Geography of Japan

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Perhaps more than any other nation in the world, Japan is shaped by its geography to a tremendous extent. Technically classified as an archipelago, Japan is a curved chain of four islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, plus over a thousand smaller islands). However, it is first and foremost an island nation, a fact which isolated Japan from the rest of the world. The second largest influence in Japanese geography is the size of the …

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…build additional cities. The rest of Japan is cast with high mountains with considerable volcanic activity. Earthquakes, then, have become a commonplace occurrence in the daily life of many Japanese. In 1981, only 14.6 percent of Japan was arable. Rice, Japanís most important food crop for centuries, is intensively cultivated on terraced hillsides because there are not enough flat paddy fields to feed the whole nation. A hard-working Japanese peasantry has resulted from the agricultural challenges.