Okayama Prefecture (岡山県, Okayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu.[1] Okayama Prefecture has a population of 1,906,464 (1 February 2018) and has a geographic area of 7,114 km2 (2,746 sq mi). Okayama Prefecture borders Tottori Prefecture to the north, Hyōgo Prefecture to the east, and Hiroshima Prefecture to the west.

Okayama Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese岡山県
 • RōmajiOkayama-ken
A street in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture at night
A street in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture at night
Flag of Okayama Prefecture
Official logo of Okayama Prefecture
Anthem: Okayama-ken no uta
Location of Okayama Prefecture
Country Japan
RegionChūgoku (Sanyō)
SubdivisionsDistricts: 10, Municipalities: 27
 • GovernorRyūta Ibaragi
 • Total7,114.50 km2 (2,746.92 sq mi)
 • Rank17th
 (February 1, 2018)
 • Total1,906,464
 • Rank21st
 • Density270/km2 (690/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-33
Symbols of Japan
BirdLesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)
FlowerPeach blossom (Prunus persica var. vulgaris)
TreeRed pine (Pinus densiflora)

Okayama is the capital and largest city of Okayama Prefecture, with other major cities including Kurashiki, Tsuyama, and Sōja.[2][3][4] Okayama Prefecture's south is located on the Seto Inland Sea coast across from Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, which are connected by the Great Seto Bridge, while the north is characterized by the Chūgoku Mountains.

History Edit

Prior to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the area of present-day Okayama Prefecture was divided between Bitchū, Bizen and Mimasaka Provinces. Okayama Prefecture was formed and named in 1871 as part of the large-scale administrative reforms of the early Meiji period (1868–1912), and the borders of the prefecture were set in 1876.[3][5]

Geography Edit

Map of Okayama Prefecture
     Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town      Village

Okayama Prefecture borders Hyōgo Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture, and Hiroshima Prefecture.[3] It faces Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku across the Seto Inland Sea and includes 90 islands in the sea.

Okayama Prefecture is home to the historic town of Kurashiki. Most of the population is concentrated around Kurashiki and Okayama. The small villages in the northern mountain region are aging and declining in population - more than half of the prefecture's municipalities are officially designated as depopulated.[6]

As of 1 April 2014, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Daisen-Oki and Setonaikai National Parks; the Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park; and seven Prefectural Natural Parks.[7]

Cities Edit

Okayama City

Fifteen cities are located in Okayama Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Akaiwa 赤磐市 209.43 44,498  
  Asakuchi 浅口市 66.46 35,022  
  Bizen 備前市 258.23 35,610  
  Ibara 井原市 243.36 41,460  
  Kasaoka 笠岡市 136.03 50,160  
  Kurashiki 倉敷市 355.63 483,576  
  Maniwa 真庭市 828.43 44,265  
  Mimasaka 美作市 429.19 28,502  
  Niimi 新見市 793.27 30,583  
  Okayama (capital) 岡山市 789.92 720,841  
  Setouchi 瀬戸内市 125.51 37,934  
  Sōja 総社市 212 67,059  
  Takahashi 高梁市 547.01 31,556  
  Tamano 玉野市 103.61 60,101  
  Tsuyama 津山市 506.36 102,294  

Towns and villages Edit

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Type Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Hayashima 早島町 7.62 12,671 Tsukubo District Town  
  Kagamino 鏡野町 419.69 14,651 Tomata District Town  
  Kibichūō 吉備中央町 268.73 11,989 Kaga District Town  
  Kumenan 久米南町 78.65 4,962 Kume District Town  
  Misaki 美咲町 232.15 17,776 Kume District Town  
  Nagi 奈義町 69.54 5,861 Katsuta District Town  
  Nishiawakura 西粟倉村 57.93 1,437 Aida District Village  
  Satoshō 里庄町 12.23 11,204 Asakuchi District Town  
  Shinjō 新庄村 67.1 951 Maniwa District Village  
  Shōō 勝央町 54.09 11,237 Katsuta District Town  
  Wake 和気町 144.21 14,191 Wake District Town  
  Yakage 矢掛町 90.62 14,041 Oda District Town  

Mergers Edit

Demographics Edit

Okayama prefecture population pyramid in 2020

Per Japanese census data,[8] and,[9] Okayama prefecture has had continual negative population growth since 2005

Historical population
1920 1,218,000—    
1930 1,284,000+5.4%
1940 1,329,000+3.5%
1950 1,661,000+25.0%
1960 1,670,000+0.5%
1970 1,707,000+2.2%
1980 1,871,000+9.6%
1990 1,926,000+2.9%
2000 1,950,828+1.3%
2010 1,945,276−0.3%
2020 1,920,739−1.3%

Education Edit

Universities Edit

High schools Edit

  • Okayama
    • Okayama Ichinomiya Senior High School
    • Okayama Asahi Senior High School
    • Okayama Sozan Senior High School
    • Okayama Hosen Senior High School
    • Okayama Joto Senior High School
    • Okayama Sakuyo High School[10]
    • Kurashiki High School

Transportation Edit

JR Okayama Station
Okayama Momotarō Airport

Rail Edit

Tramways Edit

Roads Edit

Expressways Edit

National highways Edit

Airport Edit

Culture Edit

  • Bizen-yaki (Bizen pottery)
  • Bizen Osafune/Bitchu Aoe swords

Association with Momotarō legend Edit

Okayama Prefecture is closely associated with the folklore hero, Momotarō. This tale is said to have roots in the legendary story of Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto and Ura which explains that the Prince Ura of Kudara used to live in Kinojo (castle of the devil) and was a cause of trouble for the people living in the village. The emperor's government sent Kibitsuhiko-no-mikoto (Momotarō) to defeat Ura. The city of Okayama holds an annual Momotarō-matsuri, or Momotarō Festival.[4][11]

Arts Edit

Sports Edit

City Light Stadium.

The sports teams listed below are based in Okayama.

Football Edit

Volleyball Edit

Basketball Edit

Tourism Edit

Okayama Korakuen Park and Okayama Castle
Hiruzen Plateau and Hiruzen Joyful Park in Maniwa
Hinase Island and Seto Inlandsea in Bizen
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi

Some tourist attractions are:

Notable people Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Okayama-ken" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 745, p. 745, at Google Books; "Chūgoku" at p. 127, p. 127, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Okayama" at p. 745, p. 745, at Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c "Okayama Prefecture". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  4. ^ a b "岡山(県)" [Okayama Prefecture]. Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 153301537. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  5. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  6. ^ Okayama official website Archived 2013-01-02 at the Wayback Machine accessed Nov. 2007
  7. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Okayama (Japan): Prefecture, Major Cities & Towns - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". www.citypopulation.de.
  9. ^ "Japan Prefectures Population from 1920 and Area". www.demographia.com.
  10. ^ "岡山県作陽高等学校". www.sakuyo-h.ed.jp. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Okayama History". Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Yuko Arimori's profile".

References Edit

External links Edit

34°42′N 133°51′E / 34.700°N 133.850°E / 34.700; 133.850