|• Governor||Harumi Takahashi|
|• Total||83,453.57 km2 (32,221.60 sq mi)|
(September 30, 2016)
|• Density||64.5/km2 (167/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-01|
|Flower||Hamanasu (rugosa rose, Rosa rugosa)|
|Tree||Ezomatsu (Jezo spruce, Picea jezoensis)|
|Bird||Tanchō (red-crowned crane, Grus japonensis)|
Hokkaido(北海道Hokkaidō, literally "Northern Sea Circuit"; Japanese pronunciation: [hokːaꜜidoː] (
Ainu is a language spoken by members of the Ainu people on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, forming the first level of jurisdiction and administrative division. They consist of 43 prefectures proper, two urban prefectures, one "circuit" or "territory" and one "metropolis". The Meiji Fuhanken sanchisei administration created the first prefectures from 1868 to replace the urban and rural administrators in the parts of the country previously controlled directly by the shogunate and a few territories of rebels/shogunate loyalists who had not submitted to the new government such as Aizu/Wakamatsu. In 1871, all remaining feudal domains (han) were also transformed into prefectures, so that prefectures subdivided the whole country. In several waves of territorial consolidation, today's 47 prefectures were formed by the turn of the century. In many instances, these are contiguous with the ancient ritsuryō provinces of Japan.
The Nihon Shoki , finished in 720 AD, is often said to be the first mention of Hokkaido in recorded history. According to the text, Abe no Hirafu Watarishima(渡島), which is often believed to be present-day Hokkaido. However, many theories exist in relation to the details of this event, including the location of Watarishima and the common belief that the Emishi in Watarishima were the ancestors of the present-day Ainu people.led a large navy and army to northern areas from 658 to 660 and came into contact with the Mishihase and Emishi. One of the places Hirafu went to was called
The Nihon Shoki (日本書紀), sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history. The book is also called the Nihongi. It is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, and has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan. The Nihon Shoki was finished in 720 under the editorial supervision of Prince Toneri and with the assistance of Ō no Yasumaro dedicated to Empress Genshō.
Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. It contrasts with other narratives of the past, such as mythological, oral or archeological traditions. For broader world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing. For some geographic regions or cultures, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history because of the limited use of written records. Moreover, human cultures do not always record all of the information relevant to later historians, such as the full impact of natural disasters or the names of individuals; thus, recorded history for particular types of information is limited based on the types of records kept. Because of this, recorded history in different contexts may refer to different periods of time depending on the topic.
Abe no Hirafu was a notable Japanese general of the Asuka period.
During the Nara and Heian periods (710–1185), people in Hokkaido conducted trade with Dewa Province, an outpost of the Japanese central government. From the Middle Ages, the people in Hokkaido began to be called Ezo. Hokkaido subsequently became known as Ezochi(蝦夷地, lit. "Ezo-land") or Ezogashima(蝦夷ヶ島, lit. "Island of the Ezo"). The Ezo mainly relied upon hunting and fishing and obtained rice and iron through trade with the Japanese.
The Nara period of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Genmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō. Except for a five-year period (740–745), when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kanmu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784, before moving to Heian-kyō, modern Kyoto, a decade later in 794.
The Heian period is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height. The Heian period is also considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art, especially poetry and literature. Although the Imperial House of Japan had power on the surface, the real power was in the hands of the Fujiwara clan, a powerful aristocratic family who had intermarried with the imperial family. Many emperors actually had mothers from the Fujiwara family. Heian (平安) means "peace" in Japanese.
Dewa Province was a province of Japan comprising modern-day Yamagata Prefecture and Akita Prefecture, except for the city of Kazuno and the town of Kosaka. Dewa bordered on Mutsu and Echigō Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was Ushū (羽州).
During the Muromachi period (1336–1573), the Japanese created a settlement at the south of the Oshima Peninsula. As more people moved to the settlement to avoid battles, disputes arose between the Japanese and the Ainu. The disputes eventually developed into a war. Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader, Koshamain,and defeated the opposition in 1457. Nobuhiro's descendants became the rulers of the Matsumae-han, which was granted exclusive trading rights with the Ainu in the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo periods (1568–1868). The Matsumae family's economy relied upon trade with the Ainu. They held authority over the south of Ezochi until the end of the Edo period in 1868.
