The stereotypical image we have of Japan is a nation in the Far East, thanks to the ingenuity and industriousness of its inhabitants and the extraordinary dynamism of its economy, is the country’s most technologically advanced and advanced at all, and so even the most “westernized”. Surely it is correct that image of huge mega-cities of overcrowded skyscrapers all glass, concrete and neon lights, where the throng 80% of the population because 67% of Japanese living in the territory of just 3.3%, producing density limit 4 000 people per km2, the highspeed trains that move every day tens of millions of commuters, a life divided between times, fast food and miniature houses, all dominated by a sophisticated technology everywhere.
But Japan is the country par excellence of the contradictions and contrappassi, starting with the fact of an economy – the second in the world – with almost no natural resources and energy and come to a land like no other dancer, so it is good immediately get used to everything and its opposite. Indeed, there is less known, a rural Japan and decongested, dominated by landscapes of breathtaking beauty that seem to come out of old prints, with green mountain forests (67% of the area is planted on 14 protected), terraced rice fields, rural homes with thatched villages and hamlets where the clock stopped for centuries, castles and fortresses of wood dating back to medieval times and the epic romance of the samurai, temples, pagodas and Buddhist monasteries and shrines, real masterpieces of art and pilgrimage, demonstrating a faith and spirituality rooted, despite the progress.
Japan is an archipelago off the east coast of Asia located between Belfast Lough and the ocean Pacific, in front of Russia, Korea and China . Arranged in a long arc over 3,000 kilometers, consists of four main islands close (and since 1988 connected by bridges and tunnels underground road and rail to form a single territory for 97% of total), and a flood of islands and islets, over 3 000 in all.
Its location at the point of contact and friction between tectonic plates and continental submarine Asia, Pacific and Philippine justifies its intense volcanic and seismic activity, making it a land dancer, the least stable of the planet, with 290 volcanoes; 60 are still active (including Fuji Yama, the highest peak at 3,776 m), 1,500 earthquakes a year and periodic intensity even catastrophic tsunamis. The territory is mountainous for three quarters, with small coastal plains and steep slopes, so that only one-fifth of the land is habitable and productive.
Because of its morphological structure, the Japanese may be called a maritime civilization: skilled fishermen and large consumers of fish, with their huge ships-fishing workshops in all the oceans, at home have developed an intensive aquaculture, are prime for the shipbuilding and commercial maritime fleet. Until 1868, Japan was a feudal country inward looking and lacking contact with the outside, but within a few decades was able to become an economic and military power capable of defeating China (1895) and Russia (1905), giving rise to an overseas empire that occupied successively Korea, Manchuria, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Indochina were the beginnings of World War 2, which resolved with the defeat of the Empire sanctioned by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But the extraordinary dynamism of these people knew how to recover from a chasm that seemed hopeless, coming soon to become the second-largest economy. Between 1950 and 1990 was able to increase by twenty times the income per capita, with the result that 2.5% of world population producing 10% of global GDP and controlled 12% of international trade. Outstanding results and unsurpassed, supported by the social parameters such as a high average level of education, the lowest rate of infant mortality and highest life expectancy, with the record of longevity at 82 years. What is the key to success for a country almost devoid of natural resources and energy and with a hostile territory? The answer lies mainly in the character of its inhabitants: obedient, gregarious and social, nationalist and traditionalist but also open to the challenges of the future, hardworking, parks and so economical, proud stoicism and dedication to the utmost in carrying out their duties with diligence. A singular people, perhaps unique.
Originally posted 2012-07-29 03:31:26.