Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, that includes ten species of woody climbing bines that are native to China and Japan and as an introduced species to the Eastern United States. Some species are popular ornamental plants. An aquatic flowering plant with the common name wisteria or'water wisteria' is in fact Hygrophila difformis, in the family Acanthaceae; the botanist Thomas Nuttall said. Questioned about the spelling Nuttall said it was for "euphony," but his biographer speculated that it may have something to do with Nuttall's friend Charles Jones Wister, Sr. of Grumblethorpe, the grandson of the merchant John Wister. Some Philadelphia sources state; as the spelling is deliberate, there is no justification for changing the genus name under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. However, some spell the plant's common name "wistaria", Fowler is decisively for the "wistaria" spelling. Genetic analysis shows Callerya and Wisteria to be each other's closest relatives and quite distinct from other members of the tribe Millettieae.
Both have eight chromosomes. The following is a list of accepted Wisteria species: Wisteria brachybotrys Siebold & Zucc. Wisteria brevidentata Rehder Wisteria floribunda DC. – Japanese wisteria Wisteria frutescens Poir. – American wisteria Wisteria macrostachya Nutt. Ex BL Robins. & Fern. – Kentucky wisteria Wisteria sinensis DC. – Chinese wisteria Wisteria venusta Rehder & Wils. – Silky wisteria Wisteria villosa Rehder Wisterias climb by twining their stems around any available support. W. floribunda twines clockwise when viewed from above. This is an aid in identifying the two most common species of wisteria, they can spread out 10 m laterally. The world's largest known wisteria is in Sierra Madre, measuring more than 1 acre in size and weighing 250 tons. Planted in 1894, it is of the'Chinese lavender' variety; the leaves are alternate, 15 to 35 cm long, with 9 to 19 leaflets. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 10 to 80 cm long, similar to those of the genus Laburnum, but are purple, pink or white.
There is no yellow on the leaves. Flowering is in spring in some Asian species, in mid to late summer in the American species and W. japonica. The flowers of some species are fragrant, most notably W. sinensis. Wisteria species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail; the seeds are produced in pods similar to those of Laburnum, like the seeds of that genus, are poisonous. All parts of the plant contain a saponin called wisterin, toxic if ingested, may cause dizziness, speech problems, vomiting, stomach pains and collapse. There is debate over whether the concentration outside of the seeds is sufficient to cause poisoning. Wisteria seeds have caused poisoning in children and pets of many countries, producing mild to severe gastroenteritis and other effects. Wisteria Wisteria sinensis, is hardy and fast-growing, it can grow in poor-quality soils, but prefers fertile, well-drained soil. It thrives in full sun, it can be propagated via softwood cuttings, or seed.
However, specimens grown from seed can take decades to bloom. Another reason for failure to bloom can be excessive fertilizer. Wisteria has nitrogen fixing capability, thus mature plants may benefit from added potassium and phosphate, but not nitrogen. Wisteria can be reluctant to bloom before it has reached maturity. Maturation may require only a few years, as in Kentucky wisteria, or nearly twenty, as in Chinese wisteria. Maturation can be forced by physically abusing root pruning, or drought stress. Wisteria can grow into a mound when unsupported, but is at its best when allowed to clamber up a tree, wall, or other supporting structure. Whatever the case, the support must be sturdy, because mature wisteria can become immensely strong with heavy wrist-thick trunks and stems; these can collapse latticework, crush thin wooden posts, strangle large trees. Wisteria allowed to grow on houses can cause damage to gutters and similar structures. Wisteria flowers develop in buds near the base of the previous year's growth, so pruning back side shoots to the basal few buds in early spring can enhance the visibility of the flowers.
