Originating in China, Kanji is an ideogram still used in China and Japan today. Some were created in association with shapes and figures, and some others are combinations of multiple characters. Regardless of the types of formation, however, each character individually carries meanings.
Then, does the name "Japan" have a meaning, too?
"Japan" in Kanji is written in two characters: the first meaning "sun" and the second, "origin", "main", "foundation".
Officially, the country started to address herself "Japan" approximately 1,300 years ago. Because Japan is located in the eastern end of the Chinese continent, the sun rose earlier than in China and was considered the "origin of the sun".
In other words, "Japan" means "the country where the sun rises" and that meaning is reflected in the national flag with a big red circle symbolizing the sun.
Here, we have described the meanings of the Kanji for Japan. We would like to continue introducing meanings various Kanji has hereafter. Please look forward!