|Anthem: Kumamoto kenmin no uta|
|Subdivisions||Districts: 9, Municipalities: 45|
|• Governor||Ikuo Kabashima|
|• Total||7,409.48 km2 (2,860.82 sq mi)|
(1 June 2019)
|• Density||240/km2 (610/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-43|
|Bird||Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis)|
|Flower||Gentian (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri)|
|Tree||Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)|
Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県, Kumamoto-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyūshū. Kumamoto Prefecture has a population of 1,748,134 (as of 1 June 2019[update]) 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. 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. 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".
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.
Fourteen cities are located in Kumamoto Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district:
Main article: List of mergers in Kumamoto Prefecture
As of 1 June 2019,[update] 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.
There is a Honda motorcycle plant.
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.
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.
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.