Konnichiwa (kon-nichee wah) is the Japanese way to say " good morning" or "hello."


Japan is in the continent of Asia.  Its  country is  made up of many islands.  Since the sun rises in the east, Japan is often called "The Land of The Rising Sun." The Japanese refer to their country as "Nippon" or Nihon" which means "source of the sun".  The Japanese flag represents a red sun on a white background.

The capital of Japan is Tokyo.  In fact it is one of the largest cities in the world.  It is modern, very busy, and extremely crowded.  In fact, today, Japan is a modernized country.  They have factories, televisions, radios, cameras, and other familiar objects.

A Japanese home is a wooden building that is raised slightly above the ground.  Most Japanese homes are small, and the rooms are usually separated by moveable paper partitions called fusama that can be rearranged to change the size or shape of  the room. When the outside screens are open, the gardens can be seen from every room in the house. Customs and traditions are very important in Japan. Upon entering a house or apartment  it is customary to take off your shoes. At dinner families often kneel on cushions surrounding a low table. Most Japanese food is cooked on a small grill called a hibachi.  The food is usually broiled, steamed, or fried.  The basic Japanese menu consists of soup and three dishes, each cooked by a different method.  Dessert is usually artistically cut fresh fruit. Chopsticks are used for picking up all food.

A kimono (Japanese robe) is worn by many Japanese people on special holidays.  It is colorful and very pretty.

On March 3, we celebrate the Girl's Doll Festival which called Hinamatsuri. On this day graceful dolls dressed in ancient costumes are displayed on a doll-stand and we pray for the sound growth of girls.

Moon-Viewing...The september full moon is called the mid-autumn moon. In Japan,there is an old tradition of praying to the moon with offerings of pampas grass and rice dumplings.


SportsDay and Athletic Meet...Sports Day, celebrated on October 10th, was established in commemoration of the Tokyo Olympic Games. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was also held on October 10th. On days before and after the Sports Day, many schools hold an athletic meet.
Tinted Autumnal Leaves...In mid-October ,the colors of leaves of the forest trees change into red, brown and yellow. It is customary in Japan to enjoy and view the coloring of the leaves during the fall season.
Festival of Seven,Five and Three...Festival Day for Children of Three, Five and Seven Years of Age is on November 15th. Literally, it is called the Festival of "Shichi(7) Go(5) San(3)". The children visit the shrines dressed up in colorful kimonos.

Origami, an old Japanese art form, is taught to children in Japan.

Read on to learn more about Japan.

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