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滋賀 Shiga

This Prefecture's Symbol

滋賀 - Shiga

  • Prefecture's Bird: Grebe
  • Prefecture's Tree: Japanese Maple
  • Prefecture's Flower: Hydrangea



Shiga is bordered completely by mountains.

Lake Biwa is in Shiga. Lake Biwa is Japan's largest fresh water lake. It is 679.5sq.km. (over 308sq.mi.). Lake Biwa occupies 1/6 of the total area of Shiga. Shiga has 121 rivers.

Funazushi -Funazushi is often referred to as the “origin of sushi.” Funa, or crucian carp, is found only in Lake Biwa. Funa is pickled, fermented and cooked with rice. It has a strong smell and the taste has been likened to blue cheese.

Otsu-e - This style of painting is found only in the area of Otsu city. It is identified by the seven, bold colors that are painted on cotton. The colors are: green, black, orange, brown, yellow, white and red.

Shigaraki-yaki -Shigaraki ceramics are fired in Shigaraki which is in the southern area of Shiga. It is one of the six oldest kilns in Japan, dating back as far as 1300 years ago. One very famous item fired at Shigaraki is the tanuki statue.

What is a Tanuki
Literally, tanuki is a raccoon-dog. In Japanese folklore tanuki is a little mischievous animal that is always getting into trouble. His image often stands outside restaurants and bars. He usually appears standing upright, often wearing a vest and with a cone-shaped hat woven of rice hung over his shoulders. Already carrying two sacks of hard liquor at his side, he travels from pub to pub in search of liquor and good company.

It is not unusual to find tanuki statues in front of businesses or homes in Shiga. They are placed in the hopes that the things that the tanuki possesses will come to the owner: sake, fertility and money.

Claudia Kimura

滋賀 - Yahoo! Japan's Shiga Page
Shiga's Prefectural Homepage in English
大津市 - Otsu city page

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