Akita, Akita

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Akita
秋田市
Core city
Downtown Akita
Downtown Akita
Flag of Akita
Flag
Official seal of Akita
Seal
Location of Akita in Akita Prefecture
Location of Akita in Akita Prefecture
Akita is located in Japan
Akita
Akita
 
Coordinates: 39°43′12.1″N 140°6′9.3″E / 39.720028°N 140.102583°E / 39.720028; 140.102583Coordinates: 39°43′12.1″N 140°6′9.3″E / 39.720028°N 140.102583°E / 39.720028; 140.102583
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Akita Prefecture
Government
 • -Mayor Motomu Hozumi
Area
 • Total 905.67 km2 (349.68 sq mi)
Population (October 1, 2013)
 • Total 323,232
 • Density 360/km2 (920/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Zelkova serrata
- Flower Satsuki azalea
Phone number 018-863-2222
Address 1-1 Sanno 1-chome, Akita-shi
010-8560
Website www.city.akita.akita.jp

Akita (秋田市 Akita-shi?) is the capital city of Akita Prefecture, Japan, and has been designated a core city since April 1, 1997.

As of September 2013, the city has an estimated population of 320,232 and a population density of 354 persons per km². The total area is 905.67 km².

Geography[edit]

The city of Akita is located in the coastal plains of central Akita Prefecture, bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west. The Omono River runs through the center of the city.

Neighboring municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Akita belongs to a climatic transition zone humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) and is interestingly the most populous city having absolute northern extremity of this climate zone within Japan, bordering very closely with the humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) zone, comparable to New York City, USA. Akita is characterized with cold, very snowy, winters, and very warm, humid summers. Monthly means range from −0.1 °C (31.8 °F) in January to 24.5 °C (76.1 °F) in August. Due to its location near the Sea of Japan coast, it receives heavy snowfall, with just above 409 centimetres (161 in) per season, with accumulation occurring mostly from December to March. Precipitation is well-distributed and significant throughout the year, but is greater in the latter half.

Climate data for Akita, Akita (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.7
(56.7)
19.8
(67.6)
21.0
(69.8)
28.0
(82.4)
31.8
(89.2)
33.7
(92.7)
37.9
(100.2)
38.2
(100.8)
35.4
(95.7)
28.9
(84)
23.3
(73.9)
21.4
(70.5)
38.2
(100.8)
Average high °C (°F) 2.7
(36.9)
3.1
(37.6)
6.9
(44.4)
13.6
(56.5)
18.5
(65.3)
22.8
(73)
26.4
(79.5)
28.6
(83.5)
24.2
(75.6)
18.2
(64.8)
11.6
(52.9)
5.8
(42.4)
15.2
(59.4)
Average low °C (°F) −2.7
(27.1)
−2.7
(27.1)
−0.5
(31.1)
4.8
(40.6)
9.9
(49.8)
15.1
(59.2)
19.4
(66.9)
20.9
(69.6)
16.0
(60.8)
9.3
(48.7)
3.7
(38.7)
−0.2
(31.6)
7.8
(46)
Record low °C (°F) −19.8
(−3.6)
−24.6
(−12.3)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−7.2
(19)
−1.4
(29.5)
4.1
(39.4)
8.9
(48)
9.0
(48.2)
3.1
(37.6)
−1.4
(29.5)
−5.4
(22.3)
−18.7
(−1.7)
−24.6
(−12.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 114.4
(4.504)
92.0
(3.622)
93.0
(3.661)
117.6
(4.63)
122.8
(4.835)
127.5
(5.02)
178.1
(7.012)
181.9
(7.161)
177.9
(7.004)
160.7
(6.327)
183.5
(7.224)
163.8
(6.449)
1,713.2
(67.449)
Snowfall cm (inches) 142
(55.9)
120
(47.2)
51
(20.1)
2
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
13
(5.1)
79
(31.1)
409
(161)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 24.0 20.0 17.5 13.2 12.5 11.2 13.6 11.0 13.6 15.6 19.8 23.6 195.6
Avg. snowy days 27.1 23.7 16.9 2.2 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 6.6 20.7 97.3
 % humidity 73 72 68 68 72 76 79 77 76 73 72 73 73
Mean monthly sunshine hours 44.6 65.6 135.7 175.0 191.4 178.0 171.5 200.4 154.9 148.1 84.7 47.6 1,597.4
Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency
Source #2: 観測史上1~10位の値(年間を通じての値)

History[edit]

The area of present-day Akita was part of ancient Dewa Province, and has been inhabited for thousands of years. The Jizōden ruins within the city limits are a major archaeological site with artifacts from the Japanese Paleolithic period through the Jomon and Yayoi periods. During the Nara period, the Yamato court established Akita Castle in 733 AD to bring the local Emishi tribes under its control. The area was ruled by a succession of local samurai clans in the Sengoku period, before coming under the control of the Satake clan of Kubota Domain during the Edo period. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, a castle town developed around Kubota Castle.

