Sample Research Paper on Historical Background of Japan

Introduction

In the current globalized society, populations from across the world share vital information regarding their countries’ attractive features. The information influences decision making and strengthens international relationships in different ways. Since it reflects the country’s abilities and strengths, it aids in according the same a desirable competitive edge. This research presents vital information about Japan and informs the audience about its functioning.

Historical Background

Historical accounts ascertain that Japan has undergone various developments since it was founded (Berry, 2007). Before 710, the country was ruled by emperors and its populations unified by Shintoism religion. Buddhism was introduced during the seventh century and led to the construction of various temples. Between 794 and 1185, Japan enjoyed a period of peace that was characterized by high level globalization. Different ideas from China and Korea influenced its culture and literature. However, populations started fighting for power and the clashes culminated in widespread civil wars.

Between 1336 and 1598, there emerged various feudal lords that built castles as a symbol of power and strength although amongst them, Tokugawa Leyasu rose as the most powerful statesman (Berry, 2007). In a bid to control the feudal lords, he stablished laws and instituted relevant compelling policies that banned international relations and led to the isolation of Japan from the rest of the world. This changed in the mid nineteenth century when emergent sophisticated merchants challenged the feudal system of governance. Resultantly, the country embraced modernization and after the Second World War, it adopted democratic system of governance. According to Berry (2007), the characteristic empowerment of the people, enforcement of human rights, and denunciation of war culminated in increased industrialization that the country enjoys to date.

Geography

Figure 1: Japan

Adopted from: Country Watch, 2014

The country’s geographical wellbeing is diverse and comprises of various unique physical features. It is bordered by China, Russia and Korea on the eastern side (Country Watch, 2014). It is an island country that is located on the Pacific Ocean and geographical reports estimate that it has over three thousand islands (Country Watch, 2014). The four main islands that also constitute the largest land mass include Honshu, Kyunshu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido. Kyunshu is situated in the southern region while Hokkaido is found in the northern part. Notably, the country is surrounded by innumerable seas as well as oceans that range from the sea of Okhotsk in the north and the East China Sea in the south-west region to the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean. Its land masses comprise of plains, natural lakes, steep mountains, hot springs, and volcanoes. Japan grapples the negative effects of active volcanoes that occasionally cause tremors and severe earthquakes (Country Watch, 2014). The earthquakes trigger fatal tsunamis that have detrimental effects on the entire wellbeing of its population. Further, it has various small rivers that compromise effective navigation.

Culture and Ethnicity

The major ethnic group of this country is the Japanese population that comprises of a significant ninety eight percent with the remaining constituting of the Koreans, Chinese, and aboriginal Ainu. The population uses Japanese as its official language to communicate both within and outside the country. Essentially, language is an important aspect of the Japanese population because it defines its nationality. The Chinese and Korean immigrants also use their languages privately on a low scale. The Japanese sign language is also widespread and plays an instrumental role in enabling effective communication especially amongst the deaf. Japan’s literature, music, and art are greatly influenced by its cultural beliefs. Its cuisine is relatively sophisticated with the diet comprising of rice, boiled vegetables, and lean sea food.

Religion in Japan

Seemingly, the Japanese population is a spiritual group that adheres to Christianity, Buddhism, and Shintoism religions (Kalman, 2008). The religious rituals and ceremonies are important and influence their daily lives in different ways. In most instances, these are undertaken in designated places such as temples and shrines. The population derives its value system from religious teachings that advocate for unity.

Economy

Figure 2: Japan’s Gross Domestic Product

Adopted from: Mosk, 2007

Economically, Japan is a stable developed country whose Gross Domestic Product stands at 4.73 trillion dollars (Mosk, 2007). It is self-sufficient in rice production but imports around sixty percent of its food to substitute local Agricultural production. Its major trade partners are South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United States. With regard to production, its main industries include manufacture of machine tools electronic equipment, textiles, chemicals, processed foods and motor vehicle parts. Mosk (2007) ascertains that these also represent its top exported goods.

Government

With respect to governance, Japan prides itself of a parliamentary government system and a constitutional monarchy and its executive faction comprises of the emperor and the prime minister. Constitutionally, the former symbolizes state unity while the later undertakes various responsibilities including presentation of bills, signing of orders or rules and making critical reports pertaining to the country’s foreign relations (Kalman, 2008). Regarding the judiciary, the Saiko Saibansho is the highest ranking court that assumes the responsibility of holding the national constitution. The National Diet makes laws, approves the national budget, and initiates vital constitutional amendments.

Regarding foreign policy, the World Bank (2014) posits that Japan’s economic power influences operations both regionally and globally. Besides being an active member of the United Nations, it has established and sustained viable diplomatic relations with independent countries from across the globe. Its foreign policy emphasizes on promoting prosperity and peace for its populace, collaborating with the United Nations and strengthening relations with the western countries. Recently, the country appreciates the importance of security concerns and as such, it supports the defense forces.

Conclusion

As a country, Japan is an Island that is situated in the eastern side of Asia and besides Korea and China, it borders Russia and Taiwan. It has various islands but four main ones assume up to ninety seven percent of the total land mass. Most of its geographical area is mountainous and thus makes it difficult for the population to undertake cultivation. The numerous small rivers compromise navigation too. The population uses Japanese language as the main mode of communication and with respect to religion, the Japanese practice Christianity, Shintoism, and Buddhism. The country has a stable economy that is able to cater for the entire needs of its population and uses a parliamentary system of governance that is guided by a constitution. It acknowledges the importance of security in its foreign policy and as such takes practical measures to support defense forces. Also, the nation partners with various countries including the west in an effort to boost relations and enhance growth and development.

 

 

 

 

References

Berry, M. (2007). Japan in print: Information and nation in the early modern period. California: University Press.

Country Watch (2014). Japan. Retrieved 27th November 2014 from: http://www.countrywatch.com/country_profile.aspx?vcountry=86

Kalman, B. (2008). Japan the culture. USA: Crabtree Publishing Company.

Mosk, C. (2007). Japanese economic development: Markets, norms structures. London: Routledge.

World Bank (2014). Japan: country at a glance. Retrieved on 27th November 2014 from: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/japan