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Encyclopedia > Demographics of Japan
Birth and death rates of Japan since 1950
Birth and death rates of Japan since 1950

Japan's population, currently 127,463,611, experienced a high growth rate during the 20th century, as a result of scientific, industrial, and social changes. Population growth has more recently decreased, because of falling birth rates and almost no net immigration. High sanitary and health standards has led Japan to have one of the highest life expectancy in the world, at 81.25 years of age as of 2006.[1] The population started declining in 2005, as the 1.067 million births were exceeded by the 1.077 million deaths. Assuming current birth and death rates and no major change in immigration policies, the 2005 population of 127 million will decline to 100 million in 2050, and 64 million in 2100--and keep falling. The main problem will be the financial crisis that comes from having a higher and higher Dependency ratio (that is, nonworking young and old compared to working ages.) Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Sanitation is a term for the hygienic disposal or recycling of waste materials, particularly human excrement. ... World map of life expectancy, 2005 Life expectancy is a statistical measure defined as the expected (mean) survival of human beings based upon a number of criteria such as gender and geographic location. ... In economics, the dependency ratio is the ratio of the economically dependent part of the population, to the productive part. ...


Urban distribution

Japan is an urban society with only about 5% of the labor force engaged in agriculture. Many farmers supplement their income with part-time jobs in nearby towns and cities. About 80 million of the urban population are heavily concentrated on the Pacific shore of Honshū and in northern Kyūshū. Metropolitan Tokyo (東京都, not to be confused with Greater Tokyo)with approximately 12 million; Yokohama with 3,555,473; Osaka 2,624,129; Nagoya 2,190,549; Sapporo 1,854,837; Kobe 1,513,967; Kyoto 1,466,163; Fukuoka 1,325,611; Kawasaki 1,290,426; and Kitakyushu with 1,000,211 each account for part of this population. Japan faces the same problems that confront urban industrialized societies throughout the world: over-crowded cities, congested highways, air pollution, and rising juvenile delinquency, though often at much lower rates than in North America and elsewhere. HonshÅ« (本州 Literally Main State) is the largest island of Japan, called the Mainland; it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait. ... KyÅ«shÅ« region of Japan and the current prefectures on KyÅ«shÅ« island KyÅ«shÅ« ), literally Nine Provinces, is the third largest island of Japan and most southerly and westerly of the four main islands. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Greater Tokyo Area (東京都市圏 Tōkyō-toshiken), also the Tokyo-Yokohama area, is a large metropolitan area in Japan consisting of the prefectures of Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama. ... For the town of Yokohama in Aomori Prefecture, see Yokohama, Aomori. ... Osaka )   is the capital of Osaka Prefecture and the third-largest[1] city in Japan, with a population of almost 2. ... Nagoya Castle Nagoya (名古屋市; -shi) is the fourth largest (third largest metropolitan region) and the third most prosperous city in Japan. ... Sapporo redirects here. ... Port Tower at night For the basketball star Kobe Bryant go here. ... Kyoto )   is a city in the central part of the island of HonshÅ«, Japan. ... This page is about Fukuoka, Fukuoka (福岡市), a city in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. ... A symbol of Kawasaki-shi Temple at Kawasaki. ... Kitakyushu (北九州市; Kitakyushu-shi), literally North Kyushu, is a city located in Fukuoka prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. ... Before flue gas desulfurization was installed, the emissions from this power plant in New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide. ... Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts performed by juveniles. ...


