Why Is Japan Called Japan?

Have you ever wondered why Japan is called Japan? It’s an interesting question because the name Japan doesn’t appear in written records until the 8th century CE.

Even the English name Japan derives from the Portuguese term for the country during the 16th century, and many people still don’t know the true origin of this name. In this article, we’ll explore the various theories about why Japan is called Japan, delving into the ancient history of this amazing country. So let’s get started and find out why Japan is called Japan!

Why is Japan Called Japan?

Japan is a country in East Asia located in the Pacific Ocean. It is the world’s 10th most populated country with a population of around 126 million people.

It covers approximately 377,915 km2 making it the 61st largest country in the world. It is one of the most powerful countries in the world and is a major player in global economy.

Japan has had a very unique cultural, political, and religious history. Along with this, one of its most interesting facts is how it got its name.

The Origin of the Name Japan

The origin of the word “Japan” is not certain.

It is thought to come from the Chinese characters (日本) which mean “sun-origin” or the “origin of the sun”. It is believed that Japan gets its name based on location since it is located to the East of China with the sun rising from that direction.

The Chinese character 日 (rin) means sun and 本 (hon), origin. Another theory suggests that Japan got its name from another Asian culture.

This theory suggests that Japan was named by the indigenous peoples of the island, the Jōmon people, who had used the words “Japu” or “Japapam” to describe their island. It is believed that these words were eventually transformed into the word Japan. The most commonly accepted theories also point to another explanation.

It is thought that Marco Polo may have been the first European to use the name “Japan” when he wrote about his travels in the late 13th century. It is believed that he got the name from the local Chinese people who likely adopted it from the original Jōmon inhabitants.

The Meaning of Japan

The exact meaning of the word Japan is often debated. The most popular translation of the word is “origin of the sun” or “sun origin”. This has to do with the country’s location in relation to China, as the sun rises from this direction. However, some argue that Japan also means “Land of the Rising Sun”. This is a reference to the country’s flag, which features a red sun. Other translations for the word Japan include “source of the gods” and “land of divine origins”. These translations come from the belief that Japan has been the home to some of the oldest religious traditions such as Shinto and Buddhism.


Japan is one of the most powerful countries in the world, and has a rich and deep cultural history. The origin and meaning of the word Japan has been debated for centuries, but it is believed to come from the Chinese characters meaning “sun origin” or “origin of the sun”, which is due to the country’s eastern location relative to China. Other theories suggest that Japan was named by the local Jōmon people, and that Marco Polo may have been the first European to use the name Japan. Whatever the origin and meaning, the name Japan is strongly linked to the country, and will continue to be for centuries to come. Citation URLs: https://www. asianhistory. com/japan https://www. thoughtco. com/what-does-japan-mean-197387 https://www. japan. go. jp/aboutjapan/japaneseculture/symbols/name. html

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