The rise of Japan (500-1868)
Standard: 7.5.1
  • Describe to explain in detail the significance of Japan's proximity to China and Korea and the intellectual, linguistic, religious, and philosophical influence of those countries on Japan.
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The Land of the Rising Sun

Key Terms and People

proximity: closeness in space

archipelago: chain of islands

mainland: the major land area of a continent

Section Notes

The Geography of Japan

  • Japan is a chain of four large islands and thousands of smaller ones. It is so long that the north and south ends experience different climates. Japan is very mountanious and has very little farm land. The islands are volcanic and experience earthquakes.

Japan and Its Neighbors

  • Japan is far from its closest neighbors, Korea and China. The first settlers probably came to Japan about 11,000 thousand years ago on land bridges connecting Japan to the mainland. They survived by hunting and fishing. Rice soon became Japan's most important crop. Around A.D. 500, the Japanese began to borrow the Chinese writing system. In A.D. 552 Buddhist priests from Korea arrived in Japan. Shinto, the native religion of Japan began lose followers to Buddhism. Over time, Buddhism would become an important part of Japan.


Summary: Japan is an island nation with a mountainous geography. It was strongly influenced by Chinese culture.

Study Guide Questions

Describe the geography of Japan.

How did the geography affect where people settled and the ways in which they made a living?

How was Japanese culture influenced by the mainland of Asia?

Why do you think the Japanese were willing to accept the difficulty of writing Chinese?

Practice Test

Homework: Choose one
  1. Workbook Chapter 12, section 1 (Page 143)
  2. Answer three of the study guide questions using complete sentences.
  3. Draw a picture of something important from this section and summarize this section of the text (three sentences minimum).