Why Japan is called the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’

Most in India may not have a strong working knowledge of Japan, particularly those who have not visited them.
Yet the country has a centuries-old past and a diverse and multi-layered society. Within Japan's heavily settled metropolises and throughout the island's history, tourists may be confused. Japan is more than just the eastern Chinese nation.

Most in India may not have a strong working knowledge of Japan, particularly those who have not visited them.

Yet the country has a centuries-old past and a diverse and multi-layered society. Within Japan’s heavily settled metropolises and throughout the island’s history, tourists may be confused. Japan is more than just the eastern Chinese nation.

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There’s more to the Chinese’s tale about how Japan came to call Ji-pang or Zu-pang. In order to be more specific, the government of Japan began naming the nation Nihon at the end of the 6th century (the exact year is not known). Japan was known by the Chinese character as “wa” or “Yamato” until the 7th century.

How Japan came to be called the ‘land of the Rising Sun’

In the seventh or eighth century, the name of Japan changed from ‘Wakoku’  to ‘Nihon’. Some documents state that the Japanese sender to China had called for the name to be changed as he had not; other documents claim Japan had been forced to amend their name by Chinese empress Wu Zetian. Wakoku has been Nihon, that way (‘Nippon’ sometimes pronounced).

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The Land of Rising of Sun

The kanji for ‘Nihon’ simply means ‘origin of the Sun’ since the sun is located east of China, where the sun came from. It is linked to the history of Japan as the sun goddess Amaterasu plays a major role in Japanese mythology.

The national flag of Japan is known in English as the rising sun flag”.  The Japanese flag with the sun in the middle was first deployed at the start of the 7th century. 

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Japan Rising Sun Flag

The arrangement of colors on the banner, though, has been said to be distinct from what it is today. Yellow sun and red sky were the original color blends. This flag was used to demonstrate its nationalism on vessels at the end of the Edo period. It was also used elsewhere.

Though its history is long, the rising of the sun was not the official flag of Japan until 1999.

  • Japan, Nippon, and Nihon both mean “the origin of the sun” which is why the nation also is called the sunrise land.
  • Japan is in the path of sunrise in the minds of the Chinese people (The East of China is Japan).

Among other languages than English, Japan is called the nation of the rising sun. For examples. French, Hindi, and so on.

The People of ‘Wa’

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The ancient Chinese agreed to refer to Japan as ‘Wakoku,’ or ‘the Land of Wa,’ confusion is not there. One of the hypotheses is, the common Japanese names for ‘I’ and ‘we’ are ‘wage’ and ‘ware’, and the Chinese have then agreed that the Wa people had to represent the people they knew.

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In ancient Japan, the Na Kingdom was not the only one. It was a number of ancient provinces before Japan became one country. The Yamato who lived in modern Honshu was the main community of native Japanese, and they founded an imperial court in Nara after the Chinese court of law in the 6th century. The Yamato used ‘Wa’ character and the word ‘Yamato’ to write.

‘Nihon’ or ‘Nippon’ in the native language. In English, it’s ‘Japan’.  And there are a few different languages: Japon, Japan, Giappone, Yaponiya, (Il-bon), Rìběn, Yahtbún, Zeppen, Nhật Bản. The other historians use the same language: And it has a variant in the same language. Japan came to be identified as Wakoku.

 

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