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Gifu Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Chbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu. Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasend. During the Sengoku period, many people referred to Gifu by saying, "control Gifu and you control Japan." The land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honsh, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan's history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Temmu as the 40th emperor of Japan.
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