History UsefulNotes / TheFortySevenPrefectures

17th Apr '17 7:34:55 AM Khathi
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Most populous and developed of Tohoku prefectures, it was where the (in)famous One-Eyed Dragon Date Masamune has set his shop after Sekigahara, founding his capital of Sendai in 1600. Masamune was a patron of culture and education, and his legacy continues to this day — Tohoku University in Sendai was one of thirteen Imperial Universities founded fter the Meiji Restration, and is a stronghold of engineering and materials sciences: to this day it is a heart of Japanese metallurgical science, while the famous Yagi-Uda antenna (used in radars and TV receivers) was invented there in TheThirties, and the first practical blue LED in TheNineties. To this days Sendai remains more of an university sity than anything, while its suburb of Matsushima, with its bay dotted by the picturesque pine-overgrown islets, was considered one of the three best views of Japan — to the extent that even the legendary Creator/{{Basho}} was at loss of words for its beauty. Unfortunately, it was the area hardest hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.



Formerly known as Etchu province, its mountain villages were mainly specialized in silk production — the remains of which can still be seen in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Gokayama, — while the coastal areas specialized in fishing. Nowadays it's more known for energy production, being the site of the tallest and most picturesque hydro power station in Japan — the Kurobe dam on the eponymous river, and for Creator/PAWorks, which is headquartered in the city of Nanto. Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route is a picturesque road that goes through the deepest nooks of Japanese Alps, which are said to be the snowiest place on the Earth: a particular attraction is a cut in the snowdrifts over the road, which is made every spring — the walls of compessed snow sometimes reach the height of 15 meters.



Centered around Lake Biwa, the largest inland body of water in Japan. Formerly rotten with industrial production, currently rotten with decaying factories. Fittingly, it has a sister-jurisdiction relationship with UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}} (which is of course defined by the largest lakes in the US and decaying industry).

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Centered around Lake Biwa, the largest inland body of water in Japan. Formerly rotten with industrial production, currently rotten with decaying factories. Fittingly, it has a sister-jurisdiction relationship with UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}} (which is of course defined by the largest lakes in the US and decaying industry).
industry). Otsu was also a place where the Russian Crown Prince Nicolas (later to be [[UsefulNotes/TsarTsarAutocrats Tsar Nicolas II]]) was attacked by a deranged policeman, which indirectly caused UsefulNotes/RussoJapaneseWar couple of decades later.[[note]]The attack made Nicolas (who was otherwide warmly welcomed in the country, and was initially sympathetic) to dislike Japan and distrust the Japanese people in general, which greatly influenced his conduct during the crisis that had led to the war.[[/note]]



Formerly known as Inaba province, it's deeply connected to the oldest legends of Japan. Similarly to the nearby Shimane prefecture, it features heavily in the myths of Okuninushi, a legendary ruler of the land who yielded it to the first Emperor of Japan, and is a home of his trusty sidekick, White Hare of Inaba (who is venerated in a small shrine in Tottory city). Sakaiminato, a small fishing port in the prefecture, is famous for its Eshima Ohashi bridge over the Lake Nakaumi — "the scariest bridge in the world" due to it being exceptionally steep. The prefecture also features the only genuine sand dune in the country, which is a significant tourist trap as of itself.



Has a reputation as Japan's hardest drinking prefecture. Known as Tosa Province back in the day. Birthplace of samurai/politician/negotiator/revolutionary/reformer Ryoma Sakamoto.

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Has a reputation as Japan's hardest drinking prefecture. Known as Tosa Province back in the day. Birthplace of samurai/politician/negotiator/revolutionary/reformer Ryoma Sakamoto.
Sakamoto, commonly known as "that ''ronin'' from Tosa" during his lifeltime.
14th Apr '17 7:09:16 AM AntonF
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Today, it's probably most well-known for its tourism opportunities, whether it's being able to escape the monsoon rains that drench the rest of Japan in the humid months of June and July, or the skiing opportunities in the winter (Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics), or the many hot springs and natural landmarks all over the island. It's also known for its diverse array of agricultural products - Hokkaido has about a quarter of all the arable land in Japan.

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Being settled very late by Japanese immigrants, Hokkaido arguably has the least distinctive culture among all regions of Japan, further supported by the fact that those immigrants mainly came from the Kanto region with minorities from other regions that got quickly assimilated, so the people here speak generic Japanese, i.e. the Tokyo dialect. This means that despite symbolizing a perfect GrimUpNorth (TruthInTelevision, as the entire island is guaranteed to be blanketed with snow during winter), Japan's actual Grim Up North is Tohoku, just right across the Tsugaru Strait, while Hokkaido is mainly used as a setting of refuge, not strangeland.

