Kumamoto Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese熊本県
 • RōmajiKumamoto-ken
The towns of Takamori and Minamiaso in the heart of Nango-dani valley in Aso district, Kumamoto prefecture. This land is completely located in the giant caldera of the Aso volcano
The towns of Takamori and Minamiaso in the heart of Nango-dani valley in Aso district, Kumamoto prefecture. This land is completely located in the giant caldera of the Aso volcano
Flag of Kumamoto Prefecture
Official logo of Kumamoto Prefecture
Anthem: Kumamoto kenmin no uta
Location of Kumamoto Prefecture
Coordinates: 32°43′N 130°40′E / 32.717°N 130.667°E / 32.717; 130.667
Country Japan
SubdivisionsDistricts: 9, Municipalities: 45
 • GovernorTakashi Kimura (木村敬) (from April 2024)
 • Total7,409.48 km2 (2,860.82 sq mi)
 • Rank15th
 (1 June 2019)
 • Total1,748,134
 • Rank23rd
 • Density240/km2 (610/sq mi)
 • TotalJP¥ 6,363 billion
US$ 58.4 billion (2019)
ISO 3166 codeJP-43
Symbols of Japan
BirdEurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis)
FlowerGentian (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri)
TreeCamphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県, Kumamoto-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyūshū.[2] Kumamoto Prefecture has a population of 1,748,134 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 7,409 square kilometres (2,861 sq mi). Kumamoto Prefecture borders Fukuoka Prefecture to the north, Ōita Prefecture to the northeast, Miyazaki Prefecture to the southeast, and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south.

Kumamoto is the capital and largest city of Kumamoto Prefecture, with other major cities including Yatsushiro, Amakusa, and Tamana.[3] Kumamoto Prefecture is located in the center of Kyūshū on the coast of the Ariake Sea, across from Nagasaki Prefecture, with the mainland separated from the East China Sea by the Amakusa Archipelago. Kumamoto Prefecture is home to Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan and among the largest in the world, with its peak 1,592 metres (5,223 ft) above sea level.


Main article: History of Kumamoto Prefecture

See also: Historic Sites of Kumamoto Prefecture

Historically, the area was called Higo Province; and the province was renamed Kumamoto during the Meiji Restoration.[4] The creation of prefectures was part of the abolition of the feudal system. The current Japanese orthography for Kumamoto literally means "bear root/origin," or "origin of the bear." However, Man'yōgana-like phonetic transcriptions based on the kanji for "a ball, a sphere" (球 /ku/ ~ /kjū/) and "to polish, to grind, to brush (one's teeth)" (磨 /ma/) are used for the names of the Kuma River (球磨川) and Kuma District (球磨郡). The Kuma element also appears in the ancient Kumaso.


Map of Kumamoto Prefecture showing municipal boundaries
     Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town      Village

Kumamoto Prefecture is in the center of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four major Japanese islands. It is bordered by the Ariake inland sea and the Amakusa archipelago to the west, Fukuoka Prefecture and Ōita Prefecture to the north, Miyazaki Prefecture to the east, and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south.

Mount Aso (1,592 m (5,223 ft)), an extensive active volcano, is in the east of Kumamoto Prefecture. This volcano is located at the centre of the Aso caldera.

As of 31 March 2019, 21% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as natural parks: the Aso Kujū and Unzen-Amakusa National Parks; Kyūshū Chūō Sanchi and Yaba-Hita-Hikosan Quasi-National Parks; and Ashikita Kaigan, Itsuki Gokanoshō, Kinpōzan, Misumi-Ōyano Umibe, Okukuma, Shōtaisan, and Yabe Shūhen Prefectural Natural Parks.[5]


See also: List of cities in Kumamoto Prefecture by population

Kumamoto City
Itsuki Village
Aso City

Fourteen cities are located in Kumamoto Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Amakusa 天草市 683.17 83,082
Arao 荒尾市 57.15 53,675
Aso 阿蘇市 376.25 27,039
Hitoyoshi 人吉市 210.55 33,461
Kami-Amakusa 上天草市 126.94 27,603
Kikuchi 菊池市 276.66 49,455
Kōshi 合志市 53.19 61,022
Kumamoto (capital) 熊本市 390.32 738,907
Minamata 水俣市 162.88 25,310
Tamana 玉名市 152.55 70,530
Uki 宇城市 188.56 59,928
Uto 宇土市 74.17 37,442
Yamaga 山鹿市 299.67 53,404
Yatsushiro 八代市 680.59 129,358

