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
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London; the city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, contiguous with its capital, Potsdam; the two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions. Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers and lakes; the city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics and science, its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a complex public transportation network; the metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras and entertainment venues, is host to many sporting events. Its Zoological Garden is one of the most popular worldwide. With the world's oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an popular location for international film productions; the city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the River Saale, that once constituted, together with the River Elbe, the eastern border of the Frankish Realm. While the Frankish Realm was inhabited by Germanic tribes like the Franks and the Saxons, the regions east of the border rivers were inhabited by Slavic tribes; this is why most of the villages in northeastern Germany bear Slavic-derived names. Typical Germanised place name suffixes of Slavic origin are -ow, -itz, -vitz, -witz, -itzsch and -in, prefixes are Windisch and Wendisch.
The name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city, it is therefore a canting arm. Of Berlin's twelve boroughs, five bear a Slavic-derived name: Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Spandau. Of its ninety-six neighborhoods, twenty-two bear a Slavic-derived name: Altglienicke, Alt-Treptow, Buch, Gatow, Kladow, Köpenick, Lankwitz, Lübars, Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg, Schmöckwitz, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Steglitz and Zehlendorf; the neighborhood of Moabit bears a French-derived name, Französisch Buchholz is named after the Huguenots. The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from 1192, remnants of a house foundation dated to 1174, found in excavations in Berlin Mitte; the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, profited from the staple right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, their internal administrations still being separated. In 1415, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his successors established Berlin-Cölln as capital of the margraviate, subsequent members of the Hohenzol
Wedding is a locality in the borough of Mitte, Berlin and was a separate borough in the north-western inner city until it was fused with Tiergarten and Mitte in Berlin's 2001 administrative reform. At the same time the eastern half of the former borough of Wedding—on the other side of Reinickendorfer Straße—was separated as the new locality of Gesundbrunnen. In the 12th century, the manor of the nobleman Rudolf de Weddinge was located on the small Panke River in the immediate vicinity of today's Nettelbeckplatz; the farmstead, which burned down more than once, remained abandoned in the forest until the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, while Gesundbrunnen was being built up as a health resort and spa town and prostitution moved into Wedding, transforming it into a pleasure district. In 1864, Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering established the Schering pharmaceutical company on Müllerstraße. A large hospital at the western rim of the locality was built between 1898 and 1906 on the initiative of Rudolf Virchow.
The Rotaprint plant was initiated in Wedding in 1904 and became one of the largest employers locally with about 1,000 staff at its height. The constant migration of country-dwellers into the city at the end of the 19th century converted Wedding into a working-class district; the labourers lived in cramped tenement blocks, many in the Wilhelmine Ring. After World War I, Wedding was known as "Red Wedding" as it was renowned for its militant Communist working class. After World War II, Wedding and Reinickendorf together made up the French sector of Berlin; the buildings on the north side of Wedding's Bernauer Straße and the street, including sidewalks, were in the French sector, while the buildings along the southern side were in Soviet territory. When the Berlin Wall was being built in August 1961, many who lived in these buildings frantically jumped from their windows before the buildings could be evacuated and their windows bricked up. Wedding was the western terminus of one of the first refugee tunnels dug underneath the Berlin wall.
It extended from the basement of an abandoned factory on Schönholzer Straße in the Soviet sector underneath Bernauer Straße to another building in the west. Though marvellously well constructed and kept secret, the tunnel was plagued by water from leaking pipes, had to be shut down after only a few days of operation. A section of the wall has been reconstructed near the spot on Bernauer Straße where the tunnel ended. Two sections of wall run parallel to one another down the street with a "death strip" in the middle. A nearby museum documents the history of the wall. Today, Wedding is one of the poorest areas of Berlin, with a high unemployment rate. 17% of the population live on social welfare. Foreigners make up 30% of the population. Low rental costs accompany the poverty in Wedding. Therefore, like many inexpensive areas in large cities, it is home to a vibrant artists' community. Many galleries have been founded by artists to provide a space for themselves and their peers to showcase their works.
Wedding has so far not experienced the development of the 1990s in Berlin. Unlike many other 19th-century working class districts like Prenzlauer Berg, the original character of Wedding has been preserved; however and more students and artists have moved to Wedding due to lower rental costs and a high level of quality of life. As a result, many new Bohemian cafés, restaurants and clubs, organic food stores and markets have been established, an art-house cinema and an urban gardening project has started and high-brow galleries have discovered that area, it is still said though to be a place to find the Schnauze mit Herz of the Berlin working class. Along with Kreuzberg, Wedding is one of the most ethnically diverse localities of Berlin; the multicultural atmosphere is visible in the bilingual shop signs. In recent years Wedding has seen a significant influx of Africans, many of whom have settled in the Afrikanisches Viertel, or African Quarter. Wedding is home to an East Asian community from China, reflected in many Asian and African stores and restaurants.
