The Chūgoku region (Japanese: 中国地方 Hepburn: Chūgoku-chihō, pronounced [tɕɯːɡokɯꜜtɕihoː]), also known as the San'in-San'yō (山陰山陽地方 San'in-San'yō-chihō), is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In 2010, it had a population of 7,563,428.
The Chūgoku region in Japan
|• Total||31,922.26 km2 (12,325.25 sq mi)|
(1 October 2010)
|• Density||240/km2 (610/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (JST)|
Chūgoku literally means "middle country", but the origin of the name is unclear. Historically, Japan was divided into a number of provinces called koku, which were in turn classified according to both their power and their distances from the administrative center in Kansai. Under the latter classification, most provinces are divided into "near countries" (近国 kingoku), "middle countries" (中国 chūgoku), and "far countries" (遠国 ongoku). Therefore, one explanation is that Chūgoku was originally used to refer to the collection of "middle countries" to the west of the capital. However, only five (fewer than half) of the provinces normally considered part of Chūgoku region were in fact classified as middle countries, and the term never applied to the many middle countries to the east of Kansai. Therefore, an alternative explanation is that Chūgoku referred to provinces between Kansai and Kyūshū, which was historically as important as the link between Japan and mainland Asia.
Historically, Chūgoku referred to the 16 provinces of San'indō (山陰道) and San'yōdō (山陽道), which led to the region’s alternative name described below. However, because some of the easternmost provinces were later subsumed into prefectures based primarily in Kansai, those areas are, strictly speaking, not part of the Chūgoku region in modern usage.
In Japanese, the characters 中国 and the reading Chūgoku began to be used to mean "China" after the founding of the Republic of China. The same characters are used in Chinese to refer to China, but pronounced Zhōngguó, lit. "Middle Kingdom" or "Middle Country" (Wade Giles: Chungkuo). It is similar to the use of the West Country in English for a region of England.
Primarily in the tourism industry, in order to avoid confusing the Chūgoku region with China, the Chūgoku region is also called the "San'in‐San'yō region". San'in ("yīn of the mountains") is the northern part facing the Sea of Japan. San'yō ("yáng of the mountains") is the southern part facing the Seto Inland Sea. These names were created using the yīnyáng‐based place‐naming scheme.
The Chūgoku region consists of the following prefectures: Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Shimane, and Tottori. Okayama is also included, although only Bitchū Province was considered a Middle Country; Mimasaka Province and Bizen Province, the other two components of modern-day Okayama, were considered Near Countries.
The Chūgoku region is characterized by irregular rolling hills and limited plain areas and is divided into two distinct parts by mountains running east and west through its center.
Overfishing and pollution reduced the productivity of the Inland Sea fishing grounds; and San'yo is an area concentrated on heavy industry. In contrast, San'in is less industrialized with an agricultural economy.
Ankokuji Ekei (安国寺 恵瓊, 1539 – November 6, 1600) was a diplomat of Mōri clan, a powerful feudal clan in the Chūgoku region, Japan, as well as a Rinzai Buddhist monk following the Azuchi-Momoyama period of the 16th century. He fought in the Shikoku campaign for Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and was given a fiefdom of 23,000 koku in Iyo Province as a reward. He participated in the Imjin War, and lost the Battle of Uiryong to Gwak Jae-u.He participated in the Siege of Shimoda.When he fought against Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), he was taken prisoner and later decapitated in Kyoto, along with Ishida Mitsunari and Konishi Yukinaga.Chōshū Domain
The Chōshū Domain (長州藩, Chōshū han) was a feudal domain of Japan during the Edo period (1603–1867). It occupied the whole of modern-day Yamaguchi Prefecture. The capital city was Hagi. The name Chōshū was shorthand for Nagato Province. The domain played a major role in the Late Tokugawa shogunate. It is also known as the Hagi Domain (萩藩, Hagi han).Chūgoku dialect
The Chūgoku dialect (中国方言, Chūgoku hōgen) is a group of the Japanese dialects spoken in most of the Chūgoku region and in the northwestern Kansai region. It may be separated into two groups according to the form of the copula.
copula ja group (San'yō region)
Aki also known as Hiroshima dialect (western Hiroshima Prefecture, formerly known as Aki Province)
Bingo dialect (eastern Hiroshima Prefecture, formerly known as Bingo Province)
Fukuyama dialect (Fukuyama)
Okayama dialect (Okayama Prefecture)
Yamaguchi also known as Chōshū dialect (Yamaguchi Prefecture)
copula da group (parts of San'in region)
Iwami dialect (western Shimane Prefecture, formerly known as Iwami Province)
ja is also used in western Iwami region.
Inshū also known as Tottori dialect (eastern Tottori Prefecture, formerly known as Inaba Province)
Tajima dialect (northern Hyōgo Prefecture, formerly known as Tajima Province)
Tango dialect (northernmost of Kyoto Prefecture, formerly known as Tango Province except Maizuru)Although Kansai dialect uses copula ya, Chūgoku dialect mainly uses ja or da. Chūgoku dialect uses ken or kee instead of kara meaning "because". ken is also used in Umpaku dialect, Shikoku dialect, Hōnichi dialect and Hichiku dialect. In addition, Chūgoku dialect uses -yoru in progressive aspect and -toru or -choru in perfect. For example, Tarō wa benkyō shiyoru (太郎は勉強しよる) means "Taro is studying", and Tarō wa benkyō shitoru (太郎は勉強しとる) means "Taro has studied" while standard Japanese speakers say Tarō wa benkyō shiteiru (太郎は勉強している) in both situations. -Choru is used mostly in Yamaguchi dialect.
