you not familiar with the phrase todofuken? To be more accurate, spelling
according to the rules of Japanese romaji
transcription is as follows - todo:fuken (colon indicates a long
vowel sound). This mysterious expression is none other than the name of the
Japanese system of administrative-territorial division. And todo:fuken
represents the level of prefectures which are major administrative units, so
that is the highest level of administrative-territorial division. Lower level
consists of counties – gun (pronounced like "goon” in
English but shortly), counties of Hokkaido
and special cities (tokurei shi) which "special” status is determined by particular
ordinances of Japanese Government. Also, there is a municipal level, the
administrative units of which have sufficient and broad autonomy: such units
include prefecture centers, special cities, cities (shi), towns (cho:
villages (son or mura), as well as urban areas (ku)
and 23 special districts of Tokyo
system is formed by 47 administrative units. The very name of this system tells
us that Japan consists of
one capital prefecture called to - Tokyo,
one governorship do: - Hokkaido, two urban
prefectures fu - Kyoto and Osaka, and forty three "ordinary” prefectures
is arrangement of prefectures in accordance with the standard ISO 3166-2:JP.
also note the second principle of prefectures classification – division by the
historical regions of Japan,
which themselves are not actual administrative units and, accordingly, do not
have administrative bodies.
Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate,
Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, Tokyo
Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi
Hyogo, Kyoto, Mie, Nara,
Osaka, Shiga, Wakayama
Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane,
Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, Tokushima
Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga
both cases given classification division is specified from north to south.
the Meiji period Japan
reformed its feudal system of administrative-territorial division. In 1871 the
country began implementing a new system, when feuds (han) had been abolished, and prefectures were established instead
of them. This reform has gone down in Japanese history as haihan chiken. Initially, the number of prefectures was equal to
the number of feuds, just over three hundred. Gradually their number was
reduced to 72, and subsequently to 47 administrative units we know today. The Law
on local autonomy had been enacted and that gave the prefectures a lot of
powers in the local field.
we take a closer look on the historical aspect of formation of the modern
administrative division of Japan,
we can see that in the Edo period the shogunate defined nine urban areas which
were governed by central officials, and 302 municipal cities were governed by
local city officials. In the Meiji period nine urban areas became counties fu, and municipal cities became
prefectures ken. As a result of the 1871
reform there had appeared three urban prefectures fu in Japan.
They were Tokyo, Kyoto
and Osaka. The urban
prefecture of Tokyo was renamed into the capital
prefecture to in 1943.
for Hokkaido –
the situation here was historically different. Since old times the island was
inhabited by the Ainu - northern warlike
tribes who did not obey the shogun.
Therefore, there had been created 14 counties shicho: for the purposes of development of the island and some kind
of its colonization. These counties became some sort of centers for establishing
imperial and shogun authority on Ezoshima
(so the Japanese nicknamed the island that literally refers to the "Island of Ainu").
Now there are
discussions in Japanese government on plans for further reforming the system of
administrative-territorial division of the country. Some politicians, giving
reasons that the processes of urbanization in Japan are gaining more and more
lightning pace, propose a reform project aimed at merging prefectures into 10 big