|Subdivisions||Districts: 6, Municipalities: 25|
|• Governor||Norihisa Satake|
|• Total||11,637.52 km2 (4,493.27 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|• Density||83/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-05|
|Website||Akita Prefecture Official page of English|
|Bird||Copper pheasant (Phasianus soemmerringii)|
|Flower||Fuki (a kind of butterbur, Petasites japonicus)|
|Tree||Akita-sugi (Cryptomeria japonica)|
Separated from the principal Japanese centres of commerce, politics, and population by several hundred kilometres and the Ōu and Dewa mountain ranges to the east, Akita remained largely isolated from Japanese society until after the year 600. Akita was a region of hunter-gatherers and principally nomadic tribes.
The first historical record of what is now Akita Prefecture dates to 658, when the Abe no Hirafu conquered the native Ezo tribes at what are now the cities of Akita and Noshiro. Hirafu, then governor of Koshi Province (the northwest part of Honshū bordering the Sea of Japan), established a fort on the Mogami River, and thus began the Japanese settlement of the region.
In 733, a new military settlement—later renamed Akita Castle—was built in modern-day Akita city at Takashimizu, and more permanent roads and structures were developed. The region was used as a base of operations for the Japanese empire as it drove the native Ezo people from northern Honshū.
It shifted hands several times. During the Tokugawa shogunate it was appropriated to the Satake clan, who ruled the region for 260 years, developing the agriculture and mining industries that are still predominant today. Throughout this period, it was classified as part of Dewa Province. In 1871, during the Meiji Restoration, Dewa Province was reshaped and the old daimyō domains were abolished and administratively reconstructed, resulting in the modern-day borders of Akita.
Located in the north of Honshu, Akita Prefecture faces the Sea of Japan in the west and is bordered by four other prefectures: Aomori in the north, Iwate in the east, Miyagi in the southeast, and Yamagata in the south.
Akita Prefecture is rectangular in shape, roughly 181 km from north to south and 111 km from west to east. The Ōu Mountains mark the eastern border of the prefecture, and the higher Dewa Mountains run parallel through the center of the prefecture. Like much of northern Japan, the prefecture has cold winters, particularly away from the sea.
The Oga Peninsula is a prominent feature of the coastline.
As of 31 March 2019, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Towada-Hachimantai National Park; Chōkai, Kurikoma, and Oga Quasi-National Parks; and Akita Shirakami, Hachimori Iwadate, Kimimachizaka, Magi Mahiru, Moriyoshizan, Taiheizan, Tashirodake, and Tazawako Dakigaeri Prefectural Natural Parks.
Thirteen cities are located in Akita Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district:
|Nº||Name||Term start||Term end||Notes (political party)|
|1||Kosaku Hasuike (蓮池公咲)||12 April, 1947||4 April, 1951||Akita Prefecture Democratic Party (秋田県民主党)|
|2||Tokuji Ikeda (池田徳治)||30 April, 1951||29 April, 1955||Independent (無所属)|
|3||Yujiro Obata (小畑勇二郎)||30 April, 1955||29 April, 1979||Independent|
|4||Kikuji Sasaki (佐々木喜久治)||30 April, 1979||31 March, 1997||Independent|
|5||Sukeshiro Terata (寺田典城)||20 April, 1997||19 April, 2009||Independent|
|6||Norihisa Satake (佐竹敬久)||20 April, 2009||Present||Independent|
Like much of the Tōhoku Region, Akita's economy remains dominated by traditional industries, such as agriculture, fishing, and forestry. This has led many young people to migrate to Tokyo and other large cities. Akita Prefecture is where declines in population are most severe in Japan; it is one of four prefectures in Japan registering declines in population since 1945. It also has the lowest number of children as a percentage of the population, at 11.2%. As of 2010, it has a population of just over 1 million people.
The high rate of depopulation in Akita Prefecture has led to the merging of smaller communities, which has affected the smallest of the merged communities. As depopulation in these communities and the migration to larger communities continues, educational and health facilities have closed in some areas, leading to the continuation of the migration of families to larger cities for better access to health and educational opportunities. The decline in younger generations has led to concerns for sustaining rural communities facing issues of aging and depopulation.
Akita is famous for rice farming and its sake breweries. It is well known for having the highest consumption of sake in Japan, and thought to be the origin of the Akita breed of dog which carries the prefecture's name. The women of the region, referred to as Akita bijin (秋田美人 'beauties of Akita'), have also gained widespread renown for their white skin, rounded faces and high voices, all of which are considered highly desirable. Ono no Komachi is a famous example of an Akita bijin.
Akita is known for the following regional specialties (tokusanhin):
Recently there have been efforts to revitalize rural communities facing depopulation with different forms of green tourism as well as agritourism. These efforts primarily aim at urbanites and in some cases foreign tourists, advertising the pristine forests of Akita prefecture as well as its many intangible cultures and sprawling rice fields. In Akita there has been a push for home stays, farmers markets for locally produced foods, and the integration of outsiders into local cultural practices, for example the Namahage ritual on New Year's Eve, which draws a large number of tourists to Akita Prefecture every year.
Near Lake Tazawa, there are a number of hot springs resorts (onsen). These are popular with tourists from all over Japan. In addition, its numerous seasonal festivals (matsuri) offer a glimpse of rural or traditional Japan. Some famous examples are the Akita Kantō, the Omagari Fireworks, Namahage Festival, and the Yokote Kamakura Festivals.
