Japanese Assignment

Geographical Setting
Japan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean. It lies off the northeast coast of
mainland Asia and faces Russia,Korea, and China. Four large islands and thousands of
smaller ones make up Japan. The four major islands-Hokkaido,Honshu,Kyushu and
Shikoku form a curve that extends for about 1,900 kilometres.

Topography
Japan is a land of great natural beauty. mountains and hills cover about 70% of the
country. IN fact, Japanese islands consist of the rugged upper part of a great mountain
range 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 spectacular
scenery. Thick forests thrive on mountansides, adding to the scenic beauty of the
Japanese 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 is
constantly 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 occur
every few years. Underseaquakes sometimes cause huge, destructive tidal waves, called
tsunami, along Japan's Pacific coast. The Japanese islands have more than 150 major
volcanoes. Over 60 of these volcanoes are active.
Numerous short, swift rivers cross Japan's rugged surface. most of the rivers are too
shallow and steep to be navigated. Their waters are used to irrigate farmland, and their
rapids and falls supply power for hydroelectric plants. Many lakes nestle among the
Japanese mountains. Some lie in the craters of extinct volcanoes. A large number of hot
springs gush from the ground throughout the country.
The Japanese islands have a total land area of about 337,708 sqkm. The islands , in
order of size, are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. The sea of Japan washes
the country's west coast and the Pacific ocean lies to the east.

Climate
Regional climates in Japan can be compared to those of the East Coast of the United
States. Kyushu and Shikoku have a climate much like that of Perth. They have long hot
summers 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 like
Tasmania.
Two Pacific Ocean currents--the Japan Current and the Oyashio Current--influence
Japan's climate. The warm, dark-blue Japan Current flows northward along the
country's south coast and along the east coast as far north as Tokyo. The Japan current
has a warming effect on the climate of theses regions. The cold Oyashio Current flows
southward along the east coasts of Hokkaido and northern Honshu, cooling these
areas.
Seasonal winds called monsoons also affect Japan's climate. In winter, monsoons from
the northwest bring cold air to northern Japan. These winds, which gather moisture as
they cross the Sea of Japan, deposit heavy snows on the country's northwest coast.
During the summer, monsoons blow from the southeast , carrying warm, moist air from
the pacific ocean. Summer monsoons cause hot, humid weather in central and southern
Japan.
Rain is abundant through most of Japan. All the areas of the country--except eastern
Hokkaido--recieve at least 100 centimetres of rain yearly. Japan has two major rainy
seasons--from mid-June to early July and from September to October. Several
typhoons strike the country each year, mainly in late summer and early Autumn. The
heavy rains and violent winds of these storms often do great damage to houses and
crops

Family
The Extended Family
Family life has always been important in Japan. Before 1945, many Japanese lived in
large family units that included grandparents, parents, children, and sometimes uncles
and their families. Japanese families were bound together by a strict set of customs.
Husbands had complete authority over their wives, and children were expected to show
unquestioning obedience to their parents.
Marriage and Courtship-When a child was old enough to marry, the parents selected
a suitable marraige partner. In some cases, the bride and groom had never met before
the wedding.
The Nuclear Family
Today most of the Japanese live in the style of a nuclear family. These consist of only
parents and children. The Japanese still have strong family ties and a deep respect for
authority. But since WW2 relationships with families have become a little less formal,
and more democratic.
Marriage and Courtship-Most young people now select their own marraige partners
on the basis of shared interests and mutual attraction.
Parental Roles
The parents still sometimes decide the marraige partner for their child to