Describe the effects of Japan's geography on its culture and economy.

Mt. Fuji, Japan
Japan is a fairly large island located approximately 120 miles from the shore of east Asia.  Japan is a very mountaious region, which created many difficulties, but also many different protections.  One main thing that affected the economy of Japan was the geography was only flat enough to be about 15% farmable, due to the excessive amounts of mountains.  This meant much of that land was used for growing rice for its great abilities to produce so much rice in such a little amount of time.  There was a fair amount of rainfall with a very mild climate, which allowed any plants that did grow to grow in abundance (especially rice).  Japan also faced many constant natural dangers, including volcanoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, and hurricanes.  These disasters destroyed much of the progress of the Japanese, but eventually they began to adapt to the disasters.  Japan also had a tremendous lack in natural resources, like coal and oil.  Without these resources, the Japanese had to use other products to produce their wealth.  Japan is located in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by three main bodies of water: the East China Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Pacific Ocean.  When this water was constantly around you and their is a need for natural resources to produce wealth, you can bet the Japanese immediately began to use the fish.  The all famous sushi came from the combination of the two most plentiful types of food Japan had: rice and fish (also some other ocean found foods, including seaweed).  Not only did the oceans provide this great amount of food, but it also created a barrier between Japan and the mainlands.  This provided protection from invaders, but also made traveling to trade in the mainlands very complicated.  The Japenese were able to gain an advantage over the mainlands with its ocean protection.  The seperation made Japan a more isolated area and not many people decided to become a resident there.  All of Japan was covered in lush green lands which were expressed in Shinto as the "way of the gods".  Japan's culture was greatly influenced by the Chinese and the Koreans.  The name of Japan was actually given to them from the Chinese.  These are some of the effects on Japan due to its geography.