Ibaraki Prefecture

Last updated
Ibaraki Prefecture
茨城県
Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 茨城県
   Rōmaji Ibaraki-ken
Ibaraki Pref Office.png
Ibaraki Prefectural Hall
Flag of Ibaraki Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Ibaraki Prefecture.svg
Anthem: Ibaraki kenmin no uta
Map of Japan with highlight on 08 Ibaraki prefecture.svg
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Region Kantō
Island Honshu
Capital Mito
Subdivisions Districts: 7, Municipalities: 44
Government
   Governor Kazuhiko Ōigawa
Area
  Total6,097.19 km2 (2,354.14 sq mi)
  Rank 24th
Population
 (July 1, 2023)
  Total2,828,086
  Rank 11th
  Density460/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
  Dialect
Ibaraki dialect
ISO 3166 code JP-08
Website www.pref.ibaraki.jp
SymbolsofJapan
BirdEurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
Flower Rose (Rosa)
Tree Ume tree (Prunus mume)
Ibaraki Prefectural Office and Headquarters in Mito Ibaraki Prefectural Office Building 05.jpg
Ibaraki Prefectural Office and Headquarters in Mito

Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県, Ibaraki-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. [1] Ibaraki Prefecture has a population of 2,828,086 (1 July 2023) and has a geographic area of 6,097.19 square kilometres (2,354.14 square miles). Ibaraki Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Tochigi Prefecture to the northwest, Saitama Prefecture to the southwest, Chiba Prefecture to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

Contents

Mito, the capital, is the largest city in Ibaraki Prefecture. Other major cities include Tsukuba, Hitachi, and Hitachinaka. [2] Ibaraki Prefecture is located on Japan's eastern Pacific coast to the northeast of Tokyo, and is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Ibaraki Prefecture features Lake Kasumigaura, the second-largest lake in Japan; the Tone River, Japan's second-longest river and largest drainage basin; and Mount Tsukuba, one of the most famous mountains in Japan. Ibaraki Prefecture is also home to Kairaku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is an important center for the martial art of Aikido.

History

Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province. In 1871, the name of the province became Ibaraki, and in 1875 it became its current size, by annexing some districts belonging to the extinct Shimōsa Province.

Kamitakatsu Shell Mound in Tsuchiura KamitakatsuKaizuka.jpg
Kamitakatsu Shell Mound in Tsuchiura

Paleolithic

In Japanese Paleolithic, humans are believed to have started living in the present-day prefecture area before and after the deposition of the volcanic ash layer from the Aira Caldera about 24,000 years ago. At the bottom of this layer are local tools of polished stone and burnt pebbles.

Asuka Period

During the Asuka period the provinces of Hitachi and Fusa were created. Later Fusa was divided, among them, the Shimōsa Province.

Muromachi Period

At the beginning of the Muromachi period, in the 14th century, Kitabatake Chikafusa made of the Oda Castle his field headquarters for over a year, and wrote the Jinnō Shōtōki (Chronicles of the Authentic Lineages of the Divine Emperors), while he was at castle.

Lake Kasumigaura in Ushibori Village (Hitachi Province), Mount Fuji in the background; 19th century of the Edo period. Hokusai, painter and printmaker Ushibori in the Hitachi province.jpg
Lake Kasumigaura in Ushibori Village (Hitachi Province), Mount Fuji in the background; 19th century of the Edo period. Hokusai, painter and printmaker

Edo Period

During the Edo period, one of the three houses or clans originating from Tokugawa Ieyasu (Gosanke 御 三家, three houses), settled in the Mito Domain, the clan is known as the Mito Tokugawa family or simply the Mito clan. Mito Domain, was a Japanese domain of the Edo-period Hitachi Province.

In 1657, a Mitogaku was created when Tokugawa Mitsukuni, head of the Mito Domain, commissioned the compilation of the Dai Nihonshi , a book on the history of Japan.

Meiji Period

In Meiji era, during the Meiji Restoration, the political map changes, the old provinces are converted or merged, to create the current prefectures, in this case the Ibaraki Prefecture.

