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 ==>Japan News<==

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Shinkansen bullet trains connect the main islands of Kyushu (with Okinawa's subtropical beaches), Honshu (home to Tokyo and Hiroshima’s atomic-bomb memorial) and Hokkaido (famous for skiing). Tokyo, the capital, is known for skyscrapers, shopping and pop culture.


 Kunaicho.go.jp - The Imperial Household Agency

Shugiin.go.jp - Shugiin The House of Representative

Sangiin.go.jp - Sangiin The House of Councillors

Kantei.go.jp - Kantei of the Prime Minister

Mofa.go.jp - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Us.emb-japan.go.jp - Embassy of Japan Washington

Mofa.go.jp - Japan Embassies and Consulates Abroad

Stat.go.jp - Statistics Bureau & Statistics Center

Map of Japan


Asahi.com - Asahi Shimbun The Japanes Newspaper

Japantimes.co.jp - Japan Times News from Japan

Japantoday.com - Japan Today Japan News in English

English.kyodonews.jp - Kyodo News National and international news

Newsonjapan.com - News on Japan News Desk

Weeklypost.com - The Weekly Post Japanese newsweekly

Yomiuri.co.jp - Yomiuri Shimbun National and international news


Cyberjapan.tv - Online magazine Street Fashion and Club Culture

Ikjeld.com - About Japan

Japanesestreets.com - Japanese Street Fashion

Wdirewolff.com - Kyoko Date Virtual Cybergirl

Shift.jp.org - Shift E-Zine directly from Japan

Momak.go.jp - National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

Kyohaku.go.jp - Kyoto National Museum

Minpaku.ac.jp - Minpaku The National Museum of Ethnology

Mus-nh.city.osaka.jp - Osaka Museum of Natural History

Tnm.jp - Tokyo National Museum

Cybermanga.com - Manga magazine

Otakuworld.com - Otakuworld Anime and Manga


Jka.or.jp - Japan Karate Association Budo culture

Kendo.or.jp - Kendo The Art of the Sword - Martial Art

Bijinga.com - Bijinga beautiful women in Japanese art

Urasenke.or.jp - The Urasenke Tradition of Tea

Onmarkproductions.com - Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhism

Sagagoryu.gr.jp - Ikebana Saga School The Art of Flower Arrangement

Japan-guide.com - Japanese Buddhism

Jgarden.org - Japanese garden database

Japanesestyle.com - Kimono Fabric & Japanese Clothing

Nihonkiin.or.jp - Nihon Ki-in Japan Go Association

Samuraisword.com - The art of sword making

Shirakawa-go.org - Shirakawa-go Gassho-zukuri Village

Shogi.net - Shogi is a Japanese board game

Iriz.hanazono.ac.jp - Zen - International Research Institute for Zen

Zenbunka.or.jp - The Institute for Zen Studies


Boj.or.jp - Central Bank Japan

Nikkei.com - The Japanese stock market

Jcci.or.jp - The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tokyo-cci.or.jp - The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Jetro.go.jp - JETRO - government-related organization


Bandai.co.jp - Bandai Toys

Canon.jp - Canon Fine cameras and copiers

Honda.co.jp - Honda Japanese cars and motorbikes

Kirin.co.jp - Kirin Brewery Company

Konicaminolta.jp - Konica Minolta More fine cameras

Mikimoto.com - Mikimoto Pearls Island

Nikon.co.jp - Nikon and more fine cameras

Pioneer.jp - Pioneer Japanese Hifi

Sega.co.jp - SEGA Entertainment universe

Sony.co.jp - SONY MULTI-media

Dentsu.co.jp - Dentsu advertising agencies


Ana.co.jp - All Nippon Airways

Jal.co.jp - Japan Airlines

Narita-airport.or.jp - Tokyo International Airport

Tokyo-airport-bldg.co.jp - Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)

Jreast.co.jp - East Japan Railway

Westjr.co.jp - West Japan Railway Company

Odakyu.jp - Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.

