Photo: Pakutaso
lifestyle

Prefectural rivalry in Japan: Survey reveals which areas compete against each other, and why

16 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

With a total of 47 prefectures in Japan, there’s bound to be a certain sense of rivalry between some of them, especially when each one proudly boasts its own unique local specialties.

That’s one of the reasons why Sony Life Insurance Company conducts its annual “47 Prefectures’ Lifestyle Awareness Survey“. This was its seventh year of surveying residents, with 4,700 people between the ages of 20 and 59 (100 from each prefecture) responding to the online questionnaire, which revealed some interesting insights into rival relations around the country.

According to the survey, the prefecture that most prefectures see as a rival is Tokyo. That comes as no real surprise, seeing as it’s the capital of the nation, and as many might’ve guessed, it’s the prefectures that are home to the second and third biggest cities in Japan — Kanagawa and Osaka respectively — that most view Tokyo as its rival.

36 percent of respondents in Kanagawa and Osaka said they feel like their home prefectures pit themselves against Tokyo, followed by 16 percent from Kyoto and 10 percent from Hokkaido.

▼ Tokyo is the envy of many around the nation.

Tokyo.jpg
Photo: SoraNews24

Taking a look at some of the other rivalries that came to light through the survey, a lot of them appeared to be neighboring ones, like:

・ Saitama vs Chiba

・ Tochigi vs Ibaraki

・ Toyama vs Ishikawa

・ Yamanashi vs Shizuoka

・ Tottori vs Shimane

Among them, Tottori vs Shimane had the highest rivalry rate, with 74 percent of Tottori respondents seeing Shimane as a rival and 82 percent of Shimane respondents seeing Tottori as a rival. Some of the reasons given for the rivalry included:

“Because we’re always mistaken for each other” and “Because we’re next to each other we have a similar image“.

▼ So remember: Tottori is known for its sand dunes, and Conan Town...

Tottori.jpg
Photo: Pakutaso

▼ …while Shimane is known for Izumo Taisha (below), and writer Lafcadio Hearn.

Izumo.jpg
Photo: Pakutaso

The Tochigi vs. Ibaraki rivalry also stems from the fact that they’re deemed to be similar and often compared by people around Japan. The Yamanashi vs. Shizuoka rivalry, however, stems from the famous mountain they share, Mt Fuji, which straddles both prefectures.

Mt-Fuji-2.jpg
Photo: Pakutaso

One surprising rivalry was the one that emerged between Hokkaido and Okinawa, which are on opposite ends of Japan. These regions might have very different climates, with Hokkaido known for its snow in winter and Okinawa for its tropical summers, but as island prefectures, they both have a lot in common, in terms of cultures and landscapes that differ from the mainland, which gives them strong tourist appeal.

According to the results, the more that prefectures have in common, the more chance a rivalry will arise between them. That’s pretty much an allegory for people as well, so wherever you are, remember to spread the love evenly, between people and regions…even if you secretly prefer one over the other.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese survey ranks which prefectures people want to move back to the most

-- Online survey sheds light on prefectural personality rankings of Japanese people

-- Mikan Gohan: Japanese soul food or…Japanese myth?

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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I guess in US is New York vs California/ Oregon vs Washigton/ Idaho vs Idaho/ Arizona vs Texas/ Michigan vs Illinois.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Having been to all, I'd go with Chiba/Tochigi/Toyama/Shizuoka and Tottori. Tokyo is a prefecture but is also the New York City of Japan: number one without a doubt.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo is a prefecture but is also the New York City of Japan: number one without a doubt.

NYC is a cultural and historical landmark.

Tokyo is mostly malls and ugly buildings.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Tottori also has Daisen, if we are mentioning mountains!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Daisen

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have visited all 47 prefectures in Japan and some I love-like more than others including their difference’s in culture, food, girls and atmosphere.

