*** Japanese geography

Japanese Geography

Japanese geography
Figure 1.--.

The Japanese archipelago is located off East Asia, East of China and Korea and south of what became the Russian Far East. it is on the outer edge of the Asian continental shelf. The country is made up of of several thousands islands, only a few of which are of any importance. The major islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Honshu with its Kanto Plain being by far the most important. The Sea of Japan separates the Asian continent from Japan. Mountain chains run down the spine of the major islands. This divides Japan into two major regions, one fronting on the relatively placid Sea of Japan and the other fronting on the not so pacific Pacific Ocean. The area of the Japanese islands is relatively small, comparable to modern Germany or the American state of California. The problem for Japan is that much of that land, about three quarters half, is mountainous--the primary source of wealth until well into the 19th century. Japan's mountains did provide an important resource--timber. Japan's northernmost islands are located on a similar geographical latitude as Milan or Portland, while her southern most islands are on a similar latitude as Florida. Meaning that there are substantial climacteric conditions between north and south. Japan is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire and where several continental plates meet, resulting in earthquakes and volcanic and activity. (Mt. Fuji is one of the world's most perfect and best known volcano.) There are frequent earthquakes as well as hot springs. Another geographic disadvantage was the absence of major rivers which are important in many countries as avenues of commerce. The combination of mountainous terrain and narrow breath of most of the islands meant that this was not the case in Japan. Japanese rivers are generally steep and swift, and unsuitable for navigation except for a small length of their flow. Thy did innodern tiomes offere a asource of power--hydro electric power as the hirv sorings lead to geo-thermal power. Another major disadvantage was the lack of important natural resources. Japan's island location did provide a degree of protection, defeating even the Chinese emperor sand the Mongols. Only with the Americans and the Pacific War did Japan's island defenses fail.


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Created: 5:51 AM 11/30/2022
Last updated: 5:51 AM 11/30/2022