Today, it's probably most well-known for its tourism opportunities, whether it's being able to escape the monsoon rains that drench the rest of Japan in the humid months of June and July, or the skiing opportunities in the winter (Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics), or the many hot springs and natural landmarks all over the island. It's also known for its diverse array of agricultural products - Hokkaido has about a quarter of all the arable land in Japan. \n Since 1988, activity has been spurred with the presence of Seikan Tunnel, the longest tunnel with an undersea segment in the world, which connects Hokkaido with Honshu.



In the northeastern part of Honshū, north of the Kanto Plain lies the Tohoku Region; "Tōhoku" literally translates as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "east-north"]]. Historically this is a less-developed region, as it was settled by Japanese centuries after the center of its civilization developed to the south. The mountainous geography of the area, the rather harsh winters, and the relative lack of easy transport access (by road or by sea - the rivers generally aren't suitable for boats and there aren't many decent harbors) further slowed settlement. Despite the relatively short growing season, the region is now known as an agricultural center, as a disproportionate amount of the nation's rice is grown here since similar populated areas in the south went for industrialization first. This combination of factors is likely why someone with a TohokuRegionalAccent gets stereotyped as a backwoods hillbilly.

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In the northeastern part of Honshū, north of the Kanto Plain lies the Tohoku Region; "Tōhoku" literally translates as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "east-north"]]. Historically this is a less-developed region, as it was settled by Japanese centuries after the center of its civilization developed to the south. The mountainous geography of the area, the rather harsh winters, and the relative lack of easy transport access (by road or by sea - the rivers generally aren't suitable for boats and there aren't many decent harbors) further slowed settlement. Despite the relatively short growing season, the region is now known as an agricultural center, as a disproportionate amount of the nation's rice is grown here since similar populated areas in the south went for industrialization first. This combination of factors is likely why someone with a TohokuRegionalAccent (which sounds like the speaker is having a very bad cold) gets stereotyped as a backwoods hillbilly.
hillbilly, and the reason why it's known as the GrimUpNorth of the archipelago (even after Hokkaido is settled extensively). Just count how many times a media is basing their environment from the GhibliHills of Aomori and Akita, which looks like something you see from ''[[Anime/MyNeighborTotoro My Neighbor Totoro]]''.



The northernmost prefecture of Honshu.



The Kosode Coast in Kuji city is best known as the filming location for Sodegahama in ''Amachan'', a popular TV drama that explores the region's sea urchin-diving industry.



The Kanto region was the heart of feudal Japan's power during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), partly thanks to the resident Hojo clan who helped the Minamoto clan establish a shogunate over the rest of Japan and later seized control of the shogunate with some slick backroom politics. In the UsefulNotes/SengokuJidai, an unrelated line of daimyo took the Hojo name and seized power in the region, ruling from Odawara. Kanto became the seat of shogunate power again during the Edo Period (1603-1867), remaining so after the Meiji Restoration with the Emperor physically moving from Kyoto to the now-renamed Tokyo. Tokyo and Yokohama were major industrial centers that attracted large numbers of migrants, even with the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 resulting in over 100,000 dead.

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The Kanto region was the heart of feudal Japan's power during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), partly thanks to the resident Hojo clan who helped the Minamoto clan establish a shogunate over the rest of Japan and later seized control of the shogunate with some slick backroom politics. It was divided into eight provinces: Shimotsuke, Hitachi, Kozuke, Musashi, Kazusa, Shimosa, Awa, and Sagami. In the UsefulNotes/SengokuJidai, an unrelated line of daimyo took the Hojo name and seized power in the region, ruling from Odawara. Kanto became the seat of shogunate power again during the Edo Period (1603-1867), remaining so after the Meiji Restoration with the Emperor physically moving from Kyoto to the now-renamed Tokyo. Tokyo and Yokohama were major industrial centers that attracted large numbers of migrants, even with the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 resulting in over 100,000 dead.



See the UsefulNotes page for more detail about the 23 special wards you're probably looking for.

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See the UsefulNotes page for more detail about the 23 special wards you're probably looking for.
for. Note however, that Tokyo is not just the 23 special wards; there're the oft-forgotten Tama Area to the west, which is much larger but is largely rural (yes, Tokyo does have farms) or semi-urban and serve as bedroom communities, and the Izu and Ogasawara Islands that stretch far south into the Pacific Ocean, the latter of which includes Iwo-to (misread as Iwo Jima), where the famous photograph of six US Marines raising the American flag took place. Compare the situation between UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and UsefulNotes/NewYorkState.



