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Transcript of JAPAN
Gohan meaning 'meal' in Japanese refers to steamed rice. Rice is such a crucial food source in Japan. Traditional Japanese food consists of white rice, a main dish (fish or meat), a side dish (mainly cooked vegetables), soup (miso soup) and pickled vegetables.
Sliced beef with vegetables, tofu and vermicelli.
Food deep-fried in vegetable oil after being covered with a combination of egg, water and wheat flour.
Sliced raw fish covered with soy sauce.
Deep-fried pork cutlet rolled in breadcrumbs and is often served with shredded cabbage.
Sushi contains cooked vinegared rice mixed with seafood, vegetables and sometime tropical fruits.
Traditional Japanese Houses
A traditional Japanese house is open to nature, which is a very superior attribute of a traditional Japanese house. The common materials used to build this house are wood, earth and paper. There are many materials used to build the roof such as Kaya (a kind of reed), bamboo, stone, wheat straw, galvanised iron and aluminum. The walls of the house are made out of woven bamboo, and the hallways are made out of wood, whilst firm straw mats called 'tatami' covers all the floors in the house. The houses must have correspondent wood and paper doors which can allow light to pass through.
Politics Of Japan
The 'Diet' is the name given to the Japanese parliament. The Diet is made up of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. The Japanese people elect ministers of Japan to the Diet.
The Prime Minister is the leader of the cabinet. The cabinet is made up of ministers established by the Prime Minister and are customarily members of the Diet. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Diet.
The Supreme Court is the highest court in Japan but there are other courts such as the direct court, high courts, family courts and summary courts. The cabinet select the judges.
Shinzō Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan. Shinzō has been Prime Minister from 2006-2007. Shinzō was replaced by Yasuo Fukuda but was re-elected at the 2014 general election. He became the President of the Liberal Democratic Party and chairman of the Oyagaku propulsion parliamentary group. Shinzō was born on the 21st September 1954 and grew up with his two brothers Hironobu Abe and Nobuo Kishi. His father Shintaro Abe was a former Japanese politician and was a leading member of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Deputy Prime Minister
Tarō Asō is a Japanese politician, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance from 2008-2009. Tarō has served in the House of Representatives since 1979. Tarō has achieved a lot considering he became the Minister for Foreign from 2005-2007 and was Secretary -General of Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) from 2007-2008. He also became president of LDP
from 2008-2009. Sadly he was defeated in the August 2009 election. Tarō was born on the 20th September 1940 and raised his two brothers Yutaka Asō and Jiro Asō and his youngest sister Nobuko Asō who is now Princess Tomohito of Mikasa His mother Kazuko Asō is Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida's daughter and his sister Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, is cousin-in-law of Emperor Akihito.
Sports are an important part of the Japanese culture. Some examples of sports played in Japan are:
Sumo Wrestling is a traditional aggressive sport that is widely known around the world. All sumo wrestlers have to weigh 150kg or more and the average wrestler eats around 20,000 calories a day. Wrestlers wear mawashi (silk belts) and fight in a 4.5 metres in diameter placed on a square mound. When any part of the body touches the ground or touches the ground or goes out (except the soles of the competitors feet) he loses the match.
Kendo is a Japanese version of fencing which originated from kenjutsu. This is the most essential martial arts training to become a samurai. Competitors wear vigilant gear and strike at the opponents head, chest or hand with a bamboo sword.
Karate is one of the world's most eminent martial arts. This sport came from China and developed on the Ryukyu islands - which is now known as Okinawa, Japan. Competitors do not wear any type of protection and only use their hands, fists, legs and feet to protect themselves. Karate is a Japanese word meaning "empty hands" which shows that Karate is a type of martial arts that does not require weapons besides using the parts of the body.
Baseball was imported form the U.S throughout the early Meiji Period (September 8th 1868-July 30th 1912) and instantly gained popularity. This sport has become the most watched and played sport in Japan. Baseball was first played in Japan in 1873 under the instruction of an American teacher, Horace Wilson.
Japanese Traditional Clothing
Geisha and Kabuki makeup are the two renowned Japanese makeup looks.
Geta is a style of traditional Japanese foot wear that features both clogs and flip-flops. The Geta is a type of sandal with an upright wooden base to keep the foot off the ground. Getas are worn with traditional Japanese clothing such as a Kimono and Hakama.
One of Japans most remarkable changes has been to their style of clothing. Western clothing and Japanese clothing are the two types that Japanese people wear. Traditional native gourmets of Japan are commonly worn at ceremonies, special events and festivals. Kimonos and Hakamas are a common traditional Japanese clothing that still lives in within the Japanese culture.
Hakama is another type of traditional Japanese clothing which were initially worn only by men, but is now worn by both men and women. Hakamas are secured around the waist with pleats or with a long fabric and falls around the ankles.
Top 3 Teams:
A kimono is a traditional garment which means in Japanese "thing to wear". It is a very elaborate form of clothing. Kimonos are straight lined robes worn to allow the hems of the Kimono to fall down to the ankles. They are wrapped around the body (always left side over right) and are done up with sashes and a wide obi which are tied to the back.
Shinto (which means the way of the Gods) and Buddhism are Japans two most superior religions. Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, whilst Buddhism was introduced in the 6th Century by Korea. Religion does not play an essential role in the lives of the Japanese people today. Japanese people commonly follow religious rituals at ceremonies, such as births, weddings and funerals.
Cultural Festivals and Celebrations
New Years Eve
News Years Eve is one of the biggest events in the calendar. Traditional activities on New Years Eve involve watching the popular music program " Kohaku Uta Gassen" on TV and visiting a shrine or temple around midnight. It starts on the 31st December and ends on the 4th of January. It is also traditional to play many New Years games. These involve Takoage (kite flying), Sugoroku (Japanese board game) Hanetsuki (Japanese traditional game similar to badminton without a net) and Karuta (Japanese card game).
Obon is one of the most major Japanese traditions. Obon also know as 'Ghost Festivals' celebrates the return of the Japanese peoples ancestors who come back to their home to be reunited with their families during Obon and pray for the spirits. Obon is a significant family gathering time. It is celebrated on the 13th August and ends on the 16th August. On the first day of Obon, lanterns are lit inside houses, and people go to their families grave. In some religions, fires called Mukae-bi are lit at the foyer of houses to guide the ancestors. On the last day, families bring their ancestors spirits back to the grave.
Setsubun - also known as the "Bean Throwing Festival" - is held on the Febuary 3rd or 4th according to the Japanese lunar calendar. For many years Japanese people have been performing rituals which helps chase the evil spirits away. Centuries ago, Japanese people would drive the evil spirits away using the smell of dried sardine heads, the smoke of burning wood and the noise of drums. Even though this custom is not popular anymore, some people still decorate their homes with sardine heads and holy tree leaves to intimidate the evil spirits from stepping foot into their homes.
The Japanese flag has a white pennant, and a red circle in the centre. The flag was initially called Nisshōk, but is now generally called Hinomaru, meaning "circle of the sun" or in English "rising sun".
Japans formal currency system is the "Yen". The first dignified currency system was called Kōchōsen. 1 Japanese Yen is equal to 0.011 Australian dollars.
Japan suffers roughly 1500 earthquakes every year.
Japan consist of 6800 islands.
There are over 200 volcanoes in Japan.
The world's oldest company was operated in Japan from 578 AD to 2006.
Japan's literacy rate is almost 100%.
There are more vending machines in Japan then there are people in New Zealand.
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Japan is an island nation in East Asia, located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan.
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