Chugoku (中国地方 Chuugoku-chihoo), also known as San-in San-yo (山陰山陽地方 San-in San-yoo-chihoo), is a region of Japan located on Honshu island. It consists of five administrative areas (prefectures), and is home to the cities of Hiroshima and Okayama, among others.
Chugoku comprises the westernmost region of Honshu, and is also divided between San-in (山陰) in the north, where agriculture dominates, and the more industrial Sanyo (山陽 San-yoo) region in the south. These names mean the 'shady' and 'sunny' sides of the mountains respectively. Chugoku further divides itself into five prefectures: Hiroshima and Okayama (both in the Sanyo region), plus Shimane and Tottori (in the Sanin region); Yamaguchi is shared by the north and south of Chugoku.
The total population of the Chugoku region was 7,654,000 in 2006.
- The characters 中国 and the Japanese pronunciation Chuugoku are also used to mean 'China'.
- The hyphens in San-in and San-yo show that the n sound is in a separate syllable from the following y, so they should not be pronounced as though they are in the same syllable, as they would be in English.
- Japan Times: 'Regional Special: Sanin'. 16th November 1999.
- Japan Statistical Yearbook: 'Population by Prefecture 1920-2006'. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. .xls document.