Although long ago absorbed into the Tokyo metropolitan region, Yokohama remains a separately incorporated city (a category which technically excludes Tokyo). The Port of Yokohama was established in 1859 after Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to allow foreign trade; it eventually overtook Kobe to become the busiest port in Japan and one of the busiest ports in the world.

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Although long ago absorbed into the Tokyo metropolitan region, Yokohama remains a separately incorporated city (a category which technically excludes Tokyo).Tokyo) and thus is classified as the second-largest city and the largest proper city in Japan. During the Sengoku Jidai, the city of Odawara to the southwest of Yokohama was the seat of the Hojo clan, until it was overtaken by UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi in 1590. The Port of Yokohama was established in 1859 after Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to allow foreign trade; it eventually overtook Kobe to become the busiest port in Japan and one of the busiest ports in the world.



These four prefectures lie on the coast of the Sea of Japan. During the winter air from Siberia picks up moisture traveling across the Sea of Japan before it is forced upward by the Japanese Alps and causing it to dump its precipitation, making this area among the snowiest places on Earth.

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These four prefectures lie on the coast of the Sea of Japan. During the shogun period, seven provinces existed in their place: Noto, Etchu, Kaga, Echizen, Wakasa, Echigo, and Sado provinces. During the winter air from Siberia picks up moisture traveling across the Sea of Japan before it is forced upward by the Japanese Alps and causing it to dump its precipitation, making this area among the snowiest places on Earth.



Its most famous historical figure is most likely UsefulNotes/UesugiKenshin, whose base of power was here.

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Its most famous historical figure is most likely UsefulNotes/UesugiKenshin, whose base of power was here.
here. Niigata also includes Sado Island off its western coast, which formerly formed its own province and used to [[ReassignedToAntarctica banish people who have committed so great an infamy but not enough to be given a death penalty]].



This region encompasses the most mountainous parts of the Japanese Alps, and most of its population is concentrated in basins scattered throughout. Historically the area was known for its silk production; nowadays more of its population is involve in light manufacturing.

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This region encompasses the most mountainous parts of the Japanese Alps, and most of its population is concentrated in basins scattered throughout. Historically the area was known for its silk production; nowadays more of its population is involve in light manufacturing.
manufacturing. Provinces that once existed in the area include Kai and Shinano.



Former provinces of the region are Izu, Suruga, Totomi, Mikawa, and Owari.



Historically divided into two provinces, Owari in the north and Mikawa in the south. UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga and UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi were both from Owari, while Okazaki in Mikawa was UsefulNotes/TokugawaIeyasu's ancestral home.

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Historically divided into two provinces, Owari in the north and Mikawa in the south. UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga and UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi were both from Owari, Owari (hence why the former was, pre-ascendancy, known as the Fool of Owari), while Okazaki in Mikawa was UsefulNotes/TokugawaIeyasu's ancestral home.
home.



"West of the Barrier", though the barrier in this case was the Osaka Tollgate on the border of present-day Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. This is the historical center of Japanese civilization and today remains the biggest counterpart to Tokyo and the Kanto region. The Kinki (近畿) region is more or less synonymous with Kansai, though it generally excludes Mie.

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"West of the Barrier", though the barrier in this case was the Osaka Tollgate on the border of present-day Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. This is the historical center of Japanese civilization and today remains the biggest counterpart to Tokyo and the Kanto region. The Kinki (近畿) region is more or less synonymous with Kansai, though it generally excludes Mie.
Mie. Provinces that used to exist in the area are Ise, Shima, Kii, Yamato, Izumi, Kawachi, Yamashiro, Omi, Wakasa, Tango, Tamba, Settsu, Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and Iga.

Before the Edo period, the UsefulNotes/KansaiRegionalAccent was the prestige dialect of Japan, as it was the speech of the royal family and the shogunate. Even today, the Kyoto variant still retains much of its splendor, being regarded as posh and soft-sounding compared to other variants.



The Kyōto Basin, also known as the Yamashiro Basin after its previous provincial name, constitutes the historical heart of Japan. The basin is defined by the Katsura, Kamo, Uji and Kizu Rivers, which descend into the plain from their sources in the surrounding mountain (or, in the case of the Uji, the Seta outlet of Lake Biwa) and merge together to form the Yodo River that flows into the sea at Osaka.

The town of Uji, where the old road between Kyoto and Nara crosses the river of the same name, was significant during the Heian period as a summer retreat and burial ground for the Fujiwara clan. The last part of ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji'' are set here. Uji was the site of two major battles during the UsefulNotes/GenpeiWar. Today, Uji is known for old temples, green tea and Creator/KyotoAnimation.

