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Prefectures: What Prefecture In Japan Is It? Mini Test

47 Prefectures

Welcome to your Map of Japan quiz.

Ehime

Kagoshima

Wakayama

Nagasaki

Saitama

Tottori

Shimane

Nagano

Ibaraki

Aichi

Osaka

Niigata

Fukuoka

Shizuoka

Saga

Okayama

Tochigi

Kumamoto

Kochi

Kanagawa

Gifu

Chiba

Yamaguchi

Toyama

Nara

Shiga

Hiroshima

Kagawa

Yamagata

Fukui

Aomori

Hokkaido 北海道

Akita

Fukushima

Miyazaki

Ishikawa

Yamanashi

Gunma

Tokyo

Iwate

Okinawa

Mie

Hyogo

Tokushima

Kyoto

Oita

Miyagi


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Japan is divided into 47 prefectures (都道府県, todōfuken, [todoːɸɯ̥ꜜkeɴ]), which rank immediately below the national government and form the country’s first level of jurisdiction and administrative division. They include 43 prefectures proper (県, ken), two urban prefectures (府, fu: Osaka and Kyoto), one “circuit” or “territory” (道, dō: Hokkai-dō) and one metropolis (都, to: Tokyo).

In 1868, the Meiji Fuhanken sanchisei administration created the first prefectures (urban fu and rural ken). They were to replace the urban and rural administrators (bugyō, daikan, etc.) in the parts of the country. They were previously controlled directly by the shogunate and a few territories of rebels/shogunate loyalists who had not submitted to the new government such as Aizu/Wakamatsu. Then in 1871, all remaining feudal domains (han) became prefectures, so that prefectures subdivided the whole country. In several waves of territorial consolidation, we ended up with today’s 47. And in many instances, these are contiguous with the ancient ritsuryō provinces of Japan.

Each prefecture’s chief executive is a directly elected governor (知事, chiji). Every 4 years members get elected. Ordinances and budgets are enacted by a unicameral assembly (議会, gikai).

Under a set of 1888–1890 laws on local government until the 1920s, each prefecture (then only 3 -fu and 42 -ken; Hokkai-dō and Okinawa-ken were subject to different laws until the 20th century. They were subdivided into cities (市, shi) and districts (郡, gun). And each district into towns (町, chō/machi) and villages (村, son/mura). Hokkaidō has 14 subprefectures that act as General Subprefectural Bureaus (総合振興局, sōgō-shinkō-kyoku. Literally meaning “Comprehensive Promotion Bureau”) and Subprefectural Bureaus (振興局, shinkō-kyoku, literally “Promotion Bureau”) of the prefecture. Some other prefectures also have branch offices that carry out prefectural administrative functions outside the capital. Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a merged city-prefecture; a metropolis, it has features of both cities and prefectures.

Looking for interesting places to go in Hokkaido: https://hokkaido.a4jp.com