Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県, Ishikawa-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu island.[1] Ishikawa Prefecture has a population of 1,140,573 (31 October 2019) and has a geographic area of 4,186 km2 (1,616 sq mi). Ishikawa Prefecture borders Toyama Prefecture to the east, Gifu Prefecture to the southeast, and Fukui Prefecture to the south.

Ishikawa Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese石川県
 • RōmajiIshikawa-ken
Kenroku-en Landscape Garden in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The pine trees are covered by the yukitsuri, preventing them from falling in winter when it snows heavily
Kenroku-en Landscape Garden in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The pine trees are covered by the yukitsuri, preventing them from falling in winter when it snows heavily
Flag of Ishikawa Prefecture
Official logo of Ishikawa Prefecture
Anthem: Ishikawa kenmin no uta
Location of Ishikawa Prefecture
Country Japan
SubdivisionsDistricts: 5, Municipalities: 19
 • GovernorHiroshi Hase (from March 2022)
 • Total4,186.09 km2 (1,616.26 sq mi)
 • Rank35th
 (October 31, 2019)
 • Total1,140,573
 • Rank34th
 • Density272.47/km2 (705.7/sq mi)
 • Dialects
ISO 3166 codeJP-17
Symbols of Japan
BirdGolden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
FlowerBlack lily (Fritillaria camtschatcensis)
TreeHiba (Thujopsis dolabrata)

Kanazawa is the capital and largest city of Ishikawa Prefecture, with other major cities including Hakusan, Komatsu, and Kaga.[2] Ishikawa is located on the Sea of Japan coast and features the most of the Noto Peninsula which forms Toyama Bay, one of the largest bays in Japan. Ishikawa Prefecture is part of the historic Hokuriku region and formerly an important populated center that contained some of the wealthiest han (domains) of the Japanese feudal era. Ishikawa Prefecture is home to Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Nyotaimori ("body sushi"), and Kutani ware.


Ishikawa was formed in 1872 from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.[3]


Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast. The northern part of the prefecture consists of the narrow Noto Peninsula, while the southern part is wider and consists mostly of mountains with the prefecture's chief city, Kanazawa, located in the coastal plain. The prefecture also has some islands, including Notojima, Mitsukejima, Hegurajima.

As of 1 April 2012, 13% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Hakusan National Park; Echizen-Kaga Kaigan and Noto Hantō Quasi-national parks; and five prefectural natural parks.[4]

Kanazawa (capital)金沢市
Municipalities in Ishikawa Prefecture      City      Town



Ishikawa's industry is dominated by the textile industry, particularly artificial fabrics, and the machine industry, particularly construction machinery.


Ishikawa prefecture population pyramid in 2020

Ishikawa Prefecture has an area of 4,186.09 km2 and, as of 1 April 2011, it has a population of 1,166,643 persons.[citation needed]

Data Unit Statistics
Area km2 4,186.09
Population Persons 1,166,643
Population density Persons per km2 278.72
Number of households Households 441,980
Income per person Thousand yen 2,707
Power consumed Kwh per household 6,446
Number of doctors Physicians per

100,000 people


List of governors of Ishikawa PrefectureEdit

  • Wakio Shibano (柴野和喜夫) (12 April 1947 to 23 February 1955)
  • Jūjitsu Taya (田谷充実) (24 February 1955 to 19 February 1963)
  • Yōichi Nakanishi (中西陽一) (23 February 1963 to 2 February 1994)
  • Masanori Tanimoto (谷本正憲) (29 March 1994 to 27 March 2022)
  • Hiroshi Hase (馳浩) (28 March 2022 to present)[5]


Kanazawa lacquerware (Kanazawa shikki) is high quality and traditionally decorated with gold dust.

The area is noted for arts and crafts and other cultural traditions:

  • The art of Noh was introduced to the area during the rule of the fifth Maeda lord Tsunanori and was refined into the style of Kaga hosho.
  • The tea ceremony was introduced in 1666 when Maeda Toshitsune invited Senbiki Soshitsu of Urasenke to Kanazawa.
  • Kutani ware (Kutani yaki) is a bright colored glaze like Chinese porcelain.
  • Ohi teaware (Ōhi yaki) is a pottery with a style unique to Kanazawa.
  • Nyotaimori or naked sushi is said to have originated in Ishikawa Prefecture.
  • Kaga silk (Kaga yūzen) is made with complicated silk print technique with an intentional rough look (wabi-sabi).
  • Kanazawa lacquerware (Kanazawa shikki) is high quality lacquerware traditionally decorated with gold dust.
  • Kanazawa gold leaf (Kanazawa haku) is produced with a technique of beating gold into wafer-thin sheets.
  • Kaga mizuhiki is ribbon-like decoration made from glued Japanese paper (washi).
  • Kaga inlay crafts (Kaga zōgan) are made with a combination of thin flat and thread metal inlays.
  • Gojinjo Daiko is a Japanese drum, a Wajima city cultural heritage (since 1961) as well as an Ishikawa Prefecture intangible cultural heritage (since 1963).
  • Abare Festival is reputed the most 'fierce' festivals of Noto, Ishikawa.
  • Japan Tent, an international exchange event.


Winter in Kenrokuen
Shirayone Senmaida, designated as a World Agricultural Heritage site in Wajima

The most popular destination in Ishikawa is Kanazawa. Tourists can get to Ishikawa by plane via either the Komatsu or Noto airports. Popular sites include:

Prefectural symbolsEdit

Notable peopleEdit


Ishikawa has a number of universities:



Kanazawa Station


Expressways and toll roadsEdit

National highwaysEdit


  • Kanazawa Port (International container hub port)
  • Nanao Port


Regional policiesEdit


The prefectural assembly building in the prefectural government building complex in Kanazawa

The current governor of Ishikawa is Hiroshi Hase who was first elected in 2022. He defeated six time incumbent Masanori Tanimoto.[7] Prior to his defeat, Tanimoto was one of two governors who were in their sixth term nationwide, the other being Masaru Hashimoto of Ibaraki. Hase is only the fifth governor of Ishikawa since 1947 when prefectural governors became elected offices, as Tanimoto had held the governorship for twenty eight years, first coming to office in 1994, succeeding Yōichi Nakanishi, who had serve from 1963 until his death in 1994.

The prefectural assembly of Ishikawa has 43 members and is elected in unified local elections (last round: 2011) in 15 SNTV electoral districts – six single-member, five two-member, one three-member, two four-member districts and the Kanazawa City district that elects 16 members. As of February 26, 2014, the LDP prefectural assembly caucus has 25 members and no other group has more than four members.[8]

In the National Diet, Ishikawa is represented by three directly elected members of the House of Representatives and two (one per election) of the House of Councillors. Additional members from the prefecture may be elected in the proportional representation segments of both houses: the Hokuriku-Shin'etsu proportional representation block in the lower house, the proportional election to the upper house is nationwide. After the Diet elections of 2010, 2012 and 2013, the five directly elected members from Ishikawa districts are all Liberal Democrats, namely:


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Chūbu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 126, p. 126, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Kanazawa" in p. 467, p. 467, 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. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Hase wins governor's race in Ishikawa after LDP split, grudge". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on April 3, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  6. ^ "The Fourth High School Memorial Museum of Cultural Exchange, Ishikawa" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "Hase wins governor's race in Ishikawa after LDP split, grudge | the Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis". Archived from the original on April 3, 2022.
  8. ^ Ishikawa Prefectural Assembly: members by caucus Archived March 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)


External linksEdit

36°38′N 136°39′E / 36.633°N 136.650°E / 36.633; 136.650