japan(redirected from Japan's history)
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A country consisting of an archipelago off the eastern coast of Asia. The islands' indigenous culture was largely supplanted after c. 600 bc by settlers from the mainland, who adopted an imperial system of government modeled on China's. After a long period (12th-19th century) of domination by a series of shoguns, feudalism was abolished on the restoration of the emperor Mutsuhito (1868) and the country was opened to trade with the West. Japan's industrialization and expansionism led to a series of wars, culminating in its defeat (1945) in World War II. After the war Japan's economy was rebuilt with American assistance, developing an industrial sector centered around automobiles and electronics. Tokyo is the capital and the largest city.
Word History: In ad 670, during the early part of the Chinese Tang dynasty, Japanese scholars who had studied Chinese created a new name for their country using the Chinese phrase for "origin of the sun, sunrise," because Japan is located east of China. In the Chinese of the time (called Early Middle Chinese), the phrase was ŋit-pən'. To this the scholars added the Chinese word -kwək, "country," yielding a compound ŋit-pən'-kwək, "sun-origin-country, land of the rising sun." The consonant clusters in this word could not be pronounced in Old Japanese, and it became Nip-pon-koku or *Ni-pon-koku. The Modern Japanese names for Japan, Nippon and Nihon, come from the Old Japanese forms, minus the element meaning "country." Interestingly, the Chinese took to calling Japan by the name that the Japanese had invented, and the English name Japan ultimately derives from the Chinese version. In Mandarin Chinese, one of the descendants of Middle Chinese, the phrase evolved to Rìběnguó. Marco Polo records an early form of this as Chipangu, which he would have pronounced (chĭ-pän-go͞o) or (shĭ-pän-go͞o). The Chinese name was also borrowed into Malay as Japang, and in the 16th century, Portuguese traders borrowed the Malay name as Japão. The other languages of Europe probably adopted the name from the Portuguese. The first known use of Japan in English dates from 1577, when it is spelled Giapan.
1. A black enamel or lacquer used to produce a durable glossy finish.
2. An object decorated with this substance.
tr.v. ja·panned, ja·pan·ning, ja·pans
1. To decorate with a black enamel or lacquer.
2. To coat with a glossy finish.
1. (Placename) an archipelago and empire in E Asia, extending for 3200 km (2000 miles) between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific and consisting of the main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu and over 3000 smaller islands: feudalism abolished in 1871, followed by industrialization and expansion of territories, esp during World Wars I and II, when most of SE Asia came under Japanese control; dogma of the emperor's divinity abolished in 1946 under a new democratic constitution; by the 1980s, rapid economic growth made Japan the most industrialized nation in the Far East. Official language: Japanese. Religion: Shintoist majority, large Buddhist minority. Currency: yen. Capital: Tokyo. Pop: 127 253 075 (2013 est). Area: 369 660 sq km (142 726 sq miles). Japanese names: Nippon or Nihon
2. (Placename) Sea of Japan the sea between mainland Asia and Japan. Korean name East Sea
1. (Crafts) a glossy durable black lacquer originally from the Orient, used on wood, metal, etc
2. (Crafts) work decorated and varnished in the Japanese manner
3. (Crafts) a liquid used as a paint drier
(Crafts) relating to or varnished with japan
vb, -pans, -panning or -panned
(Crafts) (tr) to lacquer with japan or any similar varnish
n., adj., v. -panned, -pan•ning. n.
1. any of various durable black varnishes, orig. from Japan, for coating metal or other surfaces.
2. work varnished and figured in the Japanese manner.adj.
3. of or pertaining to japan.v.t.
4. to varnish with japan or japanlike material; lacquer.
1. a constitutional monarchy on a chain of islands off the E coast of Asia: main islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. 126,182,077; 141,529 sq. mi. (366,560 sq. km). Cap.: Tokyo. Japanese, Nihon, Nippon.
2. Sea of, the part of the Pacific Ocean between Japan and mainland Asia.
1. devotion to or preference for the customs, policies, language, or culture of Japan.
2. anything peculiar to or characteristic of Japan or its people.
2. anything peculiar to or characteristic of Japan or its people.
a style of art, idiom, custom, mannerism, etc., typical of the Japanese.
