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Prefectures of Japan Yamaguchi

Prefectures of Japan Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi Prefecture
山口県
Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
• Japanese 山口県
• Rōmaji Yamaguchi-ken

Prefectures of Japan Yamaguchi – Profile Photos

Prefectures of Japan Yamaguchi

Country Japan
Region Chūgoku (Sanyo)
Island Honshu
Capital Yamaguchi
Largest city Shimonoseki
Subdivisions Districts: 4, Municipalities: 19
Government
• Governor Tsugumasa Muraoka
Area
• Total 6,112.30 km2 (2,359.97 sq mi)
Area rank 23rd
Population (February 1, 2018)
• Total 1,377,631
• Rank 25th
• Density 225.43/km2 (583.9/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-35
Website www.pref.yamaguchi.lg.jp/foreign/english/index.html
Symbols
Bird Hooded crane (Grus monacha)
Fish Japanese puffer (Takifugu rubripes)
Flower Bitter summer mandarin blossom (Citrus natsudaidai)
Tree Red pine tree (Pinus densiflora)

Prefectures of Japan Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi Prefecture (山口県, Yamaguchi-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu.[1] Yamaguchi Prefecture has a population of 1,377,631 (1 February 2018) and has a geographic area of 6,112 km² (2,359 sq mi). Yamaguchi Prefecture borders Shimane Prefecture to the north and Hiroshima Prefecture to the northeast.

Yamaguchi is the capital and Shimonoseki is the largest city of Yamaguchi Prefecture, with other major cities including Ube, Shūnan, and Iwakuni.[2] Yamaguchi Prefecture is located at the western tip of Honshu with coastlines on the Sea of Japan and Seto Inland Sea, and separated from the island of Kyushu by the Kanmon Straits.

History

Yamaguchi Prefecture was created by the merger of the provinces of Suō and Nagato.[3] During the rise of the samurai class during the Heian and Kamakura Periods (794–1333), the Ouchi family of Suō Province and the Koto family of Nagato Province gained influence as powerful warrior clans. In the Muromachi period (1336—1573), Ouchi Hiroyo, the 24th ruler of the Ouchi family conquered both areas of Yamaguchi Prefecture. The Ouchi clan imitated the city planning of Kyoto. They gained great wealth through cultural imports from the continent and trade with Korea and Ming Dynasty China. As a result, Yamaguchi came to be known as the “Kyoto of the West,” and Ouchi culture flourished. Sue Harutaka defeated the 31st ruler of the Ouchi clan. The Sue clan was then defeated by Mōri Motonari, and the Mōri family gained control of the Chūgoku region. Yamaguchi was ruled as part of the Mōri clan domain during the Sengoku period. Mōri Terumoto was then defeated by Tokugawa Ieyasu in the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. He was forced to give up all his land except for the Suō and Nagato areas (current-day Yamaguchi Prefecture), where he built his castle in Hagi. Mōri sought to strengthen the economic base of the region and increase local production with his Three Whites campaign (salt, rice, and paper).

After Commodore Matthew Perry’s opening of Japan, clans from Nagato (also called Chōshū) played a key role in the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the establishment of the new imperial government. Four years after the Edo Shogunate was overthrown and the Meiji government formed in 1868, the present Yamaguchi Prefecture was established. The Meiji government brought in many new systems and modern policies, and promoted the introduction of modern industry, though the prefecture was still centered on agriculture during this period. In the Taishō period, from 1912 to 1926, shipbuilding, chemical, machinery, and metal working plants were built in Yamaguchi’s harbors in the Seto Inland Sea area. During the post-World War II Shōwa Period, Yamaguchi developed into one of the most industrialized prefectures in the country due to the establishment of petrochemical complexes.

History

Yamaguchi Prefecture was created by the merger of the provinces of Suō and Nagato.[3] During the rise of the samurai class during the Heian and Kamakura Periods (794–1333), the Ouchi family of Suō Province and the Koto family of Nagato Province gained influence as powerful warrior clans. In the Muromachi period (1336—1573), Ouchi Hiroyo, the 24th ruler of the Ouchi family conquered both areas of Yamaguchi Prefecture. The Ouchi clan imitated the city planning of Kyoto. They gained great wealth through cultural imports from the continent and trade with Korea and Ming Dynasty China. As a result, Yamaguchi came to be known as the “Kyoto of the West,” and Ouchi culture flourished. Sue Harutaka defeated the 31st ruler of the Ouchi clan. The Sue clan was then defeated by Mōri Motonari, and the Mōri family gained control of the Chūgoku region. Yamaguchi was ruled as part of the Mōri clan domain during the Sengoku period. Mōri Terumoto was then defeated by Tokugawa Ieyasu in the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. He was forced to give up all his land except for the Suō and Nagato areas (current-day Yamaguchi Prefecture), where he built his castle in Hagi. Mōri sought to strengthen the economic base of the region and increase local production with his Three Whites campaign (salt, rice, and paper).

