a satellite image showing Japan


Proper Noun


  • First attested in English as Giapan in Richard Willes's 1577 The History of Travayle in the West and East Indies (cited in Peter C. Mancall's Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery, pp. 156–57), translating a 19 February 1565 letter of the Portuguese Jesuit missionary Luís Fróis as "Of the Ilande of Giapan".
  • Derived from Dutch Japan or Portuguese Japão, from Malay Jepang, from 日本, likely from an earlier stage of modern Cantonese 日本 or Min Nan 日本, from Middle Chinese . Compare also modern Mandarin , Japanese 日本, Korean ^일본(日本), Vietnamese Nhật Bản (日本).
  • The earliest form of “Japan” in Europe was Marco Polo's Cipangu, from some form of synonymous Sinitic 日本國 ("nation of Japan").

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