If it is desired to control the size of the plant, the side shoots can be shortened to between 20 and 40 cm long in midsummer, back to 10 to 20 cm in the fall. Once the plant is a few years old, a compact, free-flowering form can be achieved by pruning off the new tendrils three times during the growing season; the flowers of some varieties are edible, can be used to make wine. Others are said to be toxic. Careful identification by an expert is recommended before consuming this or any wild plant. Chinese wisteria was brought to the United States for horticultural purposes in 1816, while Japanese wisteria was introduced around 1830; because of its hardiness and tendency to escape cultivation, these non-native wisterias are considered invasive species in many parts of the U. S. the Southeast, due to their abili
Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman and sculptor, but is known as a painter. Matisse is regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture; the intense colorism of the works he painted between 1900 and 1905 brought him notoriety as one of the Fauves. Many of his finest works were created in the decade or so after 1906, when he developed a rigorous style that emphasized flattened forms and decorative pattern. In 1917 he relocated to a suburb of Nice on the French Riviera, the more relaxed style of his work during the 1920s gained him critical acclaim as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. After 1930, he adopted a bolder simplification of form; when ill health in his final years prevented him from painting, he created an important body of work in the medium of cut paper collage.
His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art. Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, in the Nord department in Northern France, the oldest son of a prosperous grain merchant, he grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois, France. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law, working as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his qualification, he first started to paint in 1889, after his mother brought him art supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis. He discovered "a kind of paradise" as he described it, decided to become an artist disappointing his father. In 1891 he returned to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian and became a student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Gustave Moreau, he painted still lifes and landscapes in a traditional style, at which he achieved reasonable proficiency. Matisse was influenced by the works of earlier masters such as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, Antoine Watteau, as well as by modern artists, such as Édouard Manet, by Japanese art.
Chardin was one of the painters Matisse most admired. In 1896, Matisse, an unknown art student at the time, visited the Australian painter John Russell on the island Belle Île off the coast of Brittany. Russell introduced him to Impressionism and to the work of Vincent van Gogh—who had been a friend of Russell—and gave him a Van Gogh drawing. Matisse's style changed completely, he said "Russell was my teacher, Russell explained colour theory to me." The same year, Matisse exhibited five paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, two of which were purchased by the state. With the model Caroline Joblau, he had a daughter, born in 1894. In 1898 he married Amélie Noellie Parayre. Marguerite and Amélie served as models for Matisse. In 1898, on the advice of Camille Pissarro, he went to London to study the paintings of J. M. W. Turner and went on a trip to Corsica. Upon his return to Paris in February 1899, he worked beside Albert Marquet and met André Derain, Jean Puy, Jules Flandrin.
Matisse immersed himself in the work of others and went into debt from buying work from painters he admired. The work he hung and displayed in his home included a plaster bust by Rodin, a painting by Gauguin, a drawing by van Gogh, Cézanne's Three Bathers. In Cézanne's sense of pictorial structure and colour, Matisse found his main inspiration. Many of Matisse's paintings from 1898 to 1901 make use of a Divisionist technique he adopted after reading Paul Signac's essay, "D'Eugène Delacroix au Néo-impressionisme", his paintings of 1902–03, a period of material hardship for the artist, are comparatively somber and reveal a preoccupation with form. Having made his first attempt at sculpture, a copy after Antoine-Louis Barye, in 1899, he devoted much of his energy to working in clay, completing The Slave in 1903. Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910; the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904–1908, had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were André Derain.
Matisse's first solo exhibition was without much success. His fondness for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. In that year he painted the most important of his works in the neo-Impressionist style, Calme et Volupté. In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain at Collioure, his paintings of this period are characterised by flat shapes and controlled lines, using pointillism in a less rigorous way than before. Matisse and a group of artists now known as "Fauves" exhibited together in a room at the Salon d'Automne in 1905; the paintings expressed emotion with wild dissonant colours, without regard for the subject's natural colours. Matisse showed Open Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Critic Louis Vauxcelles commented on a lone sculpture surround by an "orgie of pure tones" as "Donatello chez les fauves", referring to a Renaissance-type sculpture that shared the room with them.
His comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas, a daily newspaper, passed
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist. Unappreciated until after his death, Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and Synthetist style that were distinctly different from Impressionism. Toward the end of his life, he spent ten years in French Polynesia, most of his paintings from this time depict people or landscapes from that region, his work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Gauguin's art became popular after his death from the efforts of art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who organized exhibitions of his work late in his career and assisted in organizing two important posthumous exhibitions in Paris. Gauguin was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, printmaker and writer, his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.