The Muromachi period is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shōgun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kenmu Restoration (1333–36) of imperial rule was brought to a close. The period ended in 1573 when the 15th and last shogun of this line, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, was driven out of the capital in Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga.
The Oshima Peninsula is the southernmost part of Hokkaidō, the northernmost of the Japanese islands. Where the peninsula starts is open to interpretation. A more generous interpretation is to draw a line southeast from Ishikari Bay across the Ishikari Plain to Yūfutsu District, Hokkaido. A narrower interpretation is to draw a line connecting Suttsu on the Sea of Japan and Oshamambe on Uchiura Bay. This narrow interpretation encompasses the subprefectures of Oshima and Hiyama.
Takeda Nobuhiro, also known as Kakizaki Nobuhiro was the ancestor of the Matsumae clan, and is celebrated for his role in suppressing the 1457 Ainu revolt of Koshamain. The adopted son of Takeda Nobukata, shugo (Governor) of Wakasa Province, he was later re-adopted by Kakizaki Sueshige. Some sources say he was originally of the Minabe clan.
The Matsumae clan rule over the Ainu must be understood in the context of the expansion of the Japanese feudal state. Medieval military leaders in northern Honshū (ex. Northern Fujiwara, Akita clan) maintained only tenuous political and cultural ties to the imperial court and its proxies, the Kamakura Shogunate and Ashikaga Shogunate. Feudal strongmen sometimes located themselves within medieval institutional order, taking shogunal titles, while in other times they assumed titles that seemed to give them a non-Japanese identity. In fact, many of the feudal strongmen were descended from Emishi military leaders who had been assimilated into Japanese society.The Matsumae clan were of Yamato descent like other ethnic Japanese people, whereas the Emishi of northern Honshu were a distinctive group related to the Ainu. The Emishi were conquered and integrated into the Japanese state dating back as far as the 8th century, and as result began to lose their distinctive culture and ethnicity as they became minorities. By the time the Matsumae clan ruled over the Ainu most of the Emishi were ethnically mixed and physically closer to Japanese than they were to Ainu. This dovetails nicely with the "transformation" theory that native Jōmon peoples changed gradually with the infusion of Yayoi immigrants into the Tōhoku rather than the "replacement" theory which posits that one population (Jōmon) was replaced by another (Yayoi).
The Matsumae clan was a Japanese clan which was granted the area around Matsumae, Hokkaidō as a march fief in 1590 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and charged with defending it, and by extension the whole of Japan, from the Ainu 'barbarians' to the north. The clan, originally known as the Kakizaki clan (蠣崎氏), had settled in Kakizaki, Kawauchi, Mutsu on the Shimokita Peninsula. Claiming descent from the Takeda clan of Wakasa Province, the family later took the name Matsumae. In exchange for their service in defending the country, the Matsumae were made exempt from owing rice to the shogunate in tribute, and from the sankin-kōtai system, under which most daimyōs were required to spend half the year at Edo, while their families spent the entire year at Edo and were, essentially, held hostage to prevent rebellion.
The Northern Fujiwara were a Japanese noble family that ruled the Tōhoku region of Japan during the 12th century as their own realm. They succeeded the semi-independent Emishi families of the 11th century who were gradually brought down by the Minamoto clan loyal to the Imperial throne based in Kyoto. Ultimately they were conquered by the Kantō samurai clans led by Minamoto no Yoritomo.
The Akita clan was a Japanese samurai clan of northern Honshū that claimed descent from Abe no Sadato of the Abe clan. The Akita clan was originally known as the Andō clan. In the Kamakura period, they were installed in the Tsugaru district of Mutsu Province to trade with Ainu people for the Hōjō clan, and to administer Ezo as a penal colony.
There were numerous revolts by the Ainu against the feudal rule. The last large-scale resistance was Shakushain's Revolt in 1669–1672. In 1789, a smaller movement, the Menashi–Kunashir rebellion, was also crushed. After that rebellion, the terms "Japanese" and "Ainu" referred to clearly distinguished groups, and the Matsumae were unequivocally Japanese. In 1799–1821 and 1855–1858, the Edo Shogunate took direct control over Hokkaido in response to a perceived threat from Russia.