As of 2011, the ethnic make-up of Wedding was 52% of German origin, 18% Turks, 6% Sub-Saharan African, 6% Arabs, 6% Polish, 5% former Yugoslavia, 4.5% Asian. Many buildings are relics of European post-war Modernism; the Schillerpark estate in northern Wedding is part of the Modernist Housing Estates World Heritage Site. Beside monolithic housing blocks, several old buildings survived the war and urban renewal and still have coal-fired heating. A green oasis marks the west borders of the "old red" district, with Volkspark Rehberge and the idyllic Plötzensee, a lake in the southwest, it is a popular summer hang-out offering long lawns. A section of the beach is reserved for a German nudist movement. At Scharnweberstraße 158/159 is Germany's last inner-city dune dating back to Ice Age. Kevin-Prince Boateng, footballer for the Ghana national football team and Schalke 04, grew up in the area. Thomas Dörflein, best known for raising Knut the polar bear. Otto and Elise Hampel, a working-class couple who created a simple method of protest while living in Wedding, Berlin during the early years of World War II.
They were caught and executed. Hardy Krüger, actor Erich Mielke, convicted copkiller and longtime head of the East German Secre
The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants, it is famously known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1770. Beethoven spent his childhood and teenage years in Bonn; because of a political compromise following German reunification, the German federal government maintains a substantial presence in Bonn, the city is considered a second, capital of the country. Bonn is the secondary seat of the President, the Chancellor, the Bundesrat and the primary seat of six federal government ministries and twenty federal authorities; the unique title of Federal City reflects its important political status within Germany. As the city of Weimar in eastern Germany has given its name to Germany's interwar period democracy, the Weimar Republic, so too has Bonn given its name to the historical name of the Bonn Republic for the Cold War era Federal Republic of Germany.
Founded in the 1st century BC as a Roman settlement, Bonn is one of Germany's oldest cities. From 1597 to 1794, Bonn was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne. From 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the capital of West Germany, Germany's present constitution, the Basic Law, was declared in the city in 1949. Berlin was re-affirmed by the Bundestag in Bonn as the capital of Germany, though due to the country's division a seat of government was maintained there by the German Democratic Republic, only in the eastern half. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government – but no longer capital – of reunited Germany; the headquarters of Deutsche Post DHL and Deutsche Telekom, both DAX-listed corporations, are in Bonn. The city is home to the University of Bonn and a total of 20 United Nations institutions, including headquarters for Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention Climate Change, the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the UN Volunteers programme.
Situated in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area with over 11 million inhabitants, Bonn lies within the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, close to the border with Rhineland-Palatinate. Spanning an area of more 141.2 km2 on both sides of the river Rhine three quarters of the city lie on the river's left bank. To the south and to the west, Bonn is bordering the Eifel region which encompasses the Rhineland Nature Park. To the north, Bonn borders the Cologne Lowland. Natural borders are constituted by the river Sieg to the north-east and by the Siebengebirge to the east; the largest extension of the city in north-south dimensions is 15 km and 12.5 km in west-east dimensions. The city borders have a total length of 61 km; the geographical centre of Bonn is the Bundeskanzlerplatz in Bonn-Gronau. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into five governmental districts, Bonn is part of the governmental district of Cologne. Within this governmental district, the city of Bonn is an urban district in its own right.
The urban district of Bonn is again divided into four administrative municipal districts. These are Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Bonn-Beuel and Bonn-Hardtberg. In 1969, the independent towns of Bad Godesberg and Beuel as well as several villages were incorporated into Bonn, resulting in a city more than twice as large as before. Bonn has an oceanic climate. In the south of the Cologne lowland in the Rhine valley, Bonn is in one of Germany's warmest regions; the history of the city dates back to Roman times. In about 12 BC, the Roman army appears to have stationed a small unit in what is presently the historical centre of the city. Earlier, the army had resettled members of a Germanic tribal group allied with Rome, the Ubii, in Bonn; the Latin name for that settlement, "Bonna", may stem from the original population of this and many other settlements in the area, the Eburoni. The Eburoni were members of a large tribal coalition wiped out during the final phase of Caesar's War in Gaul. After several decades, the army gave up the small camp linked to the Ubii-settlement.
