Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県, Ishikawa-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu island.[1] Ishikawa Prefecture has a population of 1,140,573 (31 October, 2019) and has a geographic area of 4,186 km² (1,616 sq mi). Ishikawa Prefecture borders Toyama Prefecture to the east, Gifu Prefecture to the southeast, and Fukui Prefecture to the south.

Ishikawa Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)


SubdivisionsDistricts: 5, Municipalities: 19
  GovernorMasanori Tanimoto
  Total4,186.09 km2 (1,616.26 sq mi)
Area rank35th
 (October 31, 2019)
  Density272.47/km2 (705.7/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-17
BirdGolden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
FlowerBlack lily (Fritillaria camtschatcensis)
TreeHiba (Thujopsis dolabrata)

Kanazawa is the capital and largest city of Ishikawa Prefecture, with other major cities including Hakusan, Komatsu, and Kaga.[2] Ishikawa is located on the Sea of Japan coast and features the most of the Noto Peninsula which forms Toyama Bay, one of the largest bays in Japan. Ishikawa Prefecture is part of the historic Hokuriku region and formerly an important populated center that contained some of the wealthiest han (domains) of the Japanese feudal era. Ishikawa Prefecture is home to Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Nyotaimori ("body sushi"), and Kutani ware.


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 1 April 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:


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 4,186.09 km² and, as of 1 April 2011, it has a population of 1,166,643 persons.

Data Unit Statistics
Area km² 4,186.09
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


List of Governors of Ishikawa Prefecture

  • Wakio Shibano (柴野和喜夫) (12 April 1947 to 23 February 1955)
  • Jūjitsu Taya (田谷充実) (24 February 1955 to 19 February 1963)
  • Yōichi Nakanishi (中西陽一) (23 February 1963 to 2 February 1994)
  • Masanori Tanimoto (谷本正憲) (29 March 1994 to present)


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

  • The art of Noh 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.
  • Nyotaimori or naked sushi is said to have originated in Ishikawa Prefecture.
  • 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.


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

Notable people


Ishikawa has a number of universities:

  • Kanazawa University
  • 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
  • Kinjo Junior College




Expressways and toll roads

National highways


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


Regional policies


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.[6] 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.[7]

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:

  • in the House of Representatives
    • for the 1st district that covers Kanazawa City: Hiroshi Hase, LDP, 5th term,
    • for the 2nd district that consists of Southern parts of Ishikawa and had been the district of former LDP president Yoshirō Mori until 2012: Hajime Sasaki, LDP, 1st term,
    • for the 3rd district in the North: Shigeo Kitamura, LDP, 3rd term,
  • in the House of Councillors
    • in the class of 2010 (term ends 2016): Naoki Okada, LDP, 2nd term, and
    • in the class of 2013 (term ends 2019): Shūji Yamada, LDP, 1st term who was able to defeat Democratic incumbent and former defense minister Yasuo Ichikawa by a huge margin in 2013.


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Chūbu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 126, 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). Ministry of the Environment. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  5. "The Fourth High School Memorial Museum of Cultural Exchange, Ishikawa" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  6. 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 Archived March 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  7. Ishikawa Prefectural Assembly: members by caucus Archived March 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.