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Osaka Prefecture

Coordinates: 34°41′11″N 135°31′12″E / 34.68639°N 135.52000°E / 34.68639; 135.52000
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Osaka Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese大阪府
 • RōmajiŌsaka-fu
Flag of Osaka Prefecture
Official logo of Osaka Prefecture
Location of Osaka Prefecture
Coordinates: 34°41′11″N 135°31′12″E / 34.68639°N 135.52000°E / 34.68639; 135.52000
Country Japan
SubdivisionsDistricts: 5, Municipalities: 43
 • GovernorHirofumi Yoshimura
 • Total1,905.14 km2 (735.58 sq mi)
 • Rank46th
 (1 July 2019)
 • Total8,823,358
 • Rank3rd
 • Density4,600/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
 • TotalJP¥ 41,188 billion
US$ 377.9 billion (2019)
ISO 3166 codeJP-27
Symbols of Japan
BirdBull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus)
FlowerJapanese apricot (Prunus mume)
Primrose (Primula sieboldii)
TreeGinkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba)

Osaka Prefecture (大阪府, Ōsaka-fu, pronounced [oːsaka ɸɯ]) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu.[2] Osaka Prefecture has a population of 8,778,035 (as of 1 April 2022) and has a geographic area of 1,905 square kilometres (736 sq mi). Osaka Prefecture borders Hyōgo Prefecture to the northwest, Kyoto Prefecture to the north, Nara Prefecture to the southeast, and Wakayama Prefecture to the south.

Osaka is the capital and largest city of Osaka Prefecture, and the third-largest city in Japan, with other major cities including Sakai, Higashiōsaka, and Hirakata.[3] Osaka Prefecture is located on the western coast of the Kii Peninsula, forming the western is open to Osaka Bay. Osaka Prefecture is the third-most-populous prefecture, but by geographic area the second-smallest; at 4,600 inhabitants per square kilometre (12,000/sq mi) it is the second-most densely populated, below only Tokyo. Osaka Prefecture is one of Japan's two "urban prefectures" using the designation fu (府) rather than the standard ken for prefectures, along with Kyoto Prefecture. Osaka Prefecture forms the center of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, the second-most-populated urban region in Japan after the Greater Tokyo area and one of the world's most productive regions by GDP.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

Prior to the Meiji Restoration, the modern-day area of Osaka Prefecture was split between Kawachi, Izumi,[5][6] and Settsu provinces.[7]

Osaka Prefecture was created on June 21, 1868, at the very beginning of the Meiji era.[8] During the instigation of Fuhanken Sanchisei in 1868, the prefecture received its suffix fu, designating it as a prefecture.

On September 1, 1956, the city of Osaka was promoted to a city designated by government ordinance and thereby divided into 24 wards. Sakai became the second city in the prefecture to be promoted to a city designated by government ordinance on April 1, 2006, and was divided into seven wards.

In 2000, Fusae Ota became Japan's first female governor when she replaced Knock Yokoyama, who resigned after prosecution for sexual harassment.[9] Tōru Hashimoto, previously famous as a counselor on television, was elected in 2008 at the age of 38, becoming the youngest governor in Japan.[10]

On June 18, 2018, an earthquake struck the northern region of the prefecture. It killed 4 people and caused minor damage across Greater Osaka.[11]

Proposed reorganisation[edit]

In 2010, the Osaka Restoration Association was created with backing by Governor Tōru Hashimoto, with hopes of reforming Osaka Prefecture into the Osaka Metropolis and merging with the City of Osaka.[10] In the 2011 local elections, the association was able to win the majority of the prefectural seats and Hashimoto was elected as mayor of Osaka.

A referendum on the issue was held in 2015 and was defeated with 50.38% of voters opposed to the plan.[10] A second referendum in 2020 was rejected by 50.6% of voters.[12]


Osaka Prefecture neighbors the prefectures of Hyōgo and Kyoto in the north, Nara in the east and Wakayama in the south. The Yodo and Yamato Rivers flow through the prefecture.

