Mie Prefecture

Mie Prefecture (三重県 Mie-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu.[1] Mie Prefecture has a population of 1,781,948 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 5,774.41 km² (2,229.51 sq mi). Mie Prefecture borders Gifu Prefecture to the north, Shiga Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture to the northwest, Nara Prefecture to the west, Wakayama Prefecture to the southwest, and Aichi Prefecture to the east.

Tsu is the capital and Yokkaichi is the largest city of Mie Prefecture, with other major cities including Suzuka, Matsusaka, and Kuwana.[2] Mie Prefecture is located on the eastern coast of the Kii Peninsula, forming the western side of Ise Bay which feature the mouths of the Kiso Three Rivers. Mie Prefecture is a popular tourism destination home to Nagashima Spa Land, Suzuka International Racing Course, and some of the oldest and holiest sites in Shinto, the traditional religion of Japan, including the Ise Grand Shrine and the Tsubaki Grand Shrine.

Mie Prefecture

三重県
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese三重県
 • RōmajiMie-ken
Flag of Mie Prefecture

Flag
Official logo of Mie Prefecture

Symbol
Location of Mie Prefecture
Coordinates: 34°42′N 136°30′E / 34.700°N 136.500°ECoordinates: 34°42′N 136°30′E / 34.700°N 136.500°E
CountryJapan
RegionKansai (Tōkai)
IslandHonshu
CapitalTsu
SubdivisionsDistricts: 7, Municipalities: 29
Government
 • GovernorEikei Suzuki (since April 2011)
Area
 • Total5,774.41 km2 (2,229.51 sq mi)
Area rank25th
Population
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total1,781,948
 • Rank23rd
 • Density310/km2 (800/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-24
Websitewww.pref.mie.jp/
ENGLISH/
Symbols
BirdSnowy plover
(Charadrius alexandrinus)
FishJapanese spiny lobster
(Panulirus japonicus)
FlowerIris
(Iris ensata)
TreeJapanese cedar
(Cryptomeria japonica)

History

Naiku 01
Ise Shrine

Until the Meiji Restoration, the area that is now Mie Prefecture was made up of Ise Province, Shima Province, Iga Province, and part of Kii Province.[3]

Evidence of human habitation in Mie dates back more than 10,000 years. During the Jōmon and Yayoi periods, agricultural communities began to form along the river and coastal areas of the region. Ise Shrine is said to have been established during the Yayoi period, and in the 7th century the Saikū Imperial Residence was built in what is now Meiwa Town to serve as both a residence and administrative centre for the Saiō, an Imperial Princess who served as High Priestess of Ise Shrine.

During the Edo period, the area now known as Mie Prefecture consisted of several feudal domains, each ruled by an appointed lord. Transport networks, including the Tokaido and Ise Roads, were built. Port towns such as Ohminato, Kuwana and Anōtsu, posting stations and castle towns flourished. Pilgrimages to Ise Shrine also became very popular.

After the Meiji Restoration, the former provinces of Ise, Shima and Iga as well as a portion of eastern Kii, were organized and reorganized repeatedly. In 1871 the area from the Kiso Three Rivers in the north to present-day Tsu became Anōtsu Prefecture, and the area south of that became Watarai Prefecture. In 1872, the Anōtsu prefectural seat moved from Tsu to Yokkaichi, and the prefecture itself was renamed Mie. For a variety of reasons, including the strong likelihood that Mie would eventually merge with Watarai, the prefectural seat returned to Tsu the following year, and Mie Prefecture took its present-day form in 1876, when it merged with its southern neighbor.

The name Mie supposedly was taken from a comment about the region made by Yamato Takeru on his way back from conquering the eastern regions.

In 1959 many lives were lost as parts of Mie were devastated by the Ise-wan Typhoon, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history. Crops were destroyed, sea walls ruined, roads and railways damaged and a substantial number of people were injured or left homeless.

In May 2016, the city of Shima hosted the 42nd G7 summit, the third summit without the presence of Russia.

Geography

Map of Mie Prefecture Ja
Map of Mie Prefecture
     City      Town

Mie Prefecture forms the eastern part of the Kii Peninsula, and borders on Aichi, Gifu, Shiga, Kyoto, Nara, and Wakayama. It is considered part of the Kansai and Tōkai regions due to its geographical proximity to Aichi Prefecture and its cultural influence from Kansai, such as the fact that Kansai dialect is spoken in Mie. Traditionally, though, the Iga region of Mie is considered to have always been a part of Kansai.

