Okayama Prefecture

Okayama Prefecture (岡山県, Okayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu.[1] Okayama Prefecture has a population of 1,906,464 (1 February 2018) and has a geographic area of 7,114 km2 (2,746 sq mi). Okayama Prefecture borders Tottori Prefecture to the north, Hyōgo Prefecture to the east, and Hiroshima Prefecture to the west.

Okayama Prefecture
岡山県
Japanese transcription(s)
  Japanese岡山県
  RōmajiOkayama-ken
A street in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture at night
Anthem: Okayama-ken no uta
Country Japan
RegionChūgoku (Sanyō)
IslandHonshu
CapitalOkayama
SubdivisionsDistricts: 10, Municipalities: 27
Government
  GovernorRyūta Ibaragi
Area
  Total7,114.50 km2 (2,746.92 sq mi)
  Rank17th
Population
 (February 1, 2018)
  Total1,906,464
  Rank21st
  Density270/km2 (690/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-33
Websitewww.pref.okayama.jp
Symbols
BirdLesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)
FlowerPeach blossom (Prunus persica var. vulgaris)
TreeRed pine (Pinus densiflora)

Okayama is the capital and largest city of Okayama Prefecture, with other major cities including Kurashiki, Tsuyama, and Sōja.[2][3][4] Okayama Prefecture's south is located on the Seto Inland Sea coast across from Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, which are connected by the Great Seto Bridge, while the north is characterized by the Chūgoku Mountains.

History

Prior to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the area of present-day Okayama Prefecture was divided between Bitchū, Bizen and Mimasaka Provinces. Okayama Prefecture was formed and named in 1871 as part of the large-scale administrative reforms of the early Meiji period (1868–1912), and the borders of the prefecture were set in 1876.[3][5]

Geography

Map of Okayama Prefecture
     Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town      Village

Okayama Prefecture borders Hyōgo Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture, and Hiroshima Prefecture.[3] It faces Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku across the Seto Inland Sea and includes 90 islands in the sea.

Okayama Prefecture is home to the historic town of Kurashiki. Most of the population is concentrated around Kurashiki and Okayama. The small villages in the northern mountain region are aging and declining in population - more than half of the prefecture's municipalities are officially designated as depopulated.[6]

As of 1 April 2014, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Daisen-Oki and Setonaikai National Parks; the Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park; and seven Prefectural Natural Parks.[7]

Cities

Okayama City
Tsuyama
Takahashi
Niimi

Fifteen cities are located in Okayama Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Akaiwa 赤磐市 209.43 44,498
Asakuchi 浅口市 66.46 35,022
Bizen 備前市 258.23 35,610
Ibara 井原市 243.36 41,460
Kasaoka 笠岡市 136.03 50,160
Kurashiki 倉敷市 355.63 483,576
Maniwa 真庭市 828.43 44,265
Mimasaka 美作市 429.19 28,502
Niimi 新見市 793.27 30,583
Okayama (capital) 岡山市 789.92 720,841
Setouchi 瀬戸内市 125.51 37,934
Sōja 総社市 212 67,059
Takahashi 高梁市 547.01 31,556
Tamano 玉野市 103.61 60,101
Tsuyama 津山市 506.36 102,294

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Type Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Hayashima 早島町 7.62 12,671 Tsukubo District Town
Kagamino 鏡野町 419.69 14,651 Tomata District Town
Kibichūō 吉備中央町 268.73 11,989 Kaga District Town
Kumenan 久米南町 78.65 4,962 Kume District Town
Misaki 美咲町 232.15 17,776 Kume District Town
Nagi 奈義町 69.54 5,861 Katsuta District Town
Nishiawakura 西粟倉村 57.93 1,437 Aida District Village
Satoshō 里庄町 12.23 11,204 Asakuchi District Town
Shinjō 新庄村 67.1 951 Maniwa District Village
Shōō 勝央町 54.09 11,237 Katsuta District Town
Wake 和気町 144.21 14,191 Wake District Town
Yakage 矢掛町 90.62 14,041 Oda District Town

Demographics

Okayama prefecture population pyramid in 2020

Per Japanese census data,[8] and,[9] Okayama prefecture has had continual negative population growth since 2005

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1920 1,218,000    
1930 1,284,000+5.4%
1940 1,329,000+3.5%
1950 1,661,000+25.0%
1960 1,670,000+0.5%
1970 1,707,000+2.2%
1980 1,871,000+9.6%
1990 1,926,000+2.9%
2000 1,950,828+1.3%
2010 1,945,276−0.3%
2020 1,920,739−1.3%

