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Ishikawa Prefecture

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Title: Ishikawa Prefecture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Asian Race Walking Championships, Groups of Traditional Buildings, Wajima, Ishikawa, Kahoku, Ishikawa, Chūbu region
Collection: Chūbu Region, Hokuriku Region, Ishikawa Prefecture, Prefectures of Japan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 石川県
 • Rōmaji Ishikawa-ken
Official logo of Ishikawa Prefecture
Symbol of Ishikawa Prefecture
Location of Ishikawa Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Chūbu
Island Honshū
Capital Kanazawa
 • Governor Masanori Tanimoto
 • Total 4,185.22 km2 (1,615.92 sq mi)
Area rank 35th
Population (February 1, 2011)
 • Total 1,168,929
 • Rank 34th
 • Density 279.30/km2 (723.4/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-17
Districts 5
Municipalities 19
Flower Black lily (Fritillaria camtschatcensis)
Tree Hiba (Thujopsis dolabrata)
Bird Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県 Ishikawa-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island.[1] The capital is Kanazawa.[2]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Cities 2.1
    • Towns 2.2
    • Mergers 2.3
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Culture 5
  • Tourism 6
  • Prefectural symbols 7
  • Miscellaneous topics 8
  • Universities 9
  • Transport 10
    • Rail 10.1
    • Road 10.2
      • Expressways and toll roads 10.2.1
      • National highways 10.2.2
    • Ports 10.3
    • Airports 10.4
  • Regional policies 11
  • Politics 12
  • Notes 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


Ishikawa was formed in 1872 from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.[3]


Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast. The northern part of the prefecture consists of the narrow Noto Peninsula, while the southern part is wider and consists mostly of mountains with the prefecture's chief city, Kanazawa, located in the coastal plain. The prefecture also has some islands, including Notojima, Mitsukejima, Hegurajima.

As of April 1, 2012, 13% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Hakusan National Park; Echizen-Kaga Kaigan and Noto Hantō Quasi-National Parks; and five Prefectural Natural Parks.[4]


Eleven cities are located in Ishikawa Prefecture:


Map of Ishikawa Prefecture.

These are the towns in each district:



Ishikawa's industry is dominated by the textile industry, particularly artificial fabrics, and the machine industry, particularly construction machinery.


Ishikawa Prefecture has an area of 4,185 km² and as of April 1, 2011 it has a population of 1,166,643 persons.

Data Unit Statistics
Area km² 4,185
Population Persons 1,166,643
Population density Persons per km² 278.72
Number of households Households 441,980
Income per person Thousand yen 2,707
Power consumed Kwh per household 6,446
Number of doctors Physicians per

100,000 people



Kanazawa lacquerware (Kanazawa shikki) is high quality lacquerware traditionally decorated with gold dust.

The area is noted for arts and crafts and other cultural traditions:

  • The art of was introduced to the area during the rule of the fifth Maeda lord Tsunanori and was refined into the style of Kaga hosho.
  • The tea ceremony was introduced in 1666 when Maeda Toshitsune invited Senbiki Soshitsu of Urasenke to Kanazawa.
  • Kutani ware (Kutani yaki) is a bright colored glaze like Chinese porcelain.
  • Ohi teaware (Ōhi yaki) is a pottery with a style unique to Kanazawa.
  • Kaga silk (Kaga yūzen) is made with complicated silk print technique with an intentional rough look (wabi-sabi).
  • Kanazawa lacquerware (Kanazawa shikki) is high quality lacquerware traditionally decorated with gold dust.
  • Kanazawa gold leaf (Kanazawa haku) is produced with a technique of beating gold into wafer-thin sheets.
  • Kaga mizuhiki is ribbon-like decoration made from glued Japanese paper (washi).
  • Kaga inlay crafts (Kaga zōgan) are made with a combination of thin flat and thread metal inlays.
  • Gojinjo Daiko is a Japanese Drum, a Wajima City cultural heritage (since 1961) as well as an Ishikawa Prefecture intangible cultural heritage (since 1963).
  • Abare Festival is reputed the most 'fierce' festivals of Noto, Ishikawa.


Winter in Kenrokuen

The most popular destination in Ishikawa is Kanazawa. Tourists can get to Ishikawa by plane via either the Komatsu or Noto airports. Popular sites include:

Prefectural symbols

Miscellaneous topics

  • Takeshi Kaga, an actor in Japan who is probably best known internationally for his portrayal of Chairman Kaga in the Japanese television show Iron Chef produced by Fuji TV, is from Ishikawa.
  • Hideki Matsui, a current player for the New York Yankees, was born and raised in Neagari Town (now Nomi City), Ishikawa. He gained fame as a baseball player while attending high school in Kanazawa.
  • Daisuke Nakata, a trampolinist who has competed in the Olympics in the past, is from Ishikawa.


Ishikawa hosts a number of well-known universities.

  • Hokuriku University—a small liberal arts university with a School of Pharmacy and a School of Future Learning that gives instruction in Business, Economics, and Foreign Language (Chinese and English).
  • Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University
  • Ishikawa Prefectural University
  • Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
  • Kanazawa College of Art
  • Kanazawa Gakuin University
  • Kanazawa Institute of Technology
  • Kanazawa Medical University
  • Kanazawa Seiryo University
  • Kanazawa University
  • Kinjo Junior College



Kanazawa Station


Expressways and toll roads

  • Hakusan Super Forest Road
  • Hokuriku Expressway
  • Noetsu (Noto-Etsuchu) Expressway
  • Noto Toll Road

National highways


  • Kanazawa Port (International container hub port)
  • Nanao Port


Regional policies


The prefectural assembly building in the prefectural government building complex in Kanazawa

The current governor of Ishikawa is Masanori Tanimoto who was first elected in 1994 and has been reelected for a sixth term in the gubernatorial election in March 2014.[5] Tanimoto is currently one of two governors who are in their sixth term nationwide, the other being Masaru Hashimoto of Ibaraki. Tanimoto is only the fourth governor of Ishikawa since 1947 when prefectural governors became elected offices, as predecessor Yōichi Nakanishi had held the governorship even longer than Tanimoto, winning his first election in 1963 and then serving eight consecutive terms until his death in 1994.

The prefectural assembly of Ishikawa has 43 members and is elected in unified local elections (last round: 2011) in 15 SNTV electoral districts – six single-member, five two-member, one three-member, two four-member districts and the Kanazawa City district that elects 16 members. As of February 26, 2014, the LDP prefectural assembly caucus has 25 members and no other group has more than four members.[6]

In the National Diet, Ishikawa is represented by three directly elected members of the House of Representatives and two (one per election) of the House of Councillors. Additional members from the prefecture may be elected in the proportional representation segments of both houses: the Hokuriku-Shin'etsu proportional representation block in the lower house, the proportional election to the upper house is nationwide. After the Diet elections of 2010, 2012 and 2013, the five directly elected members from Ishikawa districts are all Liberal Democrats, namely:


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Chūbu" in , p. 126Japan Encyclopedia, p. 126, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Kanazawa" in p. 467, p. 467, 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).  
  5. ^ 47 News/Kyōdō Tsūshin, March 16, 2014: 石川県知事選、谷本氏6選果たす 2新人退け全国最多に並ぶ
  6. ^ Ishikawa Prefectural Assembly: members by caucus (Japanese)


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

External links

  • Official website
  • Cultural assets of Ishikawa

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