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Japan is an old country in the Far East, with a long tradition of warriors, the samurai, serving an emperor.

Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin country", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands making it an archipelago. The largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan's land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan's highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.


Variant flag of Japan

Archaeological research indicates that people were living on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the first century A.D. Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history.

During the early part of the twentieth century, Japan, ruled by an emperor viewed as a living deity, pursued a course of expanding its borders through annexation, adding Korea and parts of China to its Empire. Siding with Nazi Germany in World War II, Japanese forces, including the Japanese Imperial Army, continued their expansion on the Asian continent and forced the United States of America into the war by attacking the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

As the war went on, Japanese expansion in the Pacific was thwarted by the Allies, who managed to push Japanese forces back to the home islands. After America used atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered. As part of the peace process, the Emperor renounced deity status and the country was occupied by American forces while it rebuilt its government and economy. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

Adventures in Japan[]

Helen Margaret Seymour fulfilled her desire to see the gardens of Kyoto during Professor Henry Jones's 19081910 world lecture tour.[2]

Indiana Jones visited Japan several times during the course of his life. He also ran into Japanese forces in other countries as they sometimes competed against him for secrets they could use in their ambitions of empire.

In April 1910, on his father's lecture tour, Jones traveled to Peers School in Tokyo and met future emperor Hirohito. The boys went whale-watching but found themselves being attacked by a shark and ultimately had to be rescued by a samurai.[3]

In 1936, Jones and Alex Beresford-Hope were on his way from Shanghai to Siberia to find the Tomb of the Gods when their freighter stopped at a port in Japan. During that visit, Janice Le Roi, Friedrich von Hassell and his goons boarded the ship. Later, out in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, von Hassell ambushed Jones and Beresford-Hope, and left Jones and Le Roi adrift.[4]

Later that year, a Japanese military team led by General Makimura was able to retrieve a dragon discovered in Nepal by Professor Kobayashi and bring it back to Japan, hoping to use it as a weapon eventually in the invasion of the United States. Unable to stop them in Nepal, Jones secretly entered Japan, and with help from Kobayashi's daughter, found the shrine that was being used to hold the dragon. After defeating some of the shrine's guards, Jones discovered the secret military installation and woke up the sleeping imprisoned dragon. As the dragon began destroying the facility with its fire breath, Jones struggled to reclaim the mystic parchment given to him by the Nepalese natives that would control the beast. Catching a ride on the flying creature as it escaped, Jones flew over the Japanese countryside, scaring the farmers. As the dragon was about to swoop in on a group of schoolchildren attending a festival, Jones spoke the mystic incantation, causing the dragon to vanish - and himself to fall out of the sky. Landing in a river, Jones made his way back to Kobayashi's daughter who helped him escape from the country.[5]

Notable Japanese[]

Locations in Japan[]



Notes and references[]

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