Alternate historical names for Japan

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The following are various names by which Japan is/has been called:

  • Akishima or Akitsushima ("Island of the Dragonfly"), 秋津島
  • The Land of the Rising Sun
  • Ôyashima (Oho Yashima), 大八洲 or 大八島国 (Yashima, or "eight islands is a reference to Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Tsushima, Awaji shima, Ikishima, Okinoshima, and Sado-ga-shima)[1]
  • Shinkoku or Kami no kuni ("land of the gods"), 神国 or 神の国
  • Yamato, 大和
  • Ashihara
  • Ka
  • Wa, 和 or 倭

Terms such as honchô (本朝, "this court/realm"), wagakuni (我国, "our country"), and the like are also common, but might not be taken as true placenames.


  1. Michiko Y. Aoki, Records of Wind and Earth, page 287


  • Aoki, Michiko, Records of Wind and Earth
  • Kaempfer, Engelbert. (1999) Kaempfer's Japan. University of Hawai'i Press. Ttranslated by Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey.

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