Meiji and Taisho Eras[edit]

With the start of the Meiji period, Kubota Domain was abolished, and its castle town divided into the towns of Akita and Kubota. Akita Prefecture was established in 1871, and Shima Yoshitake was named the first governor. Ancient Akita District was divided into Kitaakita and Minamiakita Districts in 1878. Most of Akita town burned down in a great fire on April 30, 1886.

With the establishment of the municipality system on April 1, 1889, the city of Akita was officially established, including former Kubota and Akita towns. The port area was separated into Tsuchizakiko Town, which became part of Minamiakita District. The first city hall was located inside the former Minamiakita District office. In September 1898, the Imperial Japanese Army’s IJA 17th Infantry Regiment was based in Akita. The first public library was opened in 1898, electrification of the city began in 1901, and Akita Station was opened in 1902, as well as running water and telephone services in 1907.

The Taisho period brought further development to Akita with Nippon Oil Corporation developing the nearby Kurokawa Oil Fields in 1914, and a branch of the Bank of Japan opening in Akita in 1917.

Shōwa Era[edit]

In 1935, Nippon Kogyo (the forerunner of Jomo) began development of the nearby Yatsuhashi Oil Fields. Akita Bank was established in 1941.

War devastated the city on August 14, 1945. During the Tsuchizaki air raid, over 250 people were killed when 134 USAAF B-29 Superfortress, attacked the city from midnight to the early dawn. A Nippon Oil oil refinery in the Tsuchizaki area was targeted. This was reportedly the farthest-range and also the last bombing mission in World War II, coming only hours before Japan announced its surrender.[1]

During the post-war period, the 16th National Sports Festival of Japan was held in Akita in 1961. During the tsunami following the 1983 Sea of Japan earthquake, three Akita residents were killed.

Heisei Era[edit]

Akita City Hall

On April 1, 1997, Akita was designated as a core city with increased autonomy. The Akita Shinkansen began operations the same year. On August 2001, the World Games were held in Akita, with the opening ceremony held in the Yabase Track and Field Stadium. In 2004, the city celebrated its 400th anniversary and its beginnings as Kubota Castle town.

On January 11, 2005, the towns of Kawabe and Yūwa (both from Kawabe District) were merged into Akita. Kawabe District was dissolved as a result of this merger. The location of Akita City Hall did not change, and former Kawabe and Yūwa Town Halls are used as civic centers.

The 62nd National Sports Festival of Japan was held in Akita in 2007.

Economy[edit]

A sunset in the northern outskirts of Akita City

The economy of Akita remains heavily dependent on agriculture (particularly rice cultivation), forestry and mineral extraction. Akita contains one of the most important oil fields in Japan. Oil refining, woodworking, metalworking, and the production of silk textiles are the main industries. Akita is also home to two regional banks that serve Akita prefecture and the greater Tōhoku region: Akita Bank and Hokuto Bank.

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Railway[edit]

Highway[edit]

Bus[edit]

  • Akita Chūō Kōtsū

Seaports[edit]

Mass Media[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Thatched roof in Jizōden Archaeological Park
Akita Senshu Park

Local events[edit]

Akita Kanto Festival[edit]

This representative summer festival began 350 years ago, with similar to tanabata festivals held elsewhere in Japan. During this festival, participants balance 15 meter poles with 230 lanterns on their chins; the main event is held during the evening and night hours, between the 3rd and 6 August every year.

During the festival, Kanto stunt events are held in Senshu Park during daylight hours involving many amateur participants. This event was first held in 1931 and every subsequent year, except during disruption between 1935 to 1946 and in 1953 and 1965.[citation needed] Overseas exhibitions of the festival were performed in Hamburg, Germany in 1988, Honolulu, Hawaii in 2002, London, England in 2004, and as an opening event in World Games in 2001.

Marian apparitions[edit]

Our Lady of Akita is the title of Marian apparitions reported in 1973 by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in the remote area of Yuzawadai, near the city of Akita. The apparitions were approved by the Holy See in 1988.[2] The 1988 approval was issued by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI.

Sister city relations[edit]

International sister / friendship cities[edit]

  • China - Lanzhou, People's Republic of China, since August 5, 1982
  • Germany - Passau, Germany, since April 8, 1984
  • Philippines - Malabon City, Philippines, since July 15, 1987
  • United States - Kenai, Alaska, United States of America, since January 22, 1992
  • United States - St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States of America (with Yūwa, Akita, which merged into Akita, Akita), since 1993
  • Russia - Vladivostok, Russia, since June 29, 1992

Domestic sister cities[edit]

Noted people from Akita, Akita[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Reyher, Charles. Memoirs of a B-29 Pilot, page 146 (Lulu.com 2008): "This superfortress strike unwittingly collapsed a coup in progress at the Japanese Imperial Palace and saved Tokyo from a nuclear strike and ended World War II."
  2. ^ EWTN on Akita approval