Prefectures of Japan
The Japan is divided into 47 Circonscription S administrative and territorial called Préfecture S (Japanese: 県, ken ) or Department S , divided into four types (identified by the third character of their Japanese official name in sinographic writing Kanji):
- 1 metropolitan prefecture (都, - to , meaning “capital city”), about superposable at the old Town of Tōkyō (東京市, Tōkyō-shi ) - dissolved as a city and a municipality (市, - shi ) and whose old districts became at the same time distinct municipalities and special districts similar to the current Japanese districts (郡, - gun ) - but which was widened as a metropolitan prefecture there to amalgamate old nearby districts and to form “Large Tōkyō” (東京都, Tōkyō-to ) of the Japanese capital: thus the various national official institutions (or foreign representations official the such Ambassade S) of the current capital of Japan do not concern directly any the municipalities which compose it today, but well a prefecture (with a special statute which in fact also the only district of this prefecture).
- 2 urban prefectures (府, fu ), Ōsaka and Kyōto (大阪府, 京都府), not subdivided in districts (郡, - gun ) but forming themselves their characteristic and only district (urban).
- 1 immense insular prefecture (道, - dō “way”, allusion to the late settlement of the island), Hokkaidō (北海道), only historical Japanese prefecture subdivided (because of its size) in sub-prefectures, before their usual subdivision in districts.
- 43 rural prefectures (県, ken ) for the remainder of the archipelago, subdivided each one normally in districts (郡, - gun ), although regroupings (comparable with the sub-prefectures but without official legal status which define them clearly) exist in number of them and are often quoted by the geographers and even certain official institutions (these regroupings are based more or less on the cutting of the old imperial provinces).
They are joined together in the officialese, under the term of todōfuken (都道府県).
The archipelago cash close to vingt-mille islands and small islands, those are attached to a prefecture, even if the distance which separates them from their prefecture is enormous (until 600km).
Prefectures Japanese are themselves divided into Districts (gathering municipalities), except in two prefectures urban which is not subdivided thus but forms themselves their own urban district, except in City of Tokyō where they are districts special (resulting from division from the old city and municipality) which play this part, and.
History of the Japanese prefecturesThis system was established by the government of Meiji in 1871 within the framework of a reform known as “Abolition of the system of the strongholds”. It replaced in the old facts the provinces, although those never were officially abolished.
the emperor accepts the handing-over of the strongholds by the Daimyō in July 1869, but preserves division in strongholds. The economic difficulties which knew the majority of the strongholds promptly led in July 1871 to their removal and the replanning of the country in departments, which coincided only seldom with the old provinces. These administrative divisions were on several occasions altered between 1871 and 1888, date on which there existed, in addition to Hokkaidō, 43 departments and three districts urban: Tōkyō, Kyōto and Ōsaka
Detailed list of the prefectures of current Japan
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