Geography

Rivers Shintone (left) and Tone (right), Inashiki and Kawachi areas Kanto Plain (1257569801).jpg
Rivers Shintone (left) and Tone (right), Inashiki and Kawachi areas
Map of Ibaraki Prefecture
City Town Village Lake Map of Ibaraki Prefecture Ja.svg
Map of Ibaraki Prefecture
     City     Town     Village     Lake
Mito View from Art Tower Mito south.jpg
Mito
Tsukuba Tsukuba Center & Mt.Tsukuba01.jpg
Tsukuba
Hitachi Sakura Festival Hitachi Sakura Festival, Ibaraki 02.jpg
Hitachi Sakura Festival
Tsuchiura Tsuchiura downtown Tsuchiura-city.jpg
Tsuchiura
Ushiku Ibaraki prefectural road route 25 (Tsuchiura-Inashiki line) in Hitachino-Higashi,Ushiku city.jpg
Ushiku

Ibaraki Prefecture is the northeastern part of the Kantō region, stretching between Tochigi Prefecture and the Pacific Ocean and bounded on the north and south by Fukushima Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture. It also has a border on the southwest with Saitama Prefecture. The northernmost part of the prefecture is mountainous, but most of the prefecture is a flat plain with many lakes and is part of Kantō Plain.

Natural Parks

As of 1 April 2012, 15% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park, and nine Prefectural Natural Parks. [3] Also, Ibaraki has one Prefectural Geopark. The Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park, also includes the northeast area of Chiba Prefecture.

Mountains

The northern third of the prefecture is mountainous and in the center is the Tsukuba Mountains (筑波 山地). Its main mountains are: mount Yamizo with an elevation of 1022 m on the border with Fukushima and Tochigi prefectures (tripoint), mount Takasasa with 922 m, mount Tsukuba with two peaks Nyotai-San at 877 m and Nantai-San at 871 m, mount Osho at 804 m, mount Hanazono at 798 m, and mount Kaba at 709 m.

Water system

The main rivers that flow through the prefecture include the Tone, Naka (Ibaraki), and Kuji rivers, all of which flow into the Pacific Ocean. Before the seventeenth century, the lower reaches of the Tone were different from its current layout, and the Tone ran south and emptied into Tokyo Bay, and tributaries such as the Watarase and Kinu rivers had independent water systems.

The main tributaries of the Tone River basin are the Kinu River and Kokai River, which flow from north to south in the western part of the prefecture. The Shintone and Sakura rivers flow into Lake Nishiura.

The Edo River flows into Tokyo Bay; its source currently rises as an arm of the Tone River. In the past, the course of the Edo River was different, its source was corrected and diverted to the Tone River in the 17th century by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the city of Edo (now Tokyo) from flooding.

The Tone River, in addition to the Edo River, is part of the southern border of Ibaraki Prefecture with Chiba Prefecture, and the Watarase River, Tone River, Gongendō River, and Naka River (Saitama) in the southwestern border of Ibaraki with Saitama Prefecture. The Watarase River has become a small boundary of the southern border between Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures.

From ancient times to the beginning of the Edo period, the lower reaches of the Tone River did not exist and the mouth of the Tone was in Tokyo Bay. On the plain was the Katori Sea, which existed in ancient times, [4] the Lake Kasumigaura and other lagoons in present-day Chiba prefecture are remnants of that sea. Katori Sea was connected to the Kashima-nada (Pacific Ocean).

Lake Kasumigaura is currently divided into three lakes: Nishiura, Kitaura, Sotonasakaura. In addition, in the prefecture there are freshwater lagoons such as Hinuma, Senba, and Ushiku.

Fukuoka Dam, is a dam that spans the Kokai River in Tsukubamirai, it is one of the three largest dams in the Kantō region. Ryūjin Dam in Hitachiōta, is a beautiful dam on the Ryūjin River with a large pedestrian suspension bridge above the dam lake.

