Naoto Ohshima is a Japanese artist and video game designer best known for designing the Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman characters from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Although Yuji Naka created the original tech demo around which Sonic's gameplay was based, the character in his prototype was a ball that lacked any specific features. Sonic Team considered numerous potential animal mascots before deciding on Ohshima's design, with an armadillo or hedgehog being the top choices because their spikes worked well with the concept of rolling into enemies. After leaving Sonic Team, Ohshima formed. There he went on to work on such games as Pinobee and Blinx: The Time Sweeper, in 2004, the sequel to Blinx, Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space. In 2010, Artoon was absorbed into AQ Interactive; that same year, he and other key members of Artoon left to form Arzest. Early in his career, he was credited under the nickname "Big Island" in a number of games, a literal translation of his family name. Phantasy Star – Designer Space Harrier 3-D – Artist SpellCaster – Designer Phantasy Star II – Designer Tommy Lasorda Baseball – Designer Last Battle – Art director Sonic the Hedgehog – Character design Fatal Labyrinth – Designer Sonic CD – Director Knuckles' Chaotix – Original character concept Sonic 3D Blast – Advisor Nights into Dreams...
– Director, character designer Christmas Nights – Director, character designer Sonic R – Graphic advisor Sonic Jam – Supervisor Burning Rangers – Director, character designer, artist Sonic Adventure – Designer Pinobee: Wings of Adventure – Director, character designer Pinobee and Phoebee - Character designer The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood – Art director Ghost Vibration – Game designer Blinx: The Time Sweeper – Director Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space – Director Yoshi's Universal Gravitation – Producer Yoshi's Island DS – Senior producer Blue Dragon – Executive producer Vampire Rain – Producer Away: Shuffle Dungeon – Character designer FlingSmash – Senior producer Yoshi's New Island – Development producer Terra Battle – Character designer Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – Supervisor Hey! Pikmin – Development producer Sega Stars: Naoto Ohshima
Hudson Soft Co. Ltd was a Japanese video game company that released numerous games for video game consoles, home computers and mobile phones from the 1980s to the 2000s, it was headquartered in the Midtown Tower in Tokyo Midtown, Minato, Japan, with an additional office in the Hudson Building in Sapporo. Hudson Soft was founded on May 18, 1973, it dealt with personal computer products, but expanded to the development and publishing of video games, mobile content, video game peripherals and music recording. A video game publisher, it internally developed many of the video games it published, as well as a few published by other companies, it is known for series such as Bomberman, Adventure Island, Bloody Roar, Bonk. Hudson Soft made the TurboGrafx-16 in association with NEC, to compete against Nintendo, SNK, while continuing making games on other platforms, as a second-party developer. Hudson Soft ceased to exist as a company on March 1, 2012, merged with Konami Digital Entertainment, the surviving entity.
Products and services will continue to be provided under the Hudson brand through Konami. Hudson Soft Ltd. was founded in Toyohira-ku, Japan on May 18, 1973 by brothers Yuji and Hiroshi Kudo. The founders grew up admiring trains, named the business after their favourite, the Hudson locomotives. Hudson began as an amateur radio shop called CQ Hudson, selling radio telecommunications devices and art photographs. Yuji Kudo had planned to start a coffee shop, but there was one in the same building, thus the decision to change to a wireless radio shop at the eleventh hour. Although both Kudos had university education, neither had studied in business management; that factor combined with the difficulty to find trustworthy people to accompany the Kudos in their venture, meant that Hudson Soft was always in the red each month during its era as a radio shop. In September 1975, Hudson Soft began selling personal computer-related products and in March 1978 started developing and selling video game packages.