Two rural provinces, Tanba and Tango, also became part of Kyōto Prefecture, adding little more than vast expanses of rural territory and access to the Sea of Japan.

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The Kyōto Basin, also known as the Yamashiro Basin after its previous provincial name, constitutes the historical heart of Japan. The basin is defined by the Katsura, Kamo, Uji and Kizu Rivers, which descend into the plain from their sources in the surrounding mountain (or, in the case of the Uji, the Seta outlet of Lake Biwa) and merge together to form the Yodo River that flows into the sea at Osaka.

Osaka. The town of Uji, where the old road between Kyoto and Nara crosses the river of the same name, was significant during the Heian period as a summer retreat and burial ground for the Fujiwara clan. The last part of ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji'' are set here. Uji was the site of two major battles during the UsefulNotes/GenpeiWar. Today, Uji is known for old temples, green tea and Creator/KyotoAnimation.

Creator/KyotoAnimation. Two rural provinces, Tanba and Tango, also became part of Kyōto Prefecture, adding little more than vast expanses of rural territory and access to the Sea of Japan.
Japan.

Kyoto City has the most number of heritage sites of any city in Japan, thanks to being an imperial capital for so long and being spared from the worst bits of World War II (it was briefly considered a planned site for the atomic bombing project, but the Secretary of War rejected it on account of [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments his fond memories of honeymooning in the Old City]]).

As noted above, the Kyoto variant of the Kansai Regional Accent is something of an anomaly, being known for its soft and feminine-sounding pronunciation in an area known for their harsh and clipped speech pattern.



Osaka City is the third largest city in Japan and considered the capital of Western Japan and [[TheRival an antithesis]] to Tokyo. [[BerserkButton Don't try to bring up Tokyo here]], Osakans are proud of their heritage and rightly so; it was for the longest time ''the'' center of Japan, being located close enough to the sea giving it easy access to foreign trade, close enough to Nara and/or Kyoto to receive their continuous patronage, and close enough to Ise to receive moral support. Any merchant who wanted to stop over to Japan had to land on Osaka, and it soon became the definition of cosmopolitan in the eyes of many Japanese during the Middle Ages.



The prefecture includes the Awaji island, located in the Seto Inland Sea. Japanese mythology considered it to be the first of the archipelago to form. It was formerly a separate province, but was merged with Hyogo after the Meiji Restoration. Unusual for non-Home Islands, it's very urbanized, thanks to direct connection with Honshu through the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world.



There are 11 provinces that used to exist in this region: Inaba, Hoki, Izumo, Iwami, Nagato, Suo, Aki, Bingo, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bitchu.



The eastern part of the prefecture, on what used to be Izumo Province, is the Japanese equivalent of [[UsefulNotes/{{Jerusalem}} Jerusalem]] (while Ise is the equivalent of UsefulNotes/VaticanCity), featuring many Shinto pilgrimage sites and other sacred spots. It was the capital of mythological Japan, ruled by Okuninushi, an ancestor of the legendary founder of the Japanese imperial family. It is also the location of Yomotsu Hirasaka, believed to be the main entrance to TheUnderworld.

The province officially includes the Liancourt Rocks, which are disputed with and ''de facto'' administered by South Korea.



The prefecture contains Shimonoseki, which other than hosting one end of Kanmon Bridge connecting Honshu with Kyushu, is also the location for the signing of treaty between Imperial Japan and Qing China ending the UsefulNotes/FirstSinoJapaneseWar.



The smallest of Japan's four main islands. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as the name translates as "Four Provinces". The four prefectures that currently make up the island are pretty much direct descendants of a province from Japan's feudal days. Home to the 88 Temple Pilgrimage and a bunch of rice fields.

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The smallest of Japan's four main islands. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as the name translates as "Four Provinces". The four prefectures that currently make up the island are pretty much direct descendants of a province four provinces from Japan's feudal days.days: Awa, Sanuki, Tosa, and Iyo. Home to the 88 Temple Pilgrimage and a bunch of rice fields.



Formerly known as Awa Province. Most famous for the annual Awa Odori dance festival in August.

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Formerly known as Awa Province. The prefecture is the location of one end of the Onaruto Bridge, the first bridge to connect Shikoku with Honshu. Most famous for the annual Awa Odori dance festival in August.
August. Also notable for the wild Naruto whirlpools, named after a nearby city, which inspired quite a lot of paintings and even a topping for ramen. [[Franchise/{{Naruto}} And the famous fictional ninja]].



Birthplace of Kobo Daishi, polymath and founder of Esoteric Buddhism. Also known for Sanuki Udon noodles, named after the old title of the province.