Education

Universities

  • Okayama
    • Okayama University
    • Notre Dame Seishin University
    • Okayama University of Science
    • Okayama Shoka University
    • Sanyo Gakuen University
    • Shujitsu University
  • Kurashiki
    • Okayama Gakuin University
    • Kurashiki Sakuyo University
    • Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare
  • Soja
    • Okayama Prefectural University
  • Tsuyama
    • Mimasaka University
  • Niimi
    • Niimi Public University

High schools

  • Okayama
    • Okayama Ichinomiya Senior High School
    • Okayama Asahi Senior High School
    • Okayama Sozan Senior High School
    • Okayama Hosen Senior High School
    • Okayama Joto Senior High School
    • Okayama Sakuyo High School[10]
    • Kurashiki High School

Transportation

Rail

  • JR West
  • JR West and JR Shikoku
    • Seto-Ōhashi Line
    • Honshi-bisan Line
  • Chizu Express
  • Ibara Railway
  • Mizushima Rinkai Railway

Tramways

  • Okayama Electric Tramway

Expressways

National highways

Airport

Culture

  • Bizen-yaki (Bizen pottery)
  • Bizen Osafune/Bitchu Aoe swords

Association with Momotarō legend

Okayama Prefecture is closely associated with the folklore hero, Momotarō. This tale is said to have roots in the legendary story of Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto and Ura which explains that the Prince Ura of Kudara used to live in Kinojo (castle of the devil) and was a cause of trouble for the people living in the village. The emperor's government sent Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto (Momotarō) to defeat Ura. The city of Okayama holds an annual Momotarō-matsuri, or Momotarō Festival.[4][11]

Sports

City Light Stadium.

The sports teams listed below are based in Okayama.

Football

Volleyball

Basketball

  • Tryhoop Okayama (B3 League, Okayama city)

Tourism

Okayama Korakuen Park and Okayama Castle
Hiruzen Plateau and Hiruzen Joyful Park in Maniwa
Hinase Island and Seto Inlandsea in Bizen
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi

Some tourist attractions are:

  • Koraku-en Japanese garden in Okayama
  • Okayama Castle, Okayama
  • Ki Castle, Sōja
  • Shizutani School, Bizen
  • Bikan Historical Area (倉敷美観地区, Kurashiki Bikan Chiku), Kurashiki
  • Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Takahashi
  • Kakuzan Park, Tsuyama
  • Bisei Astronomical Observatory (美星天文台, Bisei Tenmondai), Ibara Town (following dissolution of Bisei Town)
  • Maki-do Cave, in Niimi

Notable people

  • Yuko Arimori (born 1996), marathon runner[12]
  • Kenji Doihara (1883-1948), army officer
  • Tesshō Genda (born 1948), voice actor
  • Morihiro Hashimoto (1977-2017), darts player
  • Naoki Hoshino (1892-1978), politician
  • Masaki Kajishima (born 1962), creator of Tenchi Muyo!
  • Shiro Kawase (1889-1946), admiral
  • Shin Koyamada (born 1982), Hollywood actor[13]
  • Sadahiko Miyake (1891-1956), general
  • Chiura Obata (1885-1975), artist
  • Mori Takashi, former member of Gentouki
  • Yōji Takikawa (born 1949), pedagogist
  • Mutsuo Toi (1917-1938), perpetrator of the Tsuyama massacre
  • Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855-1932), former Prime Minister of Japan
  • Jiro Watanabe (born 1955), boxer
  • Takeo Yasuda (1889-1964), lieutenant general
  • Eisuke Yoshiyuki (1906-1940), author

Notes

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Okayama-ken" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 745, p. 745, at Google Books; "Chūgoku" at p. 127, p. 127, at Google Books.
  2. Nussbaum, "Okayama" at p. 745, p. 745, at Google Books.
  3. "Okayama Prefecture". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  4. "岡山(県)" [Okayama Prefecture]. Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 153301537. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  5. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  6. Okayama official website Archived 2013-01-02 at the Wayback Machine accessed Nov. 2007
  7. "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  8. "Okayama (Japan): Prefecture, Major Cities & Towns - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". www.citypopulation.de.
  9. "Japan Prefectures Population from 1920 and Area". www.demographia.com.
  10. "岡山県作陽高等学校". www.sakuyo-h.ed.jp. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  11. "Okayama History". Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  12. "Yuko Arimori's profile".
  13. "Shin Koyamada's IMDB Biography". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2013-03-27.

References

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