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Fukushima Prefecture

fukushima prefecture, fukushima prefecture map
Fukushima Prefecture 福島県, Fukushima-ken is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on the island of Honshu2 The capital is the city of Fukushima3


  • 1 History
    • 11 2011 earthquake and subsequent disasters
      • 111 Earthquake and tsunami
      • 112 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Cities
    • 22 Towns and villages
    • 23 Mergers
  • 3 Economy
  • 4 Culture
  • 5 Notable festivals and events
  • 6 Education
    • 61 Universities
  • 7 Tourism
  • 8 Food
  • 9 Transportation
    • 91 Rail
    • 92 Road
      • 921 Expressways
      • 922 National highways
    • 93 Ports
    • 94 Airports
  • 10 Notable people
  • 11 See also
  • 12 Notes
  • 13 References
  • 14 External links


See also: Historic Sites of Fukushima Prefecture

Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Fukushima prefecture was part of what was known as Mutsu Province4

The Shirakawa Barrier and the Nakoso Barrier were built around the 5th century to protect 'civilized Japan' from the 'barbarians' to the north Fukushima became a Province of Mutsu after the Taika Reforms were established in 6465

In 718, the provinces of Iwase and Iwaki were created, but these areas reverted to Mutsu some time between 722 and 7246

The province of Fukushima was conquered by Prince Subaru in 1293citation needed This region of Japan is also known as Michinoku and Ōshū

The Fukushima Incident took place in the prefecture after Mishima Michitsune was appointed governor in 1882

2011 earthquake and subsequent disastersedit

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the resulting Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster caused significant damage to the prefecture, primarily but not limited to the eastern Hama-dōri region

Earthquake and tsunamiedit

Main article: 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

On Friday, March 11, 2011, 14:46 JST, a magnitude 90 earthquake occurred off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture Shindo measurements throughout the prefecture reached as high as 6-upper in isolated regions of Hama-dōri on the eastern coast and as low as a 2 in portions of the Aizu region in the western part of the prefecture Fukushima City, located in Naka-dōri and the capital of Fukushima Prefecture, measured 6-lower7

Following the earthquake there were isolated reports of major damage to structures, including the failure of Fujinuma Dam8 as well as damage from landslides9 The earthquake also triggered a massive tsunami that hit the eastern coast of the prefecture and caused widespread destruction and loss of life

In the two years following the earthquake, 1,817 residents of Fukushima Prefecture had either been confirmed dead or were missing as a result of the earthquake and tsunami10

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disasteredit

Main article: Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

In the aftermath of the earthquake and the tsunami that followed, the outer housings of two of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma exploded followed by a partial meltdown and fires at three of the other units Many residents were evacuated to nearby localities due to the development of a large evacuation zone around the plant Radiation levels near the plant peaked at 400 mSv/h millisieverts per hour after the earthquake and tsunami, due to damage sustained This resulted in increased recorded radiation levels across Japan11 On April 11, 2011, officials upgraded the disaster to a level 7 out of a possible 7, a rare occurrence not seen since the Chernobyl disaster in 198612 Several months later, officials announced that although the area nearest the melt down were still off limits, areas near the twenty kilometer radial safe zone could start seeing a return of the close to 47,000 residents that had been evacuated13full citation needed


Map of Fukushima Prefecture Iwaki August 2012 Kōriyama October 2010 Aizuwakamatsu May 2010

Fukushima is both the southernmost prefecture of Tōhoku region and the prefecture of Tōhoku region that is closest to Tokyo It is divided by mountain ranges into three regions called from west to east Aizu, Nakadōri, and Hamadōri

The coastal Hamadōri region lies on the Pacific Ocean and is the flattest and most temperate region, while the Nakadōri region is the agricultural heart of the prefecture and contains the capital, Fukushima City The mountainous Aizu region has scenic lakes, lush forests, and snowy winters

As of April 1, 2012, 13% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Bandai-Asahi, Nikkō, and Oze National Parks; Echigo Sanzan-Tadami Quasi-National Park; and eleven Prefectural Natural Parks14


Thirteen cities are located in Fukushima Prefecture:

Towns and villagesedit

These are the towns and villages in each district:


Main article: List of mergers in Fukushima Prefecture


The coastal region traditionally specializes in fishing and seafood industries, and is notable for its electric and particularly nuclear power-generating industry, while the upland regions are more focused on agriculture Thanks to Fukushima's climate, various fruits are grown throughout the year15 These include pears, peaches, cherries, grapes, and apples15 As of March 2011, the prefecture produced 206% of Japan's peaches and 87% of cucumbers1617

