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Japan And Her Culture Essay

2403 words - 10 pages

Japanese AssignmentGeographical SettingJapan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean. It lies off the northeast coast ofmainland Asia and faces Russia,Korea, and China. Four large islands and thousands ofsmaller ones make up Japan. The four major islands-Hokkaido,Honshu,Kyushu andShikoku form a curve that extends for about 1,900 kilometres.TopographyJapan is a land of great natural beauty. mountains and hills cover about 70% of thecountry. IN fact, Japanese islands consist of the rugged upper part of a great mountainrange that rises from the floor of the North Pacific Ocean. Jagged peaks, rocky gorges,and thundering mountain waterfalls provide some of the country's most spectacularscenery. Thick forests thrive on mountansides, adding to the scenic beauty of theJapanese islands. Forests cover about 68% of the country's land.Japan lies on an extremely unstable part of the earth's crust. As a result, the land isconstantly shifting. This shifting causes two of Japan's most striking features--earthquakes and volcanoes. The Japanese islands have about 1500 earthquakes a year.Most of them are minor tremors that cause little damage, but severe earthqaukes occurevery few years. Underseaquakes sometimes cause huge, destructive tidal waves, calledtsunami, along Japan's Pacific coast. The Japanese islands have more than 150 majorvolcanoes. Over 60 of these volcanoes are active.Numerous short, swift rivers cross Japan's rugged surface. most of the rivers are tooshallow and steep to be navigated. Their waters are used to irrigate farmland, and theirrapids and falls supply power for hydroelectric plants. Many lakes nestle among theJapanese mountains. Some lie in the craters of extinct volcanoes. A large number of hotsprings gush from the ground throughout the country.The Japanese islands have a total land area of about 337,708 sqkm. The islands , inorder of size, are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. The sea of Japan washesthe country's west coast and the Pacific ocean lies to the east.ClimateRegional climates in Japan can be compared to those of the East Coast of the UnitedStates. Kyushu and Shikoku have a climate much like that of Perth. They have long hotsummers and mild winters. The island Honshu's generally has warm,humid summers.Winters are mild in the south and cold and snowy in the north. Honshu has balmy,sunny autumns and springs. Hokkaido has cool summers and cold winters much likeTasmania.Two Pacific Ocean currents--the Japan Current and the Oyashio Current--influenceJapan's climate. The warm, dark-blue Japan Current flows northward along thecountry's south coast and along the east coast as far north as Tokyo. The Japan currenthas a warming effect on the climate of theses regions. The cold Oyashio Current flowssouthward along the east coasts of Hokkaido and northern Honshu, cooling theseareas.Seasonal winds called monsoons also affect Japan's climate. In winter, monsoons fromthe northwest bring cold air to northern Japan. These winds,...

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