Shimane is a prefecture of Japan, located in the southwest of Japan's largest island, Honshu. The bordering prefectures are Tottori Prefecture (to the east), Yamaguchi Prefecture (to the west), and Hiroshima Prefecture (to the south). The Sea of Japan borders Shimane to the north. Shimane is made up of three distinct regions, the Izumo region, the Iwami region, and the Oki region. The Izumo region is well known throughout Japan, as many Japanese myths are set in Izumo. It is commonly referred to as "the home of the Gods." Also, the Oki Islands are well known for their historic significance. For when Go-Daigo failed to overthrow the current shogunate in 1332, he was exiled to the Oki Islands.
The climate and surrounding environment of the Shimane Prefecture is very diverse. The southern part of Shimane is in the center of the Japanese mountain range, and the western region is also very mountainous. However, the eastern region of Shimane is known for its heavy rainfall, especially in the winter months.
Some of the main industries in Shimane include: agriculture (76% of all arable land is dedicated to rice fields), forestry (79% of Shimane is covered with forests, making it the third most densely forested prefecture in Japan), fishing (mostly around the Oki Islands), manufacturing (mostly small businesses that focus on technology), and commerce (many small shops, with a few new shopping malls). From these industries, Shimane is known for their rice, beef, grapes, melons, persimmons, and seafood.
As of 1999, the population of Shimane is 764,219. The governor or Shimane is Sumita Nobuyoshi.