Gauguin was born in Paris to Clovis Gauguin and Alina Maria Chazal on June 7, 1848. His birth coincided with revolutionary upheavals throughout Europe that year, his father, a 34-year-old liberal journalist, came from a family of petits bourgeois entrepreneurs residing in Orléans. He was compelled to flee France when the newspaper for which he wrote was suppressed by French authorities. Gauguin's mother was the 22-year-old daughter of André Chazal, an engraver, Flora Tristan, an author and activist in early socialist movements, their union ended when André assaulted his wife Flora and was sentenced to prison for attempted murder. Paul Gauguin's maternal grandmother, Flora Tristan, was the illegitimate daughter of Thérèse Laisnay and Don Mariano de Tristan Moscoso. Details of Thérèse's family background are not known, he was an officer of the Dragoons. Members of the wealthy Tristan Moscoso family held powerful positions in Peru. Nonetheless, Don Mariano's unexpected death plunged his daughter Flora into poverty.
When Flora's marriage with André failed, she petitioned for and obtained a small monetary settlement from her father's Peruvian relatives. She sailed to Peru in hopes of enlarging her share of the Tristan Moscoso family fortune; this never materialized. An active supporter of early socialist societies, Gauguin's maternal grandmother helped to lay the foundations for the 1848 revolutionary movements. Placed under surveillance by French police and suffering from overwork, she died in 1844, her grandson Paul "idolized his grandmother, kept copies of her books with him to the end of his life."In 1850, Clovis Gauguin departed for Peru with his wife Alina and young children in hopes of continuing his journalistic career under the auspices of his wife's South American relations. He died of a heart attack en route, Alina arrived in Peru a widow with the 18-month-old Paul and his 2½ year-old sister, Marie. Gauguin's mother was welcomed by her paternal granduncle, whose son-in-law would shortly assume the presidency of Peru.
To the age of six, Paul enjoyed a privileged upbringing, attended by servants. He retained a vivid memory of that period of his childhood which instilled "indelible impressions of Peru that haunted him the rest of his life."Gauguin's idyllic childhood ended abruptly when his family mentors fell from political power during Peruvian civil conflicts in 1854. Aline returned to France with her children, leaving Paul with his paternal grandfather, Guillaume Gauguin, in Orléans. Deprived by the Peruvian Tristan Moscoso clan of a generous annuity arranged by her granduncle, Alina settled in Paris to work as a dressmaker. After attending a couple of local schools, Gauguin was sent to the prestigious Catholic boarding school Petit Séminaire de La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, he spent three years at the school. At age fourteen, he entered the Loriol Institute in Paris, a naval preparatory school, before returning to Orléans to take his final year at the Lycée Jeanne D'Arc. Gauguin signed on as a pilot's assistant in the merchant marine.
Three years he joined the French navy in which he served for two years. His mother died on 7 July 1867, but he did not learn of it for several months until a letter from his sister Marie caught up with him in India. In 1871, Gauguin returned to Paris. A close family friend, Gustave Arosa, got him a job at the Paris Bourse, he remained one for the next 11 years. In 1879 he was earning 30,000 francs a year as a stockbroker, as much again in his dealings in the art market, but in 1882 the Paris stock market crashed and the art market contracted. Gauguin's earnings deteriorated and he decided to pursue painting full-time. In 1873, he married Mette-Sophie Gad. Over the next ten years, they had five children: Émile. By 1884, Gauguin had moved with his family to Copenhagen, where he pursued a business career as a tarpaulin salesman, it was not a success: He could not speak Danish, the Danes did not want French tarpaulins. Mette became the chief breadwinner, his middle-class family and marriage fell apart after 11 years when Gauguin was driven to paint full-time.
He returned to Paris in
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the US, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system; the Industrial Revolution led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth. Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment, value of output and capital invested; the textile industry was the first to use modern production methods. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, many of the technological innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century Britain was the world's leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean, with some political influence on the Indian subcontinent, through the activities of the East India Company.
The development of trade and the rise of business were major causes of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth; some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population began to increase for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries. GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy, while the Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist economies. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants. Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was almost complete by 1760.
