Ibaraki Prefecture

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Ibaraki Prefecture
茨城県
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese茨城県
 • RōmajiIbaraki-ken
Flag of Ibaraki Prefecture
Official logo of Ibaraki Prefecture
Location of Ibaraki Prefecture
Country Japan
RegionKantō
IslandHonshu
CapitalMito
SubdivisionsDistricts: 7, Municipalities: 44
Government
 • GovernorKazuhiko Ōigawa
Area
 • Total6,097.19 km2 (2,354.14 sq mi)
Area rank24th
Population
 (December 1, 2020)
 • Total2,852,515
 • Rank11th
 • Density470/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
 • Dialect
Ibaraki dialect
ISO 3166 codeJP-08
Websitewww.pref.ibaraki.jp
Symbols
BirdEurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
FlowerRose (Rosa)
TreeUme tree (Prunus mume)
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 2,871,199 (1 June 2019) 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.

Mito is the capital and largest city of Ibaraki Prefecture, with other major cities including 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, Tone River second longest river in Japan and has the drainage area the largest in Japan, and Mount Tsukuba, one of the most famous mountains in Japan. Ibaraki Prefecture is home to Kairaku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is an important center for the martial art of Aikido.

History[edit]

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.

Paleolithic[edit]

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[edit]

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

Muromachi Period[edit]

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

Edo Period[edit]

In Edo period, one of the three houses or clans originating from Tokugawa Ieyasu (Gosanke 御 三家, three houses), settled in the Mito Domain, known as Mito Tokugawa family or Mito Clan. Mito Domain, was a Japanese domain of the Edo period it was associated with Hitachi Province.

In 1657 the Mitogaku school was created, when Tokugawa Mitsukuni, head of the Mito Domain, commissioned the compilation of the Dai Nihonshi.

Meiji Period[edit]

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[edit]

Rivers Shintone (left) and Tone ((right), Inashiki and Kawachi areas
Map of Ibaraki Prefecture
     City      Town      Village      Lake

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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 birth currently derives 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 whith Chiba Prefecture, and the Watarase River, Tone River, Gongendō River, and Naka River (Saitama) in the southwestern border of Ibaraki whith 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 Kantō region. Ryūjin Dam, is a dam in the Ryūjin River in Hitachiōta, it is a beautiful dams with a large pedestrian suspension bridge above the dam lake.

Cities[edit]

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

Towns and villages[edit]

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

Mergers[edit]

Economy[edit]

Ibaraki's economy is based on energy production, particularly nuclear energy, as well as chemical and precision machining industries, research institutes and tourism, among others. Hitachi is a global company, as well as the name of the city where the company was founded. Another important sector is agricultural, fishing and livestock activities in the prefecture.[5]

Paddy field at Mt. Tsukuba foot
Sweet potato field in Namegata

Agriculture[edit]

It is one of the prefectures with the highest agricultural production in the country; it possesses flat lands of great extension with abundant water and suitable climate. Under these privileged conditions, Ibaraki plays an important role in supplying food to the Tokyo metropolitan area. Its production of melons, pears, peppers, various varieties of rice and sugar cane, among others, stands out; also flowers, ornamental plants, and forests.

Also, its food crops are used in the rest of the country. As of March 2011, the prefecture produced 25% of Japan's bell peppers and Chinese cabbage.[6]

Fishing[edit]

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[edit]

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).[7]

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

Industrial centers[edit]

  • Hitachi area. Grouping of industries, such as electrical, electronic and machinery. More than 1,300 companies; many of them hired by the Hitachi company, which was founded in Sukegawa (Hitachi City) in 1910.
  • Tōkai area. Atomic Energy Research Organization Grouping. J-PARC, Proton Accelerator Research Complex.
  • Tsukuba area. 32 institutes for education and research. Manipulation of matter at the level of atoms (nanotechnology). Robotic security center for support in daily life. Space center.
  • Kashima area. Grouping of materials industries, such as steel and petrochemicals, around 160 companies.

Demographics[edit]

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:[8]

Ibaraki's population is decreasing more rapidly than any other prefecture.[9][10]

Culture[edit]

Ibaraki is known for nattō, or fermented soybeans, in Mito, watermelons in Kyōwa (recently merged into Chikusei), and chestnuts in the Nishiibaraki region.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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[edit]

University[edit]

Sports[edit]

The sports teams listed below are based in Ibaraki.

Football (soccer)[edit]

Volleyball[edit]

Rugby[edit]

  • Stags - Kashima Rugby Football Club RFC (Kashima)

American football[edit]

  • Tsukuba University (Tsukuba)

Baseball[edit]

Wrestling[edit]

  • Hitachi Pro Wrestling (Regional group) (Hitachi)

Basketball[edit]

Motorsport race[edit]

Tourism[edit]

Transportation and access[edit]

Lines map Kantō Railway, Tsukuba Railway (suspended 1987), and others
Lotus field and Jōban Line
Mount Tsukuba Ropeway
Kashima Port
Ibaraki Airport

Railways[edit]

Cable cars[edit]

Roads[edit]

Expressways[edit]

National highways[edit]

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

Prefectural routes[edit]

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

Ports[edit]

Airports[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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",[14] this is most likely due to a mishearing of the softening of the "k" sound in Ibaraki dialect.

Sister regions[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  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. 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. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "About Ibaraki". invest.indus.pref.ibaraki.jp. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  6. ^ Schreiber, Mark, "Japan's food crisis goes beyond recent panic buying", The Japan Times, 17 April 2011, p. 9.
  7. ^ "Breed info, About Hitachiwagyū Beef". hitachiwagyu.com. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  8. ^ Statistics Bureau of Japan
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Ibaraki Guide". ibarakiguide.org. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  12. ^ Aikikai Foundation Ibaraki Branch Dojo "[1] Founder and Iwama", Retrieved August 25, 2017
  13. ^ "Kasamashiko – A Journey Through Japan's Pottery Culture". ibarakiguide.org. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  14. ^ いばらぎじゃなくていばらき [Ibaragi ja Nakute Ibaraki]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°14′N 140°17′E / 36.233°N 140.283°E / 36.233; 140.283