|— Designated city —|
|千葉市 · Chiba City|
Makuhari Messe, Chiba Port Tower
Chiba Marine Stadium
Skyscrapers of Makuhari on the coast.
|• Mayor||Toshihito Kumagai|
|• Total||272.08 km2 (105.05 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,540/km2 (9,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Flower||Nelumbo nucifera|
|Address||1-1 Chiba-minato, Chūō-ku, Chiba-shi
Chiba (千葉市 Chiba-shi ) is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is located approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) southeast of the center of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay. Chiba City became a government designated city in 1992. As of 2008, its population is approximately 960,000.
Chiba City is also one of the Kantō region's primary seaports, and is home to Chiba Port, which handles one of the highest volumes of cargo in the nation. Much of the city is residential, although there are many factories and warehouses located along the coast. There are several major urban centers in the city, including Makuhari, a prime waterfront business district in which Makuhari Messe is located, and Central Chiba, in which the prefectural government office and the city hall are located.
Chiba is famous for the Chiba Urban Monorail, the longest suspended monorail in the world, as published in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some popular destinations in the city include: Kasori Shellmound, the largest shellmound in the world at 134,000m2, Inage Beach, the first artificial beach in the nation which forms part of the longest artificial beach in Japan, and the Chiba City Zoological Park, popular on account of the standing red panda Futa.
The name of Chiba in the Japanese language 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 (千葉国造). 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, which held strong influence over the area of the prefecture until the Azuchi–Momoyama period. The name "Chiba" was chosen for Chiba Prefecture at the time its creation in 1873 by the Assembly of Prefectural Governors (地方官会議 Chihō Kankai Kaigi ), an early Meiji-period body of prefectural governors that met to decide the structure of local and regional administration in Japan.
Early history 
The first records related to the city of Chiba record the emigration of Taira Tsuneshige (1083?–1088), a powerful bushi warlord of the late Heian period, to Shimōsa Province, which historically occupied the north of Chiba Prefecture. Tsuneshige was appointed as gunji administrator of Sōma District, but was transferred to the same position in Chiba District two years later. Here he proclaimed himself Chiba Tsuneshige (千葉常重), became a kokushi governor of the province, and used the area around present-day Chiba City as a power base to rule over Shimōsa Province, Kazusa Province, as well as establish himself as a military force in the Kantō region. Tsuneshige's son, Chiba Tsunetane (千葉常胤) (1118–1201) was instrumental in aiding Minamoto Yoritomo (1147–1199) with the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate. Tsuneshige built a spacious residence and numerous temples in present-day Chiba City, and in the same period he transferred his power base from Ōji Castle to Inohana Castle on Mount Inohana. The area of present-day Chiba City became jōkamachi (城下町), or castle town, and prospered under the Chiba clan. The clan's power extended in the region until the Muromachi period.
Medieval period 
The Chiba clan's power and influence declined because of wars around the Kantō region during the Nanboku-cho and Muromachi periods. In the 16th century, instead of the Chiba clan, the Hara clan, which was one of the servants of Chiba clan, wielded power in this region. In the Sengoku period, the Hara clan was forcibly removed by Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利義明, not to be confused with 足利義昭). Then, Ashikaga Yoshiaki was also removed by the Sakai (酒井 not to be confused with the Sakai clan in Mikawa) clan, which was one of the servants of the Satomi (里見) clan. Finally both the Chiba and Sakai clans were annihilated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Later history 
In the Edo period, the Oyumi (生実氏), Morikawa (森川氏) clan, and the Sakura (佐倉氏) clans governed the area now occupied by the city. A part of the area was also governed directly by the Tokugawa Bakufu. The Oyumi clan governed their territory stably. On the other hand, according to the Sakura clan, from the beginning of the Edo period, changed governors frequently, including Takeda Nobuyoshi, Matsudaira Tadateru, Ogasawara Yoshitsugu (小笠原吉次), and Doi Toshikatsu. Finally the Hotta clan stabilized the governance of their territory. Chiba prospered in this period as a shukuba (宿場) post-town of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Modern history 
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and the advent of the railroad in Japan Chiba became the political, economic, and cultural capitol of the Chiba Prefecture. Chiba City founded on January 1, 1921. Numerous small villages and towns were merged into the previous town of Chiba (千葉町), a process that continued until 1944. Large-scale land reclamation added to the area of the city throughout the 20th century. The city was a major center of military production leading up to World War II, and as such, was a target of aerial bombing by the United States. The city was almost completely destroyed by the end of the war. Post-war industrialization led to the city becoming a major part of the Keiyō Industrial Zone. Chiba became a Designated City of Japan on April 1, 1992.