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Birthplace of Kobo Daishi, polymath and founder of Esoteric Buddhism. Also known for Sanuki Udon noodles, named after the old title of the province. \n The city of Sakaide is one end of the Seto-Chuo Expressway, the second bridge to connect Shikoku with Honshu.



The liveliest of the four prefectures, which still isn't saying much. Formerly known as Iyo Province. Home to Dogo Onsen, one of Japan's oldest hot springs and now a fun tourist trap.

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The liveliest of the four prefectures, which still isn't saying much. Formerly known as Iyo Province. Home to Dogo Onsen, one of Japan's oldest hot springs and now a fun tourist trap.
trap. The city of Imabari is also one end of the Nishiseto Expressway, the third and most complicated of the bridges connecting Shikoku with Honshu (it passes through at least six islands before reaching Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture).



A bit of an ArtifactTitle - though there are only seven prefectures on here and the surrounding islands, the name translates as "Nine Provinces" as there used to be, well, nine provinces on the island in the country's feudal days.

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A bit of an ArtifactTitle - though there are only seven prefectures on here and the surrounding islands, the name translates as "Nine Provinces" as there used to be, well, nine provinces (Chikuzen, Buzen, Bungo, Hizen, Chikugo, Higo, Hyuga, Osumi, and Satsuma) on the island in the country's feudal days.
days. The nine however doesn't include the Tsushima Islands, located off the western coast, which were administered as a separate province of the same name (today, it's part of Nagasaki Prefecture).

The Japanese accents of the island (Kagoshima, in particular) are notable for being very divergent from Standard Japanese to the point of mutual unintelligibility. They are not classified in the dualism of Western and Eastern Japanese and instead form their own branch.



The historical center of ''nanban'' (European)[[note]]literally "southern barbarian" since European ships would arrive from that direction[[/note]] trade with Japan, dating back to the 16th Century first with the Portuguese and then later with the Dutch. During Tokugawa rule the closing off of the country to outside influence effectively sealed off official contact with the West everywhere except for highly-regulated contact at Dejima, an artificial island in Nagasaki's bay (which was originally a small peninsula - the island was made by digging out a canal that cut across it).

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The historical center of ''nanban'' (European)[[note]]literally "southern barbarian" since European ships would arrive from that direction[[/note]] trade with Japan, dating back to the 16th Century first with the Portuguese and then later with the Dutch. During Tokugawa rule the closing off of the country to outside influence effectively sealed off official contact with the West everywhere except for highly-regulated contact at Dejima, an artificial island in Nagasaki's bay (which was originally a small peninsula - the island was made by digging out a canal that cut across it).
it). Thanks to this early and extensive European influence, Nagasaki consistently ranks as the most Christian prefecture of Japan; if a media features Christian characters or otherwise set in a place that's unusually Christian (e.g. ''[[Manga/SakamichiNoApollon Sakamichi no Apollon]]''), chances are it's set somewhere here.

The city became the target of the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped by the United States on August 9, 1945, making it the second and last ([[EmptyQuiver hopefully]]) city to be destroyed by an atomic bomb.



This prefecture also includes some islands of the Ryukyu island chain, including Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its ancient forests.



The Ryūkyū islands were once disjointed island states that had quite a history with both China and Japan. Where it was situated was a strategic location for trade routes and unlike Japan, the Ryūkyū people welcomed foreigners. By the early [=1400s=], the clans united to form the Ryūkyū Kingdom. In the early 1600, the Shimazu Tadatsu of Satsuma invaded the islands. Rather than face bloodshed due to the lack of military prowess, the kingdom surrendered and paid tribute to the Japanese Shogunate. By the [=1870s=] during the Meiji Restoration period, they were formally annexed into Japan to be ruled by their government.

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The Ryūkyū islands were once disjointed island states that had quite a history with both China and Japan. Where it was situated was a strategic location for trade routes and unlike Japan, the Ryūkyū people welcomed foreigners. For most of the Middle Ages, they had little contact with Japan and instead usually traded with China. By the early [=1400s=], the clans united to form the Ryūkyū Kingdom. In the early 1600, the Shimazu Tadatsu of Satsuma invaded the islands. Rather than face bloodshed due to the lack of military prowess, the kingdom surrendered and paid tribute to the Japanese Shogunate. By the [=1870s=] during the Meiji Restoration period, they were formally annexed into Japan to be ruled by their government.


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Scientific studies concluded that the Ryukyu Islanders are more closely related to the Ainu than the Japanese, suggesting that they are descendants of the original inhabitants of the archipelago, the Jomon people (as opposed to the Yamato, the ancestors of most Japanese people). Their languages are the only living relatives of the Japanese language, though they are not mutually intelligible to it and to each other. However, Japan officially regards the languages as dialects of the Japanese language and are in the position of assimilation to the mainstream (similar to that practiced in UsefulNotes/{{France}}), so the languages are now in various stages of endangerment.

