Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata Prefecture (山形県 Yamagata-ken) is a prefecture located in the Tōhoku region of Japan.[1] Its capital is Yamagata.[2]

Yamagata Prefecture

山形県
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese山形県
 • RōmajiYamagata-ken
Flag of Yamagata Prefecture

Flag
Official logo of Yamagata Prefecture

Symbol
Location of Yamagata Prefecture
CountryJapan
RegionTōhoku
IslandHonshu
CapitalYamagata
SubdivisionsDistricts: 8, Municipalities: 35
Government
 • GovernorMieko Yoshimura
Area
 • Total9,325.15 km2 (3,600.46 sq mi)
Area rank9th
Population
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total1,079,950
 • Rank35th
 • Density120/km2 (300/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-06
Websitewww.pref.yamagata.jp
Symbols
BirdMandarin duck (Aix galericulata)
FishCherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou)
FlowerSafflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
TreeCherry

History

The aboriginal Ezo (蝦夷) people once inhabited the area now known as Yamagata. Yamagata and Akita Prefecture were known as Dewa Province until the Meiji Restoration.[3]

During the Heian period (794–1185), the Fujiwara (藤原) family ruled the area. Yamagata City flourished during the Edo period (1603–1867) due to its status as a castle town and post station, famous for beni (red safflower dye used in the production of handspun silk). In 1689, the famous haiku poet, Matsuo Bashō visited Yamagata during his five-month trip to the northern regions of Japan.

Geography

Map of Yamagata Prefecture Ja
Map of Yamagata Prefecture
     City      Town      Village

Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tōhoku, facing the Sea of Japan. It borders Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture on the south, Miyagi Prefecture on the east, and Akita Prefecture on the north. All of these boundaries are marked by mountains, with most of the population residing in a limited central plain.

As of 1 April 2012, 17% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Bandai-Asahi National Park; Chōkai, Kurikoma, and Zaō Quasi-National Parks; and six Prefectural Natural Parks.[4]

Cities

Thirteen cities are located in Yamagata Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Mergers

Climate

The climate of Yamagata Prefecture is characterized by long hot humid summers and long snowy winters. Both spring and autumn are short, the former often cold, the latter often warm, but both quite dry and sunny. Yamagata Prefecture, along with northern parts of Miyagi and Iwate are the transition areas from humid subtropical climate (Koppen Dfa/Dfb) to humid continental within the Japan mainland. Winter temperatures rarely fall below -10 °C in populated areas; they frequently rise above 30 °C in July and August. Precipitation falls all year round and the remnants of one or perhaps two typhoons usually pass through between August and October. The winters see heavy snowfall especially at higher elevations, though the Japan Sea coast (Sakata) is milder and has more rain. Snowfall for Shinjō is typical of populated mountainous areas, snowfall for Yamagata City typical of the valleys. The central mountains around Gassan may see as much as 3000 cm of snow in a season with depths up to 8 metres at higher elevations.

Economy

Fruit

Persimmons yamagata 2005-10
Persimmons in October, Yamagata Prefecture.
YamagataCherries
Yamagata cherries, such as these, often sell for USD $30 per pound or more.

Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.

Demographics

As of October 2014, Yamagata Prefecture had a population of 1,131,000.[8] The prefecture also has one of the oldest populations in Japan. As of 2004, 12.8% of the population was aged between 65 and 74, and 12.1% was over 75 (the fourth and third highest in Japan, respectively).[9] Over 40% of households in Yamagata contain one or more relatives aged 65 or over (one of the three highest in Japan).[10]

Culture

Festivals and events

Yamagata Prefecture has a number of annual festivals and events.

The largest is the hanagasa matsuri (花笠祭り) which takes place in Yamagata City on the first weekend in August, when thousands of people perform the hanagasa dance in the city centre and attracts up to 300,000 spectators. Yamagata City is the home of the bi-annual Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in October.

In February, a snow lantern festival is held in Yonezawa at the Uesugi Shrine. Hundreds of candle-lit lanterns light pathways dug into the snow around the shrine. Yonezawa is also the site of the Uesugi Festival (上杉祭り, uesugi matsuri) in mid-spring. The festival's highlight is a re-enactment of the Battle of Kawanakajima on the banks of the Matsukawa River.

