Mapping the Physical & Human Characteristics of East Asia

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  • 0:00 Characteristics Defined
  • 0:40 Human Characteristics
  • 1:35 Physical Characteristics
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

After watching this video, you will be able to describe the major physical and human characteristics of East Asia and place them approximately on a map. A short quiz will follow.

What are Physical and Human Characteristics

What is a physical characteristic? Pretty much the same thing as a landform. A landform is 'any natural feature of the Earth's surface'. Landforms are things like valleys and mountains, rivers and lakes. Even coastlines are considered to be landforms. Human characteristics on the other hand, are 'things that humans build', including cities, dams and roads.

In this lesson, we're going to go through the most significant human and physical characteristics of East Asia, and place them on a map. East Asia is an area usually considered to include China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.

Human Characteristics

Humans have many effects on the landscape, especially when they build cities. Cities affect the world so significantly - after all, they completely replace the natural world around them. And East Asia has a lot of cities. The biggest city in East Asia is Shanghai, China. You can find that here. This probably isn't surprising considering that China is the country with the largest population in the world.

Map of East Asia

Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, are another two of the largest cities in East Asia. Like in most parts of the world, these human cities are usually near water sources. Access to the sea was useful for trade and defense, and access to freshwater in rivers was important for drinking water and farming. Seoul was founded along the Han River, Shanghai is on both the Yangtze River delta and along the East China Sea, and Tokyo is also coastal.

Physical Characteristics

China in East Asia includes a big part of the Himalayas, which is the biggest mountain range in the world. Mount Everest, the highest mountain on the planet, is on the border of China and Nepal. Japan also has mountains, including Mount Fuji. North and South Korea are flat compared to China and Japan, but they still have many mountains.

East Asia is also full of valleys, canyons and gorges. The most famous is China's Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, which is the deepest canyon on Earth. That's right: China has the tallest mountain and the deepest canyon!

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