Fukushima also produces rice, that combined with pure water from mountain run-offs, is used to make sake15 Some sakes from the region are considered so tasteful that they are served to visiting royalty and world leaders by hosts18

Lacquerware is another popular product from Fukushima19full citation needed Dating back over four hundred years, the process of making lacquerware involves carving an object out of wood, then putting a lacquer on it and decorating it Objects made are usually dishes, vases and writing utensils19full citation needed


Legend has it that an ogress, Adachigahara, once roamed the plain after whom it was named The Adachigahara plain lies close to the city of Fukushima Other stories, such as that of a large, strong, red cow that carried wood, influenced toys and superstitions19full citation needed The Aka-beko cow is a small, red papier-mâché cow on a bamboo or wooden frame, and is believed to ease child birth, bring good health, and help children grow up as strong as the cow19full citation needed

Another superstitious talisman of the region is the okiagari ko-boshi, or self-righting doll19full citation needed These dolls are seen as bringers of good luck and prosperity because they stand right back up when knocked down19full citation needed

Miharu Koma are small, wooden, black or white toy horses painted with colorful designs Depending upon their design, they may be believed to bring things like long life to the owner19full citation needed

Kokeshi dolls, while less symbolic, are also a popular traditional craft15full citation needed They are carved wooden dolls, with large round heads and hand painted bodies Kokeshi dolls are popular throughout many regions of Japan, but Fukushima is credited as their birthplace15full citation needed

Notable festivals and eventsedit

  • Sōma's Nomaoi Festival 相馬野馬追, Sōma Nomaoi – held from July 23 to 2520

The Nomaoi Festival horse riders dressed in complete samurai attire can be seen racing, chasing wild horses, and having contests that imitate a battle The history behind the festival and events is over one thousand years old19full citation needed

  • Fukushima's Waraji Festival わらじまつり, Waraji Matsuri – held on the first weekend of August21

During the Waraji Festival a large 12 meter straw sandal built by locals is dedicated to a shrine19full citation needed There is also a traditional Taiwanese dragon dance, or Ryumai, performed by Taiwanese visitors19full citation needed

  • Aizuwakamatsu's Aizu Festival 会津まつり, Aizu Matsuri – held in late September22

The Aizu festival is a celebration of the time of the samurai It begins with a display of sword dancing and fighting, and is followed by a procession of around five hundred people The people in the procession carry flags and tools representing well known feudal lords of long ago, and some are actually dressed as the lords themselves19full citation needed

  • Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival

A reflection of a long ago time of war, the Taimatsu Akashi Festival consists of men and women carrying large symbolic torches lit with a sacred fire to the top of Mt Gorozan Accompanied by drummers, the torchbearers reach the top and light a wooden frame representing an old local castle and the samurai that lived there In more recent years the festival has been opened up so that anyone wanting to participate may carry a small symbolic torch along with the procession19full citation needed

  • Iizaka's Fighting Festival けんか祭り, Kenka Matsuri – held in October23
  • Nihonmatsu's Lantern Festival 提灯祭り, Chōchin Matsuri – held from October 4 to 624
  • Nihonmatsu's Chrysanthemum doll exhibition 二本松の菊人形, Nihonmatsu no Kiku Ningyō – held from October 1 to November 2325



  • Aizuwakamatsu
    • Aizu University
  • Fukushima
    • Fukushima Gakuin University
    • Fukushima Medical University
    • Fukushima University
  • Iwaki
    • Higashi Nippon International University
    • Iwaki Meisei University
  • Koriyama
    • Koriyama Women's University
    • Nihon University – Koriyama campus
    • Ohu University


Aizuwakamatsu Castle

Tsuruga castle, a samurai castle originally built in the late 14th century, was occupied by the region’s governor in the mid-19th century, during a time of war and governmental instability15full citation needed Because of this, Aizuwakamatsu was the site of an important battle in the Boshin War, during which 19 teenage members of the Byakkotai committed ritual seppuku suicide Their graves on Mt Iimori are a popular tourist attraction

Kitakata is well known for its distinctive Kitakata ramen noodles and well-preserved traditional storehouse buildings, while Ouchijuku in the town of Shimogo retains numerous thatched buildings from the Edo Period

Mount Bandai, in the Bandai-Asahi National Park, erupted in 1888, creating a large crater and numerous lakes, including the picturesque 'Five Coloured Lakes' Goshiki-numa Bird watching crowds are not uncommon during migration season here15full citation needed The area is popular with hikers and skiers Guided snowshoe tours are also offered in the winter15full citation needed

