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Hello!

こんにちは
(Konnichiwa)
JAPAN 101
Everything you need to know about Japan!
• The Japanese flag represents the
sun, which has important
religious and mythological
significance in the country.
• The crimson red color of the
symbolic sun is said to represent
a prosperous future for Japan.
• The white background color
symbolizes the purity, honesty,
and integrity of the people of
Japan.
Japan, one of the world’s most
literate and technically advanced
nations, is an island nation in East
Asia, a fairly sizable archipelago of
6,852 islands, although the four
largest islands (Honshu, Hokkaido,
Kyushu and Shikoku) account for 97%
of its population.
Japan has four distinct seasons
(Winter, Spring, Summer, and
Autumn), with a climate ranging
from subarctic in the north to
subtropical in the south. Conditions
are different between the Pacific side
and the Sea of Japan side.
Japan has a parliamentary
government with a constitutional
monarchy. The emperor still holds his
title as a symbol of national unity, but
elected politicians hold actual
decision-making power.
About 1,500 earthquakes hit Japan
every year, and minor tremors occur
on a daily basis. The nation sits on
top of four tectonic plates, which is
also the reason the country has so
much volcanic activity.
POPULATION
▪ Estimated at 126,476,461 people
at mid year according to UN data.
▪ Equivalent to 1.62% of the total
world population.
▪ Ranks number 11 in the list of
countries (and dependencies) by
population.
Tokyo is not only the largest city in
Japan but the largest city in the
world- boasting a population of 37
million, which is 29% of the
population.
The yen is the official currency of
Japan. It is the third most traded
currency in the foreign exchange
market after the United States dollar
and the euro. It is also widely used as
a reserve currency after the U.S.
dollar, the euro, and the pound
sterling.
Japan has the third largest economy
in the world. The country’s high-tech
industry makes some of the most
popular electronic products and
vehicles in the world.
The Japanese writing system consists
of three different character sets: Kanji
(several thousands of Chinese
characters) and Hiragana and
Katakana (two syllabaries of 46
characters each; together called
Kana).
Japanese is the official language used
in the country and is also the primary
language in the country with over
125 million speakers. Locally, the
Japanese language is referred to as
“Nihongo” and is native to Japan.
Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two
major religions. Shinto is as old as the
Japanese culture, while Buddhism
was imported from the mainland in
the 6th century.
Japan is known worldwide for its
traditional arts. It is also a home to
more than a dozen UNESCO World
Heritage sites and is the birthplace of
sushi. The country has developed
many forms of martial arts. Also,
manga (comics) and anime
(animation) have become integral
parts of modern Japanese life
Japan has one of the world's highest
suicide rates, and suicide is the
leading cause of death for people
under 30. Factors in suicides in the
country include social pressure,
depression and unemployment, and
the National Police Agency found
that suicides linked to job loss
increased 65.4%.
Japanese people are big fan of
Japanese cuisine. They like to
travel within Japan with the
main focus on tasting the local
food of each city.


Manga and Anime are huge
cultural pillars in Japan, having
given rise to various types of
sub and pop cultures, and are
obviously equally large cultural
exports.


Drinking is the national past
time of Japan. Tokyo
restaurants and bars are jam-
packed 7 days a week with
salary men, office ladies, and
students relieving a little
pressure.


Japanese people love
Karaoke. The country is
dotted with Karaoke
establishments offering
private Karaoke boxes.


Japanese tourists can be found in
every corner of the world. They
frequently travel domestically and
hotels in Japan are often geared to
the domestic market rather than
international travelers.


Japanese people love gambling in
the form of a uniquely Japanese
game called Pachinko that
resembles an elaborate pinball
machine with many small balls.



Japanese are very sensitive about
their reputation in others’ eyes.
They don’t want others to think that
they are bad people who don’t have
enough education or upbringing to
clean things up.

Japanese people are quite complex and
deep. Superficial, in the sense that only
money and possessions are important to
them, many Japanese complains about
them. This is called as Tatemae (建前) by
many people.

Tokyo being the largest metropolitan area
in the world, almost everywhere you go
are always crowded.
Many Japanese participated in a form of courtship
called Omiai. In this custom, parents hired
matchmakers who would gather photographs and
resumes of potential partners. When both parties
agreed to a possible match, the couple would meet,
typically with the families and the matchmaker
present. During the first few dates, the parents and
matchmaker were extremely influential in determining
whether the couple should marry.
Contemporary courtship in Japan is more subtle. The
blossoming of a relationship from friendship to
marriage can take years. The relationship begins as
friendship, with dates taking place only in public
places. The next stage is dating only as a couple, which
is done discreetly. When the relationship enters the
stage status of boyfriend and girlfriend, the couple
typically makes an announcement to friends and family
members, with the suitor asking for parental
permission to pursue the relationship.
While arranged marriages were typically in historic
Japan, these days less that one quarter of marriages
are arranged. However, parents still hold an enormous
influence over the eventual partners their children
select.
Text messages, instant messages, tweets, emails and
status updates keep couples in contact. In this arena,
dating websites are also popular. When people meet
online, they may spend weeks exchanging messages
before actually setting up a meeting. Typical first
meeting spots are cafes, bars and restaurants.
Japanese weddings have four parts. The first step is to
register to be married. The shiki is the wedding
ceremony and the hiroen in the reception, which tends
to be a large affair with many attendees. The nijikai is a
later party for close friends and family members,
typically located at a bar. The festivities include food,
drink and karaoke and may continue through the entire
night.
SECRETS OF JAPANESE
BUSINESS CULTURE
The politeness and consideration are part of the
customer-oriented service that is the most
outwardly obvious aspect Japanese business
culture. Everywhere there are signs of the
service-oriented aspect of Japanese business
culture.
To be used in formal

Thank You! setting such as in


Business Community.
ありがとうございます
(Arigatou Gozaimasu)

You’re Welcome!
きょうしゅくです
(Kyoshukudesu)
Excellent service is Japanese business
culture’s visible signature; less visible is
Japanese employees’ unusual pride in the
company they work for, which is the reason
Japanese companies can so easily train their
staff to such high levels of customer service.