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Okayama Prefecture

Location of Okayama Prefecture

Okayama Prefecture by Municipality Alternate

Map of Okayama Prefecture by Municipality

Okayama is one of Japan's 47 prefectures and located in the country's Chūgoku region in western Honshu. It was formed in 1871 from the former provinces of Bitchu, Bizen and Mimasaka, and is bordered by the Seto Inland Sea to the south as well as the neighboring prefectures of Hyogo, Tottori and Hiroshima. Okayama is the name of both the prefecture and Okayama City, its capital and largest city.

Okayama Prefecture provides much of the settings of the Tenchi Muyo! megaverse within Japan.

Connections to Tenchi Muyo![]

Tenchi Muyo! co-creator Masaki Kajishima was born in Okayama Prefecture. Additionally, several municipalities and other locations within the prefecture are the namesakes for several characters in the Tenchi Muyo! series:

  • Funaho is named after the former town of Funao (船穂町), which was merged with Kurashiki—the prefecture's second largest city after Okayama City—in August 2005.
  • Kagato and his ship, the Sōja, are named after two train stations in the prefecture, Kagato Station and Sōja Station.
    • The Sōja also shares its name with the city of Sōja, which happened to be the birthplace of former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, though he was born before the area was incorporated as a city in 1954.
  • Both Kiyone Masaki and Kiyone Makibi are named after either the former village of Kiyone, which merged with Sōja city in March 2005, or Kiyone Station.
    • Additionally, Kiyone Makibi's last name comes from the former town of Mabi (真備), which was annexed into Kurashiki in 2005 along with Funao. Mabi itself was named after Kibi no Makibi, a Nara period scholar who was born in the area.
  • Mihoshi is named after the former town of Bisei, which is now incorporated within the city of Ibara. The word "Bisei" is an alternative pronunciation for Mihoshi's given name (美星) which translates to "Beautiful Star" (quite appropriately, as Bisei is also the location of an astronomical observatory).
  • Misaki shares her name with the town of Misaki, which is within the prefecture's Kume district. However, this town was incorporated in March 2005, long after Misaki was created as a character.
  • Minami, Mihoshi's grandfather, is named after Minami-ku, one of the four wards of Okayama City.
  • Nagi, a supporting character in Tenchi Universe, is named after the town of Nagi.
  • Sasami is named after Sami Beach, located in Kurashiki.
  • Washu and Ryoko's surname—Hakubi—comes from the Hakubi Line, which begins in Kurashiki and connects Okayama Prefecture with neighboring Tottori Prefecture.
  • Washu and Yosho are named after two mountains, Mount Washu (鷲羽山) and Mount Yosho (遙照山) respectively.
  • While not technically part of the prefecture itself, the Seto Inland Sea, in addition to the Great Seto Bridge, is the namesake of Seto Kamiki Jurai.
    • Alternatively, she could be named after Seto Station and/or the former town of Seto, which merged with Okayama City in 2007.
  • Yakage, a character exclusive to the No Need For Tenchi manga by Hitoshi Okuda, is named after the town of Yakage.

Additionally, certain locations in the prefecture are the inspiration for places in the 'Tenchi Muyo! series:

  • The outside of the cave entrance to Ryoko's tomb that's featured in the very first episode, Ryoko Resurrected, is based off the "Demon's Gift Rock" (鬼の差し上げ岩), which is located in Sōja city near the 7th century Ki Castle (鬼ノ城), both of which are part of the Momotarō folk tale.
    • At the same time, the inside of the cave is based off Komorizuka Tomb (こうもり塚古墳), which is located also located in Sōja city within its Kibiji District.
  • The Masaki Shrine is based off the Taro Shrine (太郎神社) in the city of Asakuchi. The shrine is also the namesake of Taro, Tenchi's infant cousin who appears in the episode Hello Baby!.
    • There is also a shrine named the Masaki Shrine (麻佐岐神社) in Okayama, but it bears little to no physical resemblance to the shrine in the series.

Ai Tenchi Muyo![]

The series Ai Tenchi Muyo! was produced, in part, to promote tourism for the city of Takahashi. Multiple locations are recreated, name-checked or used as models for locations for the show.