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Home > About Chiba > Introduction of Chiba

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Updated:September 17, 2014

Introduction of Chiba

“Chiba” is located within the Tokyo metropolitan area and blessed with nature’s bounty.

Chiba Prefecture surrounded by the sea and rivers on all four sides is blessed with the nature full of water and green.

Located in the east of the Tokyo metropolitan area, the peninsula projects into the Pacific Ocean.

While the southeastern part faces the Pacific Ocean, the western part faces Tokyo Bay. The northwestern part borders on Tokyo and Saitama, and the northern part borders on Ibaraki.

With an area of 5156,62 sq. km, Chiba is composed of Boso Hill with a series of 200-300 m high mountains, comparatively flat Shimosa Plateau, and a vast plain reaching the Tone River basin and the coast of Kujukuri.

The coastline is as long as 534.4 km, showing varied scenery.

Chiba Prefecture surrounded by the sea on its three sides has a mild climate, warm in winter and cool in summer.

Under the influence of the warm current (Black Current) that flows offshore, the land is hardly frosted even in winter. The precipitation is heavy in summer and light in winter.

The population of Chiba is 6,240,461 (as of Apr. 1, 2013), the 6th largest in Japan, and the average age of the residents is 44.70 (Apr. 1, 2013) years.

History of Chiba

Chiba Prefecture was originally composed of three provinces – Awa, Kazusa, and Shimosa.

According to “Kogo Shui (a document in the Heian period),” Ameno-mikoto led Awano Inbe and went to the eastern part of Japan, having people grow hemp plants.

The area where good-quality hemp plants grew was called the province of Fusa (an old term of hemp), and the area where Awano Inbe lived was named the province of Awa.

The part of the province of Awa closer to the capital was called Kazusa, and the part far away from the capital was called Simosa.

Combining the term “Awa (pronounced “Bou” as well)” of the province of Awa and “Fusa (pronounced “So” as well)” of the provinces of Kazusa and Shimosa, the peninsula was called “Boso.”

When the shogunate was opened in Kamakura, Chiba Clan wielded it’s power in Boso. In the province of Awa during the civil war period, Satomi Clan had big power. When Tokugawa Ieyasu opened the shogunate in Edo, Boso was valued as the home territory, and the area was under direct control of the shogunate or became the domains of the close retainers.

The feudal domains in those days were all small, and the domain of Sakura was the largest.

In 1871 when the domain system was abolished, 24 prefectures were created in Boso, including Tateyama Prefecture and Sakura Prefectrue. Thereafter, the areas of Kazusa and Awa were united into Kisarazu Prefecture, and the Shimosa district was changed into Inba Prefecture.

On June 15, 1873, Kisarazu and Inba Prefectures were merged into Chiba Prefecture.

The population of Chiba Prefecture exceeded 5 million in 1983, and in commemoration of that, June 15 became the “Prefectural Residents’ Day” a year later.