I only had an unpleasant experience in one……Okinawa; they have adopted some bad American habits, unfortunately.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Miyazaki vs Kagoshima

This goes back to the Kumaso vs Hayato

Then, The Shimazu Clan vs The Ito Clan

Now the competition of Free Range Chickens, Organically raised beef and of course the world class Shochus. I go with Miyazaki Jittoko Tori, Black Angus, Kirishima Gold. Gotta support home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess in US is New York vs California/

No, more like California vs Texas. I swear if both were independent nations there would have been a nuclear war between them by now!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No, more like California vs Texas. 

I think Texas is winning, considering California is such a screwed up state that their residents are moving to Texas and everywhere else like rats abandoning a sinking ship...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Texas is the American version of hard-right Islamic countries. Government pushing extreme religious policies, and citizens murdering others for not following their extremist tenets.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

considering California is such a screwed up state that their residents are moving to Texas and everywhere else like rats abandoning a sinking ship...

Are they? Sounds like right-wing fake news. I doubt that it's true beyond a few anecdotes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think Texas is winning, considering California is such a screwed up state that their residents are moving to Texas and everywhere else like rats abandoning a sinking ship...

A common misperception. Every year since 1996 California's GDP has grown faster than that of Texas. Every year without exception. California's GDP growth has outpaced that of the US as a whole by 50% since 2008. Also every year since 2008 the state has run a budget surplus accumulating about $75 billion in a rainy day fund. Unlike other states in 2020 and 2021 California did not suffer a reduction in tax revenues. Instead it actually saw a significant increase in revenues. Here is another interesting fact. Because property tax rates in California are quite low, lowest in the US actually my overall tax burden is less than in Texas. A friend just bought a home in Texas the same size as mine for pretty close to the same price. His tax rate is 2.5% of assessed value. Mine is 1%. He pays no income state income taxes and I do. Nonetheless his property tax bill is larger than my combined property and income tax bill. I'm in a very high tax bracket too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

After reading Desert Tortoise's post, It is looking more like my initial instinct is proving to have been correct:

Sounds like right-wing fake news. I doubt that it's true beyond a few anecdotes.

It doesn't appear the poster was basing their opinion on anything other than their feelings. Even though they claim to hate the woke left for all their feelings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The worst prefectural rivalry in Japan is Kagoshima vs Yamaguchi, aka Satsuma vs Choshu.

It was Satsuma vs Choshu rivalry that doomed Imperial Japan as Satsuma(Imperial Japanese Navy) and Choshu(Imperial Japanese Army) refused to work together and it ended up costing Japan WW2.

Even today, Kagoshima vs Yamaguchi rivalry is alive in Japanese politics, aka Koizumi faction(Kagoshima) vs Abe faction(Yamaguchi).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I guess in US is New York vs California

No, more like California vs Texas.

Exactly, it's CA vs TX.

As for NY, their rivalry is with NJ.

(I'm from NY, but lived in CA for 20 years before moving to JP.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was Satsuma vs Choshu rivalry that doomed Imperial Japan as Satsuma(Imperial Japanese Navy) and Choshu(Imperial Japanese Army) refused to work together and it ended up costing Japan WW2.

Japan wasn't going to win WWII no matter what it did. While researching my graduate thesis I stumbled across a book written by two Japanese economists circa 1939 examining Japan's chances of prevailing against the US in a war. Their conclusion was the US would crush Japan. The authors noted Japan lacked the necessary resources that were abundant in the US (oil, coal, iron ore, bauxite, etc.) and didn't have close to the manufacturing base the US has. No amount of organizational prowess on the part of the Japanese military was going to overcome those advantages the US possessed, and history would prove the authors right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was Satsuma vs Choshu rivalry that doomed Imperial Japan as Satsuma(Imperial Japanese Navy) and Choshu(Imperial Japanese Army) refused to work together and it ended up costing Japan WW2.

I don't see it. Choshu and Satsuma were among the most modern and wealthy in Tokugawa Japan and they cooperated to lead the Meiji Restoration.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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