The Menashi-Kunashir rebellion or war or Menashi-Kunashir battle was a battle in 1789 between Ainu and Japanese on the Shiretoko Peninsula in northeastern Hokkaidō. It began in May 1789 when Ainu attacked Japanese on Kunashir Island and parts of the Menashi District as well as at sea. More than 70 Japanese were killed. The Japanese executed 37 Ainu identified as conspirators and arrested many others. Reasons for the revolt are not entirely clear, but they are believed to include a suspicion of poisoned sake being given to Ainu in a loyalty ceremony, and other objectionable behavior by Japanese traders.
Leading up to the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa Shogunate realized there was a need to prepare northern defenses against a possible Russian invasion and took over control of most of Ezochi. The Shogunate made the plight of the Ainu slightly easier, but did not change the overall form of rule.
Hokkaido was known as Ezochi until the Meiji Restoration. Shortly after the Boshin War in 1868, a group of Tokugawa loyalists led by Enomoto Takeaki temporarily occupied the island (the polity is commonly but mistakenly known as the Republic of Ezo), but the rebellion was crushed in May 1869. Ezochi was subsequently put under control of Hakodate-fu(箱館府), Hakodate Prefectural Government. When establishing the Development Commission(開拓使Kaitakushi), the Meiji Government introduced a new name. After 1869, the northern Japanese island was known as Hokkaido; and regional subdivisions were established, including the provinces of Oshima, Shiribeshi, Iburi, Ishikari, Teshio, Kitami, Hidaka, Tokachi, Kushiro, Nemuro and Chishima.
The primary purpose of the development commission was to secure Hokkaido before the Russians extended their control of the Far East beyond Vladivostok. Kuroda Kiyotaka was put in charge of the venture. His first step was to journey to the United States and recruit Horace Capron, President Grant's Commissioner of Agriculture. From 1871 to 1873 Capron bent his efforts to expounding Western agriculture and mining with mixed results. Capron, frustrated with obstacles to his efforts returned home in 1875. In 1876, William S. Clark arrived to found an agricultural college in Sapporo. Although he only remained a year, Clark left a lasting impression on Hokkaido, inspiring the Japanese with his teachings on agriculture as well as Christianity.His parting words, "Boys, be ambitious!", can be found on public buildings in Hokkaido to this day. The population of Hokkaido boomed from 58,000 to 240,000 during that decade.
In 1882, the Development Commission was abolished. Transportation on the island was still underdeveloped, so the prefecture was split into several "sub-prefectures" (支庁 shichō), namely Hakodate Prefecture (函館県Hakodate-ken), Sapporo Prefecture (札幌県Sapporo-ken), and Nemuro Prefecture (根室県Nemuro-ken), that could fulfill administrative duties of the prefectural government and keep tight control over the developing island. In 1886, the three prefectures were demoted, and Hokkaido was put under the Hokkaido Agency(北海道庁Hokkaidō-chō). These sub-prefectures still exist today, although they have much less power than they possessed before and during World War II; they now exist primarily to handle paperwork and other bureaucratic functions.
In mid-July 1945 shipping, cities and military facilities in Hokkaido were attacked by the United States Navy's Task Force 38. On 14 and 15 July aircraft operating from the task force's aircraft carriers sank and damaged a large number of ships in ports along Hokkaido's southern coastline as well as in northern Honshu. In addition, on 15 July a force of three battleships and two light cruisers bombarded the city of Muroran.Before the Japanese surrender was formalized, the Soviet Union made preparations for an invasion of Hokkaido, but President Harry Truman made it clear that the surrender of all of the Japanese home islands would be carried out by General MacArthur per the 1943 Cairo Declaration.
Hokkaido became equal with other prefectures in 1947, when the revised Local Autonomy Law became effective. The Japanese central government established the Hokkaido Development Agency(北海道開発庁Hokkaidō Kaihatsuchō) as an agency of the Prime Minister's Office in 1949 to maintain its executive power in Hokkaido. The Agency was absorbed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in 2001. The Hokkaido Bureau(北海道局Hokkaidō-kyoku) and the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau(北海道開発局Hokkaidō Kaihatsukyoku) of the Ministry still have a strong influence on public construction projects in Hokkaido.
