Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some Statistics: The Aichi Prefecture in Japan

The country of Japan is divided into 47 "prefectures" - which are larger than counties or cities but smaller than U.S. states.  Each prefecture has an elected governor and is subdivided into cities, districts, and towns.  Nagoya (where our our family is called to serve) is the capital city of the Aichi prefecture, located in central Japan (see map below).  The latitude of Nagoya is the same as that of central NC.

If you're interested in reading more about Japanese prefectures, you can do so by clicking here.  The following are some statistics published by the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association about the Aichi prefecture:

Population:                               7.027 million
Size:                                         5,152 square km
Population Density:                  1,364 people per square km
Cities:                                       31
Cities with only one church:     4 (population 39,000 and above).
Towns/Villages:                        55
     With no church                    34
     With 20,000 & no church:   11
Churches in prefecture:            315
Churches per person:              1 church per 22,310
Church Members:                    20,998
Members per church:               67
Worship Attendance:               11,767
Attendance per church:            37
Missionaries (approximate):     89
The Japan Evangelical Missionary Association publishes a prayer guide entitled "Operation Japan."  The following is my summary of their description of the Aichi prefecture:

Eastern Aichi occupies the southern tip of the Kiso Mountain Range with plains on the east and west.  The climate is mild with a lot of rain, but Winter brings much drier weather.  Aichi has the fourth largest population of all the Japanese prefectures.  The capital city of Nagoya lies midway between Tokyo and Osaka.  It has become an economic and cultural force in Japan.  Agriculture is the leading industry with a gross product that ranks sixth in the nation.

Fall colors in the mountains 
just outside Nagoya

In 1875 Eikichi Ohara from Aichi came into contact with a Southern Methodist Missionary in Yokohama, was baptized, and returned home.  The following year the missionary came to Ohara's home town to start a preaching outreach which resulted in the first church to be established in the region.

Today, there are still four cities in the prefecture with only one church each.  There are 34 towns and villages in the prefecture that have no established Christian church.  Eleven of those towns have a population of more than 20,000.

If you're interested in a copy of "Operation Japan" you can find ordering information by clicking here.

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