At that time, many amateur radio shops were switching to the sales of personal computers because they deal with the same electronic equipment. CQ Hudson would continue to operate for decades in Sapporo until Hudson Soft closed the shop in May 2001. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hudson Soft favoured a quantity over quality approach for the marketing of video games. At one point, the company released up to 30 different computer software titles per month. Things changed in late 1983. Hudson became Nintendo's first third-party software vendor for the Family Computer and its title for this console, Lode Runner, sold 1.2 million units after its 1984 release. The business continued developing video games on the Famicom and computer platforms, was reorganised as Hudson Soft Co. Ltd. in July 1985. A caravan was held at sixty venues throughout a first for the video game industry. Bomberman was released in December of this year on the Famicom and was considered a "big hit" by Hudson Soft. In July 1987, Hudson developed the "C62 System" and collaborated with NEC to develop the PC Engine video game console.
It achieved a second-best success to Famicom in Japan, but its release as the TurboGrafx-16 in North America had less market share than Nintendo's new Super NES, Sega's new Genesis, or SNK's Neo Geo AES. In 1990, Hudson Soft published video games for an array of systems. In 1994, the 32-bit semiconductor chip "HuC62" was independently developed by Hudson and used in NEC's PC-FX video game console. In 2004, Hudson started a joint venture with Flying Tiger Entertainment for 25 titles. Hudson Soft's head office was transferred to Tokyo in 2005; the Sapporo headquarters remained in operation as a secondary office. Hudson Soft lost several key people starting in the mid-2000s. Co-founder Hiroshi Kudo left the company in November 2004 following financial losses. Shinichi Nakamoto, with the company since 1978 and creator of the Bomberman series, followed suit in 2006. Veteran Takahashi Meijin resigned in May 2011. Around 2010-2011, many employees migrated to Nintendo's restructured Nd Cube studio, headed by Hidetoshi Endo, himself a former Hudson Soft President.
The relation between Hudson Soft and Konami can be traced at least as early as 1985, when Hudson ported Konami's arcade game Pooyan to the MSX and Famicom. But the acquisition process of Hudson Soft by Konami would only begin in 2001. Hudson Soft was hit by the collapse of its main bank Hokkaido Takushoku. Seeking new financing alternatives, Hudson Soft entered the stock market for the first time in December 2000, listing on the NASDAQ Japan Exchange; this led to Konami purchasing a stock allocation of 5.6 million shares in August 2001, becoming the company's largest shareholder. Within the terms of this purchase, Hudson acquired the Sapporo division of Konami Computer Entertainment Studio, renaming it Hudson Studio. In April 2005, capital was increased via an allocation of 3 million shares from a third party. Konami Corporation, holding 53.99% of all Hudson stock, became Hudson's majority shareholder and parent company. Hudson Soft continued to be a video game publisher, but working with Konami who became Hudson's distributor in Japan.
In April 2011, Hudson Soft turned a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami. The subsidiary in California, Hudson Entertainment, was liquidated in the process. On March 1, 2012, Hudson Soft ceased to exist as it merged with Konami Digital Entertainment, with
The PlayStation 2 is a home video game console, developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the original PlayStation console and is the second iteration in the PlayStation lineup of consoles, it was released in 2000 and competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox in the sixth generation of video game consoles. Announced in 1999, the PlayStation 2 offered backwards compatibility for its predecessor's DualShock controller, as well as for its games; the PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, selling over 155 million units, with 150 million confirmed by Sony in 2011. More than 3,874 game titles have been released for the PS2 since launch, more than 1.5 billion copies have been sold. Sony manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as Slimline models in 2004. In 2006, Sony announced and launched its successor, the PlayStation 3. With the release of its successor, the PlayStation 2 remained popular well into the seventh generation and continued to be produced until January 4, 2013, when Sony announced that the PlayStation 2 had been discontinued after 12 years of production – one of the longest runs for a video game console.
