prefecture (ken), western Honshu, Japan, facing the Sea of Japan. Its area of 1,620 sq mi (4,196 sq km) includes the western stretch of the Japanese Alps (southeast). Although snowfall is abundant, temperatures are not low. There is a predominance of rice paddies, and agriculture is characterized by comparatively large individual landholdings. Industry is centred on the prefectural capital, Kanazawa; products include machinery, silk and rayon, lacquer ware, and the traditional Kutani ware (porcelain). During the 1960s Ishikawa industrialized rapidly. Pop. (1990) 1,164,627.
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