When establishing the Development Commission(開拓使Kaitakushi), the Meiji Government decided to change the name of Ezochi. Matsuura Takeshirō submitted six proposals, including names such as Kaihokudō(海北道) and Hokkaidō(北加伊道), to the government. The government eventually decided to use the name Hokkaidō, but decided to write it as 北海道, as a compromise between 海北道 and 北加伊道 because of the similarity with names such as Tōkaidō (東海道). According to Matsuura, the name was thought up because the Ainu called the region Kai. Historically, many peoples who had interactions with the ancestors of the Ainu called them and their islands[ dubious ]Kuyi, Kuye, Qoy, or some similar name, which may have some connection to the early modern form Kai. The Kai element also strongly resembles the On'yomi, or Sino-Japanese, reading of the characters 蝦夷 (on'yomi as [ka.i, カイ], kun'yomi as [e.mi.ɕi, えみし]) which have been used for over a thousand years in China and Japan as the standard orthographic form to be used when referring to Ainu and related peoples; it is possible that Matsuura's Kai was actually an alteration, influenced by the Sino-Japanese reading of 蝦夷Ka-i, of the Nivkh exonym for the Ainu, namely Qoy or IPA: [kʰuɣɪ] .
There is no known established Ainu language word for the island of Hokkaido. However, the Ainu people did have a name for all of their domain, which included Hokkaido along with the Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, and parts of northern Honshu, which was Aynu Mosir ( アィヌ・モシリ ), a name taken by the modern Ainu to refer to their traditional homeland. "Ainu Mosir" literally translates as "The Land Where People (the Ainu) Live", and it was traditionally used to be contrasted with Kamuy Mosir, "The Land of the Kamuy (spirits)".
In 1947, Hokkaido became a full-fledged prefecture, but the -ken suffix was never added to its name, so the -dō suffix came to be understood to mean "prefecture". "Hokkai-do-ken" (literally "North Sea Province Prefecture") is, therefore, technically speaking, a redundant term, although it is occasionally used to differentiate the government from the island itself. The prefecture's government calls itself the "Hokkaido Government" rather than the "Hokkaido Prefectural Government".
| Native name: |
|Area||77,981.87 km2 (30,108.97 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,290 m (7,510 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Asahi|
|Largest settlement||Sapporo (pop. 1,890,561)|
|Population||5,377,435 (September 30, 2016)|
|Pop. density||64.5 /km2 (167.1 /sq mi)|
|Ethnic groups|| Ainu |
The island of Hokkaido is located at the north end of Japan, near Russia, and has coastlines on the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Pacific Ocean. The center of the island has a number of mountains and volcanic plateaux, and there are coastal plains in all directions. Major cities include Sapporo and Asahikawa in the central region and the port of Hakodate facing Honshu.
The governmental jurisdiction of Hokkaido incorporates several smaller islands, including Rishiri, Okushiri Island, and Rebun. (By Japanese reckoning, Hokkaido also incorporates several of the Kuril Islands.) Because the prefectural status of Hokkaido is denoted by the dō in its name, it is rarely referred to as "Hokkaido Prefecture", except when necessary to distinguish the governmental entity from the island.
The island ranks 21st in the world by area. It is 3.6% smaller than the island of Ireland while Hispaniola is 6.1% smaller than Hokkaido. By population it ranks 20th, between Ireland and Sicily. Hokkaido's population is 4.7% less than that of the island of Ireland, and Sicily's is 12% lower than Hokkaido's.
In the east, there are two areas (surrounding, for example, Shari and the Nakashibetsu Airport) where a grid with spacing of nearly 3 km is formed by narrow bands of forest.[ citation needed ] It was designed to buffer wind, especially during blizzards, to protect cattle. It also serves as habitat and transportation corridors for animals and hikers.
Like many areas of Japan, Hokkaido is seismically active. Aside from numerous earthquakes, the following volcanoes are still considered active (at least one eruption since 1850):
In 1993, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 generated a tsunami which devastated Okushiri, killing 202 inhabitants. An earthquake of magnitude 8.3 struck near the island on 26 September 2003.
On September 6, 2018, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 affected the island; its epicenter was near the city of Tomakomai.