Mie Prefecture measures 170 km (106 mi) from north to south, and 80 km (50 mi) from east to west, and includes five distinct geographical areas:[4]

  1. the north-west of Mie consists of the Suzuka Mountains
  2. along the coast of Ise Bay from the Aichi border to Ise City lies the Ise Plain, where most of the population of Mie live
  3. south of the Ise Plain is the Shima Peninsula
  4. bordering Nara in the central-west is the Iga Basin
  5. running from central Mie to its southern borders is the Nunobiki Mountainous Region.
Ise Shima Skyline DSC5445
Mie coastline, near Toba
Yokkaichi fromtarusaka
Yokkaichi
Ise banner
Ise
IgaUenojyo08
Iga

Mie has a coastline that stretches 1,094.9 km (680.3 mi) and, as of 2000, Mie's 5,776.44 km2 (2,230.30 sq mi) landmass is 64.8% forest, 11.5% agriculture, 6% residential area, 3.8% roads, and 3.6% rivers. The remaining 10.3% are not classified.

The Ise Plain has a relatively moderate climate, averaging 14 to 15 degrees Celsius for the year. The Iga Basin has more daily temperature variance and averages temperatures 1 to 2 degrees cooler than the Ise Plain. Southern Mie, south of the Shima Peninsula, has a warmer Pacific marine climate, with Owase Region having one of the heaviest rainfall figures for all of Japan.[4]

As of 31 March 2019, 36% of the total area of the prefecture comprised designated Natural Parks,[5] namely:

Cities

Fourteen cities are located in Mie Prefecture:

Towns

These are the towns in each district:

Mergers

Economy

Mie Prefecture has traditionally been a link between east and west Japan, thanks largely to the Tokaido and Ise Pilgrimage Roads. Traditional handicrafts such as Iga Braid, Yokkaichi Banko Pottery, Suzuka Ink, Iga Pottery and Ise Katagami flourished. With 65% of the prefecture consisting of forests and with over 1,000 km (600 mi) of coastline, Mie has a long been associated with forestry and seafood industries. Mie also produces tea, beef, cultured pearls and fruit, mainly mandarin oranges. Food production companies include Azuma Foods.[6][7]

Northern Mie is home to a number of manufacturing industries, mainly transport machinery manufacturing (vehicles and ships) and heavy chemical industries such as oil refineries. As well as this, Mie Prefecture is expanding into more advanced industries including the manufacture of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays. In Suzuka, the Honda Motor Company maintains a factory established in 1960 that built the Honda Civic as well as other vehicles.

Demographics

Mie Prefecture Demographics (as of 2014)[8]
Total population 1,820,491
Male population 886,362
Female population 934,129
Population aged under 15 240,263
Population aged 15 to 64 1,076,257
Population aged over 64 491,779
Households 721,344
Population density (per km2) 315.3

Culture

Universities

Transportation

Rail

Road

Expressways and toll roads

National highways

  • Route 1
  • Route 23 (Ise-Yokkaichi-Nagoya-Gamagori-Toyohashi)
  • Route 25 (Meihan Highway)
  • Route 42
  • Route 163
  • Route 164 (Yokkaichi)
  • Route 165
  • Route 167 (Shima-Toba -Ise)
  • Route 258
  • Route 301
  • Route 311
  • Route 365
  • Route 421
  • Route 422
  • Route 425 (Owase-Totsukawa-Gobo)
  • Route 477

Ports

  • Yokkaichi Port - International and domestic container and goods hub port
  • Tsu Port - Hydrofoil ferry route to Centrair airport (Chubu International Airport)
  • Matsuzaka Port - Hydrofoil ferry route to Centrair
  • Toba Port - Ferry route to Ira Cape

Tourism

Notable places

Meotoiwa
Meoto Rocks in Ise Bay, Ise
Gozaisho Ropeway and Komono Mie
Mount Gozaisho and cable-car in Komono
Nabana no Sato Chapel Illumination
Winter Illumination event in Nabana Village Park, Kuwana

Notable citizens

Famous products

  • Akafuku, a sweet made with mochi and sweet red bean paste
  • Spiny lobster, known as Ise ebi (伊勢えび), named after the old province
  • Matsusaka beef