Cities

Thirty-two (32) cities are located in Ibaraki Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district, 10 towns and 2 villages in 7 districts:

Mergers

Economy

Ibaraki's economy is based on energy production (particularly nuclear energy), chemical and precision machining industries, research institutes, and tourism. Agriculture, fishing, and livestock are also important sectors in the prefecture. [5]

Ibaraki's vast flat terrain make it highly suitable for industrial development. This complements its proximity to the Tokyo metropolitan area, giving it a high reputation as an industrial base. The prefecture is also home to Tsukuba, Japan's most extensive research and academic city, and the birthplace of Hitachi, Ltd. [6]

Paddy field at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba Mt.Tsukuba 22.jpg
Paddy field at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba
Sweet potato field in Namegata Sweet potato field in Namegata, Ibaraki 06.jpg
Sweet potato field in Namegata

Agriculture

With extensive flat lands, abundant water, and suitable climate, Ibaraki is among the prefectures with the highest agricultural production in Japan. It plays an important role in supplying food to the Tokyo metropolitan area. Its main products include melons, pears, peppers, various varieties of rice and sugar cane, as well as flowers and ornamental plants.

It also supplies other food crops to the rest of the country. As of March 2011, the prefecture produced 25% of Japan's bell peppers and Chinese cabbage. [7]

Fishing

It is one of the prefectures with the highest fish production in the country; in the Pacific Ocean, Lake Kasumigaura, other lagoons and rivers, various species of fish are obtained.

Cattle

The Hitachigyū cattle (常 陸 牛 - ひたちぎゅう - Hitachi-gyū, Hitachi-ushi), which is a prefectural bovine breed, is noteworthy in livestock. The name comes from the kanji 常 陸 (Hitachi), the name of the ancient Hitachi Province and 牛 (ushi or gyū, beef). [8]

Background. In 1833 Tokugawa Nariaki (徳川 斉昭) established the breeding of black cattle in the present Migawa-chō (見川 町) of the city of Mito. Originally it remained mainly in the northern part of the prefecture, but later it spread throughout the prefecture.

Cyberdyne Inc. in Tsukuba Cyberdyne Inc Building day photo01.jpg
Cyberdyne Inc. in Tsukuba

Industrial centers

Demographics

Ibraki prefecture population pyramid in 2020 Ibraki prefecture population pyramid in 2020.svg
Ibraki prefecture population pyramid in 2020
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
18901,025,497    
19031,200,475+1.22%
19131,328,329+1.02%
19201,350,400+0.24%
19251,409,092+0.85%
19301,487,097+1.08%
19351,548,991+0.82%
19401,620,000+0.90%
19451,944,344+3.72%
19502,039,418+0.96%
19552,064,037+0.24%
19602,047,024−0.17%
19652,056,154+0.09%
19702,143,551+0.84%
19752,342,198+1.79%
19802,558,007+1.78%
19852,725,005+1.27%
19902,845,382+0.87%
19952,955,530+0.76%
20002,985,676+0.20%
20052,975,167−0.07%
20102,969,770−0.04%
20152,917,857−0.35%
20202,854,131−0.44%
source: [9]

Ibaraki's population is decreasing more rapidly than any other prefecture. [10] [11]

Culture

Ibaraki is known for nattō, or fermented soybeans, in Mito, watermelons in Kyōwa (recently merged into Chikusei), and chestnuts in the Nishiibaraki region. [12]

Ibaraki is famous for the martial art of Aikido founded by Morihei Ueshiba, also known as Osensei. Ueshiba spent the latter part of his life in the town of Iwama, now part of Kasama, and the Aiki Shrine and dojo he created still remain. [13]

Kasama is famous for Shinto (Kasama Inari Shrine), Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, house museum of the calligrapher and ceramist Kitaōji Rosanjin, Kasama Nichidō Museum of Art, residence of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the martial art Aikidō. [14]

The capital Mito is home to Kairakuen, one of Japan's three most celebrated gardens, and famous for its over 3,000 Japanese plum trees of over 100 varieties.

Kashima Shrine (Jingū) Ibaraki's cultural heritage.

Mito Tōshō-gū, is the memorial shrine of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Mito.

Seizansō was the retirement villa of Tokugawa Mitsukuni.

Mito Municipal Botanical Park, is a botanical garden in Mito.

Park Ibaraki Nature Museum in Bandō.

There are castle ruins in many cities, including Mito Castle, Yūki Castle, Kasama Castle, Tsuchiura Castle, Oda Castle.

Hitachi Fūryūmono, a puppet float theater festival, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Makabe Hina Doll Festival - Hinamatsuri - (Sakuragawa City).

