Exchange
A rice paddy in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture
A plug-in hybrid car manufactured by Toyota. Japan is the third-largest maker of motor vehicles in the world.
The Japanese Experiment Module (Kibō) at the International Space Station
Japan Airlines, the flag carrier of Japan
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant
The Greater Tokyo Area is ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world.
The torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine near Hiroshima
Kanji and hiragana signs
Students celebrating after the announcement of the results of the entrance examinations to the University of Tokyo
12th-century illustrated handscroll of The Tale of Genji, a National Treasure
Noh performance at a Shinto shrine
Young ladies celebrate Coming of Age Day (成人の日) in Harajuku, Tokyo
A plate of nigiri-zushi
Sumo wrestlers form around the referee during the ring-entering ceremony

Island country in East Asia.

- Japan

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Edo period screen depicting the battle.

Battle of Sekigahara

Edo period screen depicting the battle.
Edo-period screen depicting the Battle of Sekigahara. 160,000 men faced each other on 21 October 1600.
Sekigahara battlefield memorials, in April 2005

The Battle of Sekigahara (Shinjitai: 関ヶ原の戦い; Kyūjitai: 關ヶ原の戰い, Hepburn romanization: Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 (Keichō 5, 15th day of the 9th month) in what is now Gifu prefecture, Japan, at the end of the Sengoku period.

Portrait of Ō no Yasumaro by Kikuchi Yōsai (19th century)


Portrait of Ō no Yasumaro by Kikuchi Yōsai (19th century)
A page from the Shinpukuji manuscript of the Kojiki, dating from 1371–72
Kan'ei Kojiki, 1644 (Kokugakuin University)
Kojiki-den by Motoori Norinaga
Motoori Norinaga

The "Records of Ancient Matters" or "An Account of Ancient Matters" (古事記), also sometimes read as Furukotofumi or Furukotobumi, is an early Japanese chronicle of myths, legends, hymns, genealogies, oral traditions, and semi-historical accounts down to 641 concerning the origin of the Japanese archipelago, the kami (神), and the Japanese imperial line.

Nara, Nara

Tōshōdai-ji temple
Saidai-ji main hall
Kasuga Shrine
Nara National Museum
Isuien Garden
Ukimidou Pavilion in Nara Park
Sunazuri-no-Fuji (wisteria flower) in Kasuga-taisha
Burning the dead grass of Mount Wakakusa and Suzakumon of Heijō Palace
Deer roaming in Nara city. 2010
Nara Women's University former main building
Kintetsu Nara Station
JR Nara Station
Kintetsu Limited Express passing through the Heijo Palace ruins. Mt.Wakakusa and Todaiji Temple are in the background.
Gosashi tomb
Tōdai-ji is a Buddhist temple and the world's largest wooden building (8th century)
Yakushi-ji was completed in 680
Kōfuku-ji was built in 669
Houtokuji (Yagyu Clan Tomb)
Himuro Shrine, established in 710
Tōdai-ji Temple Daibutsuden Hall, the world's largest wooden building
Kōfuku-ji in the center of Nara
Deer in Nara Park (2012).
Deer approaching tourists in Nara Park in summer.
Deer in Nara Park

Nara (奈良市) is the capital city of Nara Prefecture, Japan.

Satellite photo of the Ryukyu islands (Nansei islands)

Ryukyu Islands

Satellite photo of the Ryukyu islands (Nansei islands)
The last sunset in Japan is seen from Yonaguni.
Sea routes used by Japanese missions to Tang China
Tanegashima matchlock
Okinawa Islands during the Sanzan Period
Flag of the Ryūkyū Kingdom until 1875
Harimizu utaki (Harimizu Shrine), a Ryukyuan shrine in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture
Jōmon Sugi in Yakushima
The Yonaguni Monument, a rock formation along the south coast of Yonaguni Island

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島) or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧), are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni the westernmost.

Korean language

Native language for about 80 million people, mostly of Korean descent.

Native language for about 80 million people, mostly of Korean descent.

The oldest Korean dictionary (1920)
Short vowel chart
Long vowel chart
Highway sign in Korean and English, Daegu, South Korea

Korean is spoken by the Korean people in both South Korea and North Korea, and by the Korean diaspora in many countries including the People's Republic of China, the United States, Japan, and Russia.


Chūgoku region and Shikoku seen from the International Space Station
Geofeatures map of Shikoku
Yosakoi festival.
Sanuki udon
Shikoku Island League Plus (Ehime Mandarin Pirates)
J. League (Tokushima Vortis)
Kōchi Castle
Anraku-ji in Kamiita, Tokushima
Mount Ishizuchi is the highest mountain in Shikoku
Cape Ashizuri is at the southernmost tip of Shikoku
Shimanto River
Seto Inland Sea
Matsuyama City
Takamatsu City
Kōchi City
Tokushima City

Shikoku (四国) is one of the four main islands of Japan.

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements

First Sino-Japanese War

Conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea.

Conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea.