Japanese society is linguistically homogeneous with small populations of Koreans (0.6 million), Chinese/Taiwanese (0.5 million), Brazilians (300,000 - many of whom are ethnically Japanese), and Filipino (190,000)[2]. Japan has indigenous minority groups such as the Ainu and Ryukyuans, and social minority groups like the burakumin. Japanese citizenship is conferred jus sanguinis, and monolingual Japanese-speaking minorities often reside in Japan for generations under permanent residency status without acquiring citizenship in their country of birth, although legally they are allowed to do so, some 10,000 Zainichi Koreans convert every year. Approximately 98.6% of the population is pure Japanese (though technically this figure includes all naturalized people regardless of race)--unheard of for a first world country. And 99% of the population speaks Japanese as their first language. Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... Look up Homogeneous in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the history, geography, and people of the island known as Taiwan. ... The Ainu IPA: /?ajnu/) are an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaidō and north of Honshū in Northern Japan, the Kuril Islands, much of Sakhalin, and the southernmost third of the Kamchatka peninsula. ... Ryukyuan people (Japanese: 琉球民族, Chinese: 琉球族) are the indigenous people of the Ryūkyū Islands of Japan between the islands of Kyūshū and Taiwan. ... Burakumin (: buraku, community or hamlet + min, people), or hisabetsu buraku ( discriminated communities / discriminated hamlets) are a Japanese social minority group. ... Citizenship is membership in a political community (originally a city or town but now usually a country) and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen. ... Jus sanguinis (Latin for right of blood) is a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognised to any individual born to a parent who is a national or citizen of that state. ... Zainichi (在日) is short for Zainichi Chōsenjin (Koreans/Choson people in Japan, 在日朝鮮人, 재일조선인) or Zainichi Kankokujin (South Koreans in Japan, 在日韓国人, 재일한국인), meaning the Korean residents of Japan. ...

Immigrant groups

Japan has total of 200,000-some residents of European (including the risen presence of Eastern Europeans and Russians in the 1990s came to obtain work permits in Japan)[citation needed] and North American nationalities (esp. Americans and Canadians) , most are temporary residents and a small percentage are naturalized citizens.[citation needed] Japan has relatively small populations of foreign-born Asians: Chinese, Filipinos, Indonesians, Thais and Vietnamese, the majority arrived since the 1970s, but peaked in the 1980s and 1990s. Asian immigration rates, although are small in ratio compared to immigration into the U.S. or Europe, remained steady to the present.[citation needed] In the 1990s and early-2000s, Japanese diplomats signed agreements with South Asian country officials to obtain an estimated 50,000 temporary "guest workers", like Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, to work in Japan.[citation needed] Similar "guest-worker" agreements with that of Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru has brought another 50,000 foreigners to Japan, including Latin Americans of Japanese descent who might culturally assimilate into the Japanese population.[citation needed] This article is about the continent. ... Eastern Europe is, by convention, a region defined geographically as that part of Europe covering the eastern part of the continent. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Template:A year The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... The 2000s decade refers to the years from 2000 to 2009. ... This article is about the geopolitical region in Asia. ... A foreign worker (cf expatriate), is a person who works in a country other than the one of which he or she is a citizen. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Asian Latino, as used in the United States, is a rarely employed term that refers to Latinos of Asian ancestry who identify as such. ...

Birth rate

In February 2007, most demographers and the Japanese government announced the first significant rise in the national birth rate in 40 years took place in 2006. The nation had an estimated 33,500 new births took place that year, a sign of a small but suitable rise in the Japanese population, held as one of the fastest aging and least growing in the developed world.[citation needed] The general concern on a shrinking population in the next 50 years puts a strain in Japanese economic growth and social stability, as some demographers argued, while other dissenting demographers disagreed and stated Japan is no longer a very crowded country in terms of Japan's high population density.[citation needed] It has been theorized and estimated in demographic research, on the less than 50,000 ethnic Japanese of mainly non-Asiatic American descent, either white or African American, are children of intermarriages between American soldiers stationed in the country since after World War II and Japanese women taken as their wives, who stayed in Japan instead of coming with their husbands to America.[citation needed] 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... The origins from which white Americans may come. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... It has been suggested that Anti-miscegenation laws be merged into this article or section. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