Despite the announcement, new games for the console continued to be produced until the end of 2013, including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan, FIFA 13 for North America, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for Europe. Repair services for the system in Japan ended on September 7, 2018. Though Sony has kept details of the PlayStation 2's development secret, work on the console began around the time that the original PlayStation was released. Insiders stated that it was developed in the U. S. West Coast by former members of Argonaut Software. By 1997 word had leaked to the press that the console would have backwards compatibility with the original PlayStation, a built-in DVD player, Internet connectivity. Sony announced the PlayStation 2 on March 1, 1999; the video game console was positioned as a competitor to Sega's Dreamcast, the first sixth-generation console to be released, although the main rivals of the PS2 were Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. The Dreamcast itself launched successfully in North America that year, selling over 500,000 units within two weeks.
Soon after the Dreamcast's North American launch, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 2 at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 1999. Sony showed playable demos of upcoming PlayStation 2 games including Gran Turismo 2000 and Tekken Tag Tournament – which showed the console's graphic abilities and power; the PS2 was launched in March 2000 in Japan, October in North America, November in Europe. Sales of the console and accessories pulled in $250 million on the first day, beating the $97 million made on the first day of the Dreamcast. Directly after its release, it was difficult to find PS2 units on retailer shelves due to manufacturing delays. Another option was purchasing the console online through auction websites such as eBay, where people paid over a thousand dollars for the console; the PS2 sold well on the basis of the strength of the PlayStation brand and the console's backward compatibility, selling over 980,000 units in Japan by March 5, 2000, one day after launch. This allowed the PS2 to tap the large install base established by the PlayStation – another major selling point over the competition.
Sony added new development kits for game developers and more PS2 units for consumers. The PS2's built-in functionality expanded its audience beyond the gamer, as its debut pricing was the same or less than a standalone DVD player; this made the console a low cost entry into the home theater market. The success of the PS2 at the end of 2000 caused Sega problems both financially and competitively, Sega announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in March 2001, just 18 months after its successful launch; the PS2 remained as the only active sixth generation console for over 6 months, before it would face competition from newer rivals. Many analysts predicted a close three-way matchup among the three consoles. While the PlayStation 2 theoretically had the weakest specification of the three, it had a head start due to its installed base plus strong developer commitment, as well as a built-in DVD player. While the PlayStation 2's initial games lineup was considered mediocre, this changed during the 2001 holiday season with the release of several blockbuster games that maintained the PS2's sales momentum and held off its newer rivals.
Sony countered the Xbox by temporarily securing PlayStation 2 exclusives for anticipated games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Sony cut the price of the console in May 2002 from US$299 to $199 in North America, making it the same price as the GameCube and $100 less than the Xbox, it planned to cut the price in Japan around that time. It cut the price twice in Japan in 2003. In 2006, Sony cut the cost of the console in anticipation of the release of the PlayStation 3. Sony, unlike Sega with its Dreamcast placed little emphasis on online gaming during its first few years, although that changed upon the launch of the online-capable Xbox. Coinciding with the release of Xbox Live, Sony released the PlayStation Network Adapter in late 2002, with several online first–party titles released alongside it, such as SOCOM: U. S. Navy SEALs to demon
The World of Golden Eggs
The World of Golden Eggs is an anime series made by PLUS heads inc. and Studio Crocodile. The World of Golden Eggs #1 was ranked 9th out of the top 20 anime DVDs sold in Japan in 2007, with 59,000 copies sold; the World of Golden Eggs Season 2 DVD-Box was ranked 12th with 49,000 sold and The World of Golden Eggs #2 was ranked 15th with 47,000 copies sold. The World of Golden Eggs Vol. 01 was voted top selling anime/special effects DVD in Japan in 2008 with 97,292 copies. The anime was adapted into a Wii game and a Nintendo DS game called The World of Golden Eggs: Nori Nori Rhythm-kei and The World of Golden Eggs: Nori Nori Uta Dekichatte Kei respectively; the World Of Golden Eggs is a collection of non-linear sketches, set in the American-style, fictional town of Turkey's Hill. Each episode is about 15 minutes in length and is broken down into the "main story" as broadcast by the town's fictional TV station, "THBC" and broken up by fictitious adverts and concluded with an English lesson based on content from the episode's main story line.
