The Kanto region (関東地方 Kantō-chihō) is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 45 percent of the land area is the Kanto Plain. The rest consists of the hills and mountains that form the land borders. According to the official census on October 1, 2010 by the Japan Statistics Bureau, the population was 42,607,376, amounting to approximately one third of the total population of Japan. Kanto is the second largest sub-national economy in the world.
The Kanto region in comparison to the rest of Japan
Closeup map of the areas within the Kanto region
|• Total||32,423.90 km2 (12,518.94 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|• Density||1,300/km2 (3,500/sq mi)|
|• Total||$2.5 trillion|
|• Per capita||$60,000|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (JST)|
The heartland of feudal power during the Kamakura period and again in the Edo period, Kanto became the center of modern development. Within the Greater Tokyo Area and especially the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area, Kanto houses not only Japan's seat of government but also the nation's largest group of universities and cultural institutions, the greatest population, and a large industrial zone. Although most of the Kanto plain is used for residential, commercial, or industrial construction, it is still farmed. Rice is the principal crop, although the zone around Tokyo and Yokohama has been landscaped to grow garden produce for the metropolitan market.
A watershed moment of Japan's modern history took place in the late Taishō period: the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. The quake, which claimed more than 100,000 lives and ravaged the Tokyo and Yokohama areas, occurred at a time when Japan was still reeling from the economic recession in reaction to the high-flying years during World War I.
Operation Coronet, part of Operation Downfall, the proposed Allied invasion of Japan during World War II, was scheduled to land at the Kantō plain. Most of the United States military bases on the island of Honshu are situated on the Kantō plain. These include Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, and Camp Zama.
The name Kanto literally means "East of the Barrier". The name Kanto is nowadays generally considered to mean the region east (東) of the Hakone checkpoint (関所). An antonym of Kanto, "West of the Barrier" means Kansai region, which lies western Honshu and was the center of feudal Japan.
After the Great Kanto earthquake many people in Kanto started creating art with different varieties of colors. They made art of earthquake and small towns to symbolize the small towns destroyed in the quake.
In the first Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue or Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green as it is known in Japan, the region the player explores is called the Kanto region.
The most often used subdivision of the region is dividing it to "North Kantō" (北関東 Kita-Kantō), consisting of Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Gunma Prefectures, and "South Kantō" (南関東 Minami-Kantō), consisting of Saitama (sometimes classified North), Chiba, the Tokyo Metropolis (sometimes singulated), and Kanagawa Prefectures. South Kantō is often regarded as synonymous with the Greater Tokyo Area. As part of Japan's attempts to predict earthquakes, an area roughly corresponding to South Kantō has been designated an 'Area of Intensified Observation' by the Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.
The Japanese House of Representatives' divides it into the North Kantō (北関東 Kita-Kantō) electorate which consists of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Saitama Prefectures, Tokyo electorate, and the South Kantō (南関東 Minami-Kantō) electorate which consists of Chiba, Kanagawa and Yamanashi Prefectures. (Note that Yamanashi is out of Kantō region in the orthodox definition.)
This division is not often but sometimes used.
This division is sometimes used in economics and geography. The border can be modified if the topography is taken for prefectural boundaries.
The Japanese national government defines the National Capital Region (首都圏 Shuto-ken) as Kantō region plus Yamanashi Prefecture. Japan's national public broadcaster NHK uses Kantō-kō-shin-etsu (関東甲信越) involving Yamanashi, Nagano and Niigata Prefectures for regional programming and administration.
The Kantō region is the most highly developed, urbanized, and industrialized part of Japan. Tokyo and Yokohama form a single industrial complex with a concentration of light and heavy industry along Tokyo Bay. Other major cities in the area include Kawasaki (in Kanagawa Prefecture); Saitama (in Saitama Prefecture); and Chiba (in Chiba Prefecture). Smaller cities, farther away from the coast, house substantial light and automotive industries. The average population density reached 1,192 persons per square kilometre in 1991.
Ashikaga Ujihime (足利 氏姫, 1574 – June 6, 1620), or Ashikaga no Ujihime, Ashikaga Ujinohime was the 6th Koga kubō in Sengoku period. She was the daughter of 5th Koga kubō Ashikaga Yoshiuji and Jōkō-in (a daughter of Hōjō Ujiyasu). She was a woman trained in martial arts and received education from the highest court. In 1583 when Yoshiuji died without a male heir, Ujihime succeeded her father at the young age of nine, she took the title Koga kubō (title equivalent to shōgun in Kantō region) and inherited a area equivalent the Koga domain.Bon Festival
Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon Odori.
