Shimane Prefecture

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Shimane Prefecture
島根県
Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 島根県
 • Rōmaji Shimane-ken
Official logo of Shimane Prefecture
Symbol of Shimane Prefecture
Location of Shimane Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Chūgoku (San'in)
Island Honshu
Capital Matsue
Government
 • Governor Zenbee Mizoguchi
Area
 • Total 6,707.95 km2 (2,589.95 sq mi)
Area rank 18th
Population (October 11, 2011)
 • Total 712,336
 • Rank 46th
 • Density 106/km2 (270/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-32
Districts 5
Municipalities 19
Flower Moutan peony (Paeonia suffruticosa)
Tree Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii)
Bird Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus)
Fish Flying Fish
Website www1.pref.shimane.lg.jp/contents/
kokusai/kokusai-e

Shimane Prefecture (島根県 Shimane-ken?) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on the main Honshu island.[1] The capital is Matsue.[2] It is the second least populous prefecture in Japan, after its eastern neighbor Tottori. The prefecture has an area elongated from east to west facing the Chūgoku Mountain Range on the south side and to the Sea of Japan on the north side. It is divided into the Izumo Region in the East, the Iwami Region in the West and the Oki Region, a small group of islands off the northern coast. Most of the cities are near the shoreline of the Sea of Japan. Izumo Taisha in Izumo City is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan.

The Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan are also part of Shimane Prefecture, which also claims to have jurisdiction over the South Korea-controlled island of Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima).

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The history of Shimane starts with Japanese mythology. The Shinto god Ōkuninushi was believed to live in Izumo, an old province in Shimane. Izumo Shrine, which is in the city of Izumo, honors the god.[3] At that time, the current Shimane prefecture was divided into three parts: Iwami, Izumo, and Oki.[4] That lasted until the abolition of the han system took place in 1871. During the Nara period, Kakinomoto no Hitomaro read a poem on Shimane's nature when he was sent as the Royal governor.[5]

Later on in the Kamakura period, Kamakura Shogunate forced emperors Gotoba and Godaigo into exile in Oki. Emperor Godaigo later escaped away from Oki and began rallying supporters against the shogunate, which succeeded.[6]

Middle Ages[edit]

During the Muromachi period, Izumo and Oki were controlled by the Kyogoku clan. However, after the Ōnin War, the Amago clan expanded power based in Gassantoda Castle and the Masuda clan dominated Iwami province. The Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine was located between Amago territory and Masuda territory, so there were many battles between these clans for the silver. However, in 1566 Mori Motonari conquered Izumo, Iwami, and Oki.[6] After over 30 years of Mori control, in 1600 Horio Yoshiharu entered Izumo and Oki as the result of Battle of Sekigahara, which Mori lost. Following the change, Horio Yoshiharu decided to move to build Matsue Castle instead of Gassan-Toda, and soon after Yoshiharu's death the castle was completed. Later in 1638, the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Matsudaira Naomasa became the ruler because the Horio clan had no heir, and his family ruled until the abolition of the han system.

The Iwami area was split into three regions: the mining district, under the direct control of the Shogunate, the Hamada clan region, and the Tsuwano clan region. The Iwami Ginzan, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site produced silver and was one of the nation's largest silver mine by the early 17th century. The Hamada clan was on the shogunate's side in the Meiji Restoration, and the castle was burned down. The Tsuwano clan, despite the being ruled by the Matsudaira, was on the emperor's side in the restoration.[7]

Modern Age[edit]

In 1871, the abolition of the han system placed the old Shimane and Hamada Provinces in the current area of Shimane Prefecture. Later that year, Oki became part of Tottori. In 1876, Hamada Prefecture was merged into the Shimane Prefecture. Also, Tottori Prefecture was added in the same year. However, five years later, in 1881, the current portion of Tottori Prefecture was separated and the current border was formed.[7]

Geography[edit]

Shimane Prefecture is situated on the Sea of Japan side of the Chugoku region. Because of its mountainous landscape, rice farming is done mostly in the Izumo plain where the city of Izumo is located.[8] Another major landform is the Shimane peninsula. The peninsula is located across the Sea of Japan from Izumo to Sakaiminato, which is located in Tottori prefecture. Also, the peninsula created two sea water lakes, Lake Shinji and Nakaumi. The island of Daikon is located in Nakaumi. Off the main island of Honshū, the island of Oki is in Shimane prefecture as well. The island itself is in the Daisen-Oki National Park.[8] Shimane also claims the use of Liancourt Rocks, which they are in dispute with South Korea.[9]