There exist many undisturbed forests in Hokkaido, including:
|Shiretoko National Park*||知床|
|Akan National Park||阿寒|
|Kushiro-shitsugen National Park||釧路湿原|
|Daisetsuzan National Park||大雪山|
|Shikotsu-Tōya National Park||支笏洞爺|
|Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park||利尻礼文サロベツ|
* designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 2005-07-14.
|Abashiri Quasi-National Park||網走|
|Hidaka-sanmyaku Erimo Quasi-National Park||日高山脈襟裳|
|Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park||ニセコ積丹小樽海岸|
|Ōnuma Quasi-National Park||大沼|
|Shokanbetsu-Teuri-Yagishiri Quasi-National Park||暑寒別天売焼尻|
|Lake Akkeshi, Bekkanbeushi Wetland||厚岸湖・別寒辺牛湿原||1993-06-10,|
|Notsuke Peninsula, Notsuke Bay||野付半島・野付湾|
|Lake Fūren, Shunkunitai||風蓮湖・春国岱|
There are three populations of the Hokkaido brown bear subspecies (Ursus arctos yesoensis). There are more brown bears in Hokkaido than anywhere else in Asia besides Russia. The Hokkaido brown bear is separated into three distinct lineages. There are only eight lineages in the world.Those on Honshu died out long ago. Native conifer species in Northern Hokkaido is the Abies sachalinensis (sakhalin fir) The Hydrangea hirta species is also located on this island.
|1||Sorachi||空知総合振興局||Iwamizawa||Iwamizawa||338,485||5,791.19||10 cities||14 towns|
|a||↳ Ishikari||石狩振興局||Sapporo||Sapporo||2,324,878||3,539.86||6 cities||1 town||1 village|
|2||Shiribeshi||後志総合振興局||Kutchan||Otaru||234,984||4,305.83||1 city||13 towns||6 villages|
|3||Iburi||胆振総合振興局||Muroran||Tomakomai||419,115||3,698.00||4 cities||7 towns|
|b||↳ Hidaka||日高振興局||Urakawa||Shinhidaka||76,084||4,811.97||7 towns|
|4||Oshima||渡島総合振興局||Hakodate||Hakodate||433,475||3,936.46||2 cities||9 towns|
|c||↳ Hiyama||檜山振興局||Esashi||Setana||43,210||2,629.94||7 towns|
|5||Kamikawa||上川総合振興局||Asahikawa||Asahikawa||527,575||10,619.20||4 cities||17 towns||2 villages|
|d||↳ Rumoi||留萌振興局||Rumoi||Rumoi||53,916||3,445.75||1 city||6 towns||1 village|
|6||Sōya||宗谷総合振興局||Wakkanai||Wakkanai||71,423||4,625.09||1 city||8 towns||1 village|
|7||Okhotsk||オホーツク総合振興局||Abashiri||Kitami||309,487||10,690.62||3 cities||14 towns||1 village|
|8||Tokachi||十勝総合振興局||Obihiro||Obihiro||353,291||10,831.24||1 city||16 towns||2 villages|
|9||Kushiro||釧路総合振興局||Kushiro||Kushiro||252,571||5,997.38||1 city||6 towns||1 village|
|e||↳ Nemuro||根室振興局||Nemuro||Nemuro||84,035||3,406.23||1 city||4 towns|
|* Japan claims the southern part of Kuril Islands (Northern Territories), currently administered by Russia,|
belong to Nemuro Subprefecture divided into six villages. However, the table above excludes these islands' data.
As of April 2010, Hokkaido has 9 General Subprefectural Bureaus (総合振興局) and 5 Subprefectural Bureaus (振興局). Hokkaido is one of eight prefectures in Japan that have subprefectures (支庁 shichō). However, it is the only one of the eight to have such offices covering the whole of its territory outside the main cities (rather than having them just for outlying islands or remote areas). This is mostly due to its great size; many parts of the prefecture are simply too far away to be effectively administered by Sapporo. Subprefectural offices in Hokkaido carry out many of the duties that prefectural offices fulfill elsewhere in Japan.
Between 1869 and the time leading up to the current political divisions, Hokkaido was divided into provinces. See Former provinces of Hokkaido.
Japan's coldest region, Hokkaido has relatively cool summers and icy/snowy winters. Most of the island falls in the humid continental climate zone with Köppen climate classification Dfb (hemiboreal) in most areas but Dfa (hot summer humid continental) in some inland lowlands. The average August temperature ranges from 17 to 22 °C (62.6 to 71.6 °F), while the average January temperature ranges from −12 to −4 °C (10.4 to 24.8 °F), in both cases depending on elevation and distance from the ocean, though temperatures on the western side of the island tend to be a little warmer than on the eastern.