The Inawashiro Lake area of Bandai –Asahi National Park is Inawashiro-ko, where the parental home of Hideyo Noguchi 1876–1928 can still be found15full citation needed It was preserved along with some of Noguchi's belongings and letters as part of a memorial15full citation needed Noguchi is famous not only for his research on yellow fever, but also for having his face on the 1,000 yen note15full citation needed


Fruits Fukushima is known as a "Fruit Kingdom"26 because of its many seasonal fruits, and the fact that there is fruit being harvested every month of the year26 While peaches are the most famous, the prefecture also produces large quantities of cherries, nashi Japanese pears, grapes, persimmons, and apples

Fukushima-Gyu is the prefecture's signature beef The Japanese Black type cattle used to make Fukushima-Gyu are fed, raised, and processed within the prefecture Only beef with a grade of 2 or 3 can be labeled as "Fukushima-Gyu" 福島牛)27

Ikaninjin is shredded carrot and dried squid seasoned with soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, etc It is a local cuisine from the northern parts of Fukushima Prefecture It is primarily made from the late autumn to winter in the household28

Kitakata Ramen is one of the Top 3 Ramen of Japan, along with Sapporo and Hakata29 The base is a soy-sauce soup, as historically soy sauce was readily available from the many storehouses around the town Niboshi sardines, tonkotsu pig bones and sometimes chicken and vegetables are boiled to make the stock This is then topped with chashu thinly sliced barbeque pork, spring onions, fermented bamboo shoots, and sometimes naruto, a pink and white swirl of cured fish cake29

Mamador is the prefecture's most famous confection30 The baked good has a milky red bean flavor center wrapped in a buttery dough The name means “People who drink mothers’ milk” in Spanish31 It is produced by the Sanmangoku Company

A sample set of Aizu sake

Sake The Fukushima Prefecture Sake Brewers Cooperative is made up of nearly 60 sake breweries32 Additionally, the Annual Japan Sake Awards has awarded the prefecture the most gold prizes of all of Japan for four years running as of 201633

  • A government-sponsored specialty shop in Tokyo called MIDETTE sells many local and seasonal products directly imported from Fukushima



  • AbukumaExpress
    • Abukuma Express Line
  • Aizu Railway
    • Aizu Line
  • Fukushima Transportation
    • Iizaka Line
  • JR East
    • Ban'etsu East Line
    • Ban'etsu West Line
    • Joban Line
    • Suigun Line
    • Tadami Line
    • Tohoku Line
    • Tohoku Shinkansen
    • Yamagata Line
    • Yamagata Shinkansen
  • Yagan Railway
    • Kinugawa Line



  • Banetsu Expressway
  • Joban Expressway
  • Tohoku Expressway

National highwaysedit

  • National Route 4
  • National Route 6
  • National Route 13 Fukushima-Yamagata-Shinjo-Yokote-Akita
  • National Route 49
  • National Route 113 Niigata-Murakami-Nagai-Nanyo-Shiroishi-Soma
  • National Route 114
  • National Route 115 Soma-Fukushima-Inawashiro
  • National Route 118
  • National Route 121
  • National Route 252
  • National Route 288
  • National Route 289 Niigata-Tsubame-Uonuma-Tadami-Shirakawa-Iwaki
  • National Route 294
  • National Route 349 Mito-Hitachiota-Iwaki-Tamura-Nihonmatsu-Date-Shibata
  • National Route 352
  • National Route 399
  • National Route 400
  • National Route 401 Niigata-Agano-Kitakata-Fukushima-Namie
  • National Route 459


  • Onahama Port – International and domestic goods, container hub port in Iwaki


  • Fukushima Airport

Notable peopleedit

Mazie K Hirono, US Senator and former Lieutenant Governor for Hawaii, was born in Fukushima Prefecture in 1947, and moved to Hawaii in 1955citation needed

Hideyo Noguchi, the doctor who contributed to knowledge in the fight against syphilis and yellow fever The Japanese government created the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize in his honor This was first awarded in May 200834

Seishiro Okazaki January 28, 1890 – July 12, 1951 was a Japanese American healer, martial artist, and founder of Danzan Ryu jujitsu Born in Kakeda, Date County in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, he immigrated to Hawaii in 1906citation needed

