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Geography of japan

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Geography of japan

Perhaps more than any other nation in the world, Japan is shaped by its geography to a tremendous extent. Technically classified as an archipelago, Japan is a curved chain of four islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, plus over a thousand smaller islands). However, it is first and foremost an island nation, a fact which isolated Japan from the rest of the world. The second largest influence in Japanese geography is the size of the nation. The total area of Japan proper is a little under 143 thousand square miles; the contiguous United States spreads across just over 3 million. To say that

Japan is crowded with its 130 million people would be an understatement. But add that to the fact that seventy-five percent of the nation is hilly or mountainous, and the wide open spaces for living and working are even more crammed. The mountainous terrain, lack of lowlands and plains all have had far-reaching consequences on the development of Japan and its people. No study of them is accurate without a study of Japan's geography.

Before Japan was unified, many different clans held power over different parts of the islands. Centralizing power proved difficult because of the physical disunion. Once a nation, though, Japan's island geography kept Japan isolated from even its closest neighbor, Korea. Being a group of islands

was the main reason Japan could maintain its isolationist ways until just a century ago. It was also the ...

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