Sister states

Notes

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Mie prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 628, p. 628, at Google Books; "Kansai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Tsu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 995, p. 995, at Google Books
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books
  4. ^ a b Mie Prefecture homepage: Mie's Geography and Climate (pdf)
  5. ^ 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Azuma Foods Co., Ltd.|Company Profile". Azumafoods.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  7. ^ Hamlin, Suzanne (13 August 1997). "From Japan, A Big Wave Of Seaweed". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Mie Prefecture Homepage: Key Statistics

References

External links

Akeno Air Field

Akeno Air Field (ICAO: RJOE) is a military aerodrome of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. It is located 3.2 NM (5.9 km; 3.7 mi) northwest of Ise in the Mie Prefecture, Japan.

JGSDF helicopter types based at Akeno include Bell AH-1S Cobra, Bell UH-1J Iroquois, Kawasaki OH-1, Kawasaki OH-6D ,Kawasaki CH-47J/JA Chinook, Mitsubishi UH-60J and Emstron TH-480.

Choshi River

The Choshi River (銚子川 Choshi-gawa) is a minor river that flows through Mie Prefecture on the island of Honshū, Japan. It is officially classified as a Class 2 river by the Japanese government. It is one of clearest rivers of Japan with visibility to three meters depth. River water quality is so good that it was ranked first in 2007 and 2011 in Mie Prefecture. It is also called miracle of nature.

Ibi River

The Ibi River (揖斐川, Ibi-gawa) is a tributary of the Kiso River located in Gifu and Mie Prefectures in Japan. Along with the Nagara and Kiso rivers, the Ibi is the third of the Kiso Three Rivers of the Nōbi Plain. It is one of Japan's first-class rivers. The former Tōkaidō post station of Kuwana-juku was located on the western banks of this river during the Edo period.

Iga Province

Iga Province (伊賀国, Iga no kuni) was a province of Japan located in what is today part of western Mie Prefecture. Its abbreviated name was Ishū (伊州). Iga bordered on Ise, Ōmi, Yamato, and Yamashiro Provinces. It roughly coincides with the modern municipalities of Iga and Nabari.

Iga is classified as one of the provinces of the Tōkaidō. Under the Engishiki classification system, Iga was ranked as an "inferior country" (下国 gekoku) and a "near country" (近国 kingoku). Surrounded by mountains, historically, Iga Province was rather inaccessible due to extremely poor road conditions. However, the area is now relatively easy to access from nearby Nara and Kyoto, as well as the larger cities of Osaka and Nagoya.

Ise Province

Ise Province (伊勢国, Ise no kuni) was a province of Japan in the area of Japan that is today includes most of modern Mie Prefecture. Ise bordered on Iga, Kii, Mino, Ōmi, Owari, Shima, and Yamato Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was Seishū (勢州).

Kii Province

Kii Province (紀伊国, Kii no Kuni), or Kishū (紀州), was a province of Japan in the part of Honshū that is today Wakayama Prefecture, as well as the southern part of Mie Prefecture. Kii bordered Ise, Izumi, Kawachi, Shima, and Yamato Provinces. The Kii Peninsula takes its name from this province.

During the Edo period, the Kii branch of the Tokugawa clan had its castle at Wakayama. Its former ichinomiya shrine was Hinokuma Shrine.

The Japanese bookshop chain Kinokuniya derives its name from the province.

Kisei Expressway

The Kisei Expressway (紀勢自動車道, Kisei Jidōshadō) is a national expressway in Japan. It is owned and operated by Central Nippon Expressway Company.

Kiso Three Rivers

The Kiso Three Rivers (木曽三川, Kiso Sansen) refers to the three major rivers that make up the alluvial plain area of the Nōbi Plain of Japan. The three rivers are the Kiso River, the Ibi River and the Nagara River. Given their location, they are sometimes referred to as the Nōbi Three Rivers (濃尾三川 Nōbi Sansen).

Kushida River

The Kushida River (櫛田川, Kushida-gawa) is a major river that flows through central Mie Prefecture on the island of Honshū, Japan. It is officially classified as a Class 1 river by the Japanese government, one of four Class 1 rivers that flow solely through Mie. The majority of river's course is through the city of Matsusaka.

The river's source is on Mount Takami, which stands on the border of Mie and Nara Prefectures. From the mountain, it then flows eastwards and passes through a number of dams before reaching its delta and flowing into Ise Bay.