Yūki-tsumugi (silk weaving technique) Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Kasama ware, Makabe Stone Lamp, Kagami Crystal Glass Factory, old glass factory in Ryūgasaki City.

Education

University

Kodokan (Mito) Kodokan, Mito, 2020.jpg
Kōdōkan (Mito)

Sports

The sports teams listed below are based in Ibaraki.

Kashima Soccer Stadium Kashima Stadium 1.JPG
Kashima Soccer Stadium
Tsukuba Circuit Tsukuba Circuit.jpg
Tsukuba Circuit

Football (soccer)

Volleyball

Rugby

American football

Baseball

Wrestling

Basketball

Motorsport

Tourism

Transportation and access

Lines map Kanto Railway, Tsukuba Railway (suspended 1987), and others Kanto Railway Linemap.svg
Lines map Kantō Railway, Tsukuba Railway (suspended 1987), and others
Lotus field and Joban Line Joban Line in Tsuchiura City 01.jpg
Lotus field and Jōban Line
Mount Tsukuba Ropeway Mount Tsukuba Rope Way 2.jpg
Mount Tsukuba Ropeway
Kashima Port Kashima Port.jpg
Kashima Port
Ibaraki Airport Ibaraki Airport 03.JPG
Ibaraki Airport

Railways

Cable cars

Roads

Expressways

National highways

Japanese National Route Sign Template.svg Ibaraki Prefecture with the following national routes:

Prefectural routes

Ibaraki Pref Route Sign Template.svg Ibaraki Prefecture with more than 300 prefectural routes.

Ports

Airports

Pronunciation

The prefecture is often alternatively pronounced "Ibaragi" by those who speak the regional dialect known as Ibaraki-ben. However, the standard pronunciation is "Ibaraki". According to the author of "Not Ibaragi, Ibaraki", [15] this is most likely due to a mishearing of the softening of the "k" sound in Ibaraki dialect.

Sister regions

Ibaraki is twinned with:

See also

Notes

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ibaraki-ken" in Japan Encyclopedia , p. 367, at Google Books; "Kantō" in Japan Encyclopedia , p. 479, at Google Books.
  2. Nussbaum, "Mito" at Japan Encyclopedia , p. 642, at Google Books.
  3. "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  4. "歌垣発祥の地を訪ねる「筑波山・香取の海」(in Japanese) - To visit the birthplace of Utagaki「Mt. Tsukuba ・ Katori Sea」-". utakura.com. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  5. "About Ibaraki". invest.indus.pref.ibaraki.jp. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  6. "data | Attractive Local Regions in Japan - Investing in Japan - Japan External Trade Organization". ジェトロ. Archived from the original on 2022-06-27. Retrieved 2022-07-04.
  7. Schreiber, Mark, "Japan's food crisis goes beyond recent panic buying Archived 2011-04-20 at the Wayback Machine ", The Japan Times , 17 April 2011, p. 9.
  8. "Breed info, About Hitachiwagyū Beef". hitachiwagyu.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  9. "Statistics Bureau of Japan". Archived from the original on 2020-11-08. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  10. "Gov't data show exodus to Tokyo from other parts of Japan continues". Japan Today. 1 February 2019. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019.
  11. "茨城県の人口と世帯(推計)-令和2年(2020年)12月1日現在 - (in Japanese) - Population and households in Ibaraki Prefecture (estimated)-As of December 1, 2020-". pref.ibaraki.jp, December 22, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2021.[ permanent dead link ]
  12. "Ibaraki Guide". ibarakiguide.org. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  13. Aikikai Foundation Ibaraki Branch Dojo " Archived 2023-06-10 at the Wayback Machine Founder and Iwama", Retrieved August 25, 2017
  14. "Kasamashiko – A Journey Through Japan's Pottery Culture". ibarakiguide.org. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  15. いばらぎじゃなくていばらき Archived 2017-06-29 at the Wayback Machine [Ibaragi ja Nakute Ibaraki]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ishioka, Ibaraki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Ishioka is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 72,351 in 28,291 households and a population density of 336 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 33.5%. The total area of the city is 215.53 square kilometres (83.22 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryūgasaki, Ibaraki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Ryūgasaki is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 76,218 in 32,714 households and a population density of 970 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 31.1% in July 2020. The total area of the city is 78.59 square kilometres (30.34 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ushiku, Ibaraki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Ushiku is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population of 84,675 in 35,082 households and a population density of 1437 persons per km2. The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 29.5%. The total area of the city is 58.92 square kilometres (22.75 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hitachinaka, Ibaraki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Hitachinaka is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 154,663 in 64,900 households and a population density of 1547 persons per km2. The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 26.1%. The total area of the city is 99.96 square kilometres (38.59 sq mi). It is a "hiragana city", the place name is written with the hiragana syllabary and not the traditional kanji.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Itako, Ibaraki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Itako is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 27,577 in 10,849 households and a population density of 386 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 32.9%. The total area of the city is 71.40 square kilometres (27.57 sq mi). It is known for its annual iris festival. Much of the city is within the borders of the Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inashiki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Inashiki is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 39,127 in 14,733 households and a population density of 191 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 37.1%. The total area of the city is 205.81 square kilometres (79.46 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Japan National Route 6</span> National highway in Japan

