Japan remained for a long time shut up against the foreigners knocking at her gate, and on that account her history, compared with that of other nations, presents striking and unique characteristics. Many ancient manners and customs, some of them having their origins in ages prehistoric and unintelligible even to the present Japanese themselves, are handed down almost unchanged to this day. On the other hand, the history of Japan is not so simple - full of charming oddities, which might provide sources of wild speculations, and at the same time not lacking a certain complexity..., - an object of interest and investigation, a fascinating study.

 

Fujy– A Japanese tradition affirms that Fuji arose from the earth in a single night while Lake Biwa near Kyōto sank simultaneously. ...  

 

Islands – Japan is a series of long and narrow volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, lying off the north-eastern coast of the Asiatic continent...

 

Buddhism – The account which the native history books give of the introduction of Buddhism into Japan is that a golden image of Buddha ...  

 

Samurai – The word Samurai was taken to denote the entire warrior class; for it was of the essence of Old Japan that all gentlemen must be soldiers...
   
  Cha-no-yu – The tea ceremonies have undergone three transformations during the six or seven hundred years of their existence. They have passed through a medico-religious stage, a luxurious stage, and lastly an esthetic stage. They originated in tea-drinking pure and simple on the part of certain Buddhist priests of the Zen sect, who found the infusion useful in keeping them awake...
Torii – the name of the peculiar gateway, formed of two upright and two horizontal beams, which stands in front of every Shintō temple. According to the orthodox account, it was originally a perch for the sacred fowls (tori ="fowl;" i , from iru ,="dwelling"), which gave warning of daybreak ; but in later times-its origin being forgotten-it came to be regarded as a gateway or even as...  
  Geography– The boundaries of Japan have expanded greatly in the course of ages. The central and western portions of the Main Island, together with Shikoku, Kyūshū, and the lesser islands of Iki, Tsushima, Old, Awaji, and perhaps Sado, formed the Japan of early historic days, say of the eighth century after Christ. At that time the Ainos, though already in full retreat northwards...
Art – The beginnings of Japanese art, as of almost all things Japanese excepting cleanliness, can be traced to China through Korea. Even after Japanese art had started on its independent career, it refreshed its inspiration from time to time by a careful study and imitation of Chinese models; and Chinese masterpieces still occupy in the estimate of Japanese connoisseurs a place...