See alsoedit

  • Fukushima gubernatorial election, 2006


  1. ^ National Census 2015 Preliminary Resultsdead link
  2. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric 2005 "Fukushima-ken" in Japan Encyclopedia, p 218, p 218, at Google Books; "Tōhoku" in p 970, p 970, at Google Books
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Fukushima" in p 218, p 218, at Google Books
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p 780, p 780, at Google Books
  5. ^ Takeda, Toru et al 2001 Fukushima – Today & Tomorrow, p 10
  6. ^ Meyners d'Estrey, Guillaume Henry Jean 1884 Annales de l'Extrême Orient et de l'Afrique, Vol 6, p 172, p 172, at Google Books; Nussbaum, "Iwaki" in p 408, p 408, at Google Books
  7. ^ "Felt earthquakes" PDF Japan Meteorological Agency Retrieved August 23, 2011 
  8. ^ "東北・関東7県で貯水池、農業用ダムの損傷86カ所 補修予算わずか1億、不安募る梅雨" msn産経ニュース Retrieved June 29, 2011 
  9. ^ "新たに女性遺体を発見 白河の土砂崩れ" 47NEWS Retrieved June 29, 2011 
  10. ^ "Damage Situation and Police Countermeasures March 11, 2013" National Police Agency of Japan Retrieved March 18, 2013
  11. ^ "Japan quake: Radiation rises at Fukushima nuclear plant" BBC News March 15, 2011 
  12. ^ "Fukushima crisis raised to level 7, still no Chernobyl" NewScientist April 12, 2011 
  13. ^ Fukushima Accident 2013 Encyclopædia Britannica Retrieved from: http://wwwebscohostcom/academic/research-starters-education
  14. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" PDF Ministry of the Environment Retrieved August 26, 2012 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Japan National Tourism Organization Japan: The official Guide JNTO Retrieved on November 2, 2016
  16. ^ Schreiber, Mark, "Japan's food crisis goes beyond recent panic buying", The Japan Times, April 17, 2011, p 9
  17. ^ Hongo, Jun, "Fukushima not just about nuke crisis", The Japan Times, March 20, 2012, p 3
  18. ^ Japan Guide Fukushima travel guide 2013
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sights in Fukushima Japan 2010
  20. ^ "THE SOMA NOMAOI An English guidebook" Soma Nomaoi Executive Committee Retrieved June 30, 2011 
  21. ^ わらじまつり in Japanese 福島わらじまつり実行委員会事務局 Retrieved June 30, 2011 
  22. ^ 会津まつり 先人感謝祭・会津藩公行列 in Japanese 会津若松観光物産協会 Retrieved March 20, 2012 
  23. ^ けんか祭りの飯坂八幡神社 in Japanese Retrieved June 30, 2011 
  24. ^ 二本松のちょうちん祭り in Japanese Retrieved June 30, 2011 
  25. ^ 二本松の菊人形 in Japanese 二本松菊栄会 Retrieved June 30, 2011 
  26. ^ a b "フルーツを食す – 福島市ホームページ" wwwcityfukushimafukushimajp Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  27. ^ "福島牛販売促進協議会" wwwfukushima-gyucom Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  28. ^ 羽雁渉「イカと日本人」Chunichi Newspaper, Sunday edition世界と日本 大図解シリーズ No1272 October 9, 2016 、pages 1, 8 in Japanese
  29. ^ a b "Kitakata ramen" NHK WORLD June 20, 2016 Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  30. ^ "福島の人気お土産50選|ままどおるだけじゃない!福島のおすすめお菓子-カウモ" カウモ Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  31. ^ "ままどおる|三万石" wwwsanmangokucojp Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  32. ^ "蔵元検索 | 福島県酒造協同組合" sake-fukushimajp Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  33. ^ "祝!!4連覇 平成27酒造年度全国新酒鑑評会金賞受賞蔵数 日本一!! | 福島県酒造協同組合" sake-fukushimajp Retrieved October 24, 2016 
  34. ^ "Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize" Retrieved August 4, 2011 


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth 2005 Japan encyclopedia Cambridge: Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
  • Takeda, Toru; Hishinuma, Tomio; Oguma, Chiyoichi; Takiguchi, R July 7, 2001 "Fukushima – Today & Tomorrow" Aizu-Wakamatsu City: Rekishi Shunju Publishing Co ISBN 4-89757-432-3 

External linksedit

  • Official Fukushima Prefecture website in English
  • Official Fukushima Prefecture website in Japanese

Coordinates: 37°24′N 140°28′E / 37400°N 140467°E / 37400; 140467

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