Population density

Japan's population density is 339 and a half persons per square kilometer according to the United Nations World Populations Prospects Report as of July 2005. It ranks 30th in a list of countries by population density, ranking directly above India (336 per km², 31st), and directly below Belgium (341 per km², 29th). Japan's population density has helped promote extremely high land prices. Between 1955 and 1989, land prices in the six largest cities increased 15,000%. Urban land prices generally increased 40% from 1980 to 1987; in the six largest cities, the price of land doubled over that period. For many families, this trend had put housing in central cities out of reach. The result was lengthy commutes for many workers; daily commutes of up to two hours each way are not uncommon in the Tokyo area. Since about the year 2000, after a decade of declining land prices, residents have been moving back into central city areas (especially Tokyo 23 wards), as evidenced by 2005 census figures. Despite the large amount of forested land in Japan, parks in cities are smaller and scarcer than in major West European or North American cities, which average ten times the amount of parkland per inhabitant. Population density by country, 2006 List of countries and dependencies by population density in inhabitants/km². The list includes sovereign states and self-governing dependent territories that are recognized by the United Nations. ... Real property is a legal term encompassing real estate and ownership interests in real estate (immovable property). ... parkland may refer to: Park Parkland, Florida Parkland, Wisconsin Parkland, Washington This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

National and regional governments devote resources to making regional cities and rural areas more attractive by developing transportation networks, social services, industry, and educational institutions in attempts to decentralize settlement and improve the quality of life. Nevertheless, major cities, especially Tokyo-Yokohama-Chiba, and to a lesser extent Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe, remain attractive to young people seeking education and jobs.[citation needed]

Age structure

Like other postindustrial countries, Japan faces the problems associated with an aging population. In 1989, only 11.6% of the population was sixty-five years or older, but projections were that 25.6% would be in that age category by 2030. That shift will make Japan one of the world's most elderly societies, and the change will have taken place in a shorter span of time than in any other country. A post-industrial society is a proposed name for an economy that has undergone a specific series of changes in structure after a process of industrialization. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

This aging of the population was brought about by a combination of low fertility and high life expectancies. In 1993 the fertility rate was estimated at 10.3 per 1,000 population, and the average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime has been fewer than two since the late 1970s (the average number was estimated at 1.5 in 1993). Family planning was nearly universal, with condoms and legal abortions the main forms of birth control. A number of factors contributed to the trend toward small families: late marriage, increased participation of women in the labor force, small living spaces, and the high costs of children's education. Life expectancies at birth, 76.4 years for males and 82.2 years for women in 1993, were the highest in the world. (The expected life span at the end of World War II, for both males and females, was fifty years.) The mortality rate in 1993 was estimated at 7.2 per 1,000 population. The leading causes of death are cancer, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease, a pattern common to postindustrial societies. Fertility is a measure of reproduction: the number of children born per couple, person or population. ... A 67 m long condom on the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, Argentina, part of an awareness campaign for the 2005 World AIDS Day A condom is a device, usually made of latex, or more recently polyurethane, that is used during sexual intercourse. ... Birth control is a regimen of one or more actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman becoming pregnant or giving birth. ... “Matrimony” redirects here. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ... The heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ... Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases which affect the heart. ... Cerebrovascular disease is damage to the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in a stroke. ...

Public policy, the media, and discussions with private citizens revealed a high level of concern for the implications of one in four persons in Japan being sixty-five or older. By 2025 the dependency ratio (the ratio of people under fifteen years plus those sixty-five and older to those aged fifteen to sixty-five, indicating in a general way the ratio of the dependent population to the working population) was expected to be two dependents for every three workers. The aging of the population was already becoming evident in the aging of the labor force and the shortage of young workers in the late-1980s, with potential impacts on employment practices, wages and benefits, and the roles of women in the labor force. The increasing proportion of elderly people in the population also had a major impact on government spending. As recently as the early-1970s, social expenditures amounted to only about 6% of Japan's national income. In 1992 that portion of the national budget was 18%, and it was expected that by 2025, 27% of national income would be spent on social welfare. The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... Template:A year The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ...

In addition, the median age of the elderly population was rising in the late 1980s. The proportion of people aged seventy-five to eighty-five was expected to increase from 6% in 1985 to 15% in 2025. Because the incidence of chronic disease increases with age, the healthcare and pension systems, too, are expected to come under severe strain. The government in the mid-1980s began to reevaluate the relative burdens of government and the private sector in health care and pensions, and it established policies to control government costs in these programs. Recognizing the lower probability that an elderly person will be residing with an adult child and the higher probability of any daughter or daughter-in-law's participation in the paid labor force, the government encouraged establishment of nursing homes, day-care facilities for the elderly, and home health programs. Longer life spans are altering relations between spouses and across generations, creating new government responsibilities, and changing virtually all aspects of social life. 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Health care or healthcare is the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical, nursing, and allied health professions. ... A pension is a steady income given to a person (usually after retirement). ... // A nursing home or skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. ... Day care or child care are the terms used to describe child care during the day by a person other than the childs parents or legal guardians, typically someone outside the childs immediate family. ...

