Chapter 12

Ch 12 - Shaping a Unique
Worldview: Japanese Geography
How has Japan’s physical geography
influenced the Japanese sense of
identity and the Japanese Worldview?
• Japan, the "Land of the Rising Sun", has had a
long, illustrious history. Geography plays a
large role in shaping Japan's history. The
mountainous countryside played an important
part in determining what kinds of trade and
agriculture developed. Being an isolated island
nation, Japan was able to close itself off from
the world when foreign influence threatened
the basic beliefs and foundation of its culture.
Important Terms and Concepts
• Find the following terms and write the
definition in your note book
• Izanagi, Izanami, kami, kamikaze, kanji, kana,
rituals, haiku, Ainu, kamuy, cherry blossoms,
matsuri, tsunami, stoic, arable, homogeneous,
• Japan
SECTION 1: The Land of the Rising Sun
• Read the story on page 261. Answer the two
questions at the bottom of the page in
response to the reading.
• How might this repeated experience influence
the worldview of the Japanese people?
• How might it influence their view of people
from other places?
• Read pages 262-263
• Look at the map in the Exploring Sources box on page 263.
Answer the two questions in the box.
• What does the position of Japan say about how the
Japanese viewed the importance of their country relative to
the rest of the world?
• Maps convey worldview and, as such, the map shown in
Figure 12-3 expresses the Japanese cultural beliefs about its
importance relative to other countries. Japan’s prominent
position emphasizes the primary importance of Japanese
customs, traditions, and ideas over the customs, traditions,
and ideas of other countries.
• What might this map indicate about Japanese knowledge of
the rest of the world?
• It seems to indicate that by 1850 Japanese cartographers
were at least aware of the general location of the world’s
major land masses.
• The land area of Japan is ____________________
and about ________percent the size of Alberta.
80% of Japan is covered by _______________
and _____________. The largest flat areas are
less than ______km across. Highest population
densities occur _______________________.
Ocean between Japan and Asia is ____________.
Japanese writing combines the ____________
(Chinese) characters with Japanese characters
called _____________.
Japan’s Location in the World – Land
of the Rising Sun
• 1. Using page 259 or page 266 what are four closest neighboring
countries to Japan?
• 1.
• 2.
• 3.
• 4.
• 2. Japan is an archipelago (a chain of islands) which consists of four main
islands and ________ smaller islands. These four main islands are:
• 1.
• 2.
• 3.
• 4.
• There are four bodies of water that surround Japan. You will need to use
the map in the classroom to find one of the bodies of water. The rest will
be in your text book
• 1.
• 2.
• 3.
• 4.
• Fast Forward: Protecting the Canadian Identity (Page 267)
• 1. How have satellite and cable TV changed the number of
cultures that Canadians are exposed to?
• News and entertainment programming is available in many
different languages from many countries.
• 2. To what extent do you think media such as music, TV, and
movies influence your sense of identity as a Canadian?
• whether the birthplace of an artist, musician, or actor is
important, what criteria make a cultural product “Canadian”,
the relative quality of Canadian music, movies, and TV
• Map Assignment
• Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan
• Four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku,
• Major cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Sapporo,
Matsuyama, Hiroshima, Yokohama)
SECTION 2: Nature Shaping a
• Read pages 268-269
• Cherry blossoms represent: ______________ ____________
• Think through, questions 1, 2.
• What effect do you think the Dene way of thinking would have on how they
behaved toward people new to their land?
• Dene refers to the culture, and Denendeh refers to the land itself. The Dene
people have a strong affinity to the land and the environment in which they
• The quotation shows the openness of the Dene people in accepting
newcomers, knowing they will soon become a part of the community because
of the environment in which they live.
• How can you extend this idea to people who come from other countries to
make Canada their home?
• Immigrants to Canada should be prepared to embrace the climate and
geography of Canada, and not expect it to be like their homeland.
• Read pages 270-271
• Think it through: What is the worst experience you have had that was caused
by the forces of nature?
Earthquakes and Legends
Read page 272
Do question #3
• How are Japanese beliefs similar to Aztec explanations of how and why
• disasters occur?
• They both believe that the gods will protect them if they worship
them. Disasters in both cases are connected with the actions of gods.
• How are they different?
• The two differ in that Aztec beliefs show the gods as punishing and to
be feared.
• Japanese beliefs see gods as supportive and helpful, causing problems
only when there are problems between gods.
• What do the two cultures believe about nature and human ability to
influence it?
• The Japanese believe that the gods are basically good and their
reverence of them leads to harmony with nature. Aztec beliefs see the
gods as to be feared and the need to feed the gods with human blood
appeases them and allows for the Aztec empire to be
• Study Figure 12-16 and complete the question below
the image. Write the question in your note book
• Time: Disasters would slow down the pace of life while
people rebuild.
• Loss of life might make people more mindful of the
fragile nature of existence and potential in each day.
• Complete question 1a (come up with three elements of
nature.) and #2 on page 273 Over to You
• #2 Winter might lead one to identify with the sports,
events and challenges of the season. Prairies: might
lead one to identify with wide open spaces and the
vastness of our land. Mountains: might lead one to
identify with the beauty, challenges, sports, recreation
aspects of the mountains.
• Read the Fast Forward on page 277
• What, if any, similarities can you see in the Canadian
and Japanese situation?
• Wheat/rice is too culturally important to let other
countries produce it for Canada/Japan.
• Encouraging wheat/rice production in Canada/Japan
has created one of the largest producers of wheat/rice
in the world.
• Wheat/rice production provides the livelihood for
many Canadian/Japanese people.
• How does Japanese government prohibiting rice
imports fit in with the isolation and self-sufficiency of
Japanese society?
• Self-sufficiency is an important cultural value. Selfsufficiency means Japan doesn’t need to depend on
other countries or worldwide market forces.
SECTION 3: A Self Sufficient Country
• In partners using the following sub heading from your text
– make your own notes to be handed in …
• Resources and Climate of Japan
• Rice: Symbol of a Country
• A Homogeneous Society
• A Distinct People
Homework Questions (answer the following on
a separate sheet of paper):
• Can you suggest a Canadian Food that represents Canada’s
history like Rice does for Japan?
• Can you give some examples of where this has taken place in
Canadian history? World history? Currently?
• Page 280 # 2a,b,c,
• FINAL TASK: ______/10 marks choose one of the following
• Write 3 Haiku Poems and place them on a creatively illustrated
• OR
• Write a mythical story describing how a particular natural
disaster came to be. Draw a creative illustration to accompany
your tale.
• OR
• Write a mythical story describing how the world and civilization
was created. Draw a creative illustration to accompany your

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