National Symbols

The Japanese flag is called Hinomaru (circle of the sun). The red circle on the white background symbolizes the sun.
Japan's Imperial Crest is a sixteen petaled chrysanthemum.

The Japanese anthem is called Kimigayo:

May the reign of the Emperor continue for a thousand, nay, eigth thousand generations and for the eternity that it takes for small pebbles to grow into a great rock and become covered with moss.

In Japanese, the country is called Nihon or Nippon. The two Chinese characters may be translate as "origin of the sun" or "land of the rising sun". The name Japan is believed to have come from European pronunciation attempts of Chinese words for "Japan".

National Flower:
Japan has no official national flower. Most people, however, consider the cherry blossom the unofficial national flower of Japan. Furthermore, the chrysanthemum is the symbol for Japan's Emperor.

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Last updated: June 10, 2002
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