Around The World: Japan
By B. Rafael
Kon’nichiwa (Hello) from Japan!
If we were Japanese, we would have said that with a bow. The bow in Japan is like giving a handshake in the West. The Japanese bow is a sign of respect, and the more important you are, the deeper a bow you receive. The Japanese are very respectful, for example, they always arrive early to a meeting or event.
Japan is an archipelago, which means that it consists of a group of islands. There are 4 main islands, plus 6,848 smaller islands. Japan is located in northeast Asia and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.
Can you guess what is the most popular food in Japan? Sushi! The Japanese in general eat a low-calorie diet, which is why there is a very low obesity rate in Japan.
While Japan is a democracy and led by an elected Prime Minister, the official head of state is the Emperor. Japan is currently the only country in the world whose leader is titled “Emperor”. He is the successor of a long and ancient dynasty.
The capital of Japan is Tokyo. Tokyo is considered one of the world’s safest cities, even as it is also the world’s most populous city. There are 37.5 million people living in the Tokyo metro area!
Chiune Sugihara was the Japanese consul to Lithuania during World War II. At great personal risk, and against the orders of his superiors, he issued thousands of entry visas for Jews into Japan. This saved many Jews from the Holocaust, most famously the Mirrer Yeshiva, which would go on from Japan to Shanghai.
On a geographical level, Japan has the most earthquakes in the world, and 10% of the world’s active volcanoes. Tokyo has the most earthquakes of any city in the world.
The highest mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji. It is a volcano mountain located on the island of Honshu, southwest of Tokyo. While it is an international tourist attraction, there is a Japanese saying, “a wise person will climb Mount Fuji once in their lifetime, but only a fool would climb it twice."