Japanese culture is dominated by two major Religions; Shinto the ancient spiritual tradition of the native people, and Buddhism, the salvational religion founded by Gautama Siddhartha Sakyamuni of India. The Chinese philosophy of Confucianism and the Chinese religion of Taoism have also influenced Japanese culture and religious thought. From the West came Christianity, which has managed to gain a small following over the last 450 years.
10,000 BC – Jomon Era. The islands of Japan were settled by hunter-gatherer people. Much fine pottery has been found dating from this period.
300 BC – End of the Jomon Era. Much contact with Korea and China. Beginning of Yayoi era.
300 BC – 300 AD – Yayoi Period. Various groups of extended families began struggling for power at local level.
100 BC – Rice and iron are imported into Japan by the migration of the Yayoi (a people related to the Mongols), who also brought a new language and a new religion.
0 AD – Shinto becomes the national religion.
57 AD – Japan is mentioned in Chinese history for the first time.
250 – Building of the Shintoist shrine of Ise.
239 – First Japanese envoy visits China.
300-645 – The Yamato/Kofun culture. A unified state begins with strong clan rulers. The society is heavily based on Chinese culture (art, Confucianism, government, technology and language). It rules from Kyushu to the Kinai plain, based around the town of Naniwa in the Yamato plain (Osaka).
500 – Japan adopts the Chinese alphabet.
Due to its isolated nature as a network of islands, Japan has developed a unique culture. Physically, the country is made up of four major islands (Kyushu, Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku) and several thousand small islands.
Due to its length, Japan extends from a tropical climate in the south to a temperate climate in the north. During winter, snow is common in the northern islands, while in the south, it is a mild 15-17 degrees Celsius. During the summer, the north is warm similar to central Europe, and in the south it is hot and humid with typhoons and a rainy season similar to the monsoon. its isolated nature as a network of islands, Japan has developed a unique culture. Physically, the country is made up of four major islands (Kyushu, Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku) and several thousand small islands.
Japan has the second largest economy in the world, which is a phenomenal achievement considering that Japan has very little natural resources.
This is achieved by purchasing raw materials or semi-finished parts/products from other Asian countries and then processing them into finished parts/products.
While any nation can achieve the above, the advantages that Japan has used to stay ahead are its advanced technology and its highly motivated workforce.