The northern portion of Hokkaido falls into the taiga biome 11 metres (400 in) on the mountains adjacent to the Sea of Japan down to around 1.8 metres (71 in) on the Pacific coast. The island tends to see isolated snowstorms that develop long-lasting snowbanks, in contrast to the constant flurries seen in the Hokuriku region. Total precipitation varies from 1,600 millimetres (63 in) on the mountains of the Sea of Japan coast to around 800 millimetres (31 in) (the lowest in Japan) on the Sea of Okhotsk coast and interior lowlands and up to around 1,100 millimetres (43 in) on the Pacific side.with significant snowfall. Snowfall varies widely from as much as
Unlike the other major islands of Japan, Hokkaido is normally not affected by the June–July rainy season and the relative lack of humidity and typically warm, rather than hot, summer weather makes its climate an attraction for tourists from other parts of Japan.
In winter, the generally high quality of powder snow and numerous mountains in Hokkaido make it a popular region for snow sports. The snowfall usually commences in earnest in November and ski resorts (such as those at Niseko, Furano, Teine and Rusutsu) usually operate between December and April. Hokkaido celebrates its winter weather at the Sapporo Snow Festival.
During the winter, passage through the Sea of Okhotsk is often complicated by large floes of drift ice. Combined with high winds that occur during winter, this frequently brings air travel and maritime activity to a halt beyond the northern coast of Hokkaido. Ports on the open Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan are generally ice-free year round, though most rivers freeze during the winter.
Hokkaido's largest city is the capital, Sapporo, which is a designated city. The island has two core cities: Hakodate in the south and Asahikawa in the central region. Other important population centers include Rumoi, Iwamizawa, Kushiro, Obihiro, Kitami, Abashiri, Wakkanai, and Nemuro.
Although there is some light industry (most notably paper milling and beer brewing) most of the population is employed by the service sector. In 2001, the service sector and other tertiary industries generated more than three-quarters of the gross domestic product.
However, agriculture and other primary industries play a large role in Hokkaido's economy. Hokkaido has nearly one fourth of Japan's total arable land. It ranks first in the nation in the production of a host of agricultural products, including wheat, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beet, onions, pumpkins, corn, raw milk, and beef. Hokkaido also accounts for 22% of Japan's forests with a sizable timber industry. The prefecture is also first in the nation in production of marine products and aquaculture.
Tourism is an important industry, especially during the cool summertime when visitors are attracted to Hokkaido's open spaces from hotter and more humid parts of Japan and other Asian countries. During the winter, skiing and other winter sports bring other tourists, and increasingly international ones, to the island.
Hokkaido's only land link to the rest of Japan is the Seikan Tunnel. Most travellers travel to the island by air: the main airport is New Chitose Airport at Chitose, just south of Sapporo. Tokyo–Chitose is in the top 10 of the world's busiest air routes, handling more than 40 widebody round trips on several airlines each day. One of the airlines, Air Do was named after Hokkaido. Hokkaido can also be reached by ferry from Sendai, Niigata and some other cities, with the ferries from Tokyo dealing only in cargo. The Hokkaido Shinkansen takes passengers from Tokyo to near Hakodate in slightly over four hours.
Within Hokkaido, there is a fairly well-developed railway network (see Hokkaido Railway Company), but many cities can only be accessed by road.
Hokkaido is home to one of Japan's three Melody Roads, which is made from grooves cut into the ground, which when driven over causes a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the car body.
The Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education oversees public schools (except colleges and universities) in Hokkaido. Public elementary and junior high schools (except Hokkaido Noboribetsu Akebi Secondary School and schools attached to Hokkaido University of Education) are operated by municipalities, and public high schools are operated by either the prefectural board or municipalities.
Hokkaido has 37 universities (7 national, 5 local public, and 25 private universities), 34 junior colleges, and 5 colleges of technology (4 national and 1 local public colleges). National universities located in Hokkaido are:
Hokkaido government runs Sapporo Medical University, a medical school in Sapporo.
The 1972 Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo.
The sports teams listed below are based in Hokkaido.
Hokkaido has relationships with several provinces, states, and other entities worldwide.
As of January 2014, 74 individual municipalities in Hokkaido have sister city agreements with 114 cities in 21 different countries worldwide.