In September, Yamagata Prefecture is famous for its imoni, a taro-root stew popular in Northern Japan during the autumn. Imonikai, taro-root soup parties, are very popular during this season, and many tourists come to Yamagata Prefecture specifically for its particular style of imoni.

Art

Beginning in 2003, Yamagata city officials with the aid of Tōhoku University of Art and Design began a three-year project in which the Buddhist art of the city's temples would be catalogued and compared to a set of guidelines in order to identify “cultural assets.”[11] One hundred and ninety temples have had their works of art examined and several significant examples of Buddhist sculpture have been discovered. At Heisenji Temple, in the Hirashimizu district, a particularly rare statue, a seated Vairocana Buddha made from zelkova wood, was found. Other significant works include sculptures from the Heian period (794–1185) and Kamakura period (1192–1333).

The Yamagata Museum of Art, located in Yamagata City, was opened in 1964 through the efforts of a foundation led by Yoshio Hattori, the president of Yamagata Shimbun and Yamagata Broadcasting Co, Ltd. The permanent collection consists of three types of art: Japanese and Asian, regional, and French. Special exhibitions are held periodically.

Language

Yamagata Prefecture is known for its local dialect Yamagata-ben, sometimes thought of as backward sounding in other parts of Japan. The 2004 movie Swing Girls (スウィングガールズ), co-written and directed by Shinobu Yaguchi, is set in Yamagata and makes use of Yamagata-ben for comedic purposes.

Sports

The sports teams listed below are based in Yamagata.

Football (soccer)

Volleyball

Basketball

Transportation

Airports

Railways

Tourism

The temple of Yama-dera, carved into the mountainside near the city of Yamagata, is a major attraction.

The Dewa Sanzan are three holy mountains that form a traditional pilgrimage for followers of the Shugendō branch of Shintō. The famous Gojudo (five-story pagoda) is at the base of Mount Haguro, the lowest of the three mountains.

Mount Zaō is a famous winter ski resort, also known for its snow monsters (frozen snow-covered trees) in the winter, and the Okama crater lake, also known as the Goshiki Numa (Five Color Lake) because its colour changes according to the weather.

Yamadera 2004-11

Yamadera niōmon

Hagurosan Gojunto 2006-A

Mount Haguro, The Gojuto Pagoda

Zao Onsen Ski Resort

Zaō Onsen Ski Resort

Media

Newspapers

  • Yamagata Shimbun [1]
  • Yonezawa Shimbun
  • Shonai Nippo
  • Okitama Times [2]

TV and radio

Film

  • Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival[12]

Notes

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Yamagata prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 1038-1039, p. 1038, at Google Books; "Tōhoku" in p. 970, p. 970, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Yamagata" in p. 1038, p. 1038, at Google Books
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books
  4. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  5. ^ Yamagata Station, Japan Meteorological Agency
  6. ^ Shinjo Station, Japan Meteorological Agency
  7. ^ Sakata Station, Japan Meteorological Agency
  8. ^ "Population by Prefecture (1920-2014)". Stat.go.jp. Archived from the original on 24 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Table 12. Percentage of Population by Age (3 Groups) and Sex for Prefectures - Total population, October 1, 2004". Stat.go.jp. Archived from the original on May 20, 2005.
  10. ^ "Statistical Maps of Japan - 2000 Population Census of Japan" (PDF). Stat.go.jp. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 18, 2006.
  11. ^ "Yamagata: City unearths wealth of Buddhist Treasure". The Asahi Shimbun. December 5, 2006.
  12. ^ "YIDFF Official Site". Yidff.jp. Retrieved 2014-02-14.

References

External links

Coordinates: 38°26′N 140°8′E / 38.433°N 140.133°E

Akayu Station

Akayu Station (赤湯駅, Akayu-eki) is a railway station in Nanyo, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Ashisawa Station

Ashisawa Station (芦沢駅, Ashisawa-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Japan National Route 348

National Route 348 (国道348号, Kokudō Sanbyaku-yonjūhachi-gō) is a highway in Japan on the island of Honshū which runs from Nagai City in Yamagata Prefecture to Yamagata City, in the same prefecture.

