千葉県Chiba Prefectural Government

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Chiba Prefecture > Introduction of Chiba > Description of Chiba Prefecture

Update:October 14, 2014

Description of Chiba Prefecture

Location

Chiba Prefecture is crisscrossed by rivers, surrounded by the sea and blessed with rich natural resources, including the water and forests. It is located on the eastern side of the Tokyo metropolitan area, and occupies a peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. The southeastern part of the peninsula faces the Pacific Ocean, while the western side faces Tokyo Bay. Chiba Prefecture adjoins the Tokyo Metropolis and Saitama Prefecture to the northwest, and Ibaraki Prefecture to the north.

Land area and topography

Chiba Prefecture has a land area of 5,156.62 km2, making it the 28th largest prefecture in the country. It is larger than the total area of the Tokyo Metropolis and Kanagawa Prefecture combined (data as of October 1, 2013).

Topographically, Chiba is made up of the Boso Hills, a chain of hills 200 to 300 m in height, and the relatively flat Shimousa plateau, Tone River basin, and plains along the Kujukuri coast.

Chiba's coastline extends 534.4 km (as of March 31, 2012), and offers highly varied scenery.

Climate

Chiba Prefecture has a warm oceanic climate that is mild in winter and relatively cool in summer, as it is surrounded on three sides by the sea. The southern Boso coast in particular has warm weather affected by an offshore warm current called the Kuroshio. Accordingly, frost is rarely observed in winter.

Precipitation is high in summer, and low in winter.

Population

The population of Chiba Prefecture is the 6th largest of all prefectures in the country.

Population: 6,216,289
Number of households: 2,515,904
As of October 1, 2010; according to the National Census, 2010

Change in population

Change in population
Source: National Census

History

Chiba Prefecture was formed from the three provinces of Awa, Kazusa, and Shimosa.

According to the Kogo Shui ancient chronicle, Amenotomi-no-Mikoto led Awa-no-Inbe and they traveled to the eastern provinces of Japan, where Inbe was required to grow hemp.

At this time, the area where good quality hemp was grown was called the province of Fusa, an ancient term for hemp, and where Awa-no-Inbe lived was called Awa. The part of Fusa closer to the capital was called Kazusa (Upper Fusa), and the more distant part, Shimosa (Lower Fusa). The character “房” (fusa or bo) from Awa (安房) province and the character “総” (fusa or so) from Kazusa (上総) and Shimosa (下総) provinces were combined to read “房総” (Boso).

When the Kamakura Shogunate was formed in 1192, the Chiba clan boasted a strong power base in Boso; in Awa during the Warring States era (c. 1467 – c. 1573), it was the Satomi clan that held great power. When Tokugawa Ieyasu formed his shogunate in Edo in 1603, the areas of Boso that the shoguns did not control directly were for close retainers, due to the peninsula’s proximity to Edo. Domains in the peninsula were all very small at this time, with the Sakura Domain being the largest.

When feudal domains were abolished and replaced with prefectures in 1871, Boso was split up into a total of 24 prefectures, including Tateyama and Sakura. Later, the Kazusa and Awa regions became Kisarazu Prefecture, with the Shimosa region becoming Inba Prefecture.

On June 15th, 1873, the two prefectures of Kisarazu and Inba were merged to form Chiba Prefecture.

To commemorate this date, June 15th became “Prefectural Residents’ Day” in 1984.

The population of Chiba reached five million in 1983 and six million in 2002, and is now Japan’s sixth-most populous prefecture.

Chiba Prefecture office building
Chiba Prefectural Government Offices

 

1868

Meiji Restoration

1871

The abolishment of fiefdoms and establishment of the newly created Kisarazu, Inba and Niihari Prefectures

1873

Kisarazu and Inba Prefectures are dissolved and Chiba Prefecture is created; the Prefecture's central office is established at Chiba Village

1875

Katori, Kaijo, and Sosa districts in Niihari Prefecture are merged into Chiba Prefecture

1894

Railroad is built and a line opens between Ichikawa and Sakura

1921

Chiba Village is accorded the status of "city"

1923

Great Kanto Earthquake strikes; the Awa and Kimitsu regions suffer serious damage

1935

Construction of Otone water system begins

1935

Electrification of Sobu Line of Japan National Railway is completed and opened up to Chiba

1945

Choshi and Chiba suffer air-raids

1947

Tamenosuke Kawaguchi is elected as the Prefecture's first governor by popular vote

1951

Formulation of Chiba Prefecture Comprehensive Development Plan

1953

Smelting furnace at Chiba steel plant of Kawasaki Steel Corp. begins operation

1954

Chiba Port officially opens

1958

Formulation of Keiyo Industrial District Development Plan

1958

Designation of Minami-Boso Quasi-National Park (the first quasi-national park in the prefecture)

1960

Completion of Keiyo Toll Road (the first toll road in the prefecture)

1971

Chiba Television Broadcasting is established

1973

Celebration of 100th anniversary since Chiba Prefecture's establishment as an administrative unit

1973

The 28th National Sports Festival (Wakashio-Kokutai) is held

1978

Opening of Narita Airport

1983

Tokyo Disneyland opens

1983

Prefectural population exceeds 5 million

1984

Designation of the Prefecture's official Citizens' Day (June 15th)

1989

Construction of Trans-Tokyo Bay Expressway started

1989

The Makuhari Messe opens

1992

Chiba City becomes a "designated city"

1993

Celebration of 120th anniversary of Chiba Prefecture's establishment as an administrative unit

1996

Construction of the current Prefectural Offices (main office tower) is completed

1997

Tokyo Bay Aqua-line opens

2001

Akiko Domoto is elected as the Prefecture's first female governor

2002

Prefectural population exceeds 6 million

2005

Tsukuba Express opens

2007

Completion of the Tateyama Expressway

2009

Governer Kensaku Morita elected

2010 65th National Sports Festival of Japan / 10th National Sports Festival for People with Disabilities (Dream Peninsula Chiba National Sports Festival / Dream Peninsula Chiba Games)
2011 The prefecture suffers major damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake
2012 Chiba AquaLine Marathon
2013 Ken-O Expressway opens between Togane JCT and Kisarazu-Higashi IC

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