After Commodore Matthew Perry’s opening of Japan, clans from Nagato (also called Chōshū) played a key role in the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the establishment of the new imperial government. Four years after the Edo Shogunate was overthrown and the Meiji government formed in 1868, the present Yamaguchi Prefecture was established. The Meiji government brought in many new systems and modern policies, and promoted the introduction of modern industry, though the prefecture was still centered on agriculture during this period. In the Taishō period, from 1912 to 1926, shipbuilding, chemical, machinery, and metal working plants were built in Yamaguchi’s harbors in the Seto Inland Sea area. During the post-World War II Shōwa Period, Yamaguchi developed into one of the most industrialized prefectures in the country due to the establishment of petrochemical complexes.

 

Geography

As of April 1, 2012, 7% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Setonaikai National Park; Akiyoshidai, Kita-Nagato Kaigan, and Nishi-Chūgoku Sanchi Quasi-National Parks; and Chōmonkyō, Iwakiyama, Rakanzan, and Toyota Prefectural Natural Parks.

Cities

Thirteen cities are located in Yamaguchi Prefecture:

 

Economic development

For the purposes of development analysis, Yamaguchi is construed to be part of Northern Kyushu. Although Yamaguchi is not part of the island of Kyushu, it has become a functional satellite of the Kanmon Straits metropolitan area.

Demographics

Per Japanese census data,[7] and,[8] Yamaguchi prefecture has had negative population growth from 1955 to 1973 and 1985–onwards

Historical population
YearPop.±%
19201,041,000—    
19301,136,000+9.1%
19401,294,000+13.9%
19501,541,000+19.1%
19601,602,000+4.0%
19701,511,000−5.7%
19801,587,000+5.0%
19901,573,000−0.9%
20001,527,964−2.9%
20101,451,338−5.0%
20201,368,495−5.7%

Tourism

The most popular place for tourism is Shimonoseki, for example Karato Fish Market. There is a large fireworks festival in summer.

Another attraction is the Kintai Bridge in the town of Iwakuni. This five-arched wooden structure is considered a symbol of Western Honshū. The area on the banks of the Nishiki river close to the bridge is considered among the best places in Japan for Hanami, when groups of family and friends gather in early April to view cherry blossoms.

Hagi City is in the north of Yamaguchi. It is a very traditional city. The usual color of Japanese post boxes is red, but in Hagi they are painted green or brown. The Hagi Museum is modeled after a traditional samurai residence. The exhibits are detailed and realistic, and are changed every year. The permanent collection is data about Hagi’s history and collections about Takasugi Shinsaku. Hagi also contains a reverberatory furnace which has been designated a World Heritage Site.[9]

Kawara soba (hot tile noodles) is a popular food in Yamaguchi. It was developed during the Seinan Rebellion that broke out in 1877. Soldiers cooked wild grass and meat on hot tiles. Now it is a local dish of Yamaguchi people. They fry green tea noodles on a hot tile, and arrange thin fried egg, stewed beef, green onions and grilled liver on top.

Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park, which includes Japan’s longest cave, the Akiyoshido (秋芳洞), is another popular destination.

Famous festivals and events

Kintaikyo Festival in Iwakuni – held on April 29
Nishiki River Water Festival in Iwakuni – held in August
Iwakuni Festival in August
Yokomichi Festival, Kintai Bridge November 19
Yanai Goldfish Lantern Festival in August
Yamaguchi Gion Festival on July 20 to 27
Yamaguchi Tanabata Lantern Festival on August 6 to 7
Hagi Era Festival in April
Hagi Festival on August 2 to 3
Shimonoseki Strait Festival on May 2 to 4
Shimonoseki Firework Festival in August

Education

High schools

Noda Gakuen

Universities

Baiko Gakuin University (private)
National Fisheries University (national)
Shimonoseki City University (public)
Tokyo University of Science, Yamaguchi (public)
Ube Frontier University (private)
University of East Asia (private)
Yamaguchi Gakugei College (private)
Yamaguchi Prefectural University (public)
Yamaguchi University (national)
Yamaguchi University of Human Welfare and Culture (private)

Transportation

Ferries from Shimonoseki Port International Terminal

Two ferry services provide regular sea transport from the Shimonoseki Port International Terminal: Kanpu Ferry provides round-trip service to Busan, South Korea; the Orient Ferry provides round-trip service to Qingdao and Shanghai, respectively.

