is a state located on the islands of the Pacific Ocean, near the coast of East Asia. In the territory of Japan, about 4 thousand islands stretching from the north-east to the southwest by almost 3.5 thousand km 2 , the main islands – Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. Large engineering structures (underwater tunnels, bridges) contribute to the connections between the main islands of the country.
Japan is washed in the east and south by the Pacific Ocean, in the west by the East China Sea and the Sea of ​​Japan, in the north by the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. The area is 372.2 thousand km 2 . The population is 114 million people (1977, estimate). The capital is Tokyo.


Japan is one of Russia’s closest and most important neighbors. Despite this, our knowledge of Japan and its people often contain more unfounded myths and legends than the truth. Try to dispel some of these myths and bring us closer to Japan as it is, and not how we used to imagine it.

Japanese are narrow-eyed and cross-eyed.

An illusion of a smaller size arises because the representatives of the Mongoloid race have the so-called “Mongoloid fold of the upper eyelid”, which fills the “empty” space of the eye socket. However, in this case, the eye socket of the Mongoloids is larger than that of the Caucasians, so that, since the Caucasians are accustomed to a different ratio of the size of the eye and orbit, and the size of the latter (Caucasians) is accustomed to consider permanent, we have the feeling that the eyes of the Mongoloids already , than in Caucasians. But this is nothing more than an optical illusion, by the way, characteristic only for the sensations of Europeans. The Japanese themselves do not perceive the European eyes as wider. A similar optical illusion occurs with a “strabismus.” This is also an optical illusion connected with the fact that the Mongoloids have a less prominent nose, and the Caucasians are accustomed to mentally “tie” the eyes to the nose. Since the Mongoloids nose “starts” below, it seems to us that the eyes are somewhat skewed.

Japan is a small country.

Everything is relative. The territory of Japan – 377 thousand square meters. km. This is more than, say, the territory of the united Germany, and almost equivalent to the territory of Italy. The population of Japan (125 million people) is only slightly less than the population of Russia. From a political point of view, Japan has always been the strongest state in the Far East, even stronger than China, which is wallowed in internal conflicts. The nature of Japan is also very diverse – it’s not just megacities like Tokyo, but also forests, fields, rivers and mountains.

In Japanese cities, the world’s largest population density.

The three most densely populated cities in the world include Manila, Shanghai and Cairo. The fourth place – Paris, the fifth – Bombay. Tokyo is seventh, Osaka is the ninth, Moscow is the thirteenth, New York is the fourteenth. Out of 105 such cities, seven are Japanese and thirteen are American.

Many Japanese have a good command of martial arts.

Yes, some martial arts classes are taught in Japanese schools in physical education classes, but usually it is kendo, the art of swordplay, useless in combat, since wearing a knife in Japan is forbidden. No real combat techniques are taught in the school, and there is little time for extracurricular activities with such things. According to statistics, a person who can fight well due to the possession of special knowledge in this area is much easier to meet in Russia than in Japan, since many served in special forces.

Japan does not have an army.

Indeed, according to the Constitution, Japan has no army. But there are “Self-Defense Forces”, which are a small but well-armed, trained and efficient professional army. Basically, it includes the Navy and the Air Force. This army is intended only for the defense of the country, and not for carrying out aggressive military policy.

Kuril Islands are a native Russian land.

This is only partially true.Two different groups of territories should not be confused: the northern and central Kurils, which until 1871 were part of the Russian Empire and then transferred to Japan, and the Southern Kuriles (the islands of Shikotan, Kunashir, Iturup and the Habomai Range), which never before 1947 the composition of any other state other than Japan. It is these four territories that are the stumbling block to Russian-Japanese relations. Incidentally, it was on the island of Iturup was the base of the Navy, with which in 1941 the squadron of Admiral Nagumo went to bomb Pearl Harbor. Japan is a terribly expensive country.

This is not entirely true. Indeed, prices in Japan are much higher than in the US. However, they are close to prices in Europe, say, in France. In many respects this is the result not so much of the inflated prices, how many not quite adequate yen rate in relation to the dollar. And if you compare not prices, and the ratio of wages and prices, then the Japanese will not be any less poor than the inhabitants of the same USA.

The Japanese, like the Russians, have the surname after the name.

All the opposite: according to tradition, the Japanese name comes after the surname. Nevertheless, in Russia and in many other countries there is a tradition of “Europeanizing” Japanese names. It should be noted that this practice does not extend, say, to China. In the name of “Mao Zedong” “Mao” is a surname.