The main story is subtitled in English. The subtitles try to reflect the tone of the dialogue which can lead to strange or grammatically incorrect subtitles due to its comedic nature and the use of non-conventional Japanese; each story is loosely linked to a main story, but is presented from the different perspectives of the vast cast of characters. The show has a musical influence, with many of the characters involved in music in some way; some of the music from the show has appeared on MTV and has been the basis for the video games based on the show. It has been broadcast on CS Kids Station, MUSIC ON! TV, MTV Japan, it was streamed online through BIGLOBE. Other broadcasters include: tvk, TOKYO MX, KBS Kyoto, USEN Internet Programs and GyaO. In February 2006, "Larry", one of the voicecast members, launched a podcast on iTunes entitled "Larry's Show". Following the broadcast in 2005, Season 1 was released in 2006 on DVD. Season 2 was broadcast in 2006 and was released in 2007 on DVD; the World Of Golden Eggs features a wide cast of characters who re-appear in various sketches.
The cast of characters include: Amura Voiced by: Namie Amuro Rose and Mary - a pair of exercise loving chefs. They host the segment entitled "Nori-Nori Cooking". Coach - coach of Turkey Hill High School's American football team. Likes to use the word "necessary". Mark - a player in the Turkey Hill High School's American football team, his catch phrase is "Just do it!". Paul - the somewhat shy quarterback for Turkey Hill High School's American football team. Robert - a teacher at Turkey Hill High School; the victim of the vice-principal's over-enthusiastic chatter. Vice principal - the talkative vice principal of Turkey Hill High School. Michael - a member of Turkey Hill High School's bodybuilding club. Max - host of "Trend Hunting". Turkey Ranger - an action hero and local celebrity, his real name is Ryan. Kevin & Paul - a pair of turkeys who have escaped from a farm and are looking to pick up some female turkeys. Norman & Bob - fans of the cheerleaders at Turkey Hill High School. Seen with large-lensed cameras.
Rebecca - Lisa's best friend. Lisa - Rebecca's best friend. Tengu-chan - host of "Trend Hunting". Michelle - Rebecca's French teacher, her nickname is Michael. Emilio - Antonio's bedridden grandfather. Voiced by: Shun Oguri The first anime DVD, The World of Golden Eggs Vol. 01, the second anime DVD were released on August 3, 2005. The third anime DVD, The World of Golden Eggs "Season 2" Vol. 03, fourth anime DVD, The World of Golden Eggs "Season 2" Vol. 04, were released on August 24, 2007. All releases were handled by Warner Home Video; the anime was adapted into an action and music Wii game, called The World of Golden Eggs: Nori Nori Rhythm-kei, developed by Artoon and published by AQ Interactive and was released in Japan on June 1, 2008. AQ Interactive released a puzzle Nintendo DS game, called The World of Golden Eggs: Nori Nori Uta Dekichatte Kei, on February 17, 2009 in Japan. On September 22, 2005, wint released an animation soundtrack for The World of Golden Eggs. On March 22, 2008, wint released an animation soundtrack for season two of The World of Golden Eggs anime.
On March 11, 2009, wint released a The World of Golden Eggs DVD for the Japan tour in Tokyo called, The World of Golden Eggs "Music Complete". Nissan released a series of commercial ads in 2008 featuring characters from the series in collaboration with its newest Note model, it released a DVD in 2 versions: "Nissan Note x The World of Golden Eggs" and "Nissan Note x The World of Golden Eggs: Vol. 2" The World of Golden Eggs #1 was ranked 9th out of the top 20 anime DVDs sold in Japan in 2007, with 59,000 copies sold. The first volume of The World of Golden Eggs was ranked 26th best selling DVD in Japan for the first half of 2008 at 88,707 copies, The World of Golden Eggs Vol. 01 was voted top selling anime/special effects DVD in Japan in 2008 with 97,292 copies. The World of Golden Eggs Season 2 DVD-Box was ranked 12th with 49,000 sold and The World of Golden Eggs #2 was ranked 15th with 47,000 copies sold; the second volume of The World of Golden Eggs was ranked 39th best selling DVD in Japan for the first half of 2008 at 67,731 copies.