The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes. Eric Hobsbawm held that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780s and was not felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred between 1760 and 1830. Rapid industrialization first began in Britain, starting with mechanized spinning in the 1780s, with high rates of growth in steam power and iron production occurring after 1800. Mechanized textile production spread from Great Britain to continental Europe and the United States in the early 19th century, with important centres of textiles and coal emerging in Belgium and the United States and textiles in France. An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the original innovations of the Industrial Revolution, such as mechanized spinning and weaving and their markets matured. Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives and steamships, hot blast iron smelting and new technologies, such as the electrical telegraph introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.
Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870, springing from a new group of innovations in what has been called the Second Industrial Revolution. These new innovations included new steel making processes, mass-production, assembly lines, electrical grid systems, the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the use of advanced machinery in steam-powered factories; the earliest recorded use of the term "Industrial Revolution" seems to have been in a letter from 6 July 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto, announcing that France had entered the race to industrialise. In his 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Raymond Williams states in the entry for "Industry": "The idea of a new social order based on major industrial change was clear in Southey and Owen, between 1811 and 1818, was implicit as early as Blake in the early 1790s and Wordsworth at the turn of the century." The term Industrial Revolution applied to technological change was becoming more common by the late 1830s, as in Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui's description in 1837 of la révolution industrielle.
Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 spoke of "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". However, although Engels wrote in the 1840s, his book was not translated into English until the late 1800s, his expression did not enter everyday language until then. Credit for popularising the term may be given to Arnold Toynbee, whose 1881 lectures gave a detailed account of the term; some historians, such as John Clapham and Nicholas Crafts, have argued that the economic and social changes occurred and the term revolution is a misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among some historians; the commencement of the Industrial Revolution is linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies: Textiles – mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the output of a worker by a factor of around 500.
The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40. The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity occurred in spinning and weaving of w
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is applied to living organisms, most of the time to humans, it is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square. Population density is population divided by total land water volume, as appropriate. Low densities may lead to further reduced fertility; this is called the Allee effect after the scientist. Examples of the causes in low population densities include: Increased problems with locating sexual mates Increased inbreeding For humans, population density is the number of people per unit of area quoted per square kilometer or square mile; this may be calculated for a county, country, another territory or the entire world. The world's population is around 7,500,000,000 and Earth's total area is 510,000,000 square kilometers. Therefore, the worldwide human population density is around 7,500,000,000 ÷ 510,000,000 = 14.7 per km2. If only the Earth's land area of 150,000,000 km2 is taken into account human population density is 50 per km2.
This includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica. If Antarctica is excluded population density rises to over 55 people per km2. However, over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human habitation, such as deserts and high mountains, population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh-water sources. Thus, this number by itself does not give any helpful measurement of human population density. Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states and dependencies; these territories have a small area and a high urbanization level, with an economically specialized city population drawing on rural resources outside the area, illustrating the difference between high population density and overpopulation The potential to maintain the agricultural aspects of deserts is limited as there is not enough precipitation to support a sustainable land. The population in these areas are low. Therefore, cities in the Middle East, such as Dubai, have been increasing in population and infrastructure growth at a fast pace.
Cities with high population densities are, by some, considered to be overpopulated, though this will depend on factors like quality of housing and infrastructure and access to resources. Most of the most densely populated cities are in Southeast Asia, though Cairo and Lagos in Africa fall into this category. City population and area are, however dependent on the definition of "urban area" used: densities are invariably higher for the central city area than when suburban settlements and the intervening rural areas are included, as in the areas of agglomeration or metropolitan area, the latter sometimes including neighboring cities. For instance, Milwaukee has a greater population density when just the inner city is measured, the surrounding suburbs excluded. In comparison, based on a world population of seven billion, the world's inhabitants, as a loose crowd taking up ten square feet per person, would occupy a space a little larger than Delaware's land area; the Gaza Strip has a population density of 5,046 pop/km.
