I was told by my Japanese friends that there are abundance of dialects (ho~gen) in Japan. This ranges from Okinawa in the south to the dialects of To~hoku in the north. The northern island Hokkaido~ has no specific Japanese dialect. Having been colonized by people from Tokyo and To~hoku area around at the end of nineteenth century, the dialects from these regions are heard in Hokkaido~. Hokkaido’s considerable population, Ainu’s language is also unrelated to Japanese.
The major groups of dialects are of Western Japan – Kansai including Osaka and Kyoto, Eastern Japan – Kanto~ including Tokyo, the Southwest Kyushu and Tohoku. The Tokyo dialect which is one of the Kanto dialects has some features that makes it different from standard Japanese (Hyo~jun go). Tokyo dialect is often heard as part of informal speech in the place where we live.