When Did They Move Japan?

Stop the presses. Japan has been moved south.

I don’t know when it happened but I found out only this morning, so in my blog universe this is breaking news. Who said journalism is dead?

Scientific discoveries are often serendipitous and so it is with this one. A Canadian golfer who studied actuarial mathematics, Corey Conners, was in the top five at the end of the third round of the Zozo Championship being held right now — allowing for time-zone silliness — in Japan. Rain (9 inches thereof) washed out one day altogether, so tournament organizers split the last round of 18 into two 9-round sessions. One was held last night (or tomorrow, or next Wednesday or something) and the other will be held today/tonight/last-year-or-something.

Anyway, with Conners in the hunt, we were paying attention despite the time-zone challenges. Although PGA events usually run to finish at 6 PM Eastern Time, this tournament has to be finished before 4:30 PM local (don’t ask what time or day that is here I DON’T KNOW) because it gets dark. This I have from the Big Guy who pays better attention.

When I can, I like to show my knowledge of how the world works.

Well, sure it gets dark earlier.
They’re a long way north of us.

Um, not so much. Well, not anymore. Japan’s archipelago now extends from about 20° N to 45°N. Or, in human terms, from roughly Mexico City to Ottawa. Tokyo is now at about the same latitude as San Francisco, give or take a few degrees.

I dunno. It seems to me that news like this should have been, well, news. Maybe journalism is dead.


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8 Responses to When Did They Move Japan?

  1. Alison Uhrbach says:

    I’m not totally sure I followed your post? but does it fall into the same realm as the fact that after seeing Newfoundland on maps all my school years, I was flabbergasted to find out just how BIG the island actually IS! as in – it takes a LONG time to drive across the width of Newfoundland, and it seems even longer with two kids in the car.
    And as far as figuring out time changes – I’m AWFUL at it! I truly can’t wrap my head around it, so much that when Corvin was in China last spring, I totally missed wishing him a Happy Birthday on the correct day. And when I travel, I just reset my watch on local time, and forget about anything else – which perhaps is the right thing to do re: jet lag?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – Sorry! It’s just that I thought they were to the north (certainly of Vancouver) and now discover it’s no such thing. And yes, maps can be sadly misleading – especially for places with a coastal road, which had no straight stretches at all, unlike what we grew up with on the Prairies. As for time zones, I’m OK until the International Dateline gets involved. Then I just give up.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    Just a thought…maybe Trump moved it. At least, if it has moved he will take the credit!

  3. Journalism isn’t dead as long as you are here to bring the news to us, Isabel. Along with a geography lesson. Thanks to your reporting I have a vastly altered view of the Japan archipelago, which I assumed took up about as much vertical (on the 2-D map) space as, say, from Ottawa to Washington, D.C. And where is a real, honest to goodness globe when I need one? Accustomed to thinking of North America as vast compared with Europe, I haven’t bothered to notice the much greater mass of Asia, against which Japan appears slender. This helps with landmasses: https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=169.15,-3.74,190/loc=-132.848,27.845. Time zones not so much.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – When my parents and siblings drove across a goodly part of Europe in 1970, I remember being amazed at how small it was. So many countries and languages; so much history. And yet it was tiny. Thanks for that interactive-globe link – that’s a great resource!

  4. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – during the Middle Ages when map making was in its infancy, cartographers would simple say, “There be dragons” for the unknown areas on the edges of their maps. Maybe it was dragons who moved Japan.

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