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Traditional Japanese clothing distinguishes Japan from all other countries around the

world. The Japanese word kimono means "something one wears" and they are the
traditional garments of Japan. Originally, the word kimono was used for all types of
clothing, but eventually, it came to refer specifically to the full-length garment also
known as the naga-gi, meaning "long-wear", that is still worn today on special occasions
by women, men, and children. Kimono in this meaning plus all other items of traditional
Japanese clothing is known collectively as wafuku which means "Japanese clothes" as

opposed to yofuku (West


Maiko in kimono The politics of Japan is conducted in a framework of a parliamentary
representative democratic monarchy, where Prime Minister of Japan is the head of
government. Japanese politics uses a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the
government. Legislative power is vested in the Diet, with the House of Representatives and
the House of Councillors. The Judiciary system of Japan is an independent entity. In
academic studies, Japan is generally considered a constitutional monarchy with a system of
civil law
Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Emperor Akihito 7 January 1989
Prime Minister Naoto Kan Democratic Party 8 June 2010

The chief of the executive branch, the Prime Minister, is


appointed by the Emperor as directed by the Diet.
He must be a member of eith Foreign Relations
Main article: Foreign Relations of Japan

Japan is a member state of the United Nations and a non-permanent member of the
Security Council; it is currently one of the "G4 nations" seeking permanent membership.
Japan plays an important role in East Asia.

Japanese Constitution prohibits the use of military forces to wage war against other
countries. However, the government maintains "Self-Defense Forces" which include air,
land and sea components. Japan's deployment of non-combat troops to Iraq marked the
first overseas use of its military since World War II.

Foreign relations As an economic power, Japan is a member of the G8 and Asia-


Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and has developed relations with ASEAN as a
member of "ASEAN plus three" and the East Asia Summit. It is a major donor in
international aid and development efforts, donating 0.19% of its Gross National Income
in 2004.[17]

Japan currently has territorial disputes with Russia over the Kuril Islands (Northern
Territories), with South Korea over Liancourt Rocks (known as "Dokdo" in Korea,
"Takeshima" in Japan), with China and Taiwan over the Senkaku Islands and with China
over the status of Okinotorishima. These disputes are in part about the control of marine
and natural resources, such as possible reserves of crude oil and natural gas.

In recent years, Japan has an ongoing dispute with North Korea over its abduction of
Japanese citizens and nuclear weapons program

er house of the Diet and a civ Tourism in Japan attracted 8.3 million foreign visitors in
2008, slightly more than Singapore and Ireland.[1] Japan has 14 World Heritage Sites,
including Himeji Castle and Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu
Cities). Kyoto receives over 30 million tourists annually.[2] Foreigners also visit Tokyo
and Nara, Mount Fuji, ski resorts such as Niseko in Hokkaidō, Okinawa, ride the
shinkansen and take advantage of Japan's hotel and hotspring network.

Contents
[hide]

• 1 History of Tourism
• 2 Tourism Today
o 2.1 Major tourist destinations
• 3 See also
• 4 References

• 5 External links

ilian. Tourism in Japan


Tourists in Kyoto enjoy a ride in a rickshaw in front of Nonomiya Shrine

Tourism in Japan attracted 8.3 million foreign visitors in 2008, slightly more than
Singapore and
s
Religion in Japan
Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions. They have been co-existing for several
centuries and have even complemented each other to a certain degree. Most Japanese consider
themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both.

Religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of most Japanese people today. The average
person typically follows the religious rituals at ceremonies like birth, weddings and funerals, may visit
a shrine or temple on New Year and participates at local festivals (matsuri), most of which have a
religious background.

Etiquette in Japan
Japanese culture has a set of rules, or etiquette, for a multitude
of situations. This includes everything from entering a house to taking a bath.
Knowing and and observing the rules of etiquette while in Japan will help you
avoid being viewed as a "rude foreigner". In can also help you avoid some
potentially awkward situations.

When entering a house, the guest must replace his shoes with slippers. The
slippers are given to the guest by his host at the genkan (doorway). These
slippers are taken off in rooms that are floored with tatami. It is rude for anyone
to walk on tatami floors wearing anything other than socks or bare feet. There
are even slippers that are exclusively worn in the washroom. The person leaves
his house slippers outside the washroom door and wears the special footwear
that is exclusively for bathroom use.

When greeting someone, it is customary to bow. These bows vary in effort, but if
one is standing on a tatami floor, it is expected for him to get down on his knees
while performing the bow. The longer and deeper the bow is, the more respect it
conveys to the other person. People who hold higher social statuses expect
others to greet them with long bows. Not doing so can result in social snafus. By
the same logic, a smaller nod of the head is used for more casual or informal
meetings. Fortunately, many Japanese people cut foreign visitors slack and are
okay with only receiving a head nod greeting from them. Bows are also
commonly used as gestures to show gratitude or apology or to request favors.
Shaking hands is an extremely uncommon gesture in Japan. However, people
will make exceptions for foreign visitors.

Besides cleaning the body, the Japanese believe taking a bath helps one relax
after a long day at work. A bathroom in Japan typically has two rooms. An
entrance room is used for undressing and using a hand sink. The inner room
has a deep bath and shower. Often, there is a completely separate room for the
toilet. Japanese wash and rinse their bodies with washbowls before getting into
the tub. The bathtub is only used to soak. The water is usually quite hot. After
soaking, one gets out of the tub and cleans up with soap. Once the soap has
been rinsed off, one can get back into the tub for the final soak. After the bath,
the water is left for the next person to use. Interestingly enough, today's
Japanese bathtubs are programmable and can automatically fill with water
warmed to exact temperatures.

There are many things the Japanese avoid doing, not because they are rude, but
because they are thought to be bad luck. If someone cuts his toenails at night,
he won't be able to reunite with his parents after dark. People hide their thumbs,
as funeral cars pass them. A person will turn into a cow if he lies down after a
meal. It is bad to sleep facing north as that is how dead bodies are laid. Four is
an unlucky number as the pronunciation is similar to that of death (shi). Room
and floor numbers usually skip four, and gifts are not to be given in groups of
four. Chopsticks should not be stuck in food because they resemble incense
stuck into altar rice at funerals. Giving food from one pair of chopsticks to
another is also only done with bones at funerals. Whistling at night will attract
snake bites.

Knowing a little etiquette before your trip to Japan can go a long way.

The typical Japanese meal consists of a bowl of rice (gohan), a bowl of miso
soup (miso shiru), pickled vegetables (tsukemono) and fish or meat. While rice is the
staple food, several kinds of noodles (udon, soba and ramen) are cheap and very popular
for light meals. As an island nation, the Japanese take great pride in their seafood. A wide
variety of fish, squid, octopus, eel, and shellfish appear in all kinds of dishes from sushi
to tempura.
Tempura restaurants.

Ingredients for sukiyaki

Yakitori

A decorative sushi selection

Related Interests