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Mie Prefecture

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Title: Mie Prefecture  
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Subject: Kisosaki, Mie, Kansai region, Little League World Series in Japan, Akihiko Noro, Asahi, Mie
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Mie Prefecture

Mie Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 三重県
 • Rōmaji Mie-ken

Symbol of Mie Prefecture
Location of Mie Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Kansai (Tōkai)
Island Honshu
Capital Tsu
 • Governor Eikei Suzuki (since April 2011)
 • Total 5,777.22 km2 (2,230.60 sq mi)
Area rank 25th
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 1,855,177
 • Rank 23rd
 • Density 321/km2 (830/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-24
Districts 7
Municipalities 29
Flower Iris
(Iris ensata)
Tree Japanese cedar
(Cryptomeria japonica)
Bird Snowy plover
(Charadrius alexandrinus)
Fish Japanese spiny lobster
(Panulirus japonicus)
Website ENGLISH/

Mie Prefecture (三重県 Mie-ken) is a prefecture of Japan, which is part of the Kansai region on the main Honshu island.[1] The capital is the city of Tsu.[2]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Cities 2.1
    • Towns 2.2
    • Mergers 2.3
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Culture 5
    • Universities 5.1
  • Tourism 6
    • Notable places 6.1
    • Notable citizens 6.2
    • Famous products 6.3
  • Sister states 7
  • Transportation 8
    • Rail 8.1
    • Road 8.2
      • Expressways and toll roads 8.2.1
      • National highways 8.2.2
    • Ports 8.3
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


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 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.


Map of Mie Prefecture

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.
Mie coastline, near Toba

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 March 31, 2008, 35% of the total area of the prefecture comprised designated Natural Parks, namely:[5]


Fourteen cities are located in Mie Prefecture:


These are the towns in each district:



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.


Mie Prefecture Demographics (as of 2006)[8]
Total population 1,867,696
Male population 908,440
Female population 959,256
Population aged under 15 263,697
Population aged 15 to 64 1,190,615
Population aged over 64 411,063
Households 688,088
Population density (per km2) 323.3




Notable places

Meoto Rocks in Ise Bay, Ise
Mount Gozaisho and cable-car in Komono
Winter Illumination event in Nabana Village Park, Kuwana

Notable citizens

Famous products

Sister states




Expressways and toll roads

National highways

  • Route 1
  • Route 23 (Ise-Yokkaichi-Nagoya-Gamagori-Toyohashi)
  • Route 25
  • 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


  • 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


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Mie prefecture" in , p. 628Japan Encyclopedia, p. 628, at Google Books; "Kansai" in , p. 477Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Tsu" in , p. 995Japan Encyclopedia, p. 995, at Google Books
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in , p. 780Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780, at Google Books
  4. ^ a b Mie Prefecture homepage: Mie's Geography and Climate (pdf)
  5. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF).  
  6. ^ "Azuma Foods Co., Ltd.|Company Profile". 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


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

  • Mie Prefecture official homepage
  • Kanko Mie tourist information
  • Outdoor Japan - Section Mie
  • Mie International Exchange Foundation
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