The festival of Obon lasts for three days; however, its starting date varies within different regions of Japan. When the lunar calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era, the localities in Japan responded differently, which resulted in three different times of Obon. Shichigatsu Bon (Bon in July) is based on the solar calendar and is celebrated around the 15th of July in eastern Japan (Kantō region such as Tokyo, Yokohama and the Tōhoku region), coinciding with Chūgen. Hachigatsu Bon (Bon in August), based on the lunar calendar, is celebrated around the 15th of August and is the most commonly celebrated time. Kyū Bon (Old Bon) is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and so differs each year. One exception was in 2019, when the solar and lunar calendar matched so Hachigatsu Bon and Kyū Bon were celebrated on the same day. Kyū Bon is celebrated in areas such as the northern part of the Kantō region, Chūgoku region, Shikoku, and Okinawa Prefecture. These three festival days are not listed as public holidays, but it is customary for people to be given leave.Chūbu region
The Chūbu region (中部地方, Chūbu-chihō), Central region, or Central Japan (中部日本) is a region in the middle of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population of 23,010,276 as of 1 June 2019. It encompasses nine prefectures (ken): Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi.It is located directly between the Kantō region and the Kansai region and includes the major city of Nagoya as well as Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan coastlines, extensive mountain resorts, and Mount Fuji.
The region is the widest part of Honshū and the central part is characterized by high, rugged mountains. The Japanese Alps divide the country into the Pacific side, sunny in winter, and the Sea of Japan side, snowy in winter.Gunma Prefecture
Gunma Prefecture (群馬県, Gunma-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region. Its capital is Maebashi.Hodosan Ropeway
The Hodosan Ropeway (宝登山ロープウェイ, Hodosan Rōpuwei) is Japanese aerial lift line in Nagatoro, Saitama. This is the only line Hodo Kōgyō (宝登興業) operates. The company is a subsidiary of Chichibu Railway. Opened in 1961, the line climbs Mount Hodo (宝登山) of Chichibu Mountains. Cabins used for the line have not refurbished since its opening. Consequently, they are the oldest aerial lift cabins still used in Kantō region. At the summit, the company also operates a small zoo, a plum garden, and a wintersweet garden.Ibaraki Prefecture
Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県, Ibaraki-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Ibaraki Prefecture has a population of 2,871,199 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 6,097.19 km² (2,354.14 sq mi). Ibaraki Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Tochigi Prefecture to the northwest, Saitama Prefecture to the southwest, and Chiba Prefecture to the south.
Mito is the capital and largest city of Ibaraki Prefecture, with other major cities including Hitachi, Hitachinaka, and Tsukuba. Ibaraki Prefecture is located on Japan's eastern Pacific coast to the northeast of Tokyo, and is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Ibaraki Prefecture features Lake Kasumigaura, the second-largest lake in Japan, and Mount Tsukuba, one of the most famous mountains in Japan. Ibaraki Prefecture is home to Kairaku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is an important center for the martial art of Aikido.Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県, Kanagawa-ken) is a prefecture located in Kantō region of Japan. The capital of the prefecture is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area. Kanagawa Prefecture is home to Kamakura and Hakone, two popular side trip destinations from Tokyo.Kantō dialect
The Kantō dialects (関東方言 kantō hōgen, 関東弁 kantō-ben) are a group of Japanese dialects spoken in the Kantō region (except for the Izu Islands). The Kantō dialects include the Tokyo dialect which is the basis of modern standard Japanese. Along with the Tōhoku dialect, Kantō dialects have been characterized by the use of a suffix -be or -ppe; Kantō speakers were called Kantō bei by Kansai speakers in the Edo period. Eastern Kantō dialects share more features with the Tōhoku dialect. After the Pacific War, the southern Kantō regions such as Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures developed as satellite cities of Tokyo, and today traditional dialects in these areas have been almost entirely replaced by standard Japanese.Kantō earthquakes
A Kantō earthquake (関東地震, kantō jishin) is a megathrust earthquake occurring in the Kantō region of Japan that originate from slippage in the Sagami Trough. Kantō earthquakes are thought to occur with a 200-year return period.
Only two earthquakes in the Kantō region are thought to be megathrust earthquakes:
1923 Great Kantō earthquake; most common usage
1703 Genroku earthquakeOther earthquakes in the Kantō region, which may or may not be due to slippage in the Sagami Trough:
The Ruijū Kokushi mentions an earthquake that struck the area in 818
1855 Edo earthquakeA future "big one" striking Greater Tokyo. Not to be confused with future Nankai megathrust.Kuda-gitsune
Kuda-gitsune or Kanko (管狐, "pipe fox") is a type of spirit possession in Japanese legends. Starting in Nagano Prefecture, it is told about in the Chūbu region and also in parts of the Tōkai region, southern Kantō region, Tōhoku region, and so on. There are no legends of kudagitsune in Kantō besides the Chiba Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture, and this is said to be because Kantō is the domain of the osaki.Just like its name says, there are various legends about how they are the size small enough to fit into a bamboo pipe or a size about as big as a match box and would multiply until there were 75 of them, and so on.Another name for them is "izuna" (飯綱, meaning least weasel), and psychics in Niigata, the Chūbu region, and the Kantō region and "izuna-tsukai" (飯綱使い, "izuna-users") in Shinshū have these and use them to gain supernatural powers and make divinations. It is believed that izuna-tsukai (izuna-users) make use of izuna for beneficial religious uses such as foretelling prophecies, and at the same time also for evil purposes such as to fulfill requests to make the izuna go possess and give illness to someone the requester hates.