Although arithmetic density is the most common way of measuring population density, several other methods have been developed to provide a more accurate measure of population density over a specific area. Arithmetic density: The total number of people / area of land Physiological density: The total population / area of arable land Agricultural density: The total rural population / area of arable land Residential density: The number of people living in an urban area / area of residential land Urban density: The number of people inhabiting an urban area / total area of urban land Ecological optimum: The density of population that can be supported by the natural resources Demography Human geography Idealized population Optimum population Population genetics Population health Population momentum Population pyramid Rural transport problem Small population size Distance sampling List of population concern organizations List of countries by population density List of cities by population density List of city districts by population density List of English districts by population density List of European cities proper by population density List of United States cities by population density List of islands by population density List of U.
S. states by population density List of Australian suburbs by population density Selected Current and Historic City, Ward & Neighborhood Density Duncan Smith / UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. "World Population Density". Exploratory map shows data from the Global Human Settlement Layer produced by the European Commission JRC and the CIESIN Columbia University
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, European civilization, is a term used broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe. The term applies beyond Europe to countries and cultures whose histories are connected to Europe by immigration, colonization, or influence. For example, Western culture includes countries in the Americas and Australasia, whose language and demographic ethnicity majorities are European; the development of western culture has been influenced by Christianity. Western culture is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic and legal themes and traditions; these include Judeo-Christian traditions. Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century as did Judaism.
Before the Cold War era, the traditional English viewpoint identified Western civilization with the Western Christian countries and culture. A cornerstone of Western thought, beginning in ancient Greece and continuing through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, is the idea of rationalism in various spheres of life religion, developed by Hellenistic philosophy and humanism; the Catholic Church was for centuries at the center of the development of the values, science and institutions which constitute Western civilization. Empiricism gave rise to the scientific method, the scientific revolution, the Age of Enlightenment. Influenced by earlier Ancient Near Eastern civilizations, Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of many elements of Western culture, including the development of a democratic system of government and major advances in philosophy and mathematics; the expansion of Greek culture into the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean led to a synthesis between Greek and Near-Eastern cultures, major advances in literature and science, provided the culture for the expansion of early Christianity and the Greek New Testament.
This period overlapped with and was followed by Rome, which made key contributions in law, government and political organization. After the fall of the Roman Empire, many of the classical Greek texts were translated into Arabic and preserved in the medieval Islamic world, from where the Greek classics along with Arabic advances were transmitted to Western Europe and translated into Latin during the Renaissance of the 12th century and 13th century. Western culture continued to develop with the Christianisation of Europe during the Middle Ages and the reform and modernization triggered by the Renaissance, as Greek scholars fleeing the fall of the Byzantine Empire brought classical traditions and philosophy to Western Europe. Medieval Christianity is credited with creating the modern university, the modern hospital system, scientific economics, natural law and numerous other innovations across all intellectual fields. Christianity played a role in ending practices common among pagan societies, such as human sacrifice, slavery and polygamy.
The globalization by successive European colonial empires spread European ways of life and European educational methods around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries. European culture developed with a complex range of philosophy, medieval scholasticism and mysticism and Christian and secular humanism. Rational thinking developed through a long age of change and formation, with the experiments of the Enlightenment and breakthroughs in the sciences. Tendencies that have come to define modern Western societies include the concept of political pluralism, prominent subcultures or countercultures and increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration; the West as a geographical area is undefined. More a country's ideology is what will be used to categorize it as a Western society. There is some disagreement about what nations should or should not be included in the category and at what times. Many parts of the Eastern Roman Empire are considered Western today but were considered Eastern in the past.
However, in the past it was the Eastern Roman Empire that had many features now seen as "Western," preserving Roman law, first codified by Justinian in the east, as well as the traditions of scholarship around Plato and Euclid that were introduced to Italy during the Renaissance by Greek scholars fleeing the fall of Constantinople. Thus, the culture identified with West itself interchanges with time and place. Geographically, the "West" of today would include Europe together with extra-European territories belonging to the English-speaking world, the Hispanidad, the Lusosphere. Since the context is biased and context-dependent, there is no agreed definition what the "West" is, it is difficult to determine which individuals fit into which category and the East–West contrast is sometimes criticized as relativistic and arbitrary. Globalism has spread Western ideas so that all modern cultures are, to some extent, influenced by aspects of Western culture. Stereotyped views of "the West" have been labeled Occidentalism, paralleling Orienta
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