A homogeneous society

By world standards, the Japanese enjoy a high standard of living, and nearly 90% of the population consider themselves part of the middle class. Most people express satisfaction with their lives, and take pride in being Japanese and in their country's status as an economic power on a par with the United States and the European Union. In folk crafts and in right-wing politics, in the new religions and in international management, the Japanese have turned to their past to interpret the present. In doing so, however, they may be reconstructing history as a common set of beliefs and practices that make the country look more homogeneous than it really is. The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... Handicraft, also known as craftwork or simply craft, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or using only simple tools. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Left-Right politics. ... Shinshūkyō ) are new religious movements in Japan. ...

In a society that values outward conformity, individuals may appear to take a back seat to the needs of the group. Yet it is individuals who create for themselves a variety of life-styles. They are constrained in their choices by age, gender, life experiences, and other factors, but they draw from a rich cultural repertoire of past and present through which the wider social world of families (see Japanese family), neighborhoods (see Japanese neighborhood), and institutions gives meaning to their lives. As Japan set out to internationalize itself in the 1990s, the identification of inherent Japanese qualities took on new significance, and the ideology of homogeneity sometimes masked individual decisions and life-styles of postindustrial Japan. In Japan, as in every country, the family is the earliest locus of social life for an individual, and it provides a model of social organization for most later encounters with the wider world. ... The neighborhood is the next group to which children in Japan are introduced beyond the family. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... A post-industrial society is a proposed name for an economy that has undergone a specific series of changes in structure after a process of industrialization. ...


Between 6 million and 7 million people moved their residences each year during the 1980s. About 50% of these moves were within the same prefecture; the others were relocations from one prefecture to another. During Japan's economic development in the twentieth century, and especially during the 1950s and 1960s, migration was characterized by urbanization as people from rural areas in increasing numbers moved to the larger metropolitan areas in search of better jobs and education. Out-migration from rural prefectures continued in the late 1980s, but more slowly than in previous decades. The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ...

In the 1980s, government policy provided support for new urban development away from the large cities, particularly Tokyo, and assisted regional cities to attract young people to live and work there. Regional cities offered familiarity to those from nearby areas, lower costs of living, shorter commutes, and, in general, a more relaxed life-style then could be had in larger cities. Young people continued to move to large cities, however, to attend universities and find work, but some returned to regional cities (a pattern known as U-turn) or to their prefecture of origin (a pattern referred to as J-turn).

Government statistics show that in the 1980s significant numbers of people left the largest cities (Tokyo and Osaka). In 1988 more than 500,000 people left Tokyo, which experienced a net loss through migration of nearly 73,000 for the year. Osaka had a net loss of nearly 36,000 in the same year. However, the prefectures showing the highest net growth are located near the major urban centers, such as Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, and Kanagawa around Tokyo, and Hyogo, Nara, and Shiga near Osaka and Kyoto. This pattern suggests a process of suburbanization, people moving away from the cities for affordable housing but still commuting there for work and recreation, rather than a true decentralization. Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県; Saitama-ken) is located on Honshu island, Japan. ... Chiba Prefecture ) is located in the Greater Tokyo Area of Honshu Island, Japan. ... Ibaraki Prefecture ) is located in the Kantō region on Honshū island, Japan. ... Kanagawa Prefecture ) is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Honshū, Japan. ... Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県 Hyōgo-ken) is located in the Kinki region on Honshu island, Japan. ... Nara Prefecture ) is part of the Kinki region on Honshū Island, Japan. ... Shiga Prefecture from outer space. ... Housing subdivision near Union, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. ...