Suicide is frequent in Japan.

Yes, Japan has a culture of suicide. But the real level of suicide is lower than German and Swedish, not to mention Russia.

The Japanese are a hard-working and teetotal people, who are not very skilled and who like to have fun.

Strangely enough, this applies to Japan precisely to the same extent as to Russia. Yes, the Japanese work a lot, and sometimes “earn” to death, but the expression “burn at work” is invented in Russia. The number of people who died from processing in modern Japan and Russia in the early 1980s is approximately the same. The Japanese are also not fools to drink, and often more than necessary, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages in Japan is constantly growing. Representations of the Japanese about entertainment in many ways also look like Russian. A great popularity is enjoyed, say, rest on the nature or in the company of friends. In addition, Japan is a massively reading country. Another thing is that they read manga more often than books themselves, but this is an indicator of only cultural peculiarities, not the level of culture.

The Japanese are very difficult to understand.

The Japanese are not at all more difficult to understand than the Americans. They are practical and rational, not at all inclined to philosophical allusions and thoughtful reflections. Another thing is that the Japanese are polite and very rarely directly refuse or sharply express a negative opinion, for which they are often accused of duplicity. However, this is a characteristic feature of many polite people of any nation, and polite Russian in this sense is not easier to understand than a polite Japanese.

Japanese culture is very difficult to understand, and the Japanese language is very difficult to learn.

No more than any other culture and any other language. Nothing is particularly difficult in Japanese culture. And the Japanese language is complicated only by Chinese characters, which, incidentally, are a problem for many Japanese.

Japanese children study very much at school.

On average, no more than Russian children. True, they still go to dzyuku – tutoring courses for admission to the institute or to high school. But such courses exist in Russia. In general, the volume of requirements for Japanese schoolchildren does not exceed the volume of Soviet school requirements of the 1960s. As in the USSR of that time, much attention is paid to memorizing by rote and cramming, because in Japan it is considered that the school is the place where the child must learn diligence and diligence.

The Japanese are not ingenious.

Japan holds the second place in the world (after the United States) in the number of annually registered patents for inventions, and only the enchantment of the thinking of their writers and artists can only be envied. For example, flexible magnetic disks were invented in the late 1940s in Japan.

Japanese are sexual maniacs.

And there is nothing like it close. By the number of rapes, Japan is many times behind the United States. In Japan, there have never been epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases, which were the scourge of modern Europe. In general, no special attention was paid to sex in the Japanese tradition – it was an ordinary part of everyday life and a source of many jokes, but not a subject of complexes and torments. That’s why most of the types of sexual entertainment in Japan with sex in itself is not connected – usually it’s “perversion games”, known in tsarist Russia, very provocative, but innocent enough. Most modern Japanese, both women and men, lose their innocence only after marriage.

The Japanese mafia is cool.

There is nothing special about the Japanese mafia. In many respects, the behavior of the Japanese yakuza looks like the behavior of our “brothers”. Similar machines, the way to dress, the manner of speech … Only the Japanese are usually somewhat more cultured and less aggressive. As in Russia, they control the shadow economy and illegal business, but it is less secure in the streets of Japan from their availability. But unorganized crime, the most dangerous for ordinary citizens, is much less in Japan.

The Japanese are sadistic.

Nothing more terrible than what the Civil War participants in Russia have done to each other has never happened in the history of mankind. But this is not a reason to regard the inhabitants of Russia as sadists. And for all that the Japanese were doing in China and Korea during World War II, the Japanese government apologized and admitted its guilt. It is impossible to say about any other country in the world.

Japanese people do not know languages ​​well.

No worse than the inhabitants of Russia or the Americans. Most of the Japanese know other languages, except Japanese, in life is not necessary, and others enough English. However, those who use it often know it is usually very good.


Modern Japanese mass culture is secondary to the American one.

This is not entirely true. Yes, the general structure of popular culture was borrowed by the Japanese in the United States. But in this structure the Japanese laid down their own, rather original content, and therefore modern Japanese music and mass literature are beginning to conquer not only Asian, but American and European markets, which would never have happened if they were only a cheap repetition of the already existing Western culture .

Japanese like when foreigners can say a few words in Japanese.

No more than Russians like when people try to talk to them in broken Russian. For some it seems flattering, someone – it’s very annoying. In general, do not try to look stupid and say phrases in the pronunciation or sense of which you are not sure.

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