Nagara River

The Nagara River (長良川, Nagara-gawa) has its source in the city of Gujō, Gifu Prefecture, and its mouth in the city of Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Along with the Kiso River and Ibi River, the Nagara River is one of the Kiso Three Rivers of the Nōbi Plain. Previously, the river was named Sunomata River (墨俣川 Sunomata-gawa). With a length of 166 km (103 mi), it drains an area of 1,985 square kilometres (766 sq mi) in the Chūbu region and empties into Ise Bay. The government of Japan classifies it as a Class 1 river.

Nagashima Spa Land

Nagashima Spa Land (ナガシマスパーランド, Nagashima Supā Rando) is a major amusement park in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, Japan. It features several roller coasters, thrill rides, and kid rides, a giant Ferris wheel, and a water park. As of 2012, Nagashima Spa Land is the 18th most visited amusement park in the world.

Suzuka, Mie

Suzuka (鈴鹿市, Suzuka-shi) is a city located in Mie Prefecture, Japan.

As of August 2015, the city had an estimated population of 196,853 and a population density of 1,010 persons per km². The total area was 194.46 square kilometres (75.08 square miles).

Suzuka International Racing Course

The Suzuka International Racing Course(鈴鹿サーキット Suzuka Sākitto / 鈴鹿サーキット国際レーシングコース Suzuka Sākitto KokusaiRēsingKōsu) is a motorsport race track located in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan and operated by Mobilityland Corporation, a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, Ltd. It has a capacity of 155,000.

Suzuka Mountains

Suzuka Mountains (鈴鹿山脈, Suzuka Sanmyaku) are a mountain range running through Mie Prefecture and along the borders of Gifu and Shiga prefectures in central Japan. The tallest peak in the range is Mount Oike at 1,247 m (4,091 ft). In spite of its height, Mount Oike is not the most visited mountain; that distinction belongs to Mount Gozaisho because of its Gozaisho Ropeway, making reaching the peak much easier.

Suzuka Quasi-National Park protects a portion of the mountain range from development and has a total area of 298 km2 (115 sq mi). The town of Komono, Mie Prefecture, has many onsen.

The northern part consists of Limestone, and the southern part consists of Granite.

Teinosuke Kinugasa

Teinosuke Kinugasa (衣笠 貞之助, Kinugasa Teinosuke) (1 January 1896 – 26 February 1982) was a Japanese actor and film director. He was born in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture and died in Kyoto. Kinugasa won the 1954 Palme d'or at Cannes for Jigokumon (The Gate of Hell).

Toba, Mie

Toba (鳥羽市, Toba-shi) is a city located in Mie Prefecture, Japan.

As of August 2015, the city had an estimated population of 19,227 and a population density of 179 persons per km2. The total area was 107.34 square kilometres (41.44 sq mi).

Tsu, Mie

Tsu (津市, Tsu-shi) is the capital city of Mie Prefecture, Japan.

As of August 2015, the city had an estimated population of 279,304 and a population density of 393 persons per km2. The total area was 711.11 square kilometres (274.56 sq mi).

Veertien Mie

Veertien Mie (ヴィアティン三重) is a Japanese football club based between Kuwana and Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. They play in the Japan Football League.

Yata no Kagami

Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡) is a sacred mirror that is part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. It is said to be housed in Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, Japan, although a lack of public access makes this difficult to verify. The Yata no Kagami represents "wisdom" or "honesty," depending on the source. Its name literally means "The Eight Ta Mirror," a reference to its size and octagonal shape. Mirrors in ancient Japan represented truth because they merely reflected what was shown, and were a source of much mystique and reverence (being uncommon items). Japanese folklore is rich in stories of life before mirrors were commonplace.

In Shinto, the mirror was forged by the deity Ishikoridome; it and the Yasakani no magatama were hung from a tree to lure out Amaterasu from a cave. They were given to Amaterasu's grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, when he went to pacify Japan along with the sword Kusanagi. From there, the treasures passed into the hands of the Imperial House of Japan.

In the year 1040 (Chōkyū 1, 9th month), the compartment which contained the Sacred Mirror was burned in a fire. Whether that mirror was irrevocably lost or not, it is said to be housed today in Ise Grand Shrine, while a replica is enshrined in Three Palace Sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

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