Sometimes it is told to be a type of kitsune-tsuki and depending on the region, families that have kudagitsune could sometimes be called "kuda-mochi" ("kuda"-haver), "kuda-ya" ("kuda"-proprietor), "kuda-tsukai" ("kuda"-user), and "kuda-shō" and be detested. In many legends, kudagitsune do not possess an individual, but instead a family, and it is thought that one particular trait that they have is that unlike the osaki that would do things on its own even if its master did not will it, the kudagitsune is to be "used" by its master and does as its master wills it to do. It is said that the kudagitsune, following the master's will, would procure goods from other families, so a family that keeps and raises a kudagitsune would gradually grow wealthy, but it is also said that although the family does grow wealthy at first, the kudagitsune would multiply until there were 75 of them, and so they would eventually eat away at the family's wealth making them decline.Kuda-gitsune or Kanko (管狐, "pipe fox") is a creature supposedly employed by Japanese kitsune-tsukai, those who use foxes as spirit familiars. Its use is described in various books, as follows:
In the Sōzan Chomon Kishū (想山著聞奇集) the kuda-gitsune is described as a rat-sized fox which can be kept in a pipe.Kōshin'etsu region
Kōshin'etsu (甲信越) is a subregion of the Chūbu region in Japan consisting of Yamanashi, Nagano, and Niigata prefectures.The name Kōshin'etsu is a composite formed from the names of old provinces which are adjacent to each other — Kai (now Yamanashi), Shinano (now Nagano) and Echigo (now Niigata). The region is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to its north west, Hokuriku region to its west, Tōkai region to its south west, Kantō region to its south east, and Tōhoku region to its north east. The name for this geographic area is usually combined with Kantō region (as in "Kantō-Kōshin'etsu"); and it is sometimes combined with Hokuriku region (as in "Kantō-Kōshin'etsu-Hokuriku" or "Hokuriku-Kōshin'etsu").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.)Mikaribaba
Mikaribaba (箕借り婆) is a yōkai of a one-eyed old woman in stories and customs of the Kantō region.Saitama Prefecture
Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県, Saitama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and many of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which many residents commute each day.Shōnan
Shōnan (湘南) is the name of a region along the coast of Sagami Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture, central Japan. Centered on Enoshima, an island about 50 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, the Shōnan region stretches from Odawara in the west to Hayama in the east, including Hiratsuka, Chigasaki, Fujisawa, and Kamakura. Because of the bay, the region benefits from a mild climate and long beaches covered with dark volcanic sand.Southern Kanto proportional representation block
The Southern Kantō proportional representation block (Hirei [daihyō] Minami-Kantō burokku (比例[代表]南関東ブロック)) is one of eleven proportional representation (PR) "blocks", multi-member constituencies for the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It consists of Southern parts of the Kantō region covering Chiba, Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures. Following the introduction of proportional voting it initially elected 23 representatives in the 1996 general election, then 21 after the total number of PR seats had been reduced from 200 to 180, and 22 representatives since the reapportionment of 2002.Tochigi Prefecture
Tochigi Prefecture (栃木県, Tochigi-ken) is a prefecture located in the Kantō region of Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, with its ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts. The Imperial Family has a villa in Nasu. Nasu-Shiobara is a major Shinkansen station.Tone River
The Tone River (利根川, Tone-gawa) is a river in the Kantō region of Japan. It is 322 kilometers (200 mi) in length (the second longest in Japan after the Shinano) and has a drainage area of 16,840 square kilometers (6,500 sq mi) (the largest in Japan). It is nicknamed Bandō Tarō (坂東太郎); Bandō is an obsolete alias of the Kantō Region, and Tarō is a popular given name for an oldest son. It is regarded as one of the "Three Greatest Rivers" of Japan, the others being the Yoshino in Shikoku and the Chikugo in Kyūshū.Utsunomiya
Utsunomiya (宇都宮市, Utsunomiya-shi, Japanese: [ɯᵝt͡sɯ̃ᵝno̞mija̠]) is the capital and largest city of Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of May 2015, the city had an estimated population of 518,200, and a population density of 1,240 persons per square kilometre (3,200/sq mi). Its total area is 416.85 km2 (160.95 sq mi). Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza (pan fried dumplings). There are more than two hundred gyoza restaurants in Utsunomiya.Greater Utsunomiya (宇都宮都市圏, Utsunomiya Toshi-ken) had a population of 888,005 in the 2000 census. The nearby city of Oyama is included in Greater Tokyo, but Greater Utsunomiya is not, despite the two areas amalgamating somewhat. It is the 10th most populated city in the Kantō region.