ISHIKAWA – Stone River 石川県

ISHIKAWA - Stone River

Ishikawa was named after Tedori River (手取川) whose ancient name was “Ishikawa.” The upper reaches of the river was known to have many rocks and stones. The name could have also referred to the large delta (bringing many rocks) which formed at the mouth of Tedori River.

Tedori River is Ishikawa Prefecture’s largest river originating on Mt. Hakusan and running mainly through Hakusan city before emptying into the Sea of Japan. The river is used for the irrigation of agricultural crops and for hydroelectric power generation.

Ironically there’s no river named “Ishikawa.” It’s only a place name (and surname).

 “Ishikawa” was the name of a district in Kaga Province. In 1872, the Kanazawa Prefectural capital moved to Ishikawa District (石川郡) in present-day Hakusan city. Kanazawa Prefecture was thereby renamed “Ishikawa” after the name of the capital’s district. Even after the prefectural capital moved back to Kanazawa in 1873, the Ishikawa prefectural name was retained.

Thanks to Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture’s total coastline stretches for 580 km, almost as the long as the distance between Tokyo Station and Kobe Station (589 km). Sadly, on January 1, 2024, a major earthquake devastated much of Noto Peninsula and caused hundreds of fatalities. Prayers for their speedy recovery and alleviation of daily hardships.

Old province names: Noto-no-Kuni + Kaga-no-Kuni (能登国+加賀国)

*The AI-generated image is for illustrative purposes only and may not accurately depict any particular place in the prefecture.

Origin of other prefectural names (etymologies)
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