Japan is an island country located in East Asia. It is bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, spans more than 3,000 kilometers along the coast of the continent from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Philippine Sea in the south. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan encompasses a stratovolcanic archipelago of about 6,852 islands, with five main islands comprising 97% of the country's total area of 377,975 square kilometers. Japan is divided into 47 prefectures and traditionally into eight regions. Two-thirds of the country's terrain is mountainous and forested, less than one-eighth of land is suitable for agriculture. Japan is among the most densely populated and urbanized countries in the world, with over 90% of its population living in urban areas; the largest of these is the metropolitan area centered on the capital city of Tokyo, the most populous in the world and home to more than 38 million people. Japan itself is the world's eleventh most populous country with a population of 126.2 million, of which 97.8% are ethnically Japanese.
The kanji that make up the name of Japan in the Japanese language mean "sun origin". Periods of influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, have characterized the history of Japan. While archaeological evidence indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period, the first written mention of the archipelago appears in Chinese texts from the first century AD. Between the fourth and ninth centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an Emperor and imperial court based in Heian-kyō. However, beginning in the twelfth century, de facto political power came to be held by a succession of military dictators and feudal lords and enforced by a class of warrior nobility known as samurai. After a century-long period of civil war, Japan was reunified in 1603 under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate, which established a government in Edo and enacted a policy of isolationism; this period ended in 1853 when a United States fleet forced Japan to open to the West, leading to the fall of the shogunate and the restoration of imperial power in 1868.
In the following Meiji era, Japan adopted a Western-style government and pursued a program of industrialization and modernization. In 1937, the Empire of Japan invaded China, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War. After suffering major defeats in the Pacific and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, coming under a brief occupation and adopting a new post-war constitution. Japan has since maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with the Emperor as a ceremonial head of state and an elected legislature known as the National Diet. Today, Japan is a member of numerous international institutions, including the United Nations, the OECD, the G7, the G20. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military for peacekeeping and self-defense, ranked as the world's fourth most powerful. Following World War II, Japan experienced record economic growth, recovering from the war to become the world's second-largest economy by 1980.
Today, Japan's economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and fourth-largest by purchasing power parity. Japan is ranked "very high" on the Human Development Index. Culturally, Japan is globally renowned for its art, literature, cinema and popular culture, including its prominent comics and video game industries; 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 (委
Granåsen Ski Centre is a winter sport venue located in Trondheim, Norway. Granåsen Ski Centre hosts competitions arranged by FIS; the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 1997 took place at Granåsen. A shooting range for biathlon was built in 2008 and 2009 and was used during Biathlon World Cup competitions in March 2009. Granåsen Ski Centre has hosted events in the Cross-Country World Cup on five occasions. In 2020, the two last stages of the FIS Ski Tour 2020 were held at Granåsen; the ski jumping hill sports one K-124 hill. Before the 2008–2009 season the large hill was improved, the K-spot is now located at 124 meters while the hill size has been increased to 140 meters; the hill record belongs to Kamil Stoch, who jumped 146 m in March 2018 during the World Cup competition
Steve Josue is a former professional American football linebacker who played in the National Football League, NFL Europe, Canadian Football League. Josue played college football at Carson–Newman. Josue was born in Florida to Haitian immigrant parents. A 1998 graduate of North Miami High School, Josue lettered two years in football and one in basketball and was an All-State selection in 1997 as a senior. Josue enrolled at the NCAA Division II Carson–Newman College and lettered four years from 1999 to 2002 after a redshirt year. In his redshirt freshman year, Josue made 50 tackles, three passes defensed, 16 tackles for loss. Carson–Newman reached the NCAA Division II Football Championship title game in 1999, but lost, 58–52, to Northwest Missouri State in four overtime periods. In his sophomore season, Josue started all 10 games and made 42 tackles, 16 stops for loss, seven sacks, one interception, one pass deflected, one fumble recovery; as a junior, Josue had 26 tackles, a team-high 10 tackles for loss, five sacks.
In 2002, the Eagles promoted Josue to team captain and finished the season a perfect 11-0. In that year, Josue made 48 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble. With Carson-Newman, Josue received first-team All-SAC honors in senior years. Josue graduated in 2003 with a B. A. in computer information systems. The Green Bay Packers selected Josue in the 7th round of the 2003 NFL Draft 257th overall. After playing on the practice squad throughout the 2003 season, Josue re-signed as a free agent with the Packers on January 14, 2004 and was assigned to the NFL Europe team Amsterdam Admirals. Josue played all 10 games of the 2004 season with the Admirals. In those games, Josue made 15 tackles, defended two passes, made one interception. After stints on the practice squads of the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers, Josue debuted in the 2004 NFL regular season on December 12, 2004 against the Detroit Lions and played in the final four games of the regular season and the Packers' Wild Card playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Collectively, Josue made 9 tackles in those games. On April 26, 2005, the Packers waived Josue; the Ravens released Josue on August 2005, only 19 days after signing Josue. On February 21, 2006, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League signed Josue; the Tiger-Cats cut Josue after training camp on June 10 but re-signed him on June 22. Josue sealed the Tiger-Cats' 27-22 win on September 17 over the Edmonton Eskimos after forcing a last-minute fumble from Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray; the Tiger-Cats released Josue on June 23, 2007