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Symbols of Niigata

2017/05/05

The Prefectural Symbol

The Prefectural Symbol

The blue circle represents nature, abundance, and the infinite possibilities of the new age of the Japan Sea Rim region. The growing wave, spread out like a fan, is a symbol of the prefecture's limitless development potential and originality. It conveys a positive image of a prefecture that has a beautiful culture, caring people, and global perspectives, all of which help establish Niigata as a strong base for the Era of Japan Sea Exchange.
(Adopted march 27, 1992)

The Prefectural Flower, Tulip

The Prefectural Flower, Tulip

Niigata Prefecture began producing tulip bulbs in the latter part of the Meiji era (1868-1912) and was the first area in Japan to commercially produce flower bulbs. Today, tulips are widely produced in the area thanks to the fertile land and weather favorable to their growth. Currently, Niigata is the number one producer of cut tulips and the number two producer of tulip bulbs in Japan. They are so beautiful that in 1963, the tulip was declared the prefectural flower. Every spring, people enjoy tulip festivals held in various locations.
(Adopted August 23, 1963)

The Prefectural Bird, Toki (Japanese Crested Ibis)

The Prefectural Bird, Toki (Japanese Crested Ibis)

The toki (scientific name, Nipponia Nippon), similar in appearance to the heron, has a white body with a red tint on its wings and tail feather, a sharp beak, and unique eyes. Although toki used to be found in many areas of the Hokuriku (North Central) region, there no longer exists any native Japanese toki in the country and it is now recognized as an endangered species. Breeding efforts between two birds that were donated by China as a symbol of goodwill between Japan and China in January of 1999, have been successful, and the number of toki has been steadily increasing.
(Adopted September 13, 1965)

The Prefectural Tree, Yuki Tsubaki (Snow Camellia)

The Prefectural Tree, Yuki Tsubaki (Snow Camellia)

The snow camellia, different from camellias found in warm regions in both shape and nature, was first discovered in Niigata Prefecture in 1950. Found in the Hokuriku (North Central) and Tohoku (Northeastern) regions along the Japan Sea, the yuki tsubaki grows in mountainous areas under 1500 meters in elevation, The flowers are generally pink. The trees do not grow very large, and their branches grow low to the ground when the area is snowy. Their ability to live and grow green even in the midst of deep snow has come to represent the nature of the people of Niigata.
(Adopted August 27, 1966)

The Prefectural Wildflower, Yukiwariso(Hepatica)

The Prefectural Wildflower, Yukiwariso(Hepatica)

Yukiwariso, also known as hepatica, can be seen all throughout Niigata Prefecture. Being the largest habitat for yukiwariso within Japan, Niigata provides a unique environment for the plants to breed in a wide array of colors and forms. The yukiwariso and its well-preserved habitat are a symbol of Niigatafs robust efforts in nature conservation. The flowers are also actively cultivated in Niigata and it is said that most of those sold in the Japanese market are grown in the prefecture.
(Adopted March 1, 2008)

The Prefectural Fish, Nishikigoi (Ornamental Carp,Koi)

The Prefectural Fish, Nishikigoi (Ornamental Carp,Koi)

Ornamental carp, or nishikigoi as they are called in Japanese, are known as “swimming jewels” and have many different patterns and colorations. These incredible fish have garnered attention from all over the world. It is said that ornamental carp came into being in Niigata Prefecture, stemming from the colored carp that people raised during the late Edo period in the Chuetsu region (the middle portion of Niigata Prefecture). Niigata Prefecture is a world-class producer of ornamental carp and currently produces over 100 different, elegant varieties. It enjoys international renown and has a thriving ornamental carp export industry.
(Adopted May 5, 2017)