The current governor of Hokkaido is Harumi Takahashi. She won a fourth term in the gubernatorial election in 2015 with centre-right support. Her first election in 2003 in a close race against centre-left supported Yoshio Hachiro and seven other candidates ended a 20-year streak of victories by Socialist Party heavyweight Takahiro Yokomichi and then his former vice governor Tatsuya Hori who beat Hideko Itō twice by large margins. Itō, a former Socialist Diet member was supported by the Liberal Democratic Party against Hori in 1995 (at the time, Socialists and Liberal Democrats formed the ruling "grand" coalition on the national level); In 1999, Hori was supported by all major non-Communist parties and Itō ran without party support. Before 1983, the governorship had been held by Liberal Democrats Naohiro Dōgakinai and Kingo Machimura for 24 years. In the 1971 election when Machimura retired, the Socialist candidate Shōhei Tsukada lost to Dōgakinai by only 13,000 votes;Tsukada was also supported by the Communist Party – the leftist cooperation in opposition to the US-Japanese security treaty had brought joint Socialist-Communist candidates to victory in many other prefectural and local elections in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1959, Machimura had defeated Yokomichi's father Setsuo in the race to succeed Hokkaido's first elected governor, Socialist Toshibumi Tanaka who retired after three terms. Tanaka had only won the governorship in 1947 in a run-off election against Democrat Eiji Arima because no candidate had received the necessary vote share to win in the first round as required by law at the time.
The Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly has 101 members from 47 electoral districts. As of April 30, 2015, the LDP caucus holds a majority with 51 seats, the DPJ-led group has 26 members. Other groups are the Hokkaidō Yūshikai of New Party Daichi and independents with twelve seats, Kōmeitō with eight, and the Japanese Communist Party with four members.General elections for the Hokkaido assembly are currently held together with gubernatorial elections in the unified local elections (last round: April 2015).
For the lower house of the National Diet, Hokkaido is divided into twelve single-member electoral districts. In the 2017 election, candidates from the governing coalition of Liberal Democrats and Kōmeitō won seven districts and the main opposition Constitutional Democrats five. For the proportional election segment, Hokkaido and Tokyo are the only two prefectures that form a regional "block" district of their own. The Hokkaido proportional representation block elects eight Representatives. In 2017, the Liberal Democratic Party received 28.8% of the proportional vote and won three seats, the Constitutional Democratic Party won three (26.4% of the vote), one seat each went to Kibō no Tō (12.3%) and Kōmeitō (11.0%). The Japanese Communist Party, who won a seat in 2014, lost their seat in 2017 while receiving 8.5% of the votes.
In the upper house of the National Diet, a major reapportionment in the 1990s halved the number of Councillors from Hokkaido per election from four to two. After the elections of 2010 and 2013, the Hokkaido electoral district – like most two-member districts for the upper house – is represented by two Liberal Democrats and two Democrats. In the 2016 upper house election, the district magnitude will be raised to three, Hokkaidō will then temporarily be represented by five members and six after the 2019 election.
^[note 1] Source: English edition of Sightseeing in Hokkaido, Winter Festival and Events
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Ezo is a Japanese name which historically referred to the lands to the north of the Japanese island of Honshu. It included the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido which changed its name from Ezo to Hokkaido in 1869, and sometimes included Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.
The Hokkaido Railway Company is one of the constituent companies of the Japan Railways Group, and is often referred to using its official abbreviation of JR Hokkaido . It operates intercity and local rail services in Hokkaido, Japan. The company introduced Kitaca, a smart card ticketing system, in autumn 2008.
Hokkaido Air System Co., Ltd. , or HAC, is a regional airline that operates scheduled services in Hokkaidō and Aomori Prefecture, Japan from a main base of operations at Okadama Airport in Higashi-ku, Sapporo. It is a private company controlled by Japan Airlines, with 86 employees as of July 2018.
Hokkaido University of Education (HUE) is national, public university, administered by the government of Japan. It has five campuses in Hokkaido, Japan.
Menashi is a district located in Nemuro Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. As of 2010, its population is estimated at 6,069 and its area is 397.88 km2, with a population density of 15.3/km2 The origin of the name "Menashi" comes from the Ainu word menashi, meaning "to the east". The local government in Nemuro, which includes Shiretoko and The Northern Territories, decided to name the whole region "Menashi". Menashi’s only town is Rausu. The district was one of the settings of the Menashi-Kunashiri Battle of 1789.
