|Hokkaido (Iburi Subprefecture)|
|Prefecture||Hokkaido (Iburi Subprefecture)|
|• Mayor||Hideyoshi Kikuya|
|• Total||444.28 km2 (171.54 sq mi)|
|Population (June 2008)|
|• Density||83.8/km2 (217/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Sargent's cherry|
|Address||20-1 Kashimachō, Date-shi, Hokkaidō
Remains of settlements from the Jōmon period have been found in the Date area. The Ainu, the native inhabitants of Hokkaido, also maintained a settlement at another location nearby until the beginning of the 20th century, when the Ainu were mostly assimilated into Japanese society.
The name of the area comes from the Date clan, who rose to power in the 12th century in Fukushima, on the mainland. Before the Edo period, their home castle was the Yanagawa castle in Date District, Fukushima. Later, it became the Sendai castle. The Date clan ruled the whole of Miyagi Prefecture as well as the southern part of Iwate Prefecture prefecture, and was one of the most influential daimyos.
During the Meiji period, many samurai, including the Date clan, lost their territories due to the political changes of the Meiji Restoration. In 1869, a branch family of the Date clan from Watari-Date moved to and settled at the south coast of the then-uncultivated Hokkaido. This was the foundation of Date.
As a result of city and village merges, Date can essentially be divided into two sections: the Otaki Forest area and the Date Historic City area. Otaki Forest is home to Sankaidaki Falls and the Shirakinu River Bed. Date Historic City contains buildings that were built by the samurai, the most famous of which is the Usu-Zenkou temple.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Date, Hokkaido.|
- Official website (Japanese)