Kumamoto Prefecture

Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県, Kumamoto-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyūshū.[1] Kumamoto Prefecture has a population of 1,748,134 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 7,409 km2 (2,860 sq mi). Kumamoto Prefecture borders Fukuoka Prefecture to the north, Ōita Prefecture to the northeast, Miyazaki Prefecture to the southeast, and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south.

Kumamoto Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese熊本県
 • RōmajiKumamoto-ken
Flag of Kumamoto Prefecture
Official logo 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
SubdivisionsDistricts: 9, Municipalities: 45
 • GovernorIkuo Kabashima
 • Total7,409.48 km2 (2,860.82 sq mi)
Area rank15th
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total1,748,134
 • Rank23rd
 • Density240/km2 (610/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-43
BirdEurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis)
FlowerGentian (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri)
TreeCamphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

Kumamoto is the capital and largest city of Kumamoto Prefecture, with other major cities including Yatsushiro, Amakusa, and Tamana.[2] Kumamoto Prefecture is located in the center of Kyūshū on the coast of the Ariake Sea, across from Nagasaki Prefecture, with the mainland separated from the East China Sea by the Amakusa Archipelago. Kumamoto Prefecture is home to Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan and among the largest in the world, with its peak 1,592 metres (5,223 ft) above sea level.


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".


Map of Kumamoto Prefecture showing municipal boundaries
     Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town      Village

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 (1,592 m (5,223 ft)), an extensive active volcano, is in the east of Kumamoto Prefecture. This volcano is located at the centre of the Aso caldera.

As of 31 March 2019, 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]


Kumamoto City
Itsuki Village
Aso City

Fourteen cities are located in Kumamoto Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Amakusa 天草市 683.17 83,082  
  Arao 荒尾市 57.15 53,675  
  Aso 阿蘇市 376.25 27,039  
  Hitoyoshi 人吉市 210.55 33,461  
  Kami-Amakusa 上天草市 126.94 27,603  
  Kikuchi 菊池市 276.66 49,455  
  Kōshi 合志市 53.19 61,022  
  Kumamoto (capital) 熊本市 390.32 738,907  
  Minamata 水俣市 162.88 25,310  
  Tamana 玉名市 152.55 70,530  
  Uki 宇城市 188.56 59,928  
  Uto 宇土市 74.17 37,442  
  Yamaga 山鹿市 299.67 53,404  
  Yatsushiro 八代市 680.59 129,358  

Towns and villagesEdit

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Type Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Asagiri あさぎり町 159.56 15,796 Kuma District Town  
  Ashikita 芦北町 233.48 16,306 Ashikita District Town  
  Gyokutō 玉東町 24.4 5,363 Tamana District Town  
  Hikawa 氷川町 33.29 12,250 Yatsushiro District Town  
  Itsuki 五木村 252.94 1,136 Kuma District Village  
  Kashima 嘉島町 16.66 9,119 Kamimashiki District Town  
  Kikuyō 菊陽町 37.57 41,411 Kikuchi District Town  
  Kōsa 甲佐町 57.87 10,924 Kamimashiki District Town  
  Kuma 球磨村 207.73 3,863 Kuma District Village  
  Mashiki 益城町 65.67 33,001 Kamimashiki District Town  
  Mifune 御船町 99 16,901 Kamimashiki District Town  
  Minamiaso 南阿蘇村 137.3 11,086 Aso District Village  
  Minamioguni 南小国町 115.86 3,977 Aso District Town  
  Misato 美里町 144.03 10,532 Shimomashiki District Town  
  Mizukami 水上村 192.11 2,276 Kuma District Village  
  Nagasu 長洲町 19.43 16,125 Tamana District Town  
  Nagomi 和水町 98.75 10,030 Tamana District Town  
  Nankan 南関町 68.92 9,572 Tamana District Town  
  Nishihara 西原村 77.23 6,752 Aso District Village  
  Nishiki 錦町 84.87 10,899 Kuma District Town  
  Oguni 小国町 137 8,735 Aso District Town  
  Ōzu 大津町 99.09 33,793 Kikuchi District Town  
  Reihoku 苓北町 67.06 7,462 Amakusa District Town  
  Sagara 相良村 94.54 4,598 Kuma District Village  
  Takamori 高森町 174.9 6,189 Aso District Town  
  Taragi 多良木町 165.87 9,604 Kuma District Town  
  Tsunagi 津奈木町 33.97 4,574 Ashikita District Town  
  Ubuyama 産山村 60.72 1,542 Aso District Village  
  Yamae 山江村 121.2 3,553 Kuma District Village  
  Yamato 山都町 544.83 15,771 Kamimashiki District Town  
  Yunomae 湯前町 48.41 4,046 Kuma District Town  



The population was on 1 June 2019 at 1,748,134 inhabitants with a population density of 236 per km ². The prefecture ranks 23rd in Japan.


Tsūjun Bridge in Yamato, Kamimashiki

There is a Honda motorcycle plant.


The prefecture has a mascot named "Kumamon", a black bear with red cheeks, who was created to attract tourists to the region after the Kyushu Shinkansen line opened.[5][6]










Expressways and toll roadsEdit

National highwaysEdit


Ferry routesEdit



Roasso Kumamoto franchise stadium in KKWing of Kumamoto

These sports teams are based in the prefecture:

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

The Kumamoto Prefecture will host the 2019 World Women's Handball Championship, having previously hosted the 1997 World Men's Handball Championship.

Sister citiesEdit

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

Kumamoto has a sister city located in Texas named San Antonio, which holds an annual fall festival 'akimatsuri' for its Japanese citizens. In 2015 the mascot, 'Kumamon' visited as an honorary ambassador during the festival located at the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Notable peopleEdit


  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. ^ 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  5. ^ The Life and Times of Japan's Mascots
  6. ^ "Top Ten Japanese Character Mascots". Finding Fukuoka. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  7. ^ JpopAsia. "Miku (BAND-MAID) | JpopAsia". JpopAsia. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  8. ^ "Eiichiro Oda, Hajime Isayama Show Their Support After Kumamoto Earthquakes". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  9. ^ "Hitomi at AV Idol Directory". in Japanese


External linksEdit