Subprefectures in Hokkaido

From Academic Kids

Template:Japan divisions levels Hokkaido Prefecture has branch offices called 支庁 (shichō) in Japanese, which is often translated in English as subprefectures. Normally area of a subprefecture consists of a few to a dozen of cities, towns, and/or villages.

For historical reason, some elder peoples in Hokkaido use the subprefecture name suffixed by -kannai in their address.

History of shicho in Hokkaido

In 1897, Nineteen shicho were placed under Hokkaido Agency (an agency of the national government): Sapporo, Hakodate, Kameda, Matsumae, Hiyama, Suttsu, Iwanai, Otaru, Sorachi, Kamikawa, Mashike, Souya, Abashiri, Muroran, Urakawa, Kushiro, Kasai, Nemuro, and Shana.

In 1899, Sapporo-ku, Hakodate-ku, and Otaru-ku were established as municipalities independent of shicho. Sapporo-shicho and Otaru-shicho were continued with remaining area, but Hakodate-shicho was dissolved. Previous Kameda-shicho was renamed Hokodate-shicho.

In 1903, Matsumae-shicho was merged with Hakodate-shicho. Shana-shicho was merged with Nemuro-shicho.

In 1910, Suttsu-shicho, Iwanai-shicho, and Otaru-shicho were merged to form Shiribeshi-shicho.

In 1914, Asahikawa-ku was established as a municipality independent of Kamikawa-shicho. Mashike-shicho was renamed as Rumoi-shicho.

In 1918, Muroran-ku was established as a municipality independent of Muroran-shicho.

In 1920, Kushiro-ku was established as a municipality independent of Kushiro-shicho.

In 1922, The six ku were restated as shi (cities). Sapporo-shicho was renamed Ishikari-shicho. Hakodate-shicho was renamed Oshima-shicho. Muroran-shicho was renamed Iburi-shicho.

In 1932, Urakawa-shicho was renamed Hidaka-shicho. Kasai-shicho was renamed Tokachi-shicho.

In 1947, Hokkaido Agency was abolished and Hokkaido Prefecture was established. Hokkaido Prefecture took over shicho.

Today, fourteen shicho effectively cover all of Hokkaido. To be pedantic, the shicho cover only towns and villages, albeit they do some commissioned business for cities.

List of Subprefectures

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