Kumamoto Prefecture

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Kumamoto Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 熊本県
 • Rōmaji Kumamoto-ken
Flag of Kumamoto Prefecture
Location of Kumamoto Prefecture
Coordinates: 32°43′N 130°40′E / 32.717°N 130.667°E / 32.717; 130.667Coordinates: 32°43′N 130°40′E / 32.717°N 130.667°E / 32.717; 130.667
Country Japan
Region Kyushu
Island Kyushu
Capital Kumamoto
 • Governor Ikuo Kabashima
 • Total 7,404.14 km2 (2,858.75 sq mi)
Area rank 16th
Population (May 1, 2011)
 • Total 1,812,255
 • Rank 23rd
 • Density 244.76/km2 (633.9/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-43
Districts 9
Municipalities 45
Flower Gentian (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri)
Tree Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)
Bird Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis)
Website www.pref.kumamoto.jp

Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県 Kumamoto-ken?) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu.[1] The capital is the city of Kumamoto.[2]


Historically the area was called Higo Province; and the province was renamed Kumamoto during the Meiji Restoration.[3] The creation of prefectures was part of the abolition of the feudal system. The current Japanese orthography for Kumamoto literally means "bear root/origin", or "origin of the bear".[citation needed]


Map of Kumamoto Prefecture showing municipal boundaries

Kumamoto Prefecture is in the center of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four major Japanese islands. It is bordered by the Ariake inland sea and the Amakusa archipelago to the west, Fukuoka Prefecture and Ōita Prefecture to the north, Miyazaki Prefecture to the east, and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south.

Mount Aso (1592 m), an extensive active volcano, is in the east of Kumamoto Prefecture. This volcano is located at the centre of the Aso caldera.

As of March 31, 2008, 21% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as natural parks: the Aso Kujū and Unzen-Amakusa National Parks; Kyūshū Chūō Sanchi and Yaba-Hita-Hikosan Quasi-National Parks; and Ashikita Kaigan, Itsuki Gokanoshō, Kinpōzan, Misumi-Ōyano Umibe, Okukuma, Shōtaisan, and Yabe Shūhen Prefectural Natural Parks.[4]


Fourteen cities are located in Kumamoto Prefecture:

Kumamoto City
Aso City

Towns and villages[edit]

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Itsuki Village



The population is 1,812,255. The prefecture ranks 23rd in Japan. The population density is 244.76 people per square kilometer.


Tsūjun Bridge in Yamato, Kamimashiki

There is a Honda automobile plant.








Expressways and toll roads[edit]

National highways[edit]


Ferry routes[edit]



Roasso Kumamoto franchise stadium in KKWing of Kumamoto

These sports teams are based in the prefecture:

  • Professional:
  • Amateur:
    • Kumamoto Golden Larks - regional baseball

Sister cities[edit]

Kumamoto Prefecture is the 'sister state/prefecture' of Montana in the United States.

Notable people[edit]

Kumamoto is the birthplace of Hollywood actor Tetsu Komai, filmmaker Kazuaki Kiriya, J-pop artist Kimeru, Japanese idol group ANGERME member Moe Kamikokuryou, J-pop singer Yuri Masuda, as well as J-Pop musician Tomiko Van, author of One Piece Eiichiro Oda, Takarazuka Revue actress Yu Todoroki, and contemporary artist Tetsuya Noda.


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kumamoto prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 572, p. 572, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Kumamoto" in p. 572, p. 572, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 


External links[edit]