What does Japan mean?

Definitions for Japan

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Japan.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Japan, Japanese Islands, Japanese Archipelagonoun

    a string of more than 3,000 islands to the east of Asia extending 1,300 miles between the Sea of Japan and the western Pacific Ocean

  2. Japan, Nippon, Nihonnoun

    a constitutional monarchy occupying the Japanese Archipelago; a world leader in electronics and automobile manufacture and ship building

  3. japannoun

    lacquerware decorated and varnished in the Japanese manner with a glossy durable black lacquer

  4. japanverb

    lacquer with a durable glossy black finish, originally from the orient

  5. japanverb

    coat with a lacquer, as done in Japan


  1. Japannoun

    An island nation in the Pacific Ocean, located the east of China, Korea and Russia.

  2. japannoun

    A hard black enamel varnish containing asphalt.

  3. japannoun

    Lacquer ware.

  4. japanverb

    To varnish with japan.

  5. Etymology: From Japan, due to this varnishing process being an imitation of oriental (East Asian) processes.


  1. Japan

    Japan (Japanese: 日本, Nippon or Nihon, and formally 日本国, Nihonkoku) is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 6852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu (the "mainland"), Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto. Japan is the eleventh most populous country in the world, as well as one of the most densely populated and urbanized. About three-fourths of the country's terrain is mountainous, concentrating its population of almost 125 million on narrow coastal plains. Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.2 million residents. Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period (30,000 BC), though the first written mention of the archipelago appears in a Chinese chronicle (the Book of Han) finished in the 2nd century AD. Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an emperor and the imperial court based in Heian-kyō. Beginning in the 12th century, political power was held by a series of military dictators (shōgun) and feudal lords (daimyō) and enforced by a class of warrior nobility (samurai). After a century-long period of civil war, the country was reunified in 1603 under the Tokugawa shogunate, which enacted an isolationist foreign policy. In 1854, a United States fleet forced Japan to open trade to the West, which led to the end of the shogunate and the restoration of imperial power in 1868. In the Meiji period, the Empire of Japan adopted a Western-modeled constitution and pursued a program of industrialization and modernization. Amidst a rise in militarism and overseas colonization, Japan invaded China in 1937 and entered World War II as an Axis power in 1941. After suffering defeat in the Pacific War and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered in 1945 and came under a seven-year Allied occupation, during which it adopted a new constitution and began a military alliance with the United States. Under the 1947 constitution, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature, the National Diet. Japan is a developed country and a great power. It is a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), G20, OECD, and the Group of Seven. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by PPP, with its per capita income ranking at 36th highest in the world. Although Japan has renounced its right to declare war, the country maintains Self-Defense Forces that rank as one of the world's strongest militaries. After World War II, Japan experienced record growth in an economic miracle, becoming the second-largest economy in the world by 1972 but has stagnated since 1995 in what is referred to as the Lost Decades. Japan has the world's highest life expectancy, though it is experiencing a population decline. A global leader in the automotive, robotics and electronics industries, the country has made significant contributions to science and technology. The culture of Japan is well known around the world, including its art, cuisine, film, music, and popular culture, which encompasses prominent manga, anime and video game industries.


  1. japan

    Japan is a country located in East Asia, known as an archipelago, or group of 6,852 islands, in the Pacific Ocean. It's the world's third-largest economy and is known for its rich history and cultural heritage including traditional arts such as tea ceremonies, calligraphy, and martial arts. It also has technological advancements, animation, and cuisine like sushi and ramen. The capital is Tokyo, one of the world's most populous metropolitan areas. Japan is a constitutional monarchy with an emperor and has a parliamentary government.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Japannoun

    work varnished and figured in the Japanese manner; also, the varnish or lacquer used in japanning

  2. Japanadjective

    of or pertaining to Japan, or to the lacquered work of that country; as, Japan ware

  3. Japanverb

    to cover with a coat of hard, brilliant varnish, in the manner of the Japanese; to lacquer

  4. Japanverb

    to give a glossy black to, as shoes

  5. Etymology: [From Japan, the country.]


  1. Japan

    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which together comprise about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with over 127 million people. Honshū's Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents. Archaeological research indicates that people lived in Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other nations followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military dictatorships in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was only ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. Nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection followed before the Meiji Emperor was restored as head of state in 1868 and the Empire of Japan was proclaimed, with the Emperor as a divine symbol of the nation. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victory 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 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since adopting its revised constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected legislature called the Diet.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Japan

    ja-pan′, v.t. to varnish after the manner of the Japanese′, or people of Japan: to make black and glossy:—pr.p. japan′ning; pa.p. japanned′.n. work japanned: the varnish or lacquer used in japanning.—ns. Japan′-earth, or Terra japonica, gambier; Japan′ner.—Japan lacquer, or Black japan, a hard jet-black lacquer, for sheet-metal, made of asphaltum, linseed-oil, and varnish; Japanned leather, same as patent leather (see Patent).

