Chiba is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. The sixth most populous prefecture, and 27th largest by land area, Chiba is on the east coast of Honshu and largely consists of the Bōsō Peninsula, which encloses the eastern side of Tokyo Bay. Its capital is Chiba City. The name of Chiba Prefecture in Japanese is formed from two kanji characters. The first, 千, means "thousand" and the second, 葉 means "leaves". The name first appears as an ancient kuni no miyatsuko, or regional command office, as the Chiba Kuni no Miyatsuko. The name was adopted by a branch of the Taira clan, which moved to the area in present-day Chiba City in the late Heian period. The branch of the Taira adopted the name and became the Chiba clan, and held strong influence over the area of the prefecture until the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The name "Chiba" was chosen for the prefecture at the time of creation in 1873 by the Assembly of Prefectural Governors (Chihō Kankai Kaigi), an early Meiji-period body of prefectural governors that met to decide the structure of local and regional administration in Japan.
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