Japanese economic success has led to an increase in certain types of external migration. In 1990, about 11 million Japanese went abroad. More than 80% of these people traveled as tourists, especially visiting other parts of Asia and North America. However, about 663,100 Japanese were living abroad, approximately 75,000 of whom had permanent foreign residency, more than six times the number who had that status in 1975. More than 200,000 Japanese went abroad in 1990 for extended periods of study, research, or business assignments. As the government and private corporations have stressed internationalization, greater numbers of individuals have been directly affected, decreasing Japan's historically claimed insularity. Despite the benefits of experiencing life abroad, individuals who have lived outside of Japan for extended periods often faced problems of discrimination upon their return because others might no longer consider them fully Japanese. By the late 1980s, these problems, particularly the bullying of returnee children in the schools, had become a major public issue both in Japan and in Japanese communities abroad.

Discrimination and minorities

Japanese society, with its ideology of homogeneity, has traditionally been intolerant of ethnic and other differences. People identified as different might be considered "polluted" —- the category applied historically to the outcasts of Japan, particularly the hisabetsu buraku, "discriminated communities," often called burakumin, a term some find offensive —- and thus not suitable as marriage partners or employees. Men or women of mixed ancestry, those with family histories of certain diseases, and foreigners, and members of minority groups faced discrimination in a variety of forms. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Foreign Residents

See also: Zainichi Korean

In 1991 there were 1.2 million foreign residents in Japan, less than 1.0% of Japan's population. Of this number, 693,100 (about 57%) were Koreans and 171,100 (some 14%) were Chinese. Many of these people were descendants of those brought to Japan during Japan's occupation of Taiwan (1895- 1945) and Korea (1905-45) to work at unskilled jobs, such as coal mining. Because Japanese citizenship was based on the nationality of the parent rather than on the place of birth, subsequent generations were not automatically Japanese and had to be naturalized to claim citizenship, despite being born and educated in Japan and speaking only Japanese, as was the case with many Chinese and Koreans in Japan. Until the late 1980s, people applying for citizenship were expected to use only the Japanese renderings of their names and, even as citizens, continued to face discrimination in education, employment, and marriage. Thus, few chose naturalization, and they faced legal restrictions as foreigners, as well as extreme social prejudice. In contrary, a small but noticeable number of Brazilian immigrants (around 250,000) also live in Japan, particularly those of Japanese descent, are held in better regard.[citation needed] This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Citizenship is membership in a political community (originally a city or town but now usually a country) and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

All non-Japanese are required by law to register with the government and carry alien registration cards. From the early 1980s, a civil disobedience movement encouraged refusal of the fingerprinting that accompanied registration every five years. Those people who opposed fingerprinting argued that it was discriminatory because the only Japanese who were fingerprinted were criminals. The courts upheld fingerprinting, but the law was changed so that fingerprinting was done once rather than with each renewal of the registration. Some Koreans, often with the support of either the Republic of Korea (South Korea) or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), attempted to educate their children in the Korean language, history, and culture and to instill pride in their Korean heritage. Most Koreans in Japan, however, have never been to the Korean Peninsula and do not speak Korean. Many are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and discrimination in a society that emphasizes Japan's homogeneity and cultural uniqueness. Other Asians, too, whether students or permanent residents, face prejudice and a strong "us-them" distinction. Europeans (Europe, but includes white Australians) and North Americans might be treated with greater hospitality but nonetheless find it difficult to become full members of Japanese society. Public awareness of the place of foreigners in Japanese society was heightened in the late 1980s in debates over the acceptance of Chinese and Vietnamese refugees, and the importing of Filipino and Korean, and nowadays Eastern European brides for rural farmers. The tip of a finger showing the friction ridge structure. ... For with(out) prejudice in law, see Prejudice (law). ...

