Japan Printables

Japan Printables
Yoshio Tomii / Getty Images

Located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Asia, the island nation of Japan is made up of nearly 7,000 islands! The Japanese call their nation, Nippon, which means sun origin. Their flag is a red circle, representing the sun, on a field of white.

People have inhabited the islands of Japan for thousands of years. Japan's first emperor, Jimmu Tenno, came to power in 660 B.C. The country is still the only modern one to refer to the head of its royal family as emperor.

The country was ruled by military leaders called shoguns from 1603-1867. According to National Geographic Kids, in 1635, the ruling shogun, unhappy that Europeans were bringing guns and Christianity to the nation,  

"... closed Japan to foreigners and forbade Japanese to travel abroad. This isolation lasted more than 200 years. In 1868, the shoguns were overthrown and emperors returned."

Today, the country is governed by a Prime Minister who is appointed by the Emperor. Because the emperor is now only an honored figurehead rather than a true leader, this appointment is merely a formality. The Prime Minister is actually elected by the National Diet, Japan's legislative body. 

Japan is a leader in both the technology and auto industries, producing well-known brands such as Toyota, Sony, Nintendo, Honda, and Canon.

Japan is known for sports such as martial arts and Sumo wrestling, and foods such as sushi.

Its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire makes Japan susceptible to earthquakes and volcanic activity. The country experiences over 1000 earthquakes each year and has nearly two hundred volcanoes.

One of its most famous volcanoes is the beautiful Mt. Fuji. Although it hasn't erupted since 1707, Mt. Fuji is still considered an active volcano. It is the highest point in Japan and one of the country's three sacred mountains.

Help your students learn more about the "Land of the Rising Sun" with the following free printables and activity pages.

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Japan Vocabulary

Print the pdf: Japan Vocabulary Sheet

Help your students dig into the culture and history of Japan with this vocabulary worksheet. Use an atlas, the Internet, or library resources to look up each term from the word box. Once students have discovered each word's meaning and significance to Japan, they should write the word next to its correct definition using the blank lines provided.

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Japan Wordsearch

Print the pdf: Japan Word Search 

Continue delving into Japanese culture with this word search puzzle. Many Japanese words have been assimilated into our own vocabulary. How many do your kids recognize? Futon? Haiku?

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Japan Crossword Puzzle

Print the pdf: Japan Crossword Puzzle

This crossword puzzle featuring Japanese-related words provides a stress-free review opportunity for students. Each puzzle clue corresponds with a term, most of which were defined on the vocabulary sheet, from the word bank.

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Japan Challenge

Print the pdf: Japan Challenge

See how much your children know about Japan with this multiple choice challenge. Have they learned that bonsai are trees and plants cut in artistic designs and grown in small containers? Do they know that haiku is a type of Japanese poetry?

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Japan Alphabet Activity

Print the pdf: Japan Alphabet Activity

Young students can practice their alphabetizing and thinking skills by putting these Japan-themed words in correct alphabetical order. 

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Japan Draw and Write

Print the pdf: Japan Draw and Write Page

This draw and write activity lets children hone their drawing, handwriting, and composition skills. Students should draw a picture depicting something they've learned about Japan. Then, they can use the blank lines provided to write about their drawing.

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Japan Flag Coloring Page

Japan Flag Coloring Page
Japan Flag Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez

Print the pdf: Japan Flag Coloring Page 

The national flag of Japan is known as the Hinomaru, literally meaning 'sun disc.' It is made up of a red circle, symbolizing the sun, against a white background. It was officially adopted as the national flag of Japan in 1999.

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Seals of Japan Coloring Page

This coloring page features the seals of the Japanese Emperor and the Prime Minister. The Emperor's seal is gold and the Prime Minister's is gold on a blue background.

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Japan Coloring Page - Japanese Musical Instruments Coloring Page

Discuss traditional Japanese instruments with students as they complete these coloring pages. The Koto is a 13-stringed zither with movable bridges. The Shamisen is a 3-stringed instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi. 

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Map of Japan

Print the pdf: Map of Japan

Spend some time studying the geography of Japan with your students. They should use an atlas, the Internet, or library resources to locate and mark on the map: the capital city, major cities and waterways, Mt. Fuji, and other noteworthy landmarks.

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Children's Day Coloring Page

Children's Day Coloring Page
Children's Day Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez

Print the pdf: Children's Day Coloring Page 

May 5th is Children's Day in Japan and Korea. In Japan, Children's Day has been a national holiday since 1948 celebrating the personalities and happiness of children. It's celebrated by flying carp windsocks outside, displaying Samurai dolls, and eating chimaki.

Updated by Kris Bales