During the 1st century AD, the army chose a site to the north of the emerging town in what is now the section of Bonn-Castell to build a large military installation dubbed Castra Bonnensis, i.e. "Fort Bonn". Built from wood, the fort was rebuilt in stone. With additions and new construction, the fort remained in use by the army into the waning days of the Western Roman Empire the mid-5th century; the structures themselves remained standing well into the Middle Ages, when they were called the Bonnburg. They were used by Frankish kings. Much of the building materials seem to have been re-used in the construction of Bonn's 13th-century city wall; the Sterntor in the city center is a reconstruction using the last remnants of the medieval city wall. To date, Bonn's Roman fort remains the largest fort of its type known from the ancient world, i.e. a fort built to accommodate a full-strength Imperial Legion and its auxiliaries. The fort covered an area of 250,000 square metres. Between its walls it contained a dense grid of streets and a multitude of buildings, ranging from spacious headquarters and large officers' quarters to barracks, stables and a military jail.
Addis Ababa is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. According to the 2007 census, the city has a population of 2,739,551 inhabitants; as a chartered city, Addis Ababa has the status of a state. It is where the African Union is headquartered and where its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity was based, it hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, as well as various other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore referred to as "the political capital of Africa" for its historical and political significance for the continent; the city lies a few miles west of the East African Rift. The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia, it is home to Addis Ababa University. Entoto is one of a handful of sites put forward as a possible location for a medieval imperial capital known as Barara; this permanent fortified city was established during the early-to-mid 15th century, it served as the main residence of several successive emperors up to the early 16th-century reign of Lebna Dingel.
The city was depicted standing between Mounts Zikwala and Menegasha on a map drawn by the Italian cartographer Fra Mauro in around 1450, it was razed and plundered by Ahmed Gragn while the imperial army was trapped on the south of the Awash River in 1529, an event witnessed and documented two years by the Yemeni writer Arab-Faqih. The suggestion that Barara was located on Mount Entoto is supported by the recent discovery of a large medieval town overlooking Addis Ababa located between rock-hewn Washa Mikael and the more modern church of Entoto Maryam, founded in the late 19th century by Emperor Menelik. Dubbed the Pentagon, the 30-hectare site incorporates a castle with 12 towers, along with 520 meters of stone walls measuring up to 5-meter high; the site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Menelik, as a King of the Shewa province, had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, in 1879 he visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of the medieval empire's capital in the area before the campaigns of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim.
His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Mount Entoto, Menelik endowed a second church in the area. However, the immediate area did not encourage the founding of a town for lack of firewood and water, so settlement began in the valley south of the mountain in 1886. Taytu built a house for herself near the "Filwoha" hot mineral springs, where she and members of the Showan Royal Court liked to take mineral baths. Other nobility and their staff and households settled in the vicinity, Menelik expanded his wife's house to become the Imperial Palace which remains the seat of government in Addis Ababa today; the name changed to Addis Ababa and became Ethiopia's capital when Menelik II became Emperor of Ethiopia. The town grew by bounds. One of Emperor Menelik's contributions that are still visible today is the planting of numerous eucalyptus trees along the city streets. Following all the major engagements of their invasion, Italian troops from the colony of Eritrea entered Addis Ababa on 5 May 1936.
Along with Dire Dawa, the city had been spared the aerial bombardment practiced elsewhere and its railway to Djibouti remained intact. After the occupation the city served as the Duke of Aosta's capital for unified Italian East Africa until 1941, when it was abandoned in favor of Amba Alagi and other redoubts during the Second World War's East African Campaign; the city was liberated by Major Orde Wingate and negus Haile Selassie for Ethiopian Gideon Force and Ethiopian resistance in time to permit Emperor Haile Selassie's return on 5 May 1941, five years to the day after he had left. Following reconstruction, Haile Selassie helped form the Organisation of African Unity in 1963 and invited the new organization to keep its headquarters in Addis Ababa; the OAU was dissolved in 2002 and replaced by the African Union, headquartered in the city. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has its headquarters in Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa was the site of the Council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in 1965.
Ethiopia has been called the original home of mankind because of various humanoid fossil discoveries like the Australopithecine Lucy. Northeastern Africa, the Afar region in particular, was the central focus of these claims until recent DNA evidence suggested origins in south central Ethiopian regions like present-day Addis Ababa. After analysing the DNA of 1,000 people around the world and other scientists claimed people spread from what is now Addis Ababa 100,000 years ago; the research indicated that genetic diversity decreases the farther one's ancestors traveled from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Addis Ababa lies at an elevation of 2,200 metres and is a grassland biome, located at 9°1′48″N 38°44′24″E; the city forms part of the watershed for the Awash. From its lowest point, around Bole International Airport, at 2,326 metres above sea level in the southern periphery, Addis Ababa rises to over 3,000 metres in the Entoto Mountains to the north; the city is divided into 10 boroughs, called subcities, 99 wards.
The 10 subc