Hisabetsu Buraku

Main article: Burakumin

Despite popular claims of Japanese homogeneity on the part of observers both foreign and domestic, three native Japanese minority groups can be identified. The largest are the hisabetsu buraku or "discriminated communities", also known as the burakumin. These descendants of premodern outcast hereditary occupational groups, such as butchers, leatherworkers, funeral directors, and certain entertainers, may be considered a Japanese analog of India's Dalits. Discrimination against these occupational groups arose historically because of Buddhist prohibitions against killing and Shinto notions of pollution, as well as governmental attempts at social control. During the Tokugawa period, such people were required to live in special buraku and, like the rest of the population, were bound by sumptuary laws based on the inheritance of social class. The Meiji government abolished most derogatory names applied to these discriminated communities in 1871, but the new laws had little effect on the social discrimination faced by the former outcasts and their descendants. The laws, however, did eliminate the economic monopoly they had over certain occupations. The buraku continue to be treated as social outcasts and some casual interactions with the majority caste was perceived taboo until the era after World War II. Burakumin (: buraku, community or hamlet + min, people), or hisabetsu buraku ( discriminated communities / discriminated hamlets) are a Japanese social minority group. ... Butcher shop in Valencia A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related goods for sale. ... Modern leather-working tools Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals, primarily cattlehide. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In South Asias caste system, a Dalit; often called an untouchable; is a person of shudra; the lowest of the four castes. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... The following text needs to be harmonized with text in the article History of Japan#Edo Period. ... Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) were laws that regulated and reinforced social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on clothing, food, and luxury expenditures. ... The Meiji period ) denotes the 45-year reign of Emperor Meiji, running from 8 September 1868 (in the Gregorian calendar, 23 October 1868) to 30 July 1912. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... . ...

Although members of these discriminated communities are physically indistinguishable from other Japanese, they often live in urban ghettoes or in the traditional special hamlets in rural areas. Some attempt to pass as ordinary Japanese, but the checks on family background that are often part of marriage arrangements and employment applications make this difficult. . Estimates of their number range from 2 million to 4 million, or about 2-to-3% of the national population. A ghetto is an area where people from a specific racial or ethnic background are united in a given culture or religion live as a group, voluntarily or involuntarily, in milder or stricter seclusion. ...

Ordinary Japanese claimed that membership in these discriminated communities can be surmised from the location of the family home, occupation, dialect, or mannerisms and, despite legal equality, continued to discriminate against people they surmised to be members of this group. Past and current discrimination has resulted in lower educational attainment and socioeconomic status among hisabetsu buraku than among the majority of Japanese. Movements with objectives ranging from "liberation" to encouraging integration have tried over the years to change this situation.


The second largest minority group among Japanese citizens is the Ryukyuan people. They continue to use several distinct Ryukyuan languages. The Ryukyuan people and language originated in the Ryukyu Islands. Ryukyuan people (Japanese: 琉球民族, Chinese: 琉球族) are the indigenous people of the Ryūkyū Islands of Japan between the islands of Kyūshū and Taiwan. ... The Ryukyuan languages are spoken in the Ryūkyū Islands and make up a subfamily of the Japonic family. ... Location of Ryukyu Islands. ...


The third largest minority group among Japanese citizens is the Ainu, whose origins are unknown, and whose language is an isolate. Historically, the Ainu (Ainu means human in the Ainu language) were an indigenous hunting and gathering population who occupied most of northern Honshū as late as the Nara period (A.D. 710-94). As Japanese settlement expanded, the Ainu were pushed northward, until by the Meiji period they were confined by the government to a small area in Hokkaidō, in a manner similar to the placing of Native Americans on reservations. Characterized as remnants of a primitive circumpolar culture, the fewer than 20,000 Ainu in 1990 were considered racially distinct and thus not fully Japanese. Disease and a low birth rate had severely diminished their numbers over the past two centuries, and intermarriage had brought about an almost completely mixed population. The Ainu IPA: /?ajnu/) are an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaidō and north of HonshÅ« in Northern Japan, the Kuril Islands, much of Sakhalin, and the southernmost third of the Kamchatka peninsula. ... A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or genetic) relationship with other living languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common to any other language. ... Hunter and Huntress redirect here. ... // Events End of the Asuka period, the second and last part of the Yamato period and beginning of the Nara period in Japan. ... Events Kyoto becomes the Japanese capital. ...

Although no longer in daily use, the Ainu language is preserved in epics, songs, and stories transmitted orally over succeeding generations. Distinctive rhythmic music and dances and some Ainu festivals and crafts are preserved, but mainly in order to take advantage of tourism. The Ainu language (Ainu: , aynu itak; Japanese: ainu-go) is spoken by the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō. It was once spoken in the Kurile Islands, the northern part of Honshū, and the southern half of Sakhalin. ...

