Open main menu

Iwate Prefecture

prefecture of Japan

Iwate Prefecture (岩手県, Iwate-ken) is a prefecture in the Tōhoku region of Japan. It is on the island of Honshu.[1] The capital city is Morioka.[2]

Iwate Prefecture
Japanese: 岩手県
Map of Japan with Iwate highlighted
Capital Morioka
Region Tohoku
Island Honshu
Governor Takuya Tasso
Area (rank) 15,278.40 km² (2nd)
 - % water 0.1%
Population  (1 Oct 2010)
 - Population 1,330,530 (30th)
 - Density 90 /km²
Districts 10
Municipalities 33
ISO 3166-2 JP-03
Prefectural Symbols
 - Flower Paulownia tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
 - Tree Nanbu red pine (Pinus densiflora)
 - Bird Green pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
 - Fish
Symbol of Iwate Prefecture
Symbol of Iwate Prefecture



The area of Iwate was part of Mutsu Province.[3]

In 1869, Mutsu was split into five new provinces: Rikuōku,[4] Rikuchū,[5] Rikuzen,[6] Iwashiro[7] and Iwaki.[8] The first three of these together known as the "Three Riku", or Sanriku.[9]

The new provinces were abolished in July 1871.[10]

In the Meiji period, the provinces of Japan were converted into prefectures. Maps of Japan and Mutsu Province were changed in the 1870s.[3]


Iwate is the second largest prefecture after Hokkaido.[1]

The prefecture is in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island. It has the island's easternmost point.[11] The eastern coastline faces the Pacific Ocean. Iwate shares its northern border with Aomori Prefecture. The western border meets Akita Prefecture. Its southern border is shared with Miyagi Prefecture.


National ParksEdit

National parks cover about 5% of the total land area of the prefecture.[12] They include:

Shrines and templesEdit

Tsutsukowake jinja is the main Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of the prefecture.[15]

The Buddhist temples of Hiraizumi include Chūson-ji and Mōtsū-ji. Hiraizumi was added to the World Heritage List in June 2011.[16]

Related pagesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Iwate-ken" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 410.
  2. Nussbaum, "Morioka" at p. 661.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780.
  4. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Rikuōku" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 790.
  5. Nussbaum, "Rikuchū" at p. 790.
  6. Nussbaum, "Rikuzen" at p. 790.
  7. Nussbaum, "Iwashiro" at p. 410.
  8. Nussbaum, "Iwaki" at p. 408.
  9. Nippon-Kichi, "Saw-tooth Sanriku Coastline"; retrieved 2012-1-12.
  10. Japan-i, Sanriku Coastline/Kamaishi Daikannon; retrieved 2012-1-12.
  11. Nussbaum, "Tōhoku" at p. 970.
  12. Japan Ministry of the Environment, "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture"; retrieved 2012-3-13.
  13. Japan Ministry of the Environment, "Towada-Hachimantai National Park"; retrieved 2012-3-19.
  14. Japan Ministry of the Environment, "Rikuchu Kaigan National Park"; retrieved 2012-3-19.
  15. "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 2; retrieved 2012-1-17.
  16. "World Heritage Hiraizumi". Retrieved 2013-07-10.

Other websitesEdit