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In the sentence : 日本で作られたもの ですが, ハワイに行ったときに買いました the noun phrase 日本で作られた describes もの. Why not use 日本の or 日本が in the noun phrase? From my understanding It would still mean that it is 'made in Japan'. Also, why do I have to change 作る to られる form? Why not use 日本で作るもの?

Thank you,

Sheena

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First, just be aware that "made in Japan" (日本で作られた) does not necessarily imply "Japanese"/"of Japan" (日本の); and vice versa. My <product from American company> could be made in Japan, but I wouldn't consider it a Japanese product. Likewise, I could own set of souvenir Japanese swords, but they could be made in Mexico.

Anyway, on to your question. Barring any nuances I mentioned above, it would be perfectly fine to substitute 日本の and get the same overall meaning. 「日本がもの」 is ungrammatical and doesn't make sense. A better choice might be 「日本製のもの」 if you want to avoid using a verb.

As for whether to use 作る vs. 作られる, I feel like that is mostly a stylistic choice. 日本で作る・作ったもの is more like "a thing they make/made in Japan", although since the topic is omitted in the example, it could imply that it is something that you made in Japan, but then bought in Hawai'i (which then doesn't make sense). So I think the use of 作られた is the safer choice; to emphasize that it was made in Japan, but that we don't care about who the makers are at all.

My ¥2...

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It's the difference in English between "Japanese" and "made in Japan".
日本の = "Japanese"

日本からの = "from Japan"

日本で作る = "is made in Japan" (sort of)

日本で作られた = "was made in Japan"

etc

They're all pretty similar, but just like you can change a few words in English to pinpoint the exact meaning, they're doing the same thing in Japanese here.

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