The World of Golden Eggs at Anime News Network's encyclopedia Official website
The Nintendo DS, or DS, is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and released by Nintendo. The device released globally across 2004 and 2005; the DS, short for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld gaming: two LCD screens working in tandem, a built-in microphone, support for wireless connectivity. Both screens are encompassed within a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP; the Nintendo DS features the ability for multiple DS consoles to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi within a short range without the need to connect to an existing wireless network. Alternatively, they could interact online using the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, its main competitor was Sony's PlayStation Portable during the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was likened to the Nintendo 64 from the 1990s, which led to several N64 ports such as Super Mario 64 DS and Diddy Kong Racing DS, among others. Prior to its release, the Nintendo DS was marketed as an experimental, "third pillar" in Nintendo's console lineup, meant to complement the Game Boy Advance and GameCube.
However, backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance titles and strong sales established it as the successor to the Game Boy series. On March 2, 2006, Nintendo launched the Nintendo DS Lite, a slimmer and lighter redesign of the original Nintendo DS with brighter screens. On November 1, 2008, Nintendo released the Nintendo DSi, another redesign with several hardware improvements and new features. All Nintendo DS models combined have sold 154.02 million units, making it the best selling handheld game console to date, the second best selling video game console of all time behind Sony's PlayStation 2. The Nintendo DS line was succeeded by the Nintendo 3DS family in 2011, which maintains backward compatibility with nearly all Nintendo DS software. Development on the Nintendo DS began around mid-2002, following an original idea from former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi about a dual-screened console. On November 13, 2003, Nintendo announced that it would be releasing a new game product in 2004.
The company did not provide many details, but stated it would not succeed the Game Boy Advance or GameCube. On January 20, 2004, the console was announced under the codename "Nintendo DS". Nintendo released only a few details at that time, saying that the console would have two separate, 3-inch TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, up to 1 gigabit of semiconductor memory. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said, "We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century." He expressed optimism that the DS would help put Nintendo back at the forefront of innovation and move away from the conservative image, described about the company in years past. In March 2004, a document containing most of the console's technical specifications was leaked revealing its internal development name, "Nitro". In May 2004, the console was shown in prototype form at E3 2004, still under the name "Nintendo DS".
On July 28, 2004, Nintendo revealed a new design, described as "sleeker and more elegant" than the one shown at E3 and announced Nintendo DS as the device's official name. Following lukewarm GameCube sales, Hiroshi Yamauchi stressed the importance of its success to the company's future, making a statement which can be translated from Japanese as, "If the DS succeeds, we will rise to heaven, but if it fails we will sink to hell." President Iwata referred to Nintendo DS as "Nintendo's first hardware launch in support of the basic strategy'Gaming Population Expansion'" because the touch-based device "allows users to play intuitively". On September 20, 2004, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo DS would be released in North America on November 21, 2004 for US$149.99. It was set to release on December 2004 in Japan; the console was released in North America with a midnight launch event at Universal CityWalk EB Games in Los Angeles, California. The console was launched in Japan compared to the North America launch.
