Japan Essay, Research Paper


Japan (or Nippon as the locals call it) is an Island situated just east of North and South Korea in Asia. It is a huge economical influence due to it’s market in electronics and fish products. Despite the fact that natural resources are quite low, Japan is still one of the leading economic powers of the world next to the United States. The people consist mostly of Asian descent and not many immigrants are to be found. Also Japan has one of the lowest national unemployment rates and highest life expectancy. With over a 125 000 000 people and being 377,835 kmX (almost as large as California) Japan has a very concentrated population (333 people per kmX) and that’s an average based on the total land mass of the country (that includes forest area and parks that aren’t humanly populated) and so in cities that can exceed 2000 people per kmX. Another thing that makes Japan such an interesting location is its various climates that range from mountains on the main land to sub-tropical forests situated in the small islands south of the main island.



Population = 126,182,077 (July 1999 estimate)

Total Area = 377,835 kmX

Nations Capital = Tokyo (National Day December 23 [Birthday of the Emperor]

Coastline = 29, 751 km

Elevation = Highest = 3,776 m (Mount Fuji)

Lowest = -4 m (Hachiro-gata)


Natural Resources = fish, mineral

Per capita income = $23 730 US

Monetary Unit = Yen ( ) 69.31 Yen per Canadian Dollar (11 December 1999)

Main Products = Automobiles, Electronics (Televisions, Video Games) Office

machinery, Iron and steel products, Scientific equipment.

Budget = revenues $407 billion (99/00 est.)

expenditures $711 billion

Electricity Production by source = Fossil fuel 61.47 %

Hydro 8.34 %

Nuclear 29.83 %

Other 0.36 % (1996)

Electricity Consumption = 948.559 billion kWh (1996)


Nationality = Japanese

Languages = Japanese

Ethnic Groups = 99.4 % Japanese

0.6 % Other (mostly of Korean descent)

Literacy Rate = 99 % (after age 15) (1970 estimate)

Age expectancy (at birth) = total pop. = 80.11 Years (1999 estimate)

males = 77.02

females = 83.35

Religions = Shinto and Buddhist 84 %

Christianity 0.7 %

Other 16 %

Infant Mortality = 4.07 deaths/1 000 Born (1999 est.)

Sex Ratio (at birth) = 1.05 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Birth rate = 10.48 births/1 000 people (1999 est.)

Death rate = 8.12 deaths/1 000 people (1999 est.)

Total Growth rate = 0.2 % per year (1999 est.)

Migration Rate = -0.34 migrants/1 000 people (1999 est.)

Unemployment = 4.4 % (Nov. 1998)


Buddhism is Japan’s most practised religion. It has many different values that differ from the Christian and Catholic beliefs. Rather than being practised inside of a church it is practised in Buddha Temples. How did this religion begin? They say that 2 500 years ago in northern India, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama living in a small kingdom in what is now Nepal wanted to figure out a way to make people happier by making them understand their sufferings. His theory was that if people understood what was making them unhappy they wouldn’t ever fall into depression. He believed that suffering comes from ignorance that causes you to misunderstand your true identity and reality. He found out that all the world’s problems were linked to this. He then began to realize that everyone was influenced by the effect of their own actions (being good or bad). The next morning after meditating and contemplating his new ideas all night he became fully aware and had gotten rid of all his ignorance and he then became the “Buddha”. Buddha is derived from an ancient Sanskrit root word Budh’ which means to regain consciousness or to wake up. And so Siddhartha woke up from all his ignorance. And then an Indian god named Brahma appeared before his eyes and bowed down before him and begged him to teach others his idea because this philosophy made so much sense that people would benefit and live happier lives because of it. And so he did and he created a religion. He went across India and taught the people who would listen to his beliefs. Those who began to live by his philosophy became his disciples. And the word spread everywhere across India and many people lived by his beliefs. This religion freed the minds of the Buddha and his followers.

It is also said that there is a state of ultimate release of the mind and body named “Nirvana” where the person is in a mystical unity with the cosmos. Only the “Buddha” and his major followers have reached Nirvana. It is basically having a super-understanding of life and become one with the universe.


In conclusion Japan is quite an interesting country, it may be a small island on the east coast of Asia but it one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world with the most action when it comes to commerce. Now that you have learnt a bit about this nation which seems so foreign to us regular westerners I hope this has been educational as well as interesting. Thanks for reading my essay.


1. Bartholomew Mini World Factfile

Bartholomew 1993

Published by Bartholomew Division of HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN 0 7028 2179 9

2. National Geographic ATLAS OF THE WORLD sixth edition

National Geographic 1990

3. National Geographic Magazine Volume 165, Number 6 June 1984

National Geographic Society 1984

Edited by Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor

4.Internet Addresses







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