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  Eunice Del Rosario <3 JAPAN An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. It is approximately the size of Montana. Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. ARCHITECTURE    EARLY JAPAN -   The Jomon Period lasted from around 13000 BC to 300 BC. The inhabitants of Japan at that time were mainly gatherers, fishers and hunters. Dwellings were built directly over an earth floor with a wood foundation and a thatched straw roof. Inside the house, the floor may have been hollowed in, which is why Jomon Period houses are often called pit dwellings .    SHRINES -   In ancient times, Shinto ceremonies were held outdoors at temporarily demarcated sites without buildings. Later, temporary structures were used which eventually got replaced by permanent shrine buildings housing the deity. Early shrine buildings predate the introduction of Buddhism and reflect native Japanese architecture styles.    TEMPLES -   Temples came along with the import of Buddhism from China around the 6th century. At first, temples resembled those in China closely in features, such as having wide courtyards and symmetrical layouts    PALACES -   Imperial palaces are the seat of the Emperor. In the past, a new palace was built with the relocation of the capital every time a new emperor ascended to the throne. In 710, the first permanent capital was set up in Nara, and thus the first permanent palace, the Heijo Palace, was built. The palace's former site is open to tourists today and exhibits a few rebuilt structures.    CASTLES -   The civil war also gave the impetus for the construction of castles. Initially built for purpose of fortification, the castles became the center of government and status symbols for the provincial lords as war drew to an end and Japan was reunited in the late 1500s. MODERN JAPAN    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building   also referred to as Tokyo City Hall or Tochō for short, houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs not only the 23 wards, but also the cities, towns and villages that make up Tokyo as a whole    Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 333 meters (1,093 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.    Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 333 meters (1,093 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The  Eunice Del Rosario <3 structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.    Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower, and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m/2,722 ft).    Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower is a 204-metre (669 ft), 50-story educational facility located in the Nishi-Shinjuku district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Completed in October 2008, the tower is the second-tallest educational building in the world and is the 17th-tallest building in Tokyo. It was awarded the 2008 Skyscraper of the Year by Emporis.com. RELIGION      Shinto  and Buddhism  are Japan's two major religions. Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, while Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century. Since then, the two religions have been co-existing relatively harmoniously and have even complemented each other to a certain degree. Most Japanese consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both. IKEBANA      Ikebana is the common term used for Japanese flower arrangement. The art is also referred to as kado ( the way of flowers ). Different schools of ikebana exist today with a variance in style. Some schools advocate that flowers should be arranged in a way that they look as if they were in the wild; others pay attention to precision of shape, line and form, going as far as to prescribe rules that dictate the angles that the branches should make. CALLIGARPHY    Calligraphy is the art of writing beautifully. Most children learn calligraphy in elementary school. It is a popular hobby among adults, too. REFERENCE: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2007.html http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/overview/history.html http://www.infoplease.com/country/japan.html http://www.insidejapantours.com/japanese-culture/
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