Oh, UsefulNotes/{{Karate}} comes from here, too.


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The prefecture includes all islands of the Ryukyu chain south of the 28.5 parallel north (to the north the islands are administered by Kagoshima). The largest city, Naha, dominates the activities of the archipelago and is impressively crowded, urbanized, and metropolitan for a settlement located on a small island with little opportunities for going outward (the northeast part of the Okinawa island is taken up by mountains). Thanks to Naha, the prefecture is well-connected to the Home Islands.

Senkaku Islands, currently disputed with both China and Taiwan, are ''de facto'' administered by Japan as part of Okinawa Prefecture.
22nd Jun '16 10:47:56 AM megarockman
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The castle town was founded in 1589 by Mori Terumoto, one of the main opponents of Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the latter's drive to unite the provinces of Japan during the Sengoku Jidai. It grew in prominence after the Meiji Restoration when it became a big industrial and transportation center (as the westernmost large city on Honshu with a good harbor). Nowadays it's known for its version of okonomiyaki (the ingredients are usually layered; the more broadly-known Kansai version mixes the ingredients together while cooking) and its high number of street cars.

And, yes, it was the target of the first atomic bomb dropped by the United States on August 6, 1945.
30th Oct '15 5:49:32 PM majintayag
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Has a reputation as Japan's hardest drinking prefecture. Known as Tosa Province back in the day. Birthplace of mercurial samurai/politician/negotiator/revolutionary/reformer Ryoma Sakamoto.

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Has a reputation as Japan's hardest drinking prefecture. Known as Tosa Province back in the day. Birthplace of mercurial samurai/politician/negotiator/revolutionary/reformer Ryoma Sakamoto.
30th Oct '15 5:43:12 PM majintayag
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The smallest of Japan's four main islands. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as the name translates as "Four Provinces". The four prefectures that currently make up the island are pretty much direct descendants of a province from Japan's feudal days.

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The smallest of Japan's four main islands. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as the name translates as "Four Provinces". The four prefectures that currently make up the island are pretty much direct descendants of a province from Japan's feudal days.
days. Home to the 88 Temple Pilgrimage and a bunch of rice fields.


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Formerly known as Awa Province. Most famous for the annual Awa Odori dance festival in August.


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Birthplace of Kobo Daishi, polymath and founder of Esoteric Buddhism. Also known for Sanuki Udon noodles, named after the old title of the province.


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The liveliest of the four prefectures, which still isn't saying much. Formerly known as Iyo Province. Home to Dogo Onsen, one of Japan's oldest hot springs and now a fun tourist trap.


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Has a reputation as Japan's hardest drinking prefecture. Known as Tosa Province back in the day. Birthplace of mercurial samurai/politician/negotiator/revolutionary/reformer Ryoma Sakamoto.
26th Oct '15 10:21:00 AM megarockman
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Hakodate was the LastStand of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Boshin War following the Meiji Restoration in 1868 - a bunch of shogunate loyalists took over the fort there and held out until they were crushed the following May. The Meiji government took up the task of developing Hokkaido and brought in help from American advisors - the effects can be seen today in much of Hokkaido's historical architecture, which look more like something you'd see in the American Midwest, and the Western grid-pattern street layout of Sapporo. The only other Japanese cities to have such a layout are Kyoto and Nara; pretty much every other city in Japan has streets that cross and meet each other at irregular angles, mainly to confuse rival daimyo who might try to take over their turf.

Today, it's probably most well-known for its tourism opportunities, whether it's being able to escape the monsoon rains that drench the rest of Japan in the humid months of June and July, or the skiing opportunites in the winter (Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics), or the many hot springs and natural landmarks all over the island. It's also known for its diverse array of agricultural products - Hokkaido has about a quarter of all the arable land in Japan.

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Hakodate was the LastStand of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Boshin War following the Meiji Restoration in 1868 - a bunch of shogunate loyalists took over the fort there and held out until they were crushed the following May. The Meiji government took up the task of developing Hokkaido and brought in help from American advisors advisers - the effects can be seen today in much of Hokkaido's historical architecture, which look more like something you'd see in the American Midwest, and the Western grid-pattern street layout of Sapporo. The only other Japanese cities to have such a layout are Kyoto and Nara; Nara (they got that pattern because of Chinese feng shui); pretty much every other city in Japan has streets that cross and meet each other at irregular angles, mainly to confuse rival daimyo who might try to take over their turf.