Prior to the construction of Kansai International Airport, Osaka was the smallest prefecture in Japan. The artificial island on which the airport was built added enough area to make it slightly larger than Kagawa Prefecture.[13][14]

As of 1 April 2012, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Kongō-Ikoma-Kisen and Meiji no Mori Minō Quasi-National Parks and Hokusetsu and Hannan-Misaki Prefectural Natural Parks.[15]


Map of Osaka Prefecture
     Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town      Village
Osaka Prefectural Office
Sakai and Daisenryo Kofun Mozu Tomb

Since 2005, Osaka consists of 43 municipalities: 33 cities, nine towns and one village. As of 2021, the 33 cities include two designated major cities, seven core cities and two (transitional) special case cities (after legal abolition in 2015, to be replaced with the core city system in the 2020s).

Flag, name w/o suffix Full name District
Area (km2) Population Map LPE code
(w/o pref. [27...],
checksum [-x])
Japanese transcription translation
Daitō 大東市 Daitō-shi Daitō City 18.27 119,329 218
Fujidera 藤井寺市 Fujidera-shi Fujidera City 8.89 65,075 226
Habikino 羽曳野市 Habikino-shi Habikino City 26.44 113,256 222
Hannan 阪南市 Hannan-shi Hannan City 36.1 55,798 232
Higashiōsaka 東大阪市 Higashi-Ōsaka-shi Higashi-Osaka City
(East Osaka City)
61.78 495,011 227
Hirakata 枚方市 Hirakata-shi Hirakata City 65.08 401,449 210
Ibaraki 茨木市 Ibaraki-shi Ibaraki City 76.52 280,562 211
Ikeda 池田市 Ikeda-shi Ikeda City 22.09 103,028 204
Izumi 和泉市 Izumi-shi Izumi City 84.98 186,370 219
Izumiōtsu 泉大津市 Izumi-Ōtsu-shi Izumi-Ōtsu City
(as opposed to Ōtsu City in Ōmi Province)
13.36 75,398 206
Izumisano 泉佐野市 Izumi-Sano-shi Izumi-Sano City
(as opposed to Sano City in Shimotsuke Province)
55.03 100,649 213
Kadoma 門真市 Kadoma-shi Kadoma City 12.28 124,516 223
Kaizuka 貝塚市 Kaizuka-shi Kaizuka City 43.99 88,345 208
Kashiwara 柏原市 Kashiwara-shi Kashiwara City 25.39 76,383 221
Katano 交野市 Katano-shi Katano City 25.55 76,383 230
Kawachinagano 河内長野市 Kawachi-Nagano-shi Kawachi-Nagano City
(as opposed to Nagano City in Shinano Province)
109.61 105,872 216
Kishiwada 岸和田市 Kishiwada-shi Kishiwada City 72.68 197,629 202
Matsubara 松原市 Matsubarashi Matsubara City 16.66 121,125 217
Minoh 箕面市 Minoo-shi Minoo City 47.84 134,435 220
Moriguchi 守口市 Moriguchi-shi Moriguchi City 12.73 143,877 209
Neyagawa 寝屋川市 Neyagawa-shi Neyagawa City 24.73 236,758 215
Osaka (capital) 大阪市 Ōsaka-shi Osaka City 225.21 2,668,586 100
Ōsakasayama 大阪狭山市 Ōsaka-Sayama-shi Osaka-Sayama City
(as opposed to Sayama City in Saitama)
11.86 57,993 231
Sakai 堺市 Sakai-shi Sakai City 149.82 828,741 140
Sennan 泉南市 Sennan-shi Sennan City
(Sen[shū] South City)
(after Sennan District)
48.48 62,076 228
Settsu 摂津市 Settsu-shi Settsu City 14.88 85,290 224
Shijōnawate 四條畷市 Shijōnawate-shi Shijōnawate City 18.74 55,832 229
Suita 吹田市 Suita-shi Suita City 36.11 378,322 205
Takaishi 高石市 Takaishi-shi Takaishi City 11.35 56,583 225
Takatsuki 高槻市 Takatsuki-shi Takatsuki City 105.31 350,914 207
Tondabayashi 富田林市 Tondabayashi-shi Tondabayashi City 39.66 112,993 214
Toyonaka 豊中市 Toyonaka-shi Toyonaka City 36.38 396,014 203
Yao 八尾市 Yaoshi Yao City 41.71 268,013 212
Chihayaakasaka 千早赤阪村 Chihaya-Akasaka-mura Chihaya-Akasaka Village Minami- (=South) Kawachi 37.38 5,467 383
Kanan 河南町 Kanan-chō Kanan Town 25.26 16,027 382
Taishi 太子町 Taishi-chō Taishi Town 14.17 13,634 381
Kumatori 熊取町 Kumatori-chō Kumatori Town Sennan (=Sen[shū] South) 17.23 43,988 361
Misaki 岬町 Misakichō Misaki Town 49.08 16,267 366
Tajiri 田尻町 Tajiri-chō Tajiri Town 4.96 8,377 362
Nose 能勢町 Nose-chō Nose Town Toyono 98.68 9,971 322
Toyono 豊能町 Toyono-chō Toyono Town 34.37 19,519 321
Shimamoto 島本町 Shimamoto-chō Shimamoto Town Mishima 16.78 29,970 301
Tadaoka 忠岡町 Tadaoka-chō Tadaoka Town Senboku (=Sen[shū] North) 4.03 17,187 341
Osaka 大阪府 Ōsaka-fu Osaka Prefecture 1,905.14 8,823,358 000
ISO: JP-27