|Climate data for Chiba|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.9
|Average low °C (°F)||0.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||49.2
|Snowfall cm (inches)||3
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||173.8||146.0||159.9||157.7||179.9||116.6||141.3||183.3||116.1||127.7||135.3||167.6||1,805.2|
|Source: NOAA (1961-1990) |
As of February 2012, the city has an estimated population of 962,624 and a density of 3,540 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 272.08km2. There were 19,135 registered foreign residents in the city as of March 31, 2007, making up for about 2% of the total population. It is the 14th most populated city in Japan.
Politics and government 
Chiba was governed by Keiichi Tsuruoka, an independent (elected with support of LDP and Kōmeitō), until May 1, 2009. He had been arrested in April 2009 during a corruption investigation by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. He was succeeded by Toshihito Kumagai of the DPJ, who won election in June 2009.
The city assembly has 54 elected members.
|Wards of Chiba|
|Chiba has six wards (ku):|
Chiba Prefecture is famous for peanuts, or rakkasei. One of the many points of interest is the Experimental Station for Landscape Plants.
- Chiba zoo
- Makuhari Messe
Chiba is home to several professional sports teams, most notably:
|Chiba Lotte Marines||Baseball||Pacific League||Chiba Marine Stadium||1950|
|JEF United Ichihara Chiba||Football||J. League Division 2||Ichihara Rinkai Studium
Fukuda Denshi Arena
The Chiba Urban Monorail runs through Chiba City. The major intercity railway stations are Chiba Station, (Sobu Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibo Line, Sōbu Main Line, Narita Line, transfer for Chiba Urban Monorail), Keisei Chiba Station (Keisei Chiba Line), and Soga Station, (Keiyō Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibo Line) all in Chūō-ku.
The city operates public elementary and junior high schools. Chiba Prefectural Board of Education operates public high schools.
Colleges and universities in Chiba include:
Hospitals and clinics 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2010)|
- Chiba Kaihin Hospital (Mihama-ku)
- Chiba University Hospital (Chuo-ku)
- Kashiwado Hospital (Chuo-ku)
- Tokyo Dental College Chiba Hospital (Mihama-ku)
- Koizumi Clinic (Hanamigawa-ku)
- Mizuno Clinic (Hanamigawa-ku)
- Hirayama Hospital (Hanamigawa-ku)
Sister cities 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
- North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, since January 1, 1970
- Asunción, Paraguay, since January 1, 1970
- Houston, Texas, United States, since October 24, 1972
- Quezon City, Philippines, since November 9, 1972
- Tianjin, China, since May 7, 1986
- Montreux, Switzerland, since May 28, 1996
- Wujiang, China, since October 10, 1996
Notable people 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2010)|
- Sawa Ishige, born in Shizuoka but moved to Chiba
- Ryuta Kawashima, born in Chiba in 1959
- Masaki Aiba of Arashi
- Pata of X Japan and Ra:IN
- Yukihiro of L'Arc-en-Ciel, from Chiba and a graduate of The Chiba University of Commerce
- Tomohisa Yamashita of NEWS
- Naohito Fujiki, a Japan Academy Prize-winning actor
- Natsuki Mizu, Top Star of Snow Troupe in the Takarazuka Revue
- Daiki Arioka of Hey! Say! JUMP
- Shiho Fujita, better known as Sifow
- Kentaro Miura, creator of Berserk
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- "Chiba Tsuneshige (千葉常重)". Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-10.(Japanese)
- "Chiba Tsunetane (千葉常胤)". Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-10.(Japanese)
- "Chiba". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- "Chiba". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- "Chiba-shi (千葉氏)". Kokushi Daijiten (国史大辞典). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-10.(Japanese)
- "Chiba Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- DPJ-backed Kumagai takes Chiba mayoral election, Japan Times Online, June 15, 2009
- "The City of Houston, Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs".
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