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements
Caricature about the dispute between China, Japan and Russia over Korea, published in the first edition of Tôbaé, 1887
Woodblock print depicting the flight of the Japanese legation in 1882
Kim Ok-gyun photographed in Nagasaki in 1882. His assassination in China would contribute to tensions leading to the First Sino-Japanese War.
Itō Sukeyuki, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet
The French-built Matsushima, flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Sino-Japanese conflict
Japanese troops during the Sino-Japanese War
Empress Dowager Cixi built the Chinese navy in 1888.
, the flagship of the Beiyang Fleet
Depiction of the sinking of the Kow-shing and the rescue of some of its crew by the French gunboat Le Lion, from the French periodical Le Petit Journal (1894)
Korean soldiers and Chinese captives
Japanese soldiers of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japan, 1895
The Battle of the Yalu River
An illustration by Utagawa Kokunimasa of Japanese soldiers beheading 38 Chinese POWs as a warning to others
Revisionist depiction of Chinese delegation, led by Admiral Ding Ruchang and their foreign advisors, boarding the Japanese vessel to negotiate the surrender with Admiral Itō Sukeyuki after the Battle of Weihaiwei. In reality, Ding had committed suicide after his defeat, and never surrendered.
Japan–China peace treaty, 17 April 1895
Satirical drawing in the magazine Punch (29 September 1894), showing the victory of "small" Japan over "large" China
Convention of retrocession of the Liaodong Peninsula, 8 November 1895
Western Powers tried to divide their interests and influence in China in the aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War.

On 1 August 1894, war was officially declared between China and Japan.


Nara period

The Nara period (奈良時代) of the history of Japan covers the years from CE 710 to 794.

The Nara period (奈良時代) of the history of Japan covers the years from CE 710 to 794.

The East Pagoda of Yakushi-ji temple was built in 730, during the Nara period
Seated Bhaisajyaguru

Works such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki were political, used to record and therefore justify and establish the supremacy of the rule of the emperors within Japan.

Excerpt from a 1436 primer on Chinese characters

Chinese characters

Written in simplified Chinese / traditional Chinese, pinyin order.

Written in simplified Chinese / traditional Chinese, pinyin order.

Excerpt from a 1436 primer on Chinese characters
Comparative evolution from pictograms to abstract shapes, in cuneiform, Egyptian and Chinese characters
Ox scapula with oracle bone inscription
The Shi Qiang pan, a bronze ritual basin dated to around 900 BC. Long inscriptions on the surface describe the deeds and virtues of the first seven Zhou kings.
A page from a Song dynasty publication in a regular script typeface which resembles the handwriting of Ouyang Xun from Tang Dynasty
The first batch of Simplified Characters introduced in 1935 consisted of 324 characters.
Current (dark green) and former extension (light green) of the use of Chinese characters
The first two lines of the classic Vietnamese epic poem The Tale of Kieu, written in the Nôm script and the modern Vietnamese alphabet. Chinese characters representing Sino-Vietnamese words are shown in green, characters borrowed for similar-sounding native Vietnamese words in purple, and invented characters in brown.
Mongolian text from The Secret History of the Mongols in Chinese transcription, with a glossary on the right of each row
Sample of the cursive script by Chinese Tang dynasty calligrapher Sun Guoting, c. 650 AD
Chinese calligraphy of mixed styles written by Song dynasty (1051–1108 AD) poet Mifu. For centuries, the Chinese literati were expected to master the art of calligraphy.
The first four characters of Thousand Character Classic in different type and script styles. From right to left: seal script, clerical script, regular script, Ming and sans-serif.
Variants of the Chinese character for guī 'turtle', collected c. 1800 from printed sources. The one at left is the traditional form used today in Taiwan and Hong Kong,, though may look slightly different, or even like the second variant from the left, depending on your font (see Wiktionary). The modern simplified forms used in China,, and in Japan, 亀, are most similar to the variant in the middle of the bottom row, though neither is identical. A few more closely resemble the modern simplified form of the character for diàn 'lightning', 电.
Five of the 30 variant characters found in the preface of the Imperial (Kangxi) Dictionary which are not found in the dictionary itself. They are 為 (爲) wèi "due to", 此 cǐ "this", 所 suǒ "place", 能 néng "be able to", 兼 jiān "concurrently". (Although the form of 為 is not very different, and in fact is used today in Japan, the radical 爪 has been obliterated.) Another variant from the preface, 来 for 來 lái "to come", also not listed in the dictionary, has been adopted as the standard in Mainland China and Japan.
The character 次 in Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have an appropriate font installed, you can see the corresponding character in Vietnamese:.
Zhé, "verbose"
Zhèng (unknown meaning)
alternative form of Taito
Cumulative frequency of simplified Chinese characters in Modern Chinese text
Kanji for 剣道 (Kendo), pronounced differently from the Korean term 劍道 (Kumdo), or the Chinese words 劍道 (jiàndào; it is more common to use the expressions 劍術 jiànshù or 劍法 jiànfǎ in Chinese).
Nàng, "poor enunciation due to snuffle"
Taito, "the appearance of a dragon in flight"
Biáng, a kind of noodle in Shaanxi

In Japan, common characters are often written in post-Tōyō kanji simplified forms, while uncommon characters are written in Japanese traditional forms.

Japanese archipelago

The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, Nihon rettō) is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan as well as the Russian island of Sakhalin.