National Route 6 is a Japanese highway from Tokyo to Sendai that goes through the cities Mito, Iwaki and Sōma. It traces the old Mito Kaidō route from Tokyo to Mito, and, for much of its 353.6-kilometer (219.7 mi) route, it runs parallel to the Jōban railway line and the Jōban Expressway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kantō Railway</span> Railway operating company in Japan

Kantō Railway is a private railway company, which operates two lines in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan. The company is a subsidiary of Keisei Electric Railway and other companies. Additionally, the company has a bus department in Ibaraki Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture in Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Katori, Chiba</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Katori is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 November 2020, the city had an estimated population of 74,469 in 31,113 households and a population density of 280 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 262.31 square kilometres (101.28 sq mi). Katori Shrine is in the city of Katori, as is the old merchant town and canal of Sawara.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tsukubamirai, Ibaraki</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Tsukubamirai is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population of 51,035 in 20,030 households and a population density of 645 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 26.3%. The total area of the city is 79.16 square kilometres (30.56 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mito, Ibaraki</span> Core city in Kantō, Japan

Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 269,330 in 123,282 households and a population density of 1239 persons per km2. The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 27.1%. The total area of the city is 217.32 square kilometres (83.91 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tsuchiura</span> City in Kantō, Japan

Tsuchiura is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population in 2020 of 138,033 people in 60,069 households, and a population density of 1,123 persons per squate kilometre. The proportion of the population aged over 65 was 29.7%. The total area of the city is 122.89 square kilometres (47.45 sq mi). About 3,000 residents are non-Japanese, a large proportion of these being Filipinos, Chinese or Brazilians.

Mito Kaidō (水戸街道) was an old road, kaidō, in Japan starting from the center of Edobashi. It was built to connect Edo with Mito in modern-day Ibaraki Prefecture. Travelers from Edo called it the Mito Kaidō, but travelers from Mito called it the Edo Kaidō. Today, National Route 6 follows the old Mito Kaido.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Port of Ibaraki</span> Port in  Japan

The Port of Ibaraki is a Japanese maritime port in northeast Ibaraki, Japan. It serves as the primary port for the industrial area centered on the city of Hitachi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Suigō-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park</span> Quasi-National Park in Kantō, Japan

Suigō-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park is a quasi-national park in the Kantō region of Honshū in Japan. It is rated a protected landscape according to the IUCN.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kantetsu Green Bus</span> Bus company in Kanto, Japan

The Kantetsu Green Bus Co., Ltd. is a bus company within the Kanto Railway, and also belongs to Keisei Group. The company was established on 15 March 2002 to inherit the partial business of the Kanto Railway's bus department.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oda Castle</span>

Oda Castle is a hira-style Muromachi period Japanese castle located in what is now the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It has been protected by the central government as a National Historic Site since 1935.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Port of Kashima</span> Port in  Japan

The Port of Kashima is a Japanese seaport located in the cities of Kamisu and Kashima in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Katori Sea</span> Vanished inland sea, Japan

The Katori Sea refers to the vanished inland sea formerly located in the eastern part of the ancient Kantō Plain connected to the Pacific Ocean, between the prefectures of Ibaraki and Chiba in Japan.

References

36°14′N140°17′E / 36.233°N 140.283°E / 36.233; 140.283