Today, it's probably most well-known for its tourism opportunities, whether it's being able to escape the monsoon rains that drench the rest of Japan in the humid months of June and July, or the skiing opportunites opportunities in the winter (Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics), or the many hot springs and natural landmarks all over the island. It's also known for its diverse array of agricultural products - Hokkaido has about a quarter of all the arable land in Japan.



In the northeastern part of Honshū, north of the Kanto Plain lies the Tohoku Region; "Tōhoku" literally translates as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "east-north"]]. Historically this is a less-developed region, as it was settled by Japanese centuries after the center of its civilization developed to the south. The mountainous geography of the area, the rather harsh winters, and the relative lack of easy transport access (by road or by sea - the rivers generally aren't suitable for boats and there aren't many harbors) further slowed settlement. Despite the relatively short growing season, the region is now known as an agricultural center, as a disproportionate amount of the nation's rice is grown here as similar populated areas in the south went for industrialization first. This combination of factors is likely why someone with a TohokuRegionalAccent gets stereotyped as a backwoods hillbilly.

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In the northeastern part of Honshū, north of the Kanto Plain lies the Tohoku Region; "Tōhoku" literally translates as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "east-north"]]. Historically this is a less-developed region, as it was settled by Japanese centuries after the center of its civilization developed to the south. The mountainous geography of the area, the rather harsh winters, and the relative lack of easy transport access (by road or by sea - the rivers generally aren't suitable for boats and there aren't many decent harbors) further slowed settlement. Despite the relatively short growing season, the region is now known as an agricultural center, as a disproportionate amount of the nation's rice is grown here as since similar populated areas in the south went for industrialization first. This combination of factors is likely why someone with a TohokuRegionalAccent gets stereotyped as a backwoods hillbilly.



These four prefectures lie on the coast of the Sea of Japan. During the winter air from Siberia picks up moisture travelling across the Sea of Japan before it is forced upward by the Japanese Alps and causing it to dump its precipitation, making this area among the snowiest places on Earth.

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These four prefectures lie on the coast of the Sea of Japan. During the winter air from Siberia picks up moisture travelling traveling across the Sea of Japan before it is forced upward by the Japanese Alps and causing it to dump its precipitation, making this area among the snowiest places on Earth.



Its most famous historical figure is most likely UsefulNotes/UesugiKenshin, whose base of power was here.



Location of the Ise Grand Shrine, one of (if not the most) sacred shrines in Shinto.



Though the name "Chūgoku" literally means mid-country (and also happens to be the Japanese word for China), the region occupies the western part of Honshu as an ArtifactTitle from when the center of Japanese civilization was between Kyushu and the Kansai Plain, which would put this region in the middle. The region can be split in half down its mountainous middle, with the San'in (山陰) region bordering the Sea of Japan and the San'yō (山陽) region bordering the Inland Sea. (Portions of Hyōgo and Kyōto prefectures were historically also part of the San'in and San'yō regions.)

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Though the name "Chūgoku" literally means mid-country (and also happens to be the Japanese word for China), mid-country, the region occupies the western part of Honshu as an ArtifactTitle from when the center of Japanese civilization was between Kyushu and the Kansai Plain, which would put this region in the middle. The region can be split in half down its mountainous middle, with the San'in (山陰) region bordering the Sea of Japan and the San'yō (山陽) region bordering the Inland Sea. (Portions of Hyōgo and Kyōto prefectures were historically also part of the San'in and San'yō regions.)
) Since "Chūgoku" is also used to refer to UsefulNotes/{{China}} since UsefulNotes/NoMoreEmperors, tourist agencies often use the term "San’in‐San’yō region" to distinguish between them.



The smallest of Japan's four main islands. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as the name translates as "Four Provinces". The four prefectures that currently make up the island are pretty much direct descendents of a province from Japan's feudal days.

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The smallest of Japan's four main islands. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as the name translates as "Four Provinces". The four prefectures that currently make up the island are pretty much direct descendents descendants of a province from Japan's feudal days.



The historical center of ''nanban'' (European, literally "southern barbarian" since European ships would arrive from that direction) trade with Japan, dating back to the 16th Century first with the Portuguese and then later with the Dutch. During Tokugawa rule the closing off of the country to outside influence effectively sealed off official contact with the West everywhere except for highly-regulated contact at Dejima, an artificial island in Nagasaki's bay (which was originally a small peninsula - the island was made by digging out a canal that cut across it).