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Japan

    an island empire of the N. Pacific, lying along the E. coast of Asia, and separated from Corea and Primorsk by the Sea of Japan, consists of Honshiu (31,000), Shikoku (3,000), Kyushu (6,000), Yezo (314), and 4000 small islands; though not of volcanic origin, the islands are the most mountainous in the world, have many volcanoes and sulphur springs, and are subject to earthquakes; they are very picturesque, and have peaks from 8000 to 12,000 ft. high; the rivers are too swift for navigation; the coast, not much indented, has yet some good harbours; the valleys are well wooded, but the soil not very fertile; temperature and climate are various; nowhere is the heat intense, but in some parts the winter is very cold; there is much rain, but on the whole it is healthy; the chief industry is agriculture; farming is careful and intelligent; rice, cereals, pulse, tea, cotton, and tobacco are raised, and many fruits; gold, silver, all the useful metals, coal, granite, some decorative stones are found, but good building-stone is scarce; the manufacture of porcelain, lacquer-work, and silk is extensive, and in some artistic work the Japanese are unrivalled; the chief ports are Yokohama (143), on the E. of Honshiu, which has grown up since 1854, when the country was opened to trade; and Hyogo (143), on the S. coast of the same island, where are also shipbuilding yards; the chief exports are tea, silk, and rice; imports cotton, woollen, iron goods, and chemicals; the Japanese, sprung from an ancient union of Tartars with Ainos and with S. Malays, are a kindly, courteous, law-abiding folk, with highly developed artistic tastes; education is compulsory, and well provided for; religion is Shintoism and Buddhism, but Christianity is gaining rapid ground; the government is in the hands of the Mikado, who rules now with the aid of ministers and two houses of parliament; education, government, army, and navy—indeed the whole modern civilisation of the country—is on Western lines, though until 1853 foreigners were excluded; a civil war in 1867-68 effected the change from the old feudalism, and the amazing success of Japan in the war against China in 1894 has proved that the new civilisation is no mere veneer; the capital is Tokyo (1,162).

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. japan

    An Asiatic empire, composed of Japan, or Niphon, and 3850 isles, with nearly 40,000,000 inhabitants. For military events in Japan, see separate articles in this book.

Suggested Resources

  1. japan

    Song lyrics by japan -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by japan on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Japan

    A Western corruption, through the Portuguese Gepuen, of the native name Niphon, or “land of the rising sun.” The brilliant black varnish called “Japan” was first made by the people of the Far East.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Japan' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1548

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Japan' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4788

How to pronounce Japan?

How to say Japan in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Japan in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Japan in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of Japan in a Sentence

  1. Fujiko Sasaki:

    Sadako! Listen! Can you hear your friends’ strong voices for peace? As the mother of a child who passed away when she was only twelve and a half years old, I’d like to appeal to mothers not only in Japan but all over the world that I don’t want such a horrible thing to happen again. So many children are looking for peace.

  2. World Rugby:

    World Rugby is extremely disappointed by today's announcement that The National Stadium will not be ready to host Rugby World Cup 2019 matches despite repeated assurances to contrary from the Japan World Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and Japan Sports Council, the National Stadium was a compelling and important pillar of Japan's successful bid to host Rugby World Cup 2019, which was awarded to the Japan Rugby Football Union in 2009.

  3. Chuo University Professor Toshihiko Miura:

    Japan has its love for luxury-brand shoes and bags, which exists in the West as well, but in Japan it extends to food a desire to eat famous things. As a result, there are lots more companies considered shinise in Japan.

  4. Hua Chunying:

    No matter what steps Japan may take to promote and market their mistaken position it cannot change the basic reality that the Diaoyu islands belong to China, the Nanjing massacre was an atrocity carried out by the Japanese militarists when they invaded China. The evidence is cast iron and a conclusion was reached long ago about it. This whitewashing and censoring by Japan in these text books again shows that Japan is unwilling to face up to historical mistakes.

  5. Franklin D. Roosevelt:

    Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

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Translations for Japan

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