After the modern reactivation of districts in 1878/79, Osaka, including Sakai which was only merged into Osaka in 1881, consisted of 5 urban districts (-ku) and 27 rural districts (-gun), excluding 15 districts in Yamato Province which was later separated from Osaka as Nara Prefecture in 1887. When the prefectures were subdivided into modern municipalities in 1889, the five urban districts were turned into two district-independent cities: Osaka City and Sakai City, and Osaka's [rural] districts were subdivided into 12 towns and 310 villages. After Osaka City had absorbed many surrounding municipalities in the interwar/Taishō period, the number of municipalities in Osaka had already dropped to 149 by 1953. The Great Shōwa mergers of the 1950s reduced the total to 47 by 1961, including 26 cities by then. The current total of 43 was reached during the Great Heisei mergers in 2005.


Diamond district in Umeda
Osaka Garden City
Osaka castle
Osaka business park
Universal Studios Japan
Kansai International Airport
Umeda Sky Building
Famous advertisement by Glico man in Dōtonbori (middle-left)

The gross prefecture product of Osaka for the fiscal year 2004 was ¥38.7 trillion, second after Tokyo with an increase of 0.9% from the previous year. This represented approximately 48% of the Kinki region. The per capita income was ¥3.0 million, seventh in the nation.[16] Commercial sales the same year was ¥60.1 trillion.[17]

Overshadowed by such globally renowned electronics giants as Panasonic and Sharp, the other side of Osaka's economy can be characterized by its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) activities. The number of SMEs based in Osaka in 2006 was 330,737, accounting for 99.6% of the total number of businesses in the prefecture.[18] While this proportion is similar to other prefectures (the average nationwide was 99.7%), the manufactured output of the SMEs amounted to 65.4% of the total within the prefecture, a rate significantly higher than Tokyo's 55.5%, or Kanagawa's 38.4%.[19] One model from Osaka of serving the public interest and restimulating the regional economy, combined with industry-education cooperation efforts, is the Astro-Technology SOHLA,[20] with its artificial satellite project.[21] Having originally started from a gathering of Higashiosaka based SMEs, Astro-Technology SOHLA has not only grown into a Kansai region-wide group but has also won support from the government, through technology and material support from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA),[22] and financial support from NEDO.[23][24]

The Osaka Securities Exchange, specializing in derivatives such as Nikkei 225 Futures, is based in Osaka.

There are many electrical, chemical, pharmaceutical, heavy industry, food, and housing companies in Osaka Prefecture.

Osaka city skyline at dusk viewed from the Umeda Sky Building

Major companies[edit]

Major factories and research institutes[edit]


Osaka prefecture population pyramid in 2020

According to the 2005 Population Census of Japan, Osaka prefecture has a population of 8,817,166, an increase of 12,085, or 0.14%, since the Census of year 2000.[25]

As of 2020 this prefecture has about 99,000 ethnic Korean persons, the largest such population of any prefecture in Japan.[26] Osaka City. As of 2013 most ethnic Korean children attend ordinary Japanese public schools, although some Korean schools operated by the Chongryon and classes for ethnic Koreans had opened in the prefecture. During the Japanese rule of Korea many ethnic Koreans came to the Osaka area to look for work. Many people from Jeju came to the Osaka area after a 1922 ferry line between Osaka and Jeju opened. During World War II Japanese authorities forced additional ethnic Koreans to move to the Osaka area.[27]

Temples and shrines[edit]



Public elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture are operated by the municipalities. Public high schools are operated by the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education.





