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
In politics, a figurehead is a person who de jure holds an important and supremely powerful title or office, yet de facto exercises little to no actual power. This means that they are head of state, but not head of government; the metaphor derives from the carved figurehead at the prow of a sailing ship. Monarchs in some constitutional monarchies, presidents in semi-presidential republics are considered to be figureheads. Cited figureheads include Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of 16 Commonwealth realms and head of the Commonwealth, but has no power over the nations in which she is not head of state and does not exercise power in her own realms on her own initiative. Other figureheads include the Emperor of Japan and the King of Sweden, as well as presidents in a majority of parliamentary republics, such as the President of India, President of Israel, President of Bangladesh, President of Greece, President of Germany, President of Pakistan, President of China. During the crisis of the March on Rome in 1922, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, though a figurehead, played a key role in handing power to Benito Mussolini.
More than 20 years the same King played a key role in the dismissal of Mussolini in 1943. Since the abolition of the monarchy in Italy and the establishment of a republic in 1946, the Italian President assumed most of the ceremonial functions of the previous kings. However, the Italian President retains large powers in appointing a prime minister of his choice when there's no clear majority government in parliament, creating a so-called "president's cabinet". For example, the former Prime Minister of Italy, Senator Mario Monti, was appointed by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano as a lifetime-senator and as Prime Minister of the country, not after a new election. Conversely, King Juan Carlos I of Spain largely considered a figurehead, had a key role in defending the newborn Spanish democracy and foiling the attempted coup d'état known as "23-F" in 1981; the word can have more sinister overtones, refer to a powerful leader, who should be exercising full authority, being controlled by a more powerful figure behind the throne. de jure Executive Head of state Post turtle
Hojo Moritoki was the last Shikken of the Kamakura shogunate and the last regent of the Hōjō clan
Hōjō Takatoki was the last Tokusō and ruling Shikken of Japan's Kamakura shogunate. A member of the Hōjō clan, he was the son of Hōjō Sadatoki, was preceded as shikken by Hōjō Morotoki. Takatoki became regent at the age of eight, thus actual power was held for a time by Adachi Tokiaki, his grandmother, Nagasaki Takasuke, a minister assigned to him. Takatoki fell ill at the age of twenty-three, some time after having taken power himself. Takatoki became a Buddhist monk, though he still held some influence at court; that same year, the shogunal government asked Emperor Go-Daigo to abdicate in favor of his successor, in order to continue the tradition of cloistered rule and the alternation of branches of the Imperial family within the line of succession. George Sansom thus describes this move on the part of the shogunate a "fatal blunder" and describes Takatoki as "scarcely sane, his judgement was poor, his conduct erratic. He indulged in extremes of luxury and debauch". Upon retirement, he handed over his duties to "certain unworthy deputies".
In 1331, as events began to come to a boil, Takatoki argued with his advisor Nagasaki over how to react to the Burei-kō plot, in which members of the Hino clan, loyal to Go-Daigo, conspired against the shogunate. This was but one of many events leading up to the outbreak of war, the conflicts within the shogunal administration, between Takatoki and others, meant slow reactions and inadequate handling of such situations. Ashikaga Takauji would soon be placed in command of the shogunate's armies, to be mobilized against Go-Daigo's supporters. Takatoki committed suicide alongside his family during the 1333 Siege of Kamakura, one of the most dramatic events of that war, when forces of Nitta Yoshisada set fire to Kamakura, putting an end to the Kamakura shogunate, his oldest son, Hojo Kunitoki was killed in Siege of Kamakura and his second son Hojo Tokiyuki was the last son of Hojo Clan Takatoki's brother Hojo Yasuei who help Hojo Tokiyuki from suicide. Frederic, Louis. "Japan Encyclopedia." Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Sansom, George. "A History of Japan: 1334-1615." Stanford, California: Stanford University Press
Hōjō Tokimune of the Hōjō clan was the eighth shikken of the Kamakura shogunate, known for leading the Japanese forces against the invasion of the Mongols and for spreading Zen Buddhism. Tokimune was known to rule with an iron fist, eventually monopolized at one point all three titles of power, namely holding offices of tokusō, rensho. During his lifetime, the following seats of power: Japanese Emperor, Imperial Regent, Imperial Chief Advisor kampaku, the shōgun, all had been marginalized by the Hōjō Regents. Born as the eldest son of the regent and tokusō Tokiyori of the Adachi House, Tokimune was born as tokusō and groomed to become the next ruler of Japan, became a shikken at age 18, it is due to him that Zen Buddhism became established in Kamakura later in Kyoto, in the whole of Japan among the warrior class. In 1271, he banished Nichiren to Sado Island; the Mongols had sent a threatening letter and emissaries to Japan in January 1268, after discussion, Tokimune decided to have the emissaries sent back with no answer.
The Mongols sent more emissaries time and time again: on 7 March 1269, on 17 September 1269, in September 1271 and in May 1272. But Tokimune had the emissaries of Kublai Khan driven away, without permission to land each time. Soon after came the first invasion in 1274, but after the failed invasion, five emissaries were sent in September 1275 to Kyūshū, refused to leave without reply. Tokimune responded by having them brought to Kamakura and beheading them; the graves of the five executed. Again on 29 July 1279, five more emissaries were sent, again beheaded, this time in Hakata. Expecting an invasion, on 21 February 1280, the Imperial Court ordered all temples and shrines to pray for victory over the Mongol Empire. Kublai Khan gathered up troops for another invasion in 1281, which again was a failure, due in part to a typhoon; the Mongol invasion had been stopped by a typhoon, the resistance of the new warrior class known as samurai. Tokimune led the defence. Tokimune wanted to defeat cowardice, so he asked Mugaku Sogen for advice.
Mugaku Sogen replied. When the Mongols invaded Japan Tokimune went to Mugaku and said: "Finally there is the greatest event of my life." Mugaku asked, "How do you plan to face it?" Tokimune shouted "Katsu!" Demonstrating his resolve to triumph over the invaders. Mugaku responded with satisfaction: "It is true that the son of a lion roars as a lion!" Taiheiki NHK's 2001 taiga miniseries named Hōjō Tokimune highlighted the dramatic events just prior to Tokimune's birth and up to his death in 1284. Tokimune was portrayed by Motoya Izumi. Hōjō Tokimune leads the Japanese civilization in the 2016 4X video game Civilization VI developed by Firaxis Games