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The historical center of ''nanban'' (European, literally (European)[[note]]literally "southern barbarian" since European ships would arrive from that direction) direction[[/note]] trade with Japan, dating back to the 16th Century first with the Portuguese and then later with the Dutch. During Tokugawa rule the closing off of the country to outside influence effectively sealed off official contact with the West everywhere except for highly-regulated contact at Dejima, an artificial island in Nagasaki's bay (which was originally a small peninsula - the island was made by digging out a canal that cut across it).
6th Jul '15 11:25:15 AM megarockman
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Though the name "Chūgoku" literally means mid-country (and also happens to be the Japanese word for China), the region occupies the western part of Honshu. The region can be split in half down its mountainous middle, with the San'in (山陰) region bordering the Sea of Japan and the San'yō (山陽) region bordering the Inland Sea. (Portions of Hyōgo and Kyōto prefectures were historically also part of the San'in and San'yō regions.)

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Though the name "Chūgoku" literally means mid-country (and also happens to be the Japanese word for China), the region occupies the western part of Honshu.Honshu as an ArtifactTitle from when the center of Japanese civilization was between Kyushu and the Kansai Plain, which would put this region in the middle. The region can be split in half down its mountainous middle, with the San'in (山陰) region bordering the Sea of Japan and the San'yō (山陽) region bordering the Inland Sea. (Portions of Hyōgo and Kyōto prefectures were historically also part of the San'in and San'yō regions.)



Okinawa, the largest island in the chain, played a vital point during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, as it was the location for the last major battle in the Pacific front; some historians believe that this was a deciding factor for the decision to use atomic bombs. After the war, the islands remained under US occupation until 1972. Now, the islands are popular tourist destination spots and is akin to Hawaii. Okinawa also is home to numerous US military bases, which is still a sore point to this day to the locals.

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Okinawa, the largest island in the chain, played a vital point during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, as it was the location for the last major battle in the Pacific front; some historians believe that this the long and bloody campaign was a deciding factor for the decision to use atomic bombs. After the war, the islands remained under US occupation until 1972. Now, the islands are popular tourist destination spots and is akin to Hawaii. Okinawa also is home to numerous US military bases, which is still a sore point to this day to for the locals.
10th Jun '15 12:37:56 PM megarockman
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Added DiffLines:

The historical center of ''nanban'' (European, literally "southern barbarian" since European ships would arrive from that direction) trade with Japan, dating back to the 16th Century first with the Portuguese and then later with the Dutch. During Tokugawa rule the closing off of the country to outside influence effectively sealed off official contact with the West everywhere except for highly-regulated contact at Dejima, an artificial island in Nagasaki's bay (which was originally a small peninsula - the island was made by digging out a canal that cut across it).
10th Jun '15 12:11:56 PM megarockman
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During the age of the Shogun, this whole region of six current prefectures was made up of just two provinces (Dewa and Mutsu) because of its relative lack of development, and the comparitive remoteness from the rest of Japanese civilization meant the local clans (most notably the [[UsefulNotes/DateMasamune Date]] family) always maintained some distance and autonomy from the center of power in Kyoto or Edo.

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During the age of the Shogun, this whole region of six current prefectures was made up of just two provinces (Dewa and Mutsu) because of its relative lack of development, and the comparitive remoteness from the rest of Japanese civilization meant the local clans (most notably the [[UsefulNotes/DateMasamune Date]] family) family, who in exchange for keeping the Ainu at bay in Hokkaido were exempt from both rice tribute and the ''sankin kotai'' policy[[note]]where daimyo were required to live in Edo for six months out of the year to prevent them from plotting against Tokugawa rule[[/note]] under the Tokugawa shogunate) always maintained some distance and autonomy from the center of power in Kyoto or Edo.
14th May '15 9:46:04 AM Willbyr
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* Hokkaido is a -"dō" (道), which translates as "circuit". It is a remainder from the Asuka ([[NeonGenesisEvangelion no, not that one]]) Period (538-710 AD), when Japan was divided into Gokishichidō: five provinces centered around the Imperial capital Nara and later Kyoto (Kinai), and seven circuits based on the roads that connected them to those five central provinces. (Hokkaido was not one of those original seven circuits - it's basically a -''dō'' because the Meiji Government didn't know what else to call it as it wasn't developed enough to be a -''ken''.)

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* Hokkaido is a -"dō" (道), which translates as "circuit". It is a remainder from the Asuka ([[NeonGenesisEvangelion ([[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion no, not that one]]) Period (538-710 AD), when Japan was divided into Gokishichidō: five provinces centered around the Imperial capital Nara and later Kyoto (Kinai), and seven circuits based on the roads that connected them to those five central provinces. (Hokkaido was not one of those original seven circuits - it's basically a -''dō'' because the Meiji Government didn't know what else to call it as it wasn't developed enough to be a -''ken''.)
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