As of 1 April 2012, 6% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Daisen-Oki National Park; Hiba-Dōgo-Taishaku and Nishi-Chūgoku Sanchi Quasi-National Parks; and eleven Prefectural Natural Parks.[10]

Most major cities are located either on the seaside, or along a river.[8]

Cities[edit]

Map of Shimane Prefecture

Eight cities are located in Shimane Prefecture, the largest being Matsue, the capital, and the smallest being Gōtsu. The cities Masuda, Unnan, Yasugi, and Gōtsu had a slight population increase due to the mergers in the early 2000s.[11]

Towns and villages[edit]

These are the towns and villages of each district. The number of towns and villages greatly decreased during the mergers. However, they hold about one-third of the prefecture's population.[11]

Mergers[edit]

April 1976 January 2011 January 2012
Izumo Region Matsue City (Old System) Matsue City (New System) Matsue City
(August 1, 2011 Merger with Higashiizumo Town)
Yatsuka District Kashima Town
Shimane Town
Mihonoseki Town
Yakumo Village
Tamayu Town
Shinji Town
Yatsuka Town
Higashiizumo Town
Yasugi City (Old System) Yasugi City (New System) Yasugi City
Nogi District Hirose Town
Hakuta Town
Nita District Yokota Town Okuizumo Town
Nita Town
Izumo City (Old System) Izumo City (New System) Izumo City
(October 1, 2011 Merger with Hikawa Town)
Hirata City
Hikawa District Taisha Town
Koryo Town
Taki Town
Sada Town
Hikawa Town
Ōhara District Daitō Town Unnan City
Kamo Town
Kisuki Town
Iishi District Mitoya Town
Kakeya Town
Yoshida Village
Tonbara Town Iinan Town
Akagi Town
Iwami Region Ōda City (Old System) Ōda City (New System) Ōda City
Nima District Yunotsu Town
Nima Town
Gōtsu City (Old System) Gōtsu City (New System) Gōtsu City
Ōchi District Sakurae Town
Ōchi Town Misato Town
Daiwa Village
Iwami Town Ōnan Town
Mizuho Town
Hasumi Village
Kawamoto Town
Hamada City (Old System) Hamada City (New System) Hamada City
Naka District Asahi Town
Kanagi Town
Misumi Town
Yasaka Village
Masuda City (Old System) Masuda City (New System) Masuda City
Mino District Mito Town
Hikimi Town
Kanoashi District Tsuwano Town (Old System) Tsuwano Town (New System) Tsuwano Town
Nichihara Town
Muikaichi Town Yoshika Town
Kakinoki Village
Oki Region Oki District Saigō Town Okinoshima Town
Fuse Village
Goka Village
Tsuma Village
Nishinoshima Town
Ama Town
Chibu Village

Climate[edit]

The prefecture has a sub-tropical climate. Winter is cloudy with a little snow, and summer is humid. The average annual temperature is 14.6 degrees Celsius. It rains almost every day in the rainy season, from June to mid-July. The highest average monthly temperature occurs in August with 26.3 degrees Celsius. The average annual precipitation is 1799 millimeters, higher than Tokyo's 1467 mm and Obihiro with 920 mm.[11]

Shimane Prefecture Yearly Averages by Region(Statistics Period:1971 - 2000、Source:Japanese Meteorological Agency: Statistical Climate Information
Average Year
(Month)
Oki Izumo (Coastal) Izumo (Inland)
Okinoshima
Saigo  
Okinoshima
Saigo Cape
Ama   Matsue
Kashima 
Matsue  Hikawa  Izumo  Okuizumo
Yokota 
 Unnan
Kakeya 
 Iinan
Akana 
Average
Temperature
()
Warmest Month 25.6
(Aug)
25.8
(Aug)
25.6
(Aug)
26.3
(Aug)
25.8
(Aug)
24.0
(Aug)
24.5
(Aug)
23.4
(Aug)
Coldest Month 3.9
(Feb)
4.5
(Feb)
4.4
(Feb)
4.2
(Jan)
4.5
(Feb)
0.7
(Feb)
2.3
(Feb)
0.4
(Jan, Feb)
Rainfall
(mm)
Heaviest Month 211.6
(Sept)
227.0
(July)
218.0
(Sept)
240.5
(July)
236.2
(July)
234.2
(July)
257.1
(July)
282.2
(July)
Driest Month 110.4
(Oct)
96.4
(Feb)
104.7
(April)
114.5
(April)
96.3
(Feb)
103.4
(April)
120.7
(April)
116.5
(Oct)
Average Year
(Month)
Iwami (Coastal) Iwami (Inland)
 Ōda   Hamada Masuda  Masuda City
Takatsu 
 Kawamoto  Ōnan
Hamada City
Yasaka 
 Tsuwano  Yoshika  Yoshika
Muikaichi 
Average
Temperature
()
Warmest Month 26.5
(Aug)
26.2
(Aug)
26.8
(Aug)
24.2
(Aug)
23.9
(Aug)
23.6
(Aug)
25.7
(Aug)
24.5
(Aug)
Coldest Month 4.9
(Jan, Feb)
5.8
(Feb)
5.4
(Jan, Feb)
2.7
(Jan)
0.8
(Jan)
1.5
(Jan)
3.0
(Jan)
1.9
(Jan)
Rainfall
(mm)
Heaviest Month 246.3
(July)
257.7
(July)
223.9
(June)
260.2
(July)
260.6
(July)
340.0
(July)
285.6
(July)
337.4
(June)
Driest Month 98.3
(Feb)
90.9
(Feb)
87.9
(Feb)
112.5
(Feb)
109.2
(Nov)
130.4
(April)
99.7
(Dec)
76.8
(Dec)

Transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Izumo Airport terminal

Three airports serve Shimane. The Izumo Airport located in Izumo is the largest airport in the prefecture in terms of passengers, which has regular flights to Haneda Airport, Osaka Airport, Fukuoka Airport, and Oki Airport. The Iwami Airport has two flights each day to Haneda and Osaka and 2 arrivals. Oki Airport has scheduled flights to Osaka and Izumo Airports.[12]

Rail[edit]

JR West and Ichibata Electric Railway serves the prefecture in terms of rail transportation. The Sanin Main Line goes through the prefecture on the Sea of Japan side going into major cities such as Matsue and Izumo.[13] Izumoshi and Matsue stations are the major stops in the prefecture. The Kisuki line, which forks from Shinji Station on the Sanin Line, connects with the Geibi Line in Hiroshima Prefecture, cutting into the Chūgoku Mountains.[13] Ichibata Electric Railway serve the Shimane peninsula from Dentetsu-Izumoshi Station and Izumo Taisha-Mae Station to Matsue Shinjiko-Onsen Station.[14]

JR West has three Limited Express trains to Shimane, which are Super Matsukaze, Super Oki, and Yakumo.[15]

Roads[edit]

General Roads[edit]

Highways[edit]

The four expressways in the prefecture connect major cities with other prefectures. The Matsue expressway connects Matsue with Unnan and Yonago in Tottori prefecture. Hamada Expressway forks from the Chugoku Expressway at Kita-Hiroshima and stretches to Hamada.[8]

Ferry/High Speed Boats[edit]

Economy[edit]

In Shimane, the largest employer is the retail industry, employing over 60,000 workers. The supermarket, Mishimaya, and the hardware store, Juntendo, are examples of companies based in Shimane. The manufacturing industry has the second number of employees with 49,000 workers. The retail industry has over 12,000 locations within the prefecture, the most of any industry.

29% of the total industry income in the Prefecture is from the service industry, which includes retailers. The manufacturing makes up 13% of the total industry income.

Companies based in Shimane[edit]

Manufacturing[edit]

Financial[edit]

Others[edit]

Major factories[edit]

Demography[edit]

One-third of the prefecture's population is concentrated in the Izumo-Matsue area. Otherwise, over two-thirds of the population is on the coastline. The reason is that the Chugoku mountains make the land inland harder to inhabit. The capital, Matsue, has the smallest population out of all the 47 prefectural capitals. Shimane has also the largest percentage of the elderly.[11] The province had an estimated 743 centenarians per million inhabitants in September 2010, the highest ratio in Japan, overtaking Okinawa Prefecture (667 centenarians per million).[16]

Population by age[edit]

Total Population in age groups
2007 Estimated Population
Unit:Thousands

Age Population
0 - 4 G30.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.png 30
5 - 9 G50.pngG01.pngG01.png 33
10 - 14 G50.pngG03.pngG01.pngG01.png 35
15 - 19 G50.pngG05.pngG03.png 37
20 - 24 G30.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.pngG01.pngG01.png 32
25 - 29 G50.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.png 38
30 - 34 G50.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.png 44
35 - 39 G50.pngG10.pngG05.pngG01.png 41
40 - 44 G50.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.png 38
45 - 49 G50.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.png 44
50 - 54 G50.pngG30.pngG01.png 51
55 - 59 G50.pngG30.pngG10.pngG10.png 66
60 - 64 G50.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.png 44
65 - 69 G50.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.pngG01.png 45
70 - 74 G50.pngG10.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.pngG01.png 50
75 - 79 G50.pngG10.pngG10.pngG01.png 45
80 and over G50.pngG30.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.png 64