Minamichōkai Station

Minamichōkai Station (南鳥海駅, Minamichōkai eki) is a JR East railway station located in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Mogami River

The Mogami River (最上川, Mogami-gawa) is a river in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Montedio Yamagata

Montedio Yamagata (モンテディオ山形, Montedio Yamagata) is a professional association football club based in Yamagata Prefecture in Japan. The club plays in J2 League.

Montedio is a coined word combining the Italian word for "mountain" (Monte) and the word for "God" (Dio).

Mount Gassan

Mount Gassan (月山, Gassan) is the highest of the Three Mountains of Dewa in the ancient province of Dewa (modern-day Yamagata prefecture). The Gassan Shrine stands at the mountain's summit, 1,984 metres (6,509 ft) above sea level.

Due to heavy winter snowfall, the mountain and shrine are inaccessible for long periods of the year; however, skiing is possible on the mountain from April to mid-summer.

ND Soft Stadium Yamagata

ND Soft Stadium Yamagata (NDソフトスタジアム山形) is a multi-purpose stadium in Tendo, Yamagata, Japan. It is currently used mostly for football matches. It serves as a home ground of Montedio Yamagata. The stadium holds 20,315 people and was built in 1991.

Nakagawa Station (Yamagata)

Nakagawa Station (中川駅, Nakagawa-eki) is a railway station on the Ōu Main Line in the city of Nanyō, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Nan'yō, Yamagata

Nanyo (南陽市, Nan'yō-shi) is a city located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. As of October 2015, the city had an estimated population of 31,976, and a population density of 199 persons per km². The total area is 160.52 square kilometres (62 sq mi).

Nishibukuro Station

Nishibukuro Station (西袋駅, Nishibukuro-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Shōnai, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Passlab Yamagata Wyverns

The Passlab Yamagata Wyverns is a professional basketball team that competes in the second division of the Japanese B.League. TGI D-Rise served as a development team of the Link Tochigi Brex. TGI stands for Tochigi, Gunma and Ibaraki, three northern Kanto prefectures.

Sekine Station

Sekine Station (関根駅, Sekine-eki) is a railway station on the Ōu Main Line in the city of Yonezawa, Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Shonai Airport

Shonai Airport (庄内空港, Shonai Kūkō) (IATA: SYO, ICAO: RJSY) is a regional airport in Sakata, Yamagata, Japan. The municipalities of Tsuruoka and Shōnai are also near the airport.

Shōnai, Yamagata

Shōnai (庄内町, Shōnai-machi) is a town located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. In October 2015, the town has an estimated population of 21,793, and a population density of 87.5 per km². The total area is 249.17 square kilometres (96 sq mi).

Uzen-Chitose Station

Uzen-Chitose Station (羽前千歳駅, Uzen-Chitose-eki) is a railway station on the Ōu Main Line in the city of Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Uzen-Mizusawa Station

Uzen-Mizusawa Station (羽前水沢駅, Uzen-Mizusawa-eki) is a JR East railway station located in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Uzen-Nakayama Station

Uzen-Nakayama Station (羽前中山駅, Uzen-Nakayama-eki) is a railway station on the Ōu Main Line in the city of Kaminoyama, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Yamagata Airport

Yamagata Airport (山形空港, Yamagata Kūkō) (IATA: GAJ, ICAO: RJSC ) is a 2nd-class airport in Higashine, Yamagata, Japan. The airport is 23 kilometres (14 mi) north of the city of Yamagata.

