Why Japan is Called The Land of the Rising Sun ?

Why Japan is Called The Land of the Rising Sun ?

Land of the Rising Sun
By Peter Stewart – Flickr

Have you ever wondered why Japan is called ” Land of the Rising Sun ” ?

We all learned at school going geography That Japan was also called “Land of the Rising Sun”. And as in physics class we were told that the Sun rises in the East, the connection was quickly made.
Japan is the Land of the Rising Sun because it is the most easterly of the world …

 

Land of the Rising Sun

Even if the geographical criterion remains main, there is in fact an explanation at the same time historical, diplomatic and linguistic with this expression!
Some people tend to believe that the term “Land of the Rising Sun” to designate Japan is of Western origin. For being the most easterly to the meridian of Greenwich or simply the most easterly of the known world at the time, it was where the sun rose first.
The Name “Japan” is Nihon or Nippon and is written: 日本.日 means sun (or day) and 本 means origin (or root). Nihon can thus be translated as “origin of the Sun”, or “Sunrise”. The Japanese themselves call their archipelago as well. But that has not always been the case.

 

Originally,the Japanese referred to their country as Yamato (大 和) or Hi no moto 日 の 本, which means “where does the Sun come from” . During the first trade with China, this is the term used by Prince Shokoku Taishi (574-622) in a missive sent to the Middle Kingdom beginning with the words “from the emperor of the rising sun to the emperor of the setting sun …” in reference to the more eastern position of the Japanese archipelago in relation to neighboring China .

 

The Chinese diplomats of the time kept this term, however, foreign to their language, but pronounced it in the Chinese way, more or less Nyibeun ‘. In modern Chinese, pronunciation has become rìběn. With the massive introduction of Chinese language and culture in Japan in the Nara period (710-794), a Chinese pronunciation
Japanese Kanji was adopted. It is from this time that the reading of the characters passed from Hi no moto to Nippon and later Nihon, deformation of Chinese rìběn after passing through the ears not accustomed to Japanese!

 

Land of the Rising Sun

Today, we use the Land of the Rising Sun name when talking about Japan in reference to the unique situation of this country of development and progress in all fields, where the sun does not miss achievements!

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