Kanpu ferry to Pusan in South Korea regularly
Gwangyang Beech to Gwangyang in South Korea regularly
Orient ferry to Qingdao in China regularly
Orient ferry to Shanghai in China regularly

Other ferry routes

Shunan-Kunisaki, Kyushu
Yanai-Matsuyama, Shikoku

Air

Yamaguchi Ube Airport (to Haneda Airport (Tokyo)).
Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport (to Haneda Airport (Tokyo) and Naha Airport (Okinawa))

Railway

West Japan Railway Company
Sanyō Shinkansen
San’yō Main Line
Sanin Line
Yamaguchi Line
Gantoku Line
Onoda Line
Mine Line
Ube Line
Nishikigawa Railway

Roads

Expressways

Sanyo Expressway
Chūgoku Expressway

Toll roads

Hagi Misumi Road
Kanmon Bridge
Yamaguchi Ube Onoda Road
Ogori Hagi Road
Kanmon Road Tunnel

National highways

Route 2
Route 9
Route 187 (Iwakuni-Tsuwano-Masuda)
Route 188 (Iwakuni-Yanai-Hikari-Kudamatsu)
Route 189
Route 190
Route 191
Route 262
Route 315 (Shunan-Hagi)
Route 316
Route 376 (Yamaguchi-Shunan-Iwakuni)
Route 434
Route 435
Route 437
Route 489
Route 490
Route 491

Prefectural symbols

Tree: Red pine tree (Pinus densiflora)
Flower: Bitter summer mandarin blossom (Citrus natsudaidai)
Bird: Hooded crane (Grus monacha)
Fish: Tetraodontidae (Takifugu rubripes)
Beast: Sika deer (Cervus nippon nippon)
Mascot: Choruru

Media

Newspapers

Yamaguchi Shimbun

TV

YAB TV(ANN)
KRY TV(NNN)
TYS TV(JNN)
NHK TV
TSS TV/TNC TV (FNN)

Radio

FMY (JFN)

Notable people from Yamaguchi Prefecture

Shintaro Abe, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of the LDP
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe represented first Yamaguchi’s 1st then 4th district in the House of Representatives; his father represented Yamaguchi as well.
Itō Hirobumi, a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four-time Prime Minister of Japan (the 1st, 5th, 7th and 10th), genrō, and Resident-General of Korea
Shojiro Iida, a Japanese general during World War II who led the invasions of Thailand and Burma
Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, born in Ube in 1946[10]
Kasumi Ishikawa, silver medalist in Women’s Team Table Tennis at the London 2012 Olympics, is from Yamaguchi City in Yamaguchi prefecture.
Kaiketsu Masateru, sumo wrestler, who reached the second highest rank of ōzeki on two separate occasions and was chairman of the Japan Sumo Association 2010-2012
Soyu Matsuoka Roshi, an important, early pioneer of Soto Zen Buddhism in the United States
Karyu, guitarist of the band D’espairsRay is from Yamaguchi. The band had a “homecoming” live there in 2007 and 2009
Sayumi Michishige, a Japanese idol who is one of the sixth-generation members of Japanese idol group Morning Musume was born in Yamaguchi.
Shinji Mikami, Video Game designer; the God-father of the survival Horror genre of video games.
Yasunori Mitsuda, composer
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, a Japanese character designer, manga artist, and one of the founding members of the Gainax anime studio[11]
Shaura, singer
Kido Takayoshi, one of the two main architects of the Meiji Restoration
Atsushi Tamura of the comic duo London Boots Ichi-go Ni-go is from Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi.
Raizo Tanaka, a Japanese rear admiral during World War II
Teruzane Utada music producer, manager and father of Utada Hikaru is from Yamaguchi Prefecture, as mentioned on the latter’s blog.
Harukichi Yamaguchi, founder of the Yamaguchi-gumi, born near Kobe but his entire family hailed from Yamaguchi
Tadashi Yanai, a Japanese businessman, founder and president of Fast Retailing, of which Uniqlo is a subsidiary[12]
Kairi Sane, professional wrestler currently signed to WWE and former World Wonder Ring Stardom employee.
Mayu Iwatani, professional wrestler currently signed to World Wonder Ring Stardom.
Hideaki Anno, anime director famous for creating Neon Genesis Evangelion. His live-action film Shiki-Jitsu features scenes set in his hometown of Ube.

