Okayama Prefecture (岡山県; Okayama-ken) is located in the Chugoku region on Honshu island, Japan. The capital is the city of Okayama.
Okayama Prefecture was formerly divided into Bitchu Province, Bizen Province, and Mimasaka Province until the Meiji Restoration.
Okayama Prefecture borders Hyogo Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Hiroshima Prefecture. It faces Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku across the Seto Inland Sea and includes 90 islands in the sea.
Okayama Prefecture is home to the historic town of Kurashiki. Most of the population is concentrated around Kurashiki and Okayama, and the northern mountains are declining in population.
Mergers and changes of municipalities
The city of Takahashi and the towns of Ukan, Nariwa, Kawakami, and Bitchu were merged to form the new city of Takahashi. As a result of this merger, Kawakami District went defunct.
Merger: Central Area of Kibi Highland (1 October 2004)
The towns of Kamogawa and Kayo were merged to form the town of Kibichuo . The new town belongs to Kaga District , founded upon this merger.
The towns of Ushimado, Oku, and Osafune were merged to form the city of Setouchi. As a result of this merger, Oku District went defunct.
The towns of Kamo, Shoboku, and Kume and the village of Aba were absorbed into the city of Tsuyama.
The towns of Yoshii (in Shitsuki District) and Bisei were absorbed into the city of Ibara. As a result of this merger, Shitsuki District went defunct.
Merger: Western Tomata District (1 March 2005)
The towns of Okutsu and Kagamino and the villages of Kamisaibara and Tomi were merged to form the new town of Kagamino.
The towns of San'yo, Akasaka, Yoshii (in Akaiwa District), and Kumayama were merged to form the city of Akaiwa .
Absorption: Southern Okayama (22 March 2005)
The towns of Mitsu and Nadasaki were absorbed into the city of Okayama.
Merger: Soja, Yamate, and Kiyone (22 March 2005)
The city of Soja and the villages of Yamate, and Kiyone were merged to form the new city of Soja.
Merger: Bizen, Hinase, and Yoshinaga (22 March 2005)
The city of Bizen and the towns of Hinase, and Yoshinaga were merged to form the new city of Bizen.
Merger: Kume District (22 March 2005)
The towns of Chuo, Asahi, and Yanahara were merged to form the town of Misaki .
The city of Niimi and the towns of Osa, Shingo, Tetta, and Tessei were merged to form the new city of Niimi.
The towns of Hokubo, Katsuyama, Ochiai, Yubara, and Kuse and the villages of Mikamo, Kawakami, Yatsuka, and Chuka were merged to form the city of Maniwa .
The towns of Katsuta, Ohara, Mimasaka, Sakuto, and Aida and the village of Higashiawakura were merged to form the city of Mimasaka.
Bizen-yaki, or Bizen pottery, is famous and popular.
Anime and manga
The anime and manga series Tenchi Muyo! take place in this part of Japan, and many characters are named after geographical features and landmarks of the area.
Notable people from Okayama
- Yuko Arimori , marathon runner.
- Naoto Fujiki , actor.
- Tessho Genda, voice actor.
- Ryutaro Hashimoto, politician.
- Sen'ichi Hoshino , baseball manager.
- Koshi Inaba, singer.
- Inukai Tsuyoshi, politician.
- Keizo Nakanishi , singer.
- Joe Odagiri, actor.
- Sesshu Toyo, master of suiboku.
- Joichiro Tatsuyoshi , boxer.
- Nobuo Yana , actor.