Japan is a country with both a rich culture and a fascinating geographic location. It is also known as the “Land of the Rising Sun” and is home to a variety of natural sites and shrines. Theories about how its name arose vary from the scientific to the mythical.
Whatever the actual origins of the term, Japan’s culture both past and present is truly fascinating. To explore why Japan is so famously known as the Land of the Rising Sun, let’s dive into the captivating culture of this country.
Why Japan is Called the Land of the Rising Sun?Japan is a country surrounded by the beauty of its nature and culture.
All of these combine together to give Japan its title of being the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. The phrase “Land of the Rising Sun” is derived from the naming of Japan in ancient Chinese poems as the country of the “Rising Sun”. In fact, the phrase is official recognized by Japan’s government as the translation of the country’s official name, Nihon, which means “where the sun rises” in Japanese.
The term “land of the rising sun” not only refers to Japan geographically, but is also linked with the history, culture and mythology of the people of Japan. As such, it has become a popular phrase used in literature, art, film and music to refer to the people and culture of Japan.
The Mythology of Japan as the Land of the Rising SunIn Japan, the rising sun has been used as an important feature of the nation’s mythology for centuries.
It has become a strong symbol of Japanese national identity and statehood, representing the country’s unique characteristics and its place in the world. The most famous example of this is the legend of the mythical sun goddess, Amaterasu.
According to the Kojiki, the ancient historical text of Japan, Amaterasu, the sun goddess, is the ancestor of the imperial family, making the emperor the divine descendant of the deity. As a result, the rising sun has become a symbol of power and authority in Japan, representing the authority of the emperor and the divine right of the royal family. Furthermore, the rising sun is seen in Japanese art and design, often used as a central element in Japanese paintings as well as being featured on the Japanese national flag, known as the Hinomaru, or “sun disc.
The Importance of the Sun in Japanese CultureThe reference to Japan as the “Land of the Rising Sun” is not only linked to mythology but also to the importance of the sun in the people’s everyday life of Japan. In the past, the sun was relied on to guide the seasons and provide warmth and light.
Sun-based activities such as traditional farming and fishing played a large role in the day-to-day life of people living in Japan and it was these activities that laid the foundations for the development of the country’s culture and lifestyle. In present day Japan, the sun is still an important part of the culture. It is often celebrated in festivals and ceremonies, such as the Koshin Ceremony, held every summer solstice. The sun is also the symbol of optimism for the Japanese and is seen as a reminder of the nation’s resilience and strength in overcoming challenges.