Pitch accent of Chūgoku dialect is similar to the Tokyo accent and is a contrast to Kansai dialect and Shikoku dialect.Hamada Expressway
The Hamada Expressway (浜田自動車道, Hamada Jidōsha-dō) is a national expressway in the Chūgoku region of Japan. It is owned and operated by West Nippon Expressway Company.Hiroshima Prefecture
Hiroshima Prefecture (広島県, Hiroshima-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima. It has a population of around 2.8 million.Hitogitsune
Hitogitsune or ninko (人狐) is a type of spirit possession told about in legends of the Chūgoku region of western Japan.Izumo Province
Izumo Province (出雲国, Izumo-no-kuni) was an old province of Japan which today consists of the eastern part of Shimane Prefecture. It was sometimes called Unshū (雲州). The province is in the Chūgoku Region.List of municipal flags of Chūgoku region
This page lists the municipal flags of Chūgoku region, Japan. It is a part of the List of Japanese municipal flags, which is split into regions due to its size.List of newspapers in Japan
The first dailies were established in Japan in 1870. In 2009 the number of the newspapers was 110 in the country.Below is a list of newspapers published in Japan. (See also Japanese newspapers.)Matsue Expressway
The Matsue Expressway (松江自動車道, Matsue Jidōsha-dō) is a national expressway in the Chūgoku region of Japan. It is owned and operated by West Nippon Expressway Company.Okayama Prefecture
Okayama Prefecture (岡山県, Okayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Okayama.Onomichi Expressway
The Onomichi Expressway (尾道自動車道, Onomichi Jidōsha-dō) is a national expressway in the Chūgoku region of Japan. It is owned and operated by West Nippon Expressway Company.San'in region
The San'in Region (山陰地方, San'in Chihō) is an area in the southwest of Honshū, the main island of Japan. It consists of the northern part of the Chūgoku region, facing the Sea of Japan.San'yō region
The San'yō Region (山陽地方 San'yō-chihō) is an area in the south of Honshū, the main island of Japan. It consists of the southern part of the Chūgoku region, facing the Seto Inland Sea. The name San'yō means "southern, sunny (yō) side of the mountains" and contrasts with the San'in or "northern, shady (in) side of the mountains".
The region is generally considered to include the prefectures of Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. Sometimes, the section of Hyōgo Prefecture that formerly comprised Harima Province is considered to be within the region as well.
The San'yō encompasses the pre-Meiji provincial areas of Harima, Mimasaka, Bizen, Bitchu, Bingo, Aki, Suō and Nagato.Shidaidaka
Shidaidaka (次第高) are a yōkai of the Chūgoku region.Shimane Prefecture
Shimane Prefecture (島根県, Shimane-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu. Shimane Prefecture is the second-least populous prefecture of Japan at 689,963 (2016) and has a geographic area of 6,708.24 km2 (2,590.07 sq mi). Shimane Prefecture borders Yamaguchi Prefecture to the southwest, Hiroshima Prefecture to the south, and Tottori Prefecture to the east.
Matsue is the capital and largest city of Shimane Prefecture, with other major cities including Izumo, Hamada, and Masuda. Shimane Prefecture contains the majority of the Lake Shinji-Nakaumi metropolitan area centered on Matsue, and with a population of approximately 600,000 is the second-largest on the Sea of Japan coast after Niigata. Shimane Prefecture is bounded by the Sea of Japan coastline on the north, where two-thirds of the population live, and the Chūgoku Mountains on the south. Shimane Prefecture governs the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan, and also claims to have jurisdiction over the Liancourt Rocks (Korean: Dokdo(獨島), Japanese: Takeshima(竹島)) controlled by South Korea. Shimane Prefecture is home to Izumo-taisha, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, and the Tokugawa-era Matsue Castle.Tottori Prefecture
Tottori Prefecture (鳥取県, Tottori-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu. Tottori Prefecture is the least populous prefecture of Japan at 570,569 (2016) and has a geographic area of 3,507 km2 (1,354 sq mi). Tottori Prefecture borders Shimane Prefecture to the west, Hiroshima Prefecture to the southwest, Okayama Prefecture to the south, and Hyogo Prefecture to the east.
Tottori is the capital and largest city of Tottori Prefecture, with other major cities including Yonago, Kurayoshi, and Sakaiminato. Tottori Prefecture is home to the Tottori Sand Dunes, the largest sand dunes system in Japan, and Mount Daisen, the highest peak in the Chūgoku Mountains.Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yamaguchi Prefecture (山口県, Yamaguchi-ken) is a prefecture of Japan in the Chūgoku region of the main island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi, in the center of the prefecture. The largest city, however, is Shimonoseki.Yonago Expressway
The Yonago Expressway (米子自動車道, Yonago Jidōsha-dō) is a national expressway in the Chūgoku region of Japan. It is owned and operated by West Nippon Expressway Company.