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Type Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Asagiri あさぎり町 159.56 15,796 Kuma District Town
Ashikita 芦北町 233.48 16,306 Ashikita District Town
Gyokutō 玉東町 24.4 5,363 Tamana District Town
Hikawa 氷川町 33.29 12,250 Yatsushiro District Town
Itsuki 五木村 252.94 1,136 Kuma District Village
Kashima 嘉島町 16.66 9,119 Kamimashiki District Town
Kikuyō 菊陽町 37.57 41,411 Kikuchi District Town
Kōsa 甲佐町 57.87 10,924 Kamimashiki District Town
Kuma 球磨村 207.73 3,863 Kuma District Village
Mashiki 益城町 65.67 33,001 Kamimashiki District Town
Mifune 御船町 99 16,901 Kamimashiki District Town
Minamiaso 南阿蘇村 137.3 11,086 Aso District Village
Minamioguni 南小国町 115.86 3,977 Aso District Town
Misato 美里町 144.03 10,532 Shimomashiki District Town
Mizukami 水上村 192.11 2,276 Kuma District Village
Nagasu 長洲町 19.43 16,125 Tamana District Town
Nagomi 和水町 98.75 10,030 Tamana District Town
Nankan 南関町 68.92 9,572 Tamana District Town
Nishihara 西原村 77.23 6,752 Aso District Village
Nishiki 錦町 84.87 10,899 Kuma District Town
Oguni 小国町 137 8,735 Aso District Town
Ōzu 大津町 99.09 33,793 Kikuchi District Town
Reihoku 苓北町 67.06 7,462 Amakusa District Town
Sagara 相良村 94.54 4,598 Kuma District Village
Takamori 高森町 174.9 6,189 Aso District Town
Taragi 多良木町 165.87 9,604 Kuma District Town
Tsunagi 津奈木町 33.97 4,574 Ashikita District Town
Ubuyama 産山村 60.72 1,542 Aso District Village
Yamae 山江村 121.2 3,553 Kuma District Village
Yamato 山都町 544.83 15,771 Kamimashiki District Town
Yunomae 湯前町 48.41 4,046 Kuma District Town


Main article: List of mergers in Kumamoto Prefecture


As of 1 June 2019, the population was 1,748,134 inhabitants with a population density of 236 inhabitants per square kilometre (610/sq mi). The prefecture ranks 23rd in Japan.


Tsūjun Bridge in Yamato, Kamimashiki
Kumamoto Castle

The largest motorcycle production facility in the world is located in Kumamoto.[6]

In 2023, Mitsubishi Electric announced plans to spend 100 billion yen on a new semiconductor factory in Kumamoto, with a target start date of April 2026 to begin production.[7]

Renge-in Tanjō-ji


The prefecture has a mascot named "Kumamon", a black bear with red cheeks, who was created to attract tourists to the region after the Kyushu Shinkansen line opened.[8][9]










Expressways and toll roads

National highways


Ferry routes



Roasso Kumamoto franchise stadium in KKWing of Kumamoto

These sports teams are based in the prefecture:

The Kumamoto Prefecture hosted the 2019 World Women's Handball Championship, having previously hosted the 1997 World Men's Handball Championship.

Sister cities

Kumamoto Prefecture is the 'sister state/prefecture' of Montana in the United States.

Kumamoto has a sister city located in Texas named San Antonio, which holds an annual fall festival 'akimatsuri' for its Japanese citizens. In 2015 the mascot, 'Kumamon' visited as an honorary ambassador during the festival located at the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Notable people

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Kumamoto Prefecture" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this message)


  1. ^ "2020年度国民経済計算(2015年基準・2008SNA) : 経済社会総合研究所 - 内閣府". 内閣府ホームページ (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kumamoto prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 572, p. 572, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Kumamoto" in p. 572, p. 572, at Google Books.
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  5. ^ 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  6. ^ Frank, Aaron (2009-10-22). "Honda greens up its Kumamoto motorcycle manufacturing facility". Motorcyclist.
  7. ^ "Mitsubishi Electric to build 100 bil. yen chip factory in Kumamoto Pref". Mainichi Daily News. 2023-03-15.
  8. ^ The Life and Times of Japan's Mascots
  9. ^ "Top Ten Japanese Character Mascots". Finding Fukuoka. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  10. ^ "Aki Yashiro, Enka Singer and Painter, Dies at Age 73; Known for Hit Songs "Funauta" and "Ame no Bojo"". The Japan News. 9 January 2024. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  11. ^ JpopAsia. "Miku (BAND-MAID) | JpopAsia". JpopAsia. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  12. ^ "Eiichiro Oda, Hajime Isayama Show Their Support After Kumamoto Earthquakes". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  13. ^ "Real-life Locations of "Natsume's Book of Friends" in Kumamoto's Countrysides (Part 1)". So Japan. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  14. ^ "A Forest Shrine in Japan". Twisted Sifter. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  15. ^ "Hitomi at AV Idol Directory". in Japanese