Japan is about the same size as California. Japan is made up of many islands. The four largest islands in Japan are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Japan forms an arc in the Pacific Ocean. Japans total area is about 378,000 square kilometers. About 75% of Japans land is mountains. Japans highest mountain is Mount Fuji at 3776 meters. Japan has several volcanic regions and 80 volcanoes are considered active. Mount Fuji hasn’t erupted since 1707 and is considered capable of erupting again in our lifetime. To the east of Japan is the Pacific Ocean and to the west is the Sea of Japan. Being in the middle of these two bodies of water has its advantages. Japan has a great abundance of fish! The climate in Japan varies from region to region. Japan has four distinct seasons. Spring months are March, April, and May. Summer months are June, July, and August. Autumn months are September, October, and November. Winter months are December, January, and February. Summer is hot and humid and during the winter it snows a lot on the Sea of Japan side and it is dry on the Pacific side. Japans rainy season lasts about 40 days from the months of June and July. August to October is the typhoon season in Japan. In April, May, and November, temperatures are mild, and there is not so much rain in most parts of Japan.
They have been people living on the island of Japan for more than 30,000 years. To be able to eat they hunted deer, bears, and fish. They also, gathered nuts and berries. The main artifacts that were left behind were pots. They were marked with cords and/or ropes. Jomon means cork-marked. During the Jomon era the people in Japan learned new ideas and technologies from coming in contact with China and Korea. They learned how to farm rice. They also learned how to make toots and weapons. This is called the Yayoi era. During the era, groups of families begin to struggle for power in the Yamato Plain. The plain lies southeast of modern Kyoto. One of the extended family groups started to dominate the others and soon name itself Japans imperial household. The head of the imperial house whose name was Kotoku became emperor in 645. Japanese beliefs were depended on for the imperial family to justify its claim to authority. The family descended from Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess. In 974, which is known as the Heian era, the imperial household moved to a new city called Heian-kyo. Only men were allowed to rule during the Heian era. The city Heian-kyo was the center of Japanese government and nobility for 400 years. In the 700’s they had the “Creation of private estates.” What these properties were used for is so landowners wouldn’t get taxed. In the 1100’s they had the rise of the shogun. Two large military clans, the Taira and the Minamoto, fought for power. The Minamoto clan eventually won in the 1180’s. They began to take over land from private land owners. During the Tokugawa era, the Tokugawa took over 75% of Japan. In the 1600’s Japan was now home to five groups of foreigners: Portuguese, Spanish, English, Dutch, and Chinese. The Tokugawa thought Christianity was an outsider religion and did not support and that is why they did not agree with the foreigners. They eventually expelled the foreigners from Japan in the 1630’s. Japan had now put an end to centuries of war and was now closed off from the rest of the world. In 1853, contact with the west ended in direct changes. In 1867, they restored the emperor to his throne and made Japan known as a well securitized, dangerous, and competitive world. After defeating China in war, Japan assumed control over Taiwan in 1895. Korea fell under Japanese control in 1910 following a brutal war between Japan and Russia in 1905. In 1939 World War II began, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. They also bombed U.S. bases which began a war between the Japanese and America. Japan surrendered on August 14th, they had agreed to...