Kakunodate is a particularly charming old town, known as the little Kyoto, full of preserved samurai houses. The Aoyagi house is the former residence of Odano Naotake, the man who illustrated Japan's first modern guide to the human anatomy. The house is now a museum and gallery of medical illustrations and traditional crafts.
Starting in 2009, Akita began experiencing a huge surge in Korean tourism after the airing of the popular drama Iris, which featured several scenes shot in Akita, most notably at Lake Tazawa and Oga's GAO Aquarium.
Media related to Akita prefecture at Wikimedia Commons
Akita (秋田市, Akita-shi, Japanese: [aꜜki̥ta]) is the capital city of Akita Prefecture, Japan, and has been designated a core city since 1 April 1997.
The city, which covers an area of 906.07 square kilometres (349.84 sq mi), had an estimated population of 306,668 in 1 June 2019, giving a population density of 338 persons per km².Akita Airport
Akita Airport (秋田空港, Akita Kūkō) (IATA: AXT, ICAO: RJSK), is a regional/second class airport located 14 km (8.7 mi) southeast of Akita Station in the city of Akita, in Akita Prefecture, Japan.Daigo Station (Akita)
Daigo Station (醍醐駅, Daigo-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Yokote, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Gosannen Station
Gosannen Station (後三年駅, Gosannen-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Misato, Akita Prefecture, Japan. The station name origins from the historic battlefield of Gosannen War in the area.Iizume Station
Iizume Station (飯詰駅, Iizume-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Misato, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Japan National Route 103
National Route 103 is a national highway of Japan connecting the capital of Aomori Prefecture, Aomori to Ōdate in northeastern Akita Prefecture. It has a total length of 133.6 km (83.02 mi).Kita-Kanaoka Station
Kita-Kanaoka Station (北金岡駅, Kita-Kanaoka-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Mitane, Yamamoto District, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Koikawa Station (Akita)
Koikawa Station (鯉川駅, Koikawa-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Mitane, Yamamoto District, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Koyoshi River
Koyoshi River (Japanese: 子吉川（こよしがわ）, Hepburn: koyoshigawa) is a river in Akita Prefecture, Japan. It originates from Mount Chōkai, where the border of Akita Prefecture and Yamagata Prefecture is located, and flows through Yurihonjō and finally into Sea of Japan. The headstream of the river is called Chōkai River (鳥海川, chōkaigawa). It has the third largest drainage area of the class A rivers that flow through Akita Prefecture, after Omono River and Yoneshiro River.Namahage
Namahage (生剥) in traditional Japanese folklore is a demonlike being, portrayed by men wearing hefty oni (ogre) masks and traditional straw capes (mino) during a New Year's ritual of the Oga Peninsula area of Akita Prefecture in northern Honshū, Japan.The frightfully dressed men, armed with deba knives (albeit wooden fakes or made of papier-mâché) and toting a teoke (手桶, "hand pail" made of wood), march in pairs or threes going door-to-door making rounds of people's homes, admonishing children who may be guilty of laziness or bad behavior, yelling phrases like "Are there any crybabies around?" (泣く子はいねがぁ, Nakuko wa inee gā?) or "Are naughty kids around?" (悪い子はいねえか, Waruiko wa inee ka?) in the pronunciation and accent of the local dialect.Odate–Noshiro Airport
Odate–Noshiro Airport (大館能代空港, Odate-Noshiro Kūkō) (IATA: ONJ, ICAO: RJSR) is an airport in Kitaakita, Akita, Japan and is 8.3 NM (15.4 km; 9.6 mi) west of Ōdate at 276 ft (84 m) above sea level. It is also informally known as Akita North Airport (あきた北空港 Akita Kita Kūkō).Omono River
The Omono River (雄物川, Omono-gawa) is located in Akita Prefecture, Japan. The river flows from Mount Daisen on the border of Akita Prefecture with Miyagi and Yamagata Prefectures in the city of Yuzawa and drains into the Sea of Japan at the city of Akita. The river's drainage basin is essentially the entire southern half of Akita Prefecture. The river is free of dams for its entire length. It is regarded as a "first class river" in the Japanese river classification system.Rina Ikoma
Rina Ikoma (生駒 里奈, Ikoma Rina, born December 29, 1995 in Yurihonjō, Akita Prefecture) is a Japanese idol singer and actress. She is a former member of the girl group Nogizaka46, and a former member of AKB48's Team B. She was a first generation member of Nogizaka46, and was first appointed to be the center position in the group. In the Nogizaka46 single title track, she took the center position 6 times in total, for Nogizaka46 first 5 singles and their 12th single.She played a leading role in the film Corpse Party as Naomi Nakashima.Shimo-Yuzawa Station
Shimo-Yuzawa Station (下湯沢駅, Shimo-Yuzawa-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Shirasawa Station (Akita)
Shirasawa Station (白沢駅, Shirasawa-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Tomine Station
Tomine Station (富根駅, Tomine-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Tsurugata Station
Tsurugata Station (鶴形駅, Tsurugata-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, Japan.Yoneshiro River
The Yoneshiro River (米代川, Yoneshirogawa) is a river in Tōhoku region of the northern portion of the island of Honshū in Japan. It is 136 kilometres (85 mi) long and has a watershed of 4,100 square kilometres (1,600 sq mi). The river rises from Mount Nakadake and Mount Shikakudake in the Ōu Mountains and Mount Hachimantai near the border of Akita Prefecture with Iwate and Aomori Prefectures, and flows to the west through northern Akita Prefecture into the Sea of Japan at Noshiro, Akita.Yuzawa Station
Yuzawa Station (湯沢駅, Yuzawa-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, Japan.