Japanese people

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Japanese people (Japanese: 日本人, Hepburn: Nihonjin) are an East Asian ethnic group native to the Japanese archipelago. Japanese people constitute 97.6% of the population of the country of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 126 million people are of Japanese descent, making them one of the largest ethnic groups. Approximately 122.0 million Japanese people are residents of Japan, and there are approximately 4 million members of the Japanese diaspora, known as Nikkeijin (日系人).


  • The Musmee has brown velvet eyes
      Curtain’d with satin, sleepily;
    You wonder if those lids would rise
      The newest, strangest sight to see;
    But when she chatters, laughs, or plays
      Kôto, biwa, or samisen,
    No jewel gleams with brighter rays
      Than flash from those dark lashes then.
    The Musmee has a small brown face,
      “Musk-melon seed” its perfect shape:
    Jetty arch’d eyebrows; nose to grace
      The rosy mouth beneath; a nape,
    And neck, and chin, and smooth, soft cheeks
      Carv’d out of sunburn’d ivory,
    With teeth, which, when she smiles or speaks,
      Pearl merchants might come leagues to see!
    The Musmee’s hair could teach the night
      How to grow dark, the raven’s wing
    How to seem ebon! Grand the sight
      When, in rich masses, towering,
    She builds each high black-marble coil,
      And binds the gold and scarlet in;
    And thrusts, triumphant, through the toil
      The Kanzâshi, her jewell’d pin.
    The Musmee has wee, faultless feet,
      With snow-white tabi trimly deck’d,
    Which patter down the city street
      In short steps, slow and circumspect;
    A velvet string between her toes
      Holds to its place th’ unwilling shoe:
    Pretty and pigeonlike she goes,
      And on her head a hood of blue.
    The Musmee wears a wondrous dress—
      Kimono, obi, imoji—
    A rosebush in Spring loveliness
      Is not more colour-glad to see!
    Her girdle holds her silver pipe,
      And heavy swing her long silk sleeves
    With cakes, love-letters, mikan ripe,
      Small change, musk-bag, and writing-leaves.
    The Musmee’s heart is slow to grief,
      And quick to pleasure, dance, and song;
    The Musmee’s pocket-handkerchief
      A square of paper! All day long
    Gentle, and sweet, and debonair
      Is, rich or poor, this Asian lass:
    Heaven have her in its tender care,
      O medetó gozarimas!
    • Sir Edwin Arnold, "The Musmee" in Daily Alta California, vol. 84, no. 32 (1 February 1891)
  • The education of the whole Japanese people, beginning at home and continued at school, was based on a patriotic and warlike spirit. That education, combined with the rapidly acquired successes in culture and warfare, aroused in the Japanese a marvellous confidence in their own strength. They served with pride in the ranks of the army, and dreamed of heroic deeds. ... All the thoughts of the nation were turned towards the coming struggle, while in the course of several years they had spent their last farthing in the creation of a powerful army and a strong fleet. ... The day when the young Japanese enlisted was observed as a festival in his family.
  • We Germans have a far greater and more urgent duty towards civilization to perform than the Great Asiatic Power. We, like the Japanese, can only fulfil it by the sword.
  • How courteous is the Japanese;
    He always says, “Excuse it, please.”
    He climbs into his neighbor’s garden,
    And smiles, and says, “I beg your pardon”;
    He bows and grins a friendly grin,
    And calls his hungry family in;
    He grins, and bows a friendly bow;
    “So sorry, this my garden now.”