Basic facts

Population: 127,463,611 (July 2006 est.) people in 47,062,743 households, 78.7% in urban areas (July 2000). High population density; 329.5 persons per square kilometer for total area; 1,523 persons per square kilometer for habitable land. More than 50% of population lives on 2% of land. (July 1993)

Changes in the Population of Japan
Changes in the Population of Japan

Population growth rate: Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

0.02% (2006 est.)
0.05% (2005 est.)
0.08% (2004 est.)
0.11% (2003 est.)
0.18% (2000 est.)

Birth rate:

9.37 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
9.47 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
9.56 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
9.61 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
9.96 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate:

9.16 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
8.95 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
8.75 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
8.55 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
8.15 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.2% (male 9,309,524/female 8,849,476)
15-64 years: 65.7% (male 42,158,122/female 41,611,754)
65 years and over: 20% (male 10,762,585/female 14,772,150) (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.24 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 81.25 years
male: 77.96 years
female: 84.7 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.4 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2004 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

12,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

500 (2003 est.)


noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese

Ethnic Groups: 99.4% Japanese and 0.6% other, mostly Korean (40.4% of non-Japanese), some Chinese and Vietnamese. Ainu, Ryukyuans and hisabetsu buraku constitute native Japanese minority groups. Japan is one of the most homogenous countries on the planet, and although there have been many claims (mostly conjecture) about the Japanese being of a mixed background, nothing has been proven. The Ainu IPA: /?ajnu/) are an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaidō and north of HonshÅ« in Northern Japan, the Kuril Islands, much of Sakhalin, and the southernmost third of the Kamchatka peninsula. ... Ryukyuan people (Japanese: 琉球民族, Chinese: 琉球族) are the indigenous people of the RyÅ«kyÅ« Islands of Japan between the islands of KyÅ«shÅ« and Taiwan. ... Burakumin (部落民, buraku community + min people), Eta (literally, full of filth) or hisabetsu buraku (被差別部落) is a social minority group. ...

Foreign Citizens: More than 2.5 million (possibly higher because of the illegal immigrants), 14.9% up in five years. North and South Koreans 1 million, Chinese 0.5 million, Filipinos 0.5 million, and Brazilian 250,000 with others like Peruvian, American, Canadian, British, Indonesian, Thai, African, Iranian, Russian, and other nationals.

Marriage Status:

Over 15: Married Male 61.8%, Female 58.2%. Never married Male 31.8%, Female 23.7%.
25 - 29: Never married Male 69.3%, Female 54.0%.
30 - 34: Never married Male 42.9%, Female 26.6% (July 2000).

Religion: No reliable statistics exist since census does not have questions regarding religion. See Religions of Japan. Most Japanese people profess to not believe in any one particular religion. ...

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Language: Japanese. Emphasis on English as a second language. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99% (2002 est.)
male: 99% (2002 est.)
female: 99% (2002 est.)

These figures are problematic, as school attendance rates, not tests, are used to determine literacy rates.


  1. ^ "https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html"
  2. ^ 2005 statistics on registered foreign residents in Japan - Ministry of Justice website

The Country Studies are works published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress ( USA), freely available for use by researchers. ... The U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1789 by a constitutional convention, sets down the basic framework of American government in its seven articles. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

External links

  • The Dilemma Posed by Japan's Population Decline, discussion paper by Julian Chapple in the electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, 18 October 2004.

  Results from FactBites:
Japan (1662 words)
Japan (Nippon/Nihon 日本, literal meaning: "Source of Sun") is a country in eastern East Asia, made up of an island chain between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean peninsula.
Japan is academically considered a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament, the Kokkai or Diet but most of Japanese feel strange to the term monarchy and quite a few scholars argue Japan is a republic nation.
As Japan is situated in a volcanic zone along the Pacific deeps, frequent low intensity earth tremors and occasional volcanic activity are felt throughout the islands.
  More results at FactBites »



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