The Hokkaido Shinkansen is a Japanese high-speed shinkansen rail line that links up with the Tōhoku Shinkansen in northern Aomori Prefecture in Honshu and continues on into the interior of Hokkaido through the undersea Seikan Tunnel. Construction started in May 2005, and the initial Shin-Aomori to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto section opened on 26 March 2016. Extension of the line to Sapporo is scheduled to open by March 2031. The line is operated by the Hokkaido Railway Company.
Television Hokkaido Broadcasting Co., Ltd. is a TV station headquartered in Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan, and is affiliated with TXN.
In 1869, the island of Hokkaido, Japan was divided into 11 provinces and 86 districts. The majority of Japan's former provinces were converted into prefectures by the Meiji government between 1870 and 1876.
Chyornye Bratya is collectively the name for a pair of uninhabited volcanic islands located between Simushir and Urup in the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. The larger of the two is named Chirpoy, and the smaller is named Brat Chirpoyev. The origin of the names is uncertain: the original Ainu language name of the island was Repunmoshiri, a word meaning “place of many small birds”.
Kitaca is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Sapporo, Japan. Hokkaidō Railway Company introduced the system from October 25 2008. Its name means "the card of north ", while 北 is also the first character of Hokkaidō (北海道). Like other electronic fare collection systems in Japan, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. The card has an official mascot of Ezo momonga, a kind of flying squirrel found in Hokkaidō. The mascot is designed by Sora, an illustrator who lives in Sapporo.
The Furano Line is part of the Hokkaido Railway Company network in Hokkaidō, Japan. It connects Furano Station in the city of Furano and Asahikawa Station in the city of Asahikawa. Popular with tourists, it has recently come to serve commuters in the bedroom towns that are developing as suburbs of Asahikawa.
Levanga Hokkaido is a Japanese professional basketball team based in the city of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido. The club was founded in 2006 as Rera Kamuy Hokkaido, this name comes from the language of the Ainu, an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaido, and means "god of the winds". The franchise changed its name twice in 2011; the first when the club's parent company was kicked out of the league due to financial woes in the season. The team ended the season with a league-backed management group and a new moniker, calling itself Basketball Club Hokkaido. And finally, took its current name Levanga Hokkaido, in August 2011.
Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting Co., Ltd. is a TV station affiliated with Fuji News Network (FNN) and Fuji Network System (FNS) serving in Hokkaido, Japan, headquartered in Sapporo, established 1972/4/1.
Shiribeshi Province was a short-lived province in Hokkaidō. It corresponded to Shiribeshi Subprefecture minus Abuta District plus the northern part of Hiyama Subprefecture.
Espolada Hokkaido (エスポラーダ北海道) are a Japanese professional futsal club, currently playing in the F. League. The team is located in Sapporo, in the island and Prefecture of Hokkaido; their home arena is Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo.
Chashi is the Japanese term for the hilltop fortifications of the Ainu. The word is of Ainu origin, from チャシ, which means palisade or palisaded compound; a rival theory relates this to the Korean term 잣 of roughly the same meaning. Over 520 chashi have been identified in Hokkaidō, mostly in the eastern regions of the island; others are known from southern Sakhalin and the Kurils; similar phenomena such as the ostrogu of Kamchatka and the gorodische of northeast Asia may have developed independently. A few, including the Tōya casi of present-day Kushiro, date to the Muromachi period; the remainder date largely to the early seventeenth century. As such their construction may be related to increased competition for resources as a result of "intensification of trade" with the Japanese.
The Hokkaido Chuo Bus Co., Ltd. is a Japanese bus company operating local and long-distance buses in Hokkaido prefecture, Japan. The company operates routes connecting cities within Hokkaido, as well as local city and chartered bus services.
Events from the year 1869 in Japan. It corresponds to Meiji 2 in the Japanese calendar.
Hokkaido Museum opened in Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan in 2015. Located within Nopporo Shinrin Kōen Prefectural Natural Park, the permanent exhibition is dedicated to the nature, history, and culture of Hokkaido. Also known as Mori-no-Charenga (森のちゃれんが), the museum integrates and replaces the Historical Museum of Hokkaido (北海道開拓記念館), which opened in 1971, and the Hokkaido Ainu Culture Research Centre (北海道立アイヌ民族文化研究センター), which opened in 1994.