The different names of Japan

Japan: The Japanese call their country by the name of Nihon or Nippon, which means the "origin of the sun" as Japan is situated in the east when compared with China. The ancient Chinese called the country Zippon.

Toyoashihara-no-Chiaki-Nagioaki-no-Mitsuho-no-Kuni: This long name was used in the Imperial command that the Goddess Amaterasu gave to Prince Ame-no-Oshihomimi, when he was about to leave the Celestial Abode for the land below.

Akitsushima: Two sets of characters are used for this name; one meaning "autumn-creek-land", while the other indicates the Dragon-fly-land, the latter name being given to the island of Japan because, according ot scholars, the country looks like two dragonflies on the wing.

Yamato: The characters now used for this name mean "great peace", but little is known about the origin of this name, Yamato. Some scholars hold that Japan was so named after the central and most influential province of Yamato, while others attribute the name to the mountainous conditions of the country.

Fusokoku: No more is known about the origin of this name than that "Fusokoku" means a country of mulberry trees. According to an old Chinese record, there was a land of that name, 20,000 Chinese miles east of China, where sacred mulberry-trees grew in abundance. Japan was evidently regarded as an Elygium, as the name of Fuso was taken to mean by the Chinese.

O-Yashima: Because, according to the Kojiki, Prince Izanagi and Princesss Izanami ‘gave birth" to the "eight islands", Japan was named O-Yashima, or Great-Eight-Lands.

There are more than ten other names, which are found in ancient records and annals as indicative of Japan.

Source: We Japanese: Being descriptions of many of the customs, manners, ceremonies, festivals, arts and crafts of the Japanese besides numerous other subjects. Fujiya Hotel. Ltd. 1950 version.

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