Population in gender
2007 Estimated population
Unit:Thousands

Male Age Female
15 G10.pngG10.pngG03.png 0 - 4 R10.pngR10.pngR03.png 15
17 G10.pngG10.pngG05.pngG01.png 5 - 9 R10.pngR10.pngR05.png 16
18 G10.pngG10.pngG05.pngG01.pngG01.png 10 - 14 R10.pngR10.pngR05.pngR01.png 17
19 G30.png 15 - 19 R10.pngR10.pngR05.pngR03.png 18
16 G10.pngG10.pngG05.png 20 - 24 R10.pngR10.pngR05.png 16
19 G30.png 25 - 29 R30.png 19
22 G30.pngG03.pngG01.png 30 - 34 R30.pngR03.pngR01.png 22
20 G30.pngG01.png 35 - 39 R30.pngR01.png 20
19 G30.png 40 - 44 R30.png 19
22 G30.pngG03.pngG01.png 45 - 49 R30.pngR03.pngR01.png 22
26 G30.pngG10.pngG03.png 50 - 54 R30.pngR10.pngR01.pngR01.png 25
34 G30.pngG10.pngG05.pngG03.png 55 - 59 R30.pngR10.pngR05.pngR01.png 32
22 G30.pngG03.pngG01.png 60 - 64 R30.pngR05.pngR03.png 23
20 G30.pngG01.png 65 - 69 R30.pngR10.pngR01.png 24
22 G30.pngG03.pngG01.png 70 - 74 R30.pngR10.pngR03.pngR01.png 28
19 G30.png 75 - 79 R30.pngR10.pngR03.png 26
20 G30.pngG01.png 80 and over R50.pngR10.pngR05.png 44



Demography32000.svg
Comparison of Population Distribution between Shimane and Japanese National Average Population Distribution by Age and Sex in Shimane
Shimane
Japan (average)
Male
Female
1970 773,575
1975 768,886
1980 784,795
1985 794,629
1990 781,021
1995 771,441
2000 761,503
2005 742,223
2010 716,354
2010 Census, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications - Statistics Department


Culture[edit]

Cultural Assets[edit]

World Cultural Heritage
National Treasures
Important Traditional Building Preservation Area
  • Ōmori (Ōda City)
  • Yunotsu (Ōda City)

Languages(Dialects)[edit]

Universities in Shimane Prefecture[edit]

Tourism[edit]

Garden of the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi

Prefectural symbols[edit]

The prefectural flower is the mountain peony. On the island of Daikonjima, they were grown from at least the 18th century.[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Shimane Province" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 859, p. 859, at Google Books; "Chūgoku" at p. 127, p. 127, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Matsue" at p. 617, p. 617, at Google Books
  3. ^ Izumo Shrine website
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books
  5. ^ Shimane Prefecture introduction
  6. ^ a b 古川清行 Furukawa Kiyoyuki (2003). スーパー日本史 Super Nihon-shi. 講談社 Kōdansha. ISBN 4-06-204594-X. 
  7. ^ a b History of Shimane Prefecture
  8. ^ a b c d 新編 中学校社会科地図 Updated Social studies map for Junior High school. 帝国書院 Teikoku Shoin. 2007. ISBN 4-8071-4091-4. 
  9. ^ Liancourt Rocks
  10. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture". Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d 考える社会科地図 Kangaeru Shakaika Chizu. 四谷大塚出版 Yotsuya-Ōtsuka Shuppan. 2005. p. 113. 
  12. ^ Flight schedule of Oki Airport
  13. ^ a b Route map for JR West
  14. ^ Route map of Ichibata Electric Railway
  15. ^ JR West website on limited express trains
  16. ^ Japan Times “Centenarians to Hit Record 44,000”. The Japan Times, Sept. 15, 2010. Okinawa Prefecture also had the largest loss of young and middle-aged population during the Pacific War.
  17. ^ Shimane University
  18. ^ University of Shimane
  19. ^ Symbols of Shimane Prefecture: From Shimane Prefecture website

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°13′N 132°40′E / 35.217°N 132.667°E / 35.217; 132.667