Journey Through Japan

by Noucheng Thao, age 10

Japan is an influential east-Asian country, located off the coast of China. Although it lacks fertile land, Japan is a country with a rich history and culture.

Japan is the eighteenth largest country in Asia and is made up of many islands, the largest of which is Honshu. Japan’s landscape is very hilly and mountainous. Japan’s highest peak is Mount Fuji, which last erupted in 1707. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in Japan. The rivers that flow through Japan are very fast, and Japanese people use them to generate power.

Japan has a varied climate. Its southern islands are quite warm, while the northern island of Hokkaido typically gets snow in the winter. Japan also receives a lot of rain.

Many animals dwell in the forests of Japan. Japanese macaques, a type of monkey, are very popular because of their pink faces. Instead of hibernating during cold winters, they keep warm by swimming in hot springs. Other animals such as bears, wild boar, deer, and foxes also live in Japan.

The largest city in Japan is Tokyo. There are other large cities such as Yokohama and Osaka, which are all located on the island of Honshu. Honshu has 80 percent of Japan’s population. The two main religions practiced in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism.

Japan is wealthy although it lacks many natural resources. It doesn’t have many resources because only 15 percent of its hilly landscape is suitable for farming. Nevertheless, Japan manages to produce 70 percent of the food it needs. Rice is the food that is grown and eaten the most. Japan also produces a lot of fruit, sugar beet, tea and vegetables.

The first people to live in Japan were the Ainu people, who moved to the area about 2,200 years ago. Some Ainu people still live on the island of Hokkaido today, and modern Japanese are their descendants.

Japan eventually became a powerful nation because it won important battles against China in 1894. It also defeated Russia in 1905. Japan and the United States entered into World War II after Japan attacked the American naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In 1945, America dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States occupied Japan until 1952, during which time Japan became a democratic country.

One of the reasons Japan is so wealthy is because it is one of the largest manufacturers in the world, exporting mainly electronic equipment and vehicles. It is also one of the most industrialized countries in the world, second only to the United States.

[Source: The Kingfishers Children’s Encyclopedia ]

I'm amazed to read that Japan is wealthy, despite not having many natural resources, and astonished that it's the second most industrialized country in the world! Thank you for keeping me informed, Noucheng! – Nancy Garduno , Madison, WI (2014-06-07 11:04)
I learned a lot of general information about Japan through this article. I especially liked the details about the Japanese macaques keeping warm by swimming, and the detail about the Ainu people. Your formatting of this article was very clear! – Melody , LaFollette High School (2014-07-08 15:36)
you are absolutely amazing at writing articles – Alana R , falk (2015-01-26 14:07)