Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the history and culture of the country of Japan.
Central Idea: The country of Japan has a lot of diversity.
A. Attention Statement: The country of Japan is a country rich with history and culture.
B. Establish Credibility: Hello, my name is Houston, and from my research, I have found that Japan is a fascinating country.
C. Preview Statement: Today, I will provide you with background information about Japan, its history, and its culture.
A. The country of Japan is a large archipelago.
1. As stated by the article “Japan Facts and History” from the website asianhistory.about.com, the Japanese Archipelago has more than 3,000 islands covering an area of 377,835 square kilometers.1. The four main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.
a. Japan is mostly mountainous and forested, with roughly 11.6% of it being arable land.
b. Its highest point is Mt. Fuji, which stands 12,385 feet tall, while Hachiro-gata is its lowest point at -12 feet.
2. Japan is home to a large number of people.
a. Its capital is Tokyo, with a population of 12,790,000 people as of 2007.
b. Its major cities include Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, and Fukuoka, all of which have populations ranging from 1,423,000 to 3,632,000.
3. Japan is one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world.
a. It has the world’s second-largest economy by GDP (after the U.S.).
b. Japan exports automobiles, consumer and office electronics, steel, and transportation equipment.
B. There are a few theories about the origin of Japan and its people.
1. According to the article “Japanese Roots” by Jared Diamond from the SIR’s knowledge base, unearthing the origins of the Japanese is a much harder task than you might think.
2. Archeologists have come up with four conflicting theories revolving around the origin of the people of Japan.
a. A popular one is that the Japanese gradually developed from ancient Ice Age people who already occupied Japan before 20,000 B.C.
b. The Japanese descended from horse-riding nomads who passed through Korea to conquer Japan in the fourth century.
c. The Japanese could be descendants of immigrants from Korea who arrived with rice-paddy agriculture around 400 B.C.
d. The fourth theory suggests that the people from the other theories mixed to form the modern Japanese people.
C. Japan has a colorful culture.
1. The Japanese language is part of the Japonic language family and borrows some words from both Chinese and English.
a. There are three writing systems in Japan, hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
b. Hiragana is used for native Japanese words.
c. Katakana is for non-Japonic emphasis and onomatopoeia use.
d. Kanji is used to express Chinese loan words.
2. Japan’s primary forms of religion are Shintoism and Buddhism.
a. Shinto is a polytheistic faith that emphasizes the divinity of the natural world.
b. In Japan, Shinto and Buddhist practices are combined into a single religion, with Buddhist temples being built at important Shinto shrines sites.
3. The article “Japan’s Recent History and Culture” from the Ebsco database lists some of Japan’s cultural history.
a. There was a point when the people of Japan did not eat due to Buddhism prohibiting it.
b. The only Japanese song to ever reach number one in America was Sukiyaki, which gets its name from an unrelated hot pot dish of the same name.
4. The story of Hachiko has touched the hearts of many.
a. According to the article “Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog” from gimundo.com, Hachiko was an Akita that came to Tokyo in 1924 with his owner Hidsamuro Ueno.
b. Ever day, Hachiko would go to greet his owner at the Shibuya Station.
c. One day, his owner died from a stroke at work; however, Hachiko still faithfully waited for him until his death in 1935, roughly 10 years later.
d. A year before his death, a bronze statue of Hachiko was made in honor of his loyalty.
d. Today, the statue of Hachiko is a popular meeting place in Shibuya Station.
A. Summary of Main Points: Today, I have mentioned some background information about Japan, its history, and its culture.
B. Closing Statement: From the information, I have provided, you can see that Japan is truly an interesting and diverse country.
Szczepanski, Kallie. “Japan Facts and History.” Asianhistory.about.com. April 20, 2011. Web.
Diamond, Jared.” Japanese Roots.” Discover Magazine June 1998. 86-94 (Located in SIRS, Web).
Calu, Sarah. “Japan’s Recent History and Culture” Skipping Stones Sept.-Oct. 2010: 21 EBSCO. 20
April, 2011. Web.
Hawkins, Kathryn. “Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog.” 26 April 2010. Gimundo.com. April 20, 2011. Web.