Climate data for Yamagata, Yamagata
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.1
(64.6)
17.3
(63.1)
23.7
(74.7)
33.3
(91.9)
33.4
(92.1)
35.6
(96.1)
40.8
(105.4)
38.9
(102.0)
36.1
(97.0)
32.3
(90.1)
26.9
(80.4)
20.1
(68.2)
40.8
(105.4)
Average high °C (°F) 3
(37)
4
(39)
8
(46)
16
(61)
22
(72)
25
(77)
28
(82)
30
(86)
25
(77)
19
(66)
12
(54)
6
(43)
16
(61)
Average low °C (°F) −4
(25)
−4
(25)
−1
(30)
4
(39)
10
(50)
15
(59)
19
(66)
20
(68)
16
(61)
9
(48)
3
(37)
−1
(30)
7
(45)
Record low °C (°F) −20.0
(−4.0)
−19.0
(−2.2)
−15.5
(4.1)
−7.3
(18.9)
−1.8
(28.8)
3.0
(37.4)
6.7
(44.1)
8.4
(47.1)
3.0
(37.4)
−2.4
(27.7)
−7.2
(19.0)
−15.0
(5.0)
−20.0
(−4.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 75
(3.0)
70
(2.8)
67
(2.6)
68
(2.7)
81
(3.2)
103
(4.1)
144
(5.7)
149
(5.9)
134
(5.3)
76
(3.0)
81
(3.2)
77
(3.0)
1,125
(44.3)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 163
(64)
147
(58)
71
(28)
3
(1.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
12
(4.7)
92
(36)
491
(193)
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[5]
Climate data for Shinjō, Yamagata
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
14.0
(57.2)
19.5
(67.1)
30.2
(86.4)
33.5
(92.3)
32.6
(90.7)
36.9
(98.4)
37.4
(99.3)
33.9
(93.0)
27.9
(82.2)
22.5
(72.5)
19.0
(66.2)
37.4
(99.3)
Average high °C (°F) 1
(34)
2
(36)
6
(43)
14
(57)
20
(68)
24
(75)
27
(81)
29
(84)
24
(75)
18
(64)
11
(52)
4
(39)
15
(59)
Average low °C (°F) −4
(25)
−4
(25)
−2
(28)
3
(37)
9
(48)
14
(57)
19
(66)
20
(68)
15
(59)
8
(46)
3
(37)
−1
(30)
7
(45)
Record low °C (°F) −19.6
(−3.3)
−20.2
(−4.4)
−16.5
(2.3)
−9.3
(15.3)
−2.1
(28.2)
3.7
(38.7)
7.6
(45.7)
10.9
(51.6)
4.1
(39.4)
−0.8
(30.6)
−5.8
(21.6)
−15.2
(4.6)
−20.2
(−4.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 181
(7.1)
145
(5.7)
112
(4.4)
98
(3.9)
107
(4.2)
131
(5.2)
186
(7.3)
175
(6.9)
153
(6.0)
152
(6.0)
195
(7.7)
211
(8.3)
1,843
(72.6)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 283
(111)
242
(95)
134
(53)
20
(7.9)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
28
(11)
168
(66)
878
(346)
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[6]
Climate data for Sakata, Yamagata
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.5
(59.9)
21.6
(70.9)
22.6
(72.7)
28.6
(83.5)
31.3
(88.3)
31.8
(89.2)
36.9
(98.4)
40.1
(104.2)
35.1
(95.2)
30.9
(87.6)
24.2
(75.6)
19.0
(66.2)
40.1
(104.2)
Average high °C (°F) 4
(39)
4
(39)
8
(46)
14
(57)
19
(66)
23
(73)
27
(81)
29
(84)
25
(77)
19
(66)
13
(55)
8
(46)
16
(61)
Average low °C (°F) −1
(30)
−2
(28)
1
(34)
5
(41)
11
(52)
16
(61)
20
(68)
21
(70)
17
(63)
10
(50)
5
(41)
1
(34)
9
(48)
Record low °C (°F) −16.9
(1.6)
−12.8
(9.0)
−9.9
(14.2)
−3.7
(25.3)
−0.2
(31.6)
7.5
(45.5)
9.5
(49.1)
13.2
(55.8)
7.0
(44.6)
1.4
(34.5)
−5.1
(22.8)
−12.5
(9.5)
−16.9
(1.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 153
(6.0)
115
(4.5)
104
(4.1)
106
(4.2)
117
(4.6)
128
(5.0)
186
(7.3)
176
(6.9)
185
(7.3)
174
(6.9)
224
(8.8)
202
(8.0)
1,861
(73.3)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 138
(54)
120
(47)
43
(17)
1
(0.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
10
(3.9)
64
(25)
375
(148)
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[7]
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