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Yamagata Prefecture

Coordinates: 38°14′25″N 140°21′48″E / 38.24028°N 140.36333°E / 38.24028; 140.36333
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Japanese transcription(s)
 • RomajiYamagata-ken
Flag of Yamagata
Official seal of Yamagata
Location of Yamagata in Japan
Location of Yamagata in Japan
Coordinates: 38°14′25″N 140°21′48″E / 38.24028°N 140.36333°E / 38.24028; 140.36333
Country Japan
 • GovernorMieko Yoshimura
 • Total9,323.34 km2 (3,599.76 sq mi)
 • Rank9th
 (Octber 1, 2012)
 • Total1,151,863 [1]
 • Rank35rd
ISO 3166 codeJP-06
Prefectural flowerSafflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
Prefectural treeCherry
Prefectural birdMandarin duck (Aix galericulata)
Prefectural birdCherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou)
Number of districts8
Number of municipalities35

Yamagata Prefecture (山形県, Yamagata-ken) is a prefecture of Japan. It is part of the Tōhoku region on the island of Honshu.[2] Its capital is Yamagata.[3]

History[change | change source]

The aboriginal Ezo (蝦夷) people once lived in the area now known as Yamagata.

Yamagata was part of Dewa Province until the Meiji Restoration.[4]

This area was called "Yamagata" for the first time in Heian period. However, different characters were used to write it. The reason why this area was called Yamagata is not clear. In Nanboku-chō period, Yamagata was written in same kanji that it is today.

Geography[change | change source]

Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tōhoku. It faces the Sea of Japan. It borders Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture on the south, Miyagi Prefecture on the east, and Akita Prefecture on the north.

The Mogami and the Zaou are the two major rivers in the prefecture.

Cities[change | change source]

Thirteen cities are located in Yamagata Prefecture:

National parks[change | change source]

National parks cover about 17% of the total land area of the prefecture.[5] They include:

Shrines and temples[change | change source]

Ōmonoimia jinja is the main Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) in the prefecture.[7]

Economy[change | change source]

Yamagata is a farming area. It grows the most cherries and pears in the country.[8] Over 70 percent of cherries in Japan are grown in Yamagata. Growing apples is important around the city of Yonezawa. The safflower is a symbol of Yamagata Prefecture. The number of farms growing safflower have steadily decreased since the 18th century. Yonezawa beef is bred in Yonezawa city. It is one of the most famous varieties of beef in Japan. Yonezawa is also known for its soba noodles.[9]

Shogi (chess) pieces are made in the city of Tendo. The pieces are carved from wood.

Festivals[change | change source]

Hanagasa festival has been held since 1963 and is one of the major festivals in Tohoku region. At the festival, the dancers dance with "Hanagasa" that is a hat decorated with red flowers.[10] Uesugi snow lantern festival is held on the second weekend of February. The candles in more than 300 snow lanterns and 3,000 snow lamps are lit up.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Yamagata". 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  2. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Yamagata prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 1038-1039; "Tōhoku" at p. 970.
  3. Nussbaum, "Yamagata" at p. 1038.
  4. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780.
  5. Japan Ministry of the Environment, "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture"; retrieved 2012-3-13.
  6. Japan Ministry of the Environment, "Bandai-Asahi National Park" Archived 2014-09-09 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2012-3-19.
  7. "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 1 Archived 2013-05-17 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-3-13.
  8. "Let's travel around Japan!-Yamagata Prefecture-". Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  9. "Food|Yonezawa Sightseeing Navigation site". Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  10. http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/spot/festival/yamagatahanagasa.html

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Yamagata prefecture at Wikimedia Commons