People movers[edit]


The four license plates in Osaka:
  大阪 (Ōsaka) in Northern Osaka
  なにわ (Naniwa) in Osaka City, named Naniwa as Imperial capital in antiquity
  和泉 (Izumi) in Southern Osaka≈Izumi Province+Southern Kawachi
  堺 (Sakai) in Sakai City


National highways[edit]


Sister regions[edit]

Osaka Prefecture has sister region relationships with:[29]


Panasonic Stadium Suita

The sports teams listed below are based in Osaka.

Football (soccer)[edit]





Rugby union[edit]

Prefectural symbols[edit]

The symbol of Osaka Prefecture, called the sennari byōtan or "thousand gourds", was originally the crest of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the feudal lord of Osaka Castle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020年度国民経済計算(2015年基準・2008SNA) : 経済社会総合研究所 - 内閣府". 内閣府ホームページ (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Osaka-fu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 759, p. 759, at Google Books; "Kansai" in p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Osaka" in p. 759, p. 759, at Google Books
  4. ^ "Statistics Bureau Home Page". www.stat.go.jp.
  5. ^ 大阪府教育委員会 (2002-03-29). "岸和田城跡". Comprehensive Database of Archaeological Site Reports in Japan. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  6. ^ 泉南市教育委員会 (1987-09-21). "海会寺". Comprehensive Database of Archaeological Site Reports in Japan. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  7. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books
  8. ^ "大阪のあゆみ (History of Osaka)" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-03-12.The creation of Osaka prefecture took place slight earlier than many other prefectures, that had to wait for abolition of the han system in 1871.
  9. ^ Tolbert, Kathryn. "Election of First Female Governor Boosts Japan's Ruling Party", The Washington Post, February 8, 2000.
  10. ^ a b c Harding, Robin (June 11, 2018). "Battle to remodel Osaka is legacy of Japan's Trump". The Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  11. ^ Kaneko, Kaori; Foster, Malcolm (June 18, 2018). "Magnitude 6.1 quake in Japan's Osaka area kills four, halts factories". Reuters. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  12. ^ Johnston, Eric (November 2, 2020). "Osaka referendum defeat raises questions about future of city's politics". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "平成10年全国都道府県市区町村の面積の公表について(Official announcement on the national territory and area of 1998, by prefectures, cities, districts, towns and villages)" Archived 2003-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, Geographical Survey Institute, Government of Japan, January 29, 1999.
  14. ^ "コラム Vol.017 全国都道府県市区町村面積調 (Column: "National Area Investigation" vol.017)" Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, Alps Mapping K.K., March 8, 2001.
  15. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  16. ^ "平成16年度の県民経済計算について (Prefectural Economy for the fiscal year 2004 based on 93SNA) Cabinet Office, Government of Japan" (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  17. ^ "大阪府民経済計算 (Osaka Prefectural Economy based on 93SNA) Osaka Prefectural Government" (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  18. ^ "2006 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan, Japan Small Business Research Institute (Japan)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  19. ^ "なにわの経済データ (The Naniwa Economy Data)" (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  20. ^ "Astro-Technology SOHLA" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  21. ^ "Japan Advertising Council". Archived from the original on 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-03-14. For details on the campaign featuring SOHLA, navigate through the Japanese page to the 2003 campaign listing, at entry "東大阪の人工衛星" (Higashiosaka's Satellite) [1] Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ ""Smaller firms build a satellite" City of Osaka, Chicago Office". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  23. ^ The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
  24. ^ ""Study of PETSAT" NEDO, 2005" (PDF) (in Japanese and English). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  25. ^ "Table 1: 大阪府の人口の推移 ( Population Change of Osaka Prefecture)" (in Japanese). Osaka Prefectural Government. Archived from the original on 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  26. ^ "大阪府の国籍・地域(出身地)別 在留外国人数" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  27. ^ Aoki, Eriko. "Korean children, textbooks, and educational practices in Japanese primary schools" (Chapter 8). In: Ryang, Sonia. Koreans in Japan: Critical Voices from the Margin (Routledge Studies in Asia's Transformations). Routledge, October 8, 2013. ISBN 1136353054, 9781136353055. Start: p. 157. CITED: p. 166.
  28. ^ 財団法人 国際花と緑の博覧会記念協会:English:Expo'90 Foundation Archived 2011-10-21 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Osaka's sister regions". www.pref.osaka.lg.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-08-07.


External links[edit]