Talking about Japan Q&A

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It finished in a naval battle in the straits of Tsushima, between Japan and Korea, in which Admiral Togo's fleet (built in Britain) took on the Russian fleet that had sailed all the way from the Baltic, round the Cape of Good Hope and up towards their home base of Vladivostok. The Russians were exhausted and illprepared even before the Japanese navy (which had sailed no more than a couple of hundred nautical miles) tore into them. It was a slaughter, with the Russian fleet losing 34 ships and almost 5,000 men in little more than 12 hours of engagement.

The Bon Odori (Bon dance) is still performed in many villages as a THE JAPANESE ARCHIPELAGO / 23 community dance in which hundreds of people will take part, dancing throughout the night to a rhythmic clapping of hands and beating of drums. The autumn typhoon season The summer eventually gives way to autumn, and brings in the typhoon season. Most of the typhoons which blow across the northern and western Pacific do not reach Japan: the severest typhoons each year tend to hit Taiwan, the Philippines and the Chinese mainland.

According to the earliest Japanese legends, which were originally handed down by oral tradition and were not written down until about the eighth century AD, the islands of Japan were created by the gods Izanami and Izanagi. The pair became husband and wife and in due course Izanagi, no doubt very painfully, gave birth to the islands of Japan. At this point, they decided to create somebody to rule the land, and gave birth to the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. Among the other children they produced was the evil Storm God, Susa-no-o.

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