Japan (nation)

Comprises the Japan island chain, including four main islands (from north to south these are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu) and numerous smaller islands. Early inhabitants, Ainu, were driven north by Manchu-Korean and Malayan invaders; imperial line was founded 7th century BCE; adopted handwriting and much of Chinese culture in the 6th-9th centuries. The emperor was controlled by Shogunates 12th-19th centuries; European contact 16th-19th centuries. The official language is Japanese.