Past participle: japanned
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|Noun||1.||Japan - a string of more than 3,000 islands to the east of Asia extending 1,300 miles between the Sea of Japan and the western Pacific Ocean|
Hondo, Honshu - the central and largest of the four main islands of Japan; between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean; regarded as the Japanese mainland
Kyushu - the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan; contains coal fields
Shikoku - the smallest of the four main islands of Japan; to the south of Honshu and to the east of Kyushu; separated from Honshu by the Inland Sea; forested and mountainous
Osaka Bay - a bay of the western Pacific in southern Honshu
|2.||Japan - a constitutional monarchy occupying the Japanese Archipelago; a world leader in electronics and automobile manufacture and ship building|
harakiri, hara-kiri, harikari, seppuku - ritual suicide by self-disembowelment on a sword; practiced by samurai in the traditional Japanese society
sumo - a Japanese form of wrestling; you lose if you are forced out of a small ring or if any part of your body (other than your feet) touches the ground
go game, go - a board game for two players who place counters on a grid; the object is to surround and so capture the opponent's counters
shogi - a form of chess played on a board of 81 squares; each player has 20 pieces
acupressure, G-Jo, shiatsu - treatment of symptoms by applying pressure with the fingers to specific pressure points on the body
jiujitsu, jujitsu, jujutsu - a method of self-defense without weapons that was developed in China and Japan; holds and blows are supplemented by clever use of the attacker's own weight and strength
ninjitsu, ninjutsu - the traditional Japanese method of espionage; involves stealthy movements and the use of camouflage
karate - a traditional Japanese system of unarmed combat; sharp blows and kicks are given to pressure-sensitive points on the body of the opponent
origami - the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes representing objects (e.g., flowers or birds)
futon - mattress consisting of a pad of cotton batting that is used for sleeping on the floor or on a raised frame
kamikaze - a fighter plane used for suicide missions by Japanese pilots in World War II
Kammon Strait Bridge - a suspension bridge between Kyushu and Honshu
shoji - a translucent screen made of a wooden frame covered with rice paper
Shingon - a form of Buddhism emphasizing mystical symbolism of mantras and mudras and the Buddha's ideal which is inexpressible
Japanese - the language (usually considered to be Altaic) spoken by the Japanese
Ryukyuan - the language (related to Japanese) that is spoken by the people of the Ryukyu Islands
miso - a thick paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt; used in Japanese cooking to make soups or sauces
wasabi - the thick green root of the wasabi plant that the Japanese use in cooking and that tastes like strong horseradish; in powder or paste form it is often eaten with raw fish
sukiyaki - thin beef strips (or chicken or pork) cooked briefly at the table with onions and greens and soy sauce
sashimi - very thinly sliced raw fish
sushi - rice (with raw fish) wrapped in seaweed
tempura - vegetables and seafood dipped in batter and deep-fried
Aum, Aum Shinrikyo, Supreme Truth - a terrorist organization whose goal is to take over Japan and then the world; based on a religion founded in 1987 that combines elements of Buddhism with Christianity; "in 1995 Aum members released deadly sarin gas on a Tokyo subway train"
Chukaku-Ha - an ultra-leftist militant group founded in 1957 from the breakup of the Japanese Communist Party; includes a covert action wing; "Chukaku-Ha attacks tend to cause property damage rather than casualties"
Anti-Imperialist International Brigade, Japanese Red Army, JRA - a terrorist group organized in 1970 to overthrow the Japanese government and monarchy and to foment world revolution; is said to have close ties with Palestinian terrorists; "in 1972 the Japanese Red Army was responsible for a massacre at an airport in Israel"
yakuza - organized crime in Japan; an alliance of criminal organizations and illegal enterprises
diet - a legislative assembly in certain countries (e.g., Japan)
prefecture - the district administered by a prefect (as in France or Japan or the Roman Empire)
Asahikawa - a city on western Hokkaido that is the center of a fertile agricultural area
Japanese capital, Tokio, Tokyo, Yeddo, Yedo, capital of Japan, Edo - the capital and largest city of Japan; the economic and cultural center of Japan
Nagano - a city in central Honshu to the northwest of Tokyo; site of a Buddhist shrine
Nagoya - an industrial city in southern Honshu
Omiya - a city of east central Honshu; a suburb of Tokyo
Osaka - port city on southern Honshu on Osaka Bay; a commercial and industrial center of Japan
Yokohama - port city on southeastern Honshu in central Japan
Naha City - the chief city in the Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands - a chain of 55 islands in the western Pacific to the to the southwest of Japan (returned by United States to Japan in 1972)
Kyoto - a city in central Japan on southern Honshu; a famous cultural center that was once the capital of Japan
Sapporo - a commercial city in northern Japan on western Hokkaido
Kitakyushu - a Japanese city on northern Kyushu
|3.||japan - lacquerware decorated and varnished in the Japanese manner with a glossy durable black lacquer|
lacquerware - a decorative work made of wood and covered with lacquer and often inlaid with ivory or precious metals
|4.||japan - lacquer with a durable glossy black finish, originally from the orient|
lacquer - a hard glossy coating
|Verb||1.||japan - coat with a lacquer, as done in Japan|
handicraft - a craft that requires skillful hands
lacquer - coat with lacquer; "A lacquered box from China"
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