Jnto.go.jp - Japan National Tourist Organization

Web-japan.org - Web Japan About Japan and the Japanese

Jpf.go.jp - The Japan Foundation

Japan-guide.com - Guides to Japan modern and traditional

Thejapanfaq.com - The Japan FAQ: Know Before You Go

Ogasawara-ryu.gr.jp - Ogasawara-Ryu Tha Japanese art

Photojpn.org - PhotoGuide Japan

Tcvb.or.jp/jp - Travelers guide to Tokyo

Tobunken.go.jp - Tokyo National Research Institute

Bento.com - Tokyo Food Page


City.chiba.jp - City of Chiba

Cty.kobe.lg.jp - City of Kobe

City.kyoto.lg.jp - City of Kyoto

City.sendai.jp - City of Sendai

City.yokohama.lg.jp - Yokohama City


Studyjapan.go.jp - Guide to study in Japan

Chiba-u.ac.jp - Chiba University

Chuo-u.ac.jp - Chuo University

Kyoto-u.ac.jp - Kyoto University

Geidai.ac.jp - Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music


Jaxa.jp - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Nii.ac.jp - The National Institute of Informatics

Kahaku.go.jp - National Science Museum

Foejapan.org - Nature advocacy group

Gsj.jp - Geological Survey of Japan

Japan-guide.com - Japan Guide - History

Rekihaku.ac.jp - National Museum of Japanese History

Archives.go.jp - National Archives of Japan


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History of Japan (http://web-japan.org/museum/historyofjp/histjp.html)

During the Jomon period, which began around 10,000 BC, the inhabitants of Japan lived by fishing, hunting, and gathering. The period is named after the cord-markings (jomon) on the pottery they produced. In the Yayoi period, beginning around 300 BC, rice cultivation was introduced from the Korean Peninsula. An account of Japan in a Chinese historical document of the third century AD describes a queen named Himiko ruling over a country called Yamatai.

Kofun Period (ca. AD 300-710)

In the fourth century, ancestors of the present imperial family established Japan's first unified state under what is known as the Yamato court. During this period, manufactured articles, weapons, and agricultural tools were introduced from China and Korea. The period is named after the huge mounded tombs (kofun) that were built for the political elite. These tombs were often surrounded with clay cylinders and figurines called haniwa.

Nara Period (710-794)

A centralized government, with its capital in what is now the city of Nara, was established under a Chinese-style system of law codes known as the Ritsuryo system. Buddhism became the national religion, and Buddhist art and architecture flourished. Provincial temples called kokubunji were set up throughout Japan. It was during this period that the Great Buddha at the Todaiji temple in Nara was built. Histories of Japan, such as Kojiki and Nihon shoki were compiled, as was the celebrated collection of poetry called Man'yoshu.

Heian Period (794-1185)

After the capital moved to what is now Kyoto, certain noble families,especially the Fujiwara family, gained control of the government, ruling on behalf of the emperor. The Chinese-style culture that had dominated the Nara period was gradually replaced by a more indigenous style of culture closer to the lives of the people and their natural surroundings. The palaces of the emperor and the residences of the noble families incorporated beautiful gardens, with buildings in the shinden-zukuri style of architecture. Literary masterpieces such as Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji and Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book were written during this period.

Kamakura Period (1185-1333)

The Taira family, a warrior family that had come to dominate the imperial court in the late Heian period, was overthrown by the Minamoto family. Minamoto no Yoritomo was given the title of shogun by the court, and he set up a military-style government at Kamakura - the Kamakura Shogunate - ushering in a period of de facto rule by members of the warrior class. In the arts, a vigorous, realistic style emerged that was in keeping with the warrior spirit. The statues of fierce guardian deities by Unkei and other sculptors at the Southern Great Gate of Todaiji Temple are examples of this powerful, realistic style. In literature, this period is noted for military tales such as the Tale of the Heike, which celebrated the exploits of the warriors.

