Prefecture

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Japan is divided into a total of 47 prefectures[1], created during the Meiji Restoration, with each being further sub-divided into municipalities. The term prefecture is derived from the translation of todōfuken (都道府県).

The 47 prefectures of Japan are as follows, listed from north to south, per region[2]:

Japan map.gif

Contents

Hokkaido Region

  1. Hokkaido (北海道) - the northernmost prefecture and the only one to encompass an entire main island. Capital city is Sapporo.

Tohoku Region

  1. Aomori (青森県) - the northernmost prefecture on Japan's main island Honshu, named after Aomori Bay (青森湾). Capital city is Aomori City.
  2. Iwate (岩手県) - The capital city is Morioka.
  3. Miyagi (宮城県) - The capital city is Sendai.
  4. Akita (秋田県) - The capital city is Akita.
  5. Yamagata (山形県) - The capital city is Yamagata.
  6. Fukushima (福島県)- The capital city is Fukushima.

Kanto Region

  1. Chiba (千葉県) - The capital city is Chiba. Narita is probably the other best-known city within this prefecture.
  2. Gunma (群馬県) - The capital city is Maebashi.
  3. Ibaraki (茨城県) - The capital city is Mito.
  4. Kanagawa (神奈川県) - The capital city is Yokohama.
  5. Saitama (埼玉県) - The capital city is Saitama.
  6. Tochigi (栃木県) - The capital city is Utsunomiya.
  7. Tokyo (東京都) - This is the only prefecture referred to as a metropolis to (都) rather than a prefecture ken (県).

Chūbu Region

  1. Aichi (愛知県) - The capital city is Nagoya
  2. Fukui ((福井) - The capital city is Fukui
  3. Gifu (岐阜県) - The capital city is Gifu.
  4. Ishikawa (石川県) - The capital city is Kanazawa.
  5. Nagano (長野県) - The capital city is Nagano, host of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
  6. Niigata (新潟県) - The capital city is Niigata. The name translates as new lagoon.
  7. Shizuoka (静岡県) - The capital city is Shizuoka.
  8. Toyama (富山県) - The capital city is Toyama. The region is notorious for widespread cadmium poisoning in 1950, giving rise to the term "Itai-itai disease". It translates as "Ouch-ouch disease" and is derived from the screams of its sufferers.[3]
  9. Yamanashi (山梨県) - The capital city is Kōfu.

Kansai Region

  1. Hyōgo (兵庫県) - The capital city is Kobe.
  2. Kyoto (京都府) - The capital city is Kyoto.
  3. Mie (三重県,) - The capital city is Tsu.
  4. Nara (奈良県) - The capital city is Nara.
  5. Osaka (大阪府) - The capital city is Osaka. The Osaka-Kobe region is also referred to as Hanshin (阪神).
  6. Shiga (滋賀県) - The capital city is Otsu.
  7. Wakayama (和歌山県) - The capital city is Wakayama.

Chūgoku Region

  1. Hiroshima (広島県) - The capital city is Hiroshima, infamous as the target of the Little Boy atomic bomb during World War 2.
  2. Okayama (岡山県) - The capital city is Okayama.
  3. Shimane (島根県) - The capital city is Matsue.
  4. Tottori (鳥取県) - The capital city is Tottori. This is the least populous of all the prefectures, with a population density per square kilometer almost half that of the national average - 176 versus 337.[4]
  5. Yamaguchi (山口県) - The capital city is Yamaguchi. Nagato, Shimonoseki and Ube are other significant cities found in this prefecture.

Shikoku Region

  1. Ehime (愛媛県) - The capital city is Matsuyama.
  2. Kagawa (香川県) - The capital city is Takamatsu.
  3. Kōchi (高知県) - The capital city is Kōchi.
  4. Tokushima (徳島県) - The capital city is Tokushima.

Kyūshū and Okinawa Regions

  1. Fukuoka (福岡県) - The capital city is Fukuoka
  2. Kagoshima (鹿児島県) - The capital city is Kagoshima.
  3. Kumamoto (熊本県) - The capital city is Kumamoto.
  4. Miyazaki (宮崎県) - The capital city is Miyazaki.
  5. Nagasaki (長崎県) - The capital city is Nagasaki, target of the Fat Man atomic bomb during World War 2.
  6. Ōita (大分県) - The capital city is Ōita.
  7. Okinawa (沖縄県) - The capital city is Naha.
  8. Saga (佐賀県) - The capital city is Saga. This prefecture is famous for its production of ceramics and porcelain.

References

  1. http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1002.html
  2. http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1002.html
  3. http://www.kanazawa-med.ac.jp/~pubhealt/cadmium2/itaiitai-e/itai01.html
  4. http://www.stat.go.jp/English/data/handbook/c02cont.htm
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