Regarding the European launch, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said this: Europe is an important market for Nintendo, we are pleased we can offer such a short period of time between the US and European launch. We believe that the Nintendo DS will change the way people play video games and our mission remains to expand the game play experience. Nintendo DS caters for the needs of all gamers whether for more dedicated gamers who want the real challenge they expect, or the more casual gamers who want quick, pick up and play fun; the Nintendo DS was launched in North America for US$149.99 on November 21, 2004. Well over three million preorders were taken in North Japan. Nintendo planned to deliver one million units combined at the North American and Japanese launches. Nintendo slated 300,000 units for the U. S. debut. In 2005, the manufacturer suggested retail price for the Nintendo DS was dropped to US$129.99. Both launches proved to be successful, but Nintendo chose to release the DS in North America prior to Japan, a first for a hardware laun
Yoshi's Island DS
Yoshi's Island DS released in Japan as Yoshi Island DS, is a platforming video game developed by Artoon for the Nintendo DS. Published by Nintendo, it was released in North America and Australasia in November 2006, in Europe in December 2006, in Japan in March 2007, it is the sequel to the 1995 SNES game, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Announced at Nintendo's E3 press conference in May 2006, the game was well received by critics, scoring an average of 81% on Metacritic's aggregate; the game was to be titled Yoshi's Island 2, though its name was changed one month before its North American release. On April 1, 2015, the game was made available for the Wii U via the Virtual Console service shortly after a Nintendo Direct presentation; the game's story focuses on the Yoshi clan as they attempt to rescue newborn children who have been kidnapped by Kamek. Yoshi's Island DS uses the same updated graphical style as Yoshi Touch & Go but retains the same core gameplay as its Super Nintendo Entertainment System predecessor.
Each baby bestows a different ability upon Yoshi. The objective of the game is to use these abilities to progress through various themed worlds. A sequel, Yoshi's New Island, was released for the Nintendo 3DS in March 2014. Yoshi's Island DS's gameplay is the same as the previous game, with some additions. Just like in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island the player guides various colored Yoshis through side scrolling stages. Yoshi can eat enemies and turn them into eggs and pound the ground; some stages offer Yoshi the ability to morph into vehicles for a short time. Like the original Yoshi's Island, the DS game differs from many platforming series in that Yoshi does not have a life bar. What makes Yoshi's Island DS different is the addition of five babies for Yoshi to carry, each bestowing a different ability — Baby Mario allows Yoshi to dash and makes special'M' blocks appear, can grab Super Stars to become Super Baby Mario, grants ricocheting eggs; the last three babies slow down Yoshi's movement and make the timing for his flutter jumping less forgiving.
The need to switch babies at key points adds a puzzle element to the game. The Nintendo DS's two screens act as one tall screen; the game does not make use of the bottom screen's touch sensitivity for basic gameplay, though it is an option for selecting levels and in some mini-games. Each of DS's five worlds has two bosses, each with a weakness that must be exploited. Most of the time, these are giant-sized versions of normal enemies, though some are more inventive. Flowers and coins, as well as stars, are scattered about the game's stages; these are totaled at the end of each stage and a score is given depending how many of each were collected. Sufficiently high scores are required to unlock one of the two sets of secret levels. Special character coins are introduced. Missing from the game are the power-ups of sorts — like the ability to spit seeds by eating watermelons — which were present in the original; the fire breathing ability is retained though: Yoshi can use it when he snags a torch or fireball with his tongue.
This allows him to shoot streams of fire up to three times. Keys found in the stages unlock doors that would be closed otherwise; as in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Baby Mario and the Yoshi clan must rescue Baby Luigi, snatched by Bowser's minion, who wants to kidnap every baby around the world. However, this time the Yoshis have the combined assistance of both Baby Peach and Baby Donkey Kong, as well as the stork, who escaped the botched capture by the Magikoopa, they join with Baby Wario and Baby Bowser, who offer their specialized abilities so that the group may proceed. However, Baby Wario's lust for treasure leads him to abandon his duties, while Baby Bowser is captured by Kamek, kicked out by the Adult Bowser, who came from the future, for his baby counterpart insults him. Baby Bowser joins the group until he notices Kamek and after him, leaving Yoshi and the other babies to continue their journey. Much in the game, Kamek's sinister plan for kidnapping the babies
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word