The Tōhoku region in Japan
|• Total||66,889.55 km2 (25,826.20 sq mi)|
|Population (1 October 2010)1|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Time zone||JST (UTC+9)|
The Tōhoku region (東北地方 Tōhoku-chihō?) consists of the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures (ken): Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata.2
The area was historically known as the Michinoku region or province.3 a term first recorded in Hitachi-no-kuni Fudoki (常陸国風土記?) (654). There is some variation in modern usage of the term "Michinoku".4
Tōhoku's initial historical settlement occurred between the seventh and ninth centuries, well after Japanese civilization and culture had become firmly established in central and southwestern Japan. The last stronghold of the indigenous Emishi on Honshu and the site of many battles, the region has maintained a degree of autonomy from Kyoto at various times throughout history.
The region is traditionally known as a less developed area of Japan.5
The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 inflicted massive damage along the east coast of this region, along with radioactive fallout.
|Note: All figures since 1920 are October, except 2013 which is May.
Source: Japan Census figures except 2013 which from ja:日本の市の人口順位
The population collapse of Tohoku, which began before the year 2000, has accelerated, now including previously dynamic Miyagi. Despite this, Sendai city has added population quicker due to the disaster. The population collapse of Aomori, Iwate, and Akita prefectures, Honshu's 3 northernmost, began in the early 1980s after an initial loss of population in the late 1950s. Fukushima prefecture prior to 1980 had traditionally been the most populated, however today Miyagi is the most populated and urban by far.
Tōhoku, like most of Japan, is hilly or mountainous, with the Ōu Mountains running north-south. The inland location of many of the region's lowlands has led to a concentration of much of the population there. Coupled with coastlines that do not favor seaport development, this settlement pattern resulted in a much greater than usual dependence on land and rail transportation. Low points in the central mountain range fortunately make communications between lowlands on either side of the range moderately easy.
Tōhoku was traditionally considered the granary of Japan because it supplied Sendai and the Tokyo-Yokohama market with rice and other farming commodities. Tōhoku provided 20 percent of the nation's rice crop. The climate, however, is harsher than in other parts of Honshū and permits only one crop a year on paddy fields.
- 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
- 2006 Kuril Islands earthquake
- Geography of Japan
- Tōhoku dialect
- List of regions in Japan
- Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau (26 October 2011). "平成 22 年国勢調査の概要". Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Tōhoku" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 970, p. 970, at Google Books
- Hanihara, Kazuro. "Emishi, Ezo and Ainu: An Anthropological Perspective," Japan Review, 1990, 1:37 (PDF p. 3).
- McCullough, Helen Craig. (1988). The Tale of the Heike, p. 81, p. 81, at Google Books; excerpt, "Furthermore, in the old days, the two famous eastern provinces, Dewa and Michinoku, were a single province made up of sixty-six districts, of which twelve were split off to create Dewa."
- Dentsu. (1970). Industrial Japan, Issues 18-26, p. 58; retrieved 2013-4-17.
- Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 10-ISBN 0-674-01753-6; 13-ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.—Japan
- Tōhoku region travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Akita Prefecture Official website (English)
- Aomori Prefecture Official website
- Fukushima Prefecture Official website (English)
- Miyagi Prefecture Official website (English)
- Yamagata Prefecture Official website (English)
- Iwate Prefecture Living Guide for Foreign Nationals (English)
- Tohoku Area Visit Blog