HISTORY OF JAPANESE FLAG
Japan’s earliest recorded flag date back to the 16th century. At that time there was no official national flag and most of these flags were used during battles to identify soldiers. The Hinomaru flag was used on Japanese ships during the mid-19th century. It was later designated as the Japan’s national flag in 1870 and it remained the official flag for about 15 years. The laws were abolished in 1885 which no longer designated the Hinomaru as the national flag. It remained the de facto flag as no other laws were put in place to replace it. In the 20th century, the Hinomaru was being used again for celebration in parades and following war victories. After World War II, permission was requested in order to fly the flag so, these restrictions were finally lifted in 1947 allowing the flag to be flown on official government property. In 1948, flags were permitted to be used during national holidays and the following year all the regulations were relaxed. The Japanese flag was made official in 1999 after many years of moral debates about the usage of the flag.
JAPAN’S FLAG MEANING
The Japanese flag has a very simple and elegant design with lots of meaning behind it. The flag’s design defines the country’s other name i.e., Land of the Rising Sun. Officially the basic design is called Nisshoki which translates to “sun-mark flag”. Japanese people often call the flag Hi no maru, or “circle of the sun”. When looking at the flag’s design, it is very easy to understand that it represents the sun. The flag features a white field and a large red disc is centered on the white field, representing the sun. This is very important and meaningful because of the sun’s role in mythology and religion of the Japanese people.
JAPAN’S MAP AND GEOGRAPHY
Japan is an island country lying off the east coast of Asia. It consists of a long string of islands in northeast-southwest arc that continues for approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 km) through the western North Pacific Ocean. Mostly the entire land area is taken up by the country’s four main islands : Hokkaidō, Honshū), Shikoku and Kyūshū (from north to south). Honshu is the largest of the four in size followed by Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Also, there are many smaller islands, the important groups of which are the Izu, Bonin (Ogasawara), and Volcano (Kazan) island to the south and east of central Honshu and the Ryuku (Nansei) Islands (including the island of Okinawa) to the south and west of Kyushu. The national capital of Japan, Tōkyō, in east-central Honshu, is one of the world’s most populated city.
CAPITAL OF JAPAN : TOKYO
Tokyo formerly (until 1868) called Edo, city and national capital of Japan. It is situated at the head of Tokyo Bay on the Pacific coast of central Honshu region. It is the focus center of the vast metropolitan area often called Greater Tokyo, the biggest urban and industrial agglomeration in Japan.
The city is loacted on low, alluvial plains and adjacent upland hills. The climate is often mild in winter and hot and humid in the summer. The metropolitan area is the biggest industrial, commercial, and financial hub in Japan. Numerous domestic and international financial institutions and other businesses headquarters are there in central Tokyo. The city is a great wholesale center where goods from all parts of the country and the world are supplied and distributed. Tokyo is Japan’s major cultural region. Displays depicting the astonishing art and history of Japan and Asia are portrayed at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park. Ueno Park is also a science museum, a zoological garden, and two great art museums. Tokyo is an important transportation hub for Japan, as well as a chief international traffic center. It is served by a dense and punctual network of electric railways, bus lines, subways, and highways. Tokyo station is the central railroad terminal for all of Japan regions, including the high speed Shinkansen bullet trains from western Japan.