Japan Look up Japan at Dictionary.com
1570s, via Portuguese Japao, Dutch Japan, acquired in Malacca from Malay Japang, from Chinese jih pun "sunrise" (equivalent of Japanese Nippon), from jih "sun" + pun "origin." Earliest form in Europe was Marco Polo's Chipangu. Cultural contact led to japaning "coat with lacquer or varnish" (1680s), japonaiserie (1896, from French), etc.