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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...

Via Seth Dixon
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Kevin Cournoyer's comment, May 1, 2013 12:51 AM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 5:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 10:58 AM

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning

Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.

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Malcolm Haines's curator insight, September 21, 2014 12:20 AM

This is an important time in world history for learning how we all learn. Ultimately East vs West on the cultural field will no longer apply.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:31 PM

Today the a lot of focus is being spent on the differences between western and eastern education. A large catalyst in this research is the rise of East Asian economies and the fear many in the west have that their nations are quickly becoming the new under dogs. While their is a difference in education methods one must also wonder if it partially comes down to the government and cultural importance placed on education. During the Cold War America placed a ton of interest and support on our education but after peace came our nation education declined across the board. This might be similar in East Asia while in stead of seeking to overcome the Russians they are seeking to over come their current place in the global community.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2:25 PM

I actually feel this is a great way to teach students, we just aren’t used to it in America.  The students who already know what they’re doing should be helping those who struggle.  When we boast about how well someone does at something, it can actually discourage the student who doesn’t understand.  It is definitely a tricky situation to be in, but I can understand why.