Sister districts

Yamaguchi Prefecture has alliance with the following five districts.[13][14]

Vietnam Bình Dương Province, Vietnam (since 2014)
China Shandong Province, China (since 1982)
South Korea South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea (since 1987)
Spain Pamplona, Navarre, Spain (since 1980)
Russia Krasnodar Krai, Russia (since 2017)

Politics

Since the Meiji Restoration in which lower-rank nobility from Chōshū played a major role, many politicians from Yamaguchi have held important positions in national politics. In the post-war era, the most prominent political family from Yamaguchi is the Kishi-Abe/Satō prime ministerial dynasty, and Yamaguchi is leaning solidly towards the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Delegation to the National Diet

Since the electoral reform of the 1990s, Yamaguchi elects four members directly to the House of Representatives. Three of the new single-member districts have been held exclusively by Liberal Democrats as of 2013, the easternmost district bordering Hiroshima was initially won by Shinji Satō (Eisaku Satō’s son) in 1996, but went to Democrat Hideo Hiraoka in several later elections. Currently, following the 2014 general election, Yamaguchi’s directly elected delegation to the lower house consists of LDP president Shinzō Abe (4th district, 8th term), LDP vice president Masahiko Kōmura (1st district, 12th term), the chairman of the House of Representatives rules committee (as of 190th Diet, January 2016),[15] Takeo Kawamura (3rd district, 9th term), and the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Abe’s brother Nobuo Kishi (2nd district, 2nd term, former two-term member of the House of Councillors). For the proportional representation segment of the House of Representatives, Yamaguchi forms part of the Chūgoku block.

In the House of Councillors, Yamaguchi is represented by two members, making it one of the currently 31 winner-take-all single-member districts. As of 2013, the two members are Yoshimasa Hayashi (LDP, 4th term, up in 2019), agriculture minister in the 2nd Abe Cabinet, and following the April 2013 by-election to replace Nobuo Kishi, Kiyoshi Ejima (LDP, 1st term, up in 2016), former mayor of Shimonoseki city.

Governor

The current governor of Yamaguchi is former MIC bureaucrat Tsugumasa Muraoka. He won the gubernatorial election in February 2014 with more than 60% of the vote against other two candidates, and succeeded Shigetarō Yamamoto who had been hospitalized since October 2013 and resigned in January 2014.

Elected governors of Yamaguchi have been:

Tatsuo Tanaka, 1947–1953 (2 terms, resigned mid-term to enter national politics), the son of pre-war prime minister Baron Giichi Tanaka
Tarō Ozawa, 1953–1960 (2 terms, resigned mid-term to enter national politics), Tanaka’s son-in-law
Masayuki Hashimoto, 1960–1976 (4 terms), previously member of the House of Representatives from Yamaguchi for the LDP
Tōru Hirai, 1976–1996 (5 terms), previously Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat and vice-governor of Yamaguchi under Hashimoto
Sekinari Nii, 1996–2012 (4 terms), previously Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat and treasurer of Yamaguchi under Hirai
Shigetarō Yamamoto, 2012–2014 (1 term, resigned for health reasons), former LDP candidate for the House of Representatives in Yamaguchi’s 2nd district

Assembly

The prefectural assembly of Yamaguchi has 47 members, elected in unified local elections in 15 electoral districts: 5 single-member districts, four two-member districts and six districts that elect each between four and nine members.[16] In the 2015 election, the LDP won a majority. Liberal Democrats form several parliamentary groups together with independents. As of June 8, 2015, the assembly is composed as follows: LDP 24 members, LDP Shinseikai 5, Kōmeitō 5, DPJ/Rengō no Kai 4, LDP Kensei Club 2, JCP 2, SDP/Citizens League 2, and the independent “groups” shinsei club, mushozoku no kai and kusa no ne have one member each.

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