Muromachi Period (1333-1568)

The beginning of this period was dominated by a political standoff between Emperor Go-Daigo, who had briefly restored control of the government to the imperial court, and his former supporter Ashikaga Takauji, who had overthrown the Kamakura Shogunate but had then gone on to establish the Muromachi Shogunate. In time the shogunate weakened, losing its centralized control over local warlords; the latter part of this period is referred to as the Sengoku period - a period of "warring states." More plebeian forms of culture began to emerge as the merchant class and the peasants managed to improve their circumstances. In the arts this was a period of Chinese-style ink painting, and in theater Noh drama and kyogen came to the fore. This was also the period in which the pursuits of tea ceremony and flower arrangement were born. In architecture, an important development was the shoin-zukuri style, with elegant tatami-matted rooms, featuring an alcove where paintings were hung.

Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568-1600)

The nation was reunified by Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (foremost among the Sengoku warlords) who respectively ruled it briefly. In the arts, this was a period of increased contact with Europeans, who had begun to visit Japan earlier in the century. In place of the Buddhist influence of earlier periods, a lavishly ornate decorative style was developed at the hands of the warlords and the emerging merchant classes in the towns. This new style reached its height in Nobunaga's Azuchi Castle and Hideyoshi's Momoyama and Osaka castles. At this time the tea master Sen no Rikyu developed the tea ceremony into an esthetic discipline that is known as the Way of Tea.

Edo Period (1600-1868)

Tokugawa Ieyasu, who defeated other vassals of the deceased Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the Battle of Sekigahara and thereby gained control of Japan, established the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (now Tokyo). The Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan for over 260 years, and for some 200 of these years the country was virtually shut off from foreign contact by the shogunate's policy of national seclusion. From the end of the 17th century through the beginning of the 18th century, a colorful, down-to-earth new culture developed among the townsmen of the older cities of Kyoto and Osaka. Ihara Saikaku composed his ukiyo-zoshi (books of the "floating world"), Chikamatsu Monzaemon portrayed tragic relationships between men and women in his puppet plays, and Matsuo Basho raised the comic haiku verse form to the level of a literary art. By the Bunka and Bunsei eras, at the beginning of the 19th century, this new merchant-class form of culture was also flourishing in the shogunal capital of Edo. The kabuki drama was in its heyday. The printing of books had become an industry. The art of the woodblock print (ukiyoe) was born, with Sharaku producing his portraits of actors, Utamaro his pictures of beautiful women, and Hokusai and Hiroshige their landscapes.

Meiji Period (1868-1912)

The Meiji Restoration, by which political authority was restored from the shogunate to the imperial court, ushered in a period of far-reaching reform. The policy of national seclusion was rescinded, and the culture and civilization of the West began to pervade every aspect of Japanese life. Japan's victories in the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars enabled it to assume the stance of a modern, imperialistic world power. Modern Japanese literature was born with the publication of Futabatei Shimei's novel Ukigumo (Drifting Clouds), the first literary work to be written in the modern colloquial language. A Japanese version of romanticism soon appeared, with writers making their first attempts at free, natural expression of people's true feelings.

Taisho Period (1912-1926)

The educated urban middle classes avidly read the latest translations of Western books and provided the audience for new experiments in literature, drama, music, and painting. New kings of mass media - large circulation newspapers, general monthly magazines like Chuo koron (The Central Review) and Kaizo, and radio broadcasts - added to the richness of cultural life. The significant development in literature was the emergence of the Shirakaba school. Members of the group including Mushanokoji Saneatsu and Shiga Naoya were united by their upper- class background as well as by their basic humanism. In the Western-style of painting, Yasui Sotaro and Umehara Ryuzaburo returned from Paris to promote the styles of Cezanne and Renoir. Japanese-style painters such as Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso were also affected by European styles, although on a limited scale.

Showa Period (1926-1989)
Heisei Period (1989 to present)

The financial crisis of 1927, which occurred in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that devastated the Tokyo area, eventually led to a long period of economic depression. In these circumstances, the power of the military increased, and it eventually gained control of the government. The Manchurian Incident of 1931 launched a series of events that culminated in Japan's entry into World War II. This war ended in Japan's defeat, with Emperor Showa accepting the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. Japan rose from the rubble of defeat, going on to achieve an almost miraculous economic recovery, which has allowed it to take its place among the world's leading democratic powers.

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