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Tottori Prefecture

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Title: Tottori Prefecture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Iwami, Tottori, Misasa, Tottori, Yazu, Tottori, Yurihama, Tottori, Daisen, Tottori
Collection: Chūgoku Region, Prefectures of Japan, Tottori Prefecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Tottori Prefecture

Tottori Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 鳥取県
 • Rōmaji Tottori-ken
Official logo of Tottori Prefecture
Symbol of Tottori Prefecture
Location of Tottori Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Chūgoku (San'in)
Island Honshu
Capital Tottori
 • Governor Shinji Hirai
 • Total 3,507.19 km2 (1,354.13 sq mi)
Area rank 41st
Population (April 1, 2011)
 • Total 584,982
 • Rank 47th
 • Density 166.89/km2 (432.2/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-31
Districts 5
Municipalities 19
Flower Nijisseiki nashi pear blossom (Pyrus pyrifolia)
Tree Daisenkyaraboku (Taxus cuspidata)
Bird Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata)
Website /

Tottori Prefecture (鳥取県 Tottori-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region.[1] The capital is the city of Tottori.[2] It is the least populous prefecture in Japan.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Early history 2.1
    • Later history 2.2
    • Modern history 2.3
  • Geography 3
    • Cities 3.1
    • Towns and villages 3.2
    • Mergers 3.3
  • Demographics 4
  • Economy 5
  • Language 6
  • Sports 7
  • Education 8
    • Universities 8.1
    • Colleges 8.2
  • Noted places 9
    • Tottori City 9.1
    • Daisen 9.2
    • Daisen and Yonago 9.3
    • Yonago and Sakaiminato 9.4
    • Misasa 9.5
    • Sakaiminato 9.6
    • Iwami 9.7
    • Chizu 9.8
    • Nanbu 9.9
  • Transportation 10
    • Rail 10.1
    • Roads 10.2
      • Expressway and toll roads 10.2.1
      • National highways 10.2.2
    • Ports 10.3
    • Airports 10.4
  • Prefectural symbols 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


The word "Tottori" in Japanese is formed from two kanji characters. The first, 鳥, means "bird" and the second, 取 means "to get". Early residents in the area made their living catching the region's plentiful waterfowl. The name first appears in the Nihon shoki in the 23rd year of the Emperor Suiko when Yukuha Tana, an elder from the Izumo, visits the emperor. The imperial Prince Homatsu-wake was unable to speak, despite being 30 years of age.

"Yukuha Tana presented the swan to the emperor. Homatsu-wake no Mikoto played with this swan and at least learned to speak. Therefore, Yukaha Tana was liberally rewarded, and was granted the title of Tottori no Miyakko." (Aston, tran.)[3]


Early history

Tottori Prefecture was settled very early in the prehistoric period of Japan, as evidenced by remains from the Jōmon period (14,000 – 300 BC).[4] The prefecture has the remains of the largest known Yayoi period (300 BC – 250 AD) settlement in Japan, the Mukibanda Yayoi remains, located in the low foothills of Mount Daisen[5] in the cities of Daisen and Yonago.[6] Numerous kofun tumuli from the Kofun period (250 – 538) are located across the prefecture.[7] In 645, under the Taika reforms, the area in present-day Tottori Prefecture became two provinces, Hōki and Inaba.[8]

Later history

During the Genpei War (1180–1185) between the Taira and Minamoto clans in the late-Heian period, Tottori became a base for anti-Taira forces, specifically at two temples, Daisen-ji and Sanbutsu-ji. By the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185–1333) shōen estates were established to directly support the Imperial court and various temples. Successive clans controlled the region during the Sengoku period (15th to 17th century), most notably the Yamana clan, but after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 the region was pacified. The Tokugawa shogunate installed the Ikeda clan at Tottori Castle. The clan retained control of the area until throughout the Edo period (1603–1868) and the resources of the area financially and materially supported the shogunate.[9]

Modern history

The two provinces remained in place until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, and the boundaries of Tottori Prefecture were established in 1888.[4] After the occupation of Korea and Taiwan in the 20th century, and the establishment of the Manchukuo puppet state in 1932, Tottori's harbors on the Japan Sea served as an active transit point for goods between Japan and the colonial areas. Before the end of World War II the prefecture was hit by a massive magnitude 7.2 earthquake, the 1943 Tottori earthquake, which destroyed 80% of the city of Tottori, and greatly damaged the surrounding area. In the postwar period land reform was carried out in the prefecture, resulting in a great increase of agricultural production.[9]


Map of Tottori Prefecture
Tottori City

Tottori is home to the Tottori Sand Dunes, Japan's only large dune system. As of 1 April 2012, 14% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Daisen-Oki and Sanin Kaigan National Parks; Hiba-Dōgo-Taishaku and Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Parks; and Misasa-Tōgōko, Nishi Inaba, and Okuhino Prefectural Natural Parks.[10]


Four cities are located in Tottori Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:



Tottori is the least populated prefecture in Japan.


Tottori Prefecture is heavily agricultural and its products are shipped to the major cities of Japan. Some of the famous products are the nashi pear, nagaimo yam, Japanese scallion, negi, and watermelon. The prefecture is also a major producer of rice.


Historically, the region had extensive linguistic diversity. While the standard Tokyo dialect of the Japanese language is now used in Tottori Prefecture, several other dialects are also used. Many of them are grouped with Western Japanese, and include the Chugoku and Umpaku dialects.[11]


The sports teams listed below are based in Tottori.




Noted places

Tottori City


Daisen and Yonago

Yonago and Sakaiminato









Expressway and toll roads

  •  Tottori Expressway
  •  Yonago Expressway
  •  Sanin Expressway
  •  Shidosaka Pass Road
  •  Tottori-Toyooka-Miyazu Road

National highways

  • Route 9
  • Route 29 (Tottori-Shiso-Himeji)
  • Route 53 (Tottori-Tsuyama-Okayama)
  • Route 178
  • Route 179
  • Route 180
  • Route 181 (Yonago-Niimi-Okayama)
  • Route 183
  • Route 313
  • Route 373
  • Route 431
  • Route 482


  • Sakai Port - ferry route to Oki Island, and international container hub


Prefectural symbols

The symbol is derived from the first mora in Japanese for "" combined with the picture of a flying bird, and symbolizes peace, liberty, and the advancement of the Tottori prefecture. It was enacted in 1968 to celebrate the 100th year from the first year of the Meiji Era.


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Tottori Prefecture" in , p. 990Japan Encyclopedia, p. 990, at Google Books; "Chūgoku" at p. 127, p. 127, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Tottori" at p. 990, p. 990, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Aston, W. G., translator., ed. (1972), "XXX", Nihongi; chronicles of Japan from the earliest times to A.D. 697 (1st Tuttle ed.), Rutland, Vt.: C.E. Tuttle Co., p. 175,  
  4. ^ a b "Tottori Prefecture". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  5. ^ Muki-Banda Remains
  6. ^ "Mukibanda-iseki (妻木晩田遺跡)". Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系) (in 日本語). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Tottori Plain". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  8. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  9. ^ a b "Tottori-ken (鳥取県)". Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ) (in 日本語). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  10. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF).  
  11. ^ "Tottori-ken: seikatsu bunka (鳥取(県): 生活文化)". Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ) (in 日本語). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

  • Official Tottori Prefecture homepage
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