|— Designated city —|
|福岡市 · Fukuoka City|
Yatai in Nakasu
Fukuoka Castle, Hakozaki Shrine
Tenjin, Hakata Gion Yamakasa
Seaside Momochi and Fukuoka Tower
|• Mayor||Soichiro Takashima (since December 2010)|
|• Total||340.03 km2 (131.29 sq mi)|
|Population (April 1, 2012)|
|• Density||4,361.53/km2 (11,296.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Camphor laurel|
|- Bird||Black-headed Gull|
Ranked 12th of the world's most livable cities in the magazine Monocle in 2012, Fukuoka was praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin. The city was designated on April 1, 1972, by government ordinance. Greater Fukuoka (福岡都市圏), with 2.5 million people (2005 census), is part of the heavily industrialized Fukuoka–Kitakyushu zone as well as Northern Kyushu.
As of July 2011 Fukuoka is Japan's 6th largest city, having passed the population of Kyoto. This marks the first time that a city west of the Kinki region has a larger population than Kyoto since the founding of Kyoto in 794. In ancient times, however, the area near Fukuoka, the Chikushi region, was thought to be perhaps even more influential than the Yamato region.
Fukuoka (the area of Kashii, Hakata, Sawara and Imazu) is said to be the oldest city in Japan, because it is the nearest city to China and Korea. The area around Fukuoka is among the oldest non-Jōmon settlements in Japan. Dazaifu was an administrative capital in 663 A.D., but a historian proposed that a prehistoric capital was in the area. Ancient texts, such as the Kojiki, and archaeology confirm this was a very critical place in the founding of Japan. Some scholars claim that it was the first place outsiders and the Imperial Family set foot, but like many early Japan origin theories, it remains contested. Fukuoka is sometimes still referred to as Hakata, the central ward of the city.
Mongol invasions (1274–1281) 
Kublai Khan of the Mongol Empire turned his attention towards Japan starting in 1268, exerting a new external pressure on Japan with which it had no experience. Kublai Khan first sent an envoy to Japan to make the Shogunate acknowledge Khan's suzerainty. The Kamakura shogunate refused. Mongolia repeatedly sent envoys thereafter, each time urging the Shogunate to accept their proposal, but to no avail.
In 1274 Kublai Khan mounted an invasion of the northern part of Kyushu with a fleet of 900 ships and 33,000 troops, which included troops from Goryeo on the Korean Peninsula. This first invasion was compromised by a combination of incompetence and storms. After the first invasion of 1274, Japanese samurai built a stone barrier 20 kilometers in length bordering the coast of Hakata Bay in what is now Fukuoka city. The wall, between 2–3 metres in height and having a base width of 3 metres, was constructed between 1276 and 1277 and was excavated again in the 1930s.
Kublai sent another envoy to Japan in 1279. At that time Hōjō Tokimune of the Hōjō clan (1251–1284) was the Eighth Regent. Not only did he decline the offer, but he beheaded the five Mongolian emissaries after summoning them to Kamakura. Infuriated, Kublai made another attack on Fukuoka Prefecture in 1281, mobilizing 140,000 soldiers and 4,000 ships. The Japanese defenders, numbering around 40,000, were no match for the Mongols and the invasion force made it as far as Dazaifu, 15 kilometers south of the city of Fukuoka. However, the Japanese were aided by another typhoon which struck a crushing blow to the Mongolian troops, and the invasion was thwarted.
It was this typhoon that came to be called the Kamikaze (Divine Wind).
Formation of the modern city (1889) 
Fukuoka was formerly the residence of the powerful daimyo of Chikuzen Province, and played an important part in the medieval history of Japan. The renowned temple of Tokugawa Ieyasu in the district was destroyed by fire during the Boshin War of 1868.
The modern city was formed on April 1, 1889, with the merger of the former cities of Hakata and Fukuoka. Historically, Hakata was the port and merchant district, and was more associated with the area's culture and remains the main commercial area today. On the other hand, the Fukuoka area was home to many samurai, and its name has been used since Kuroda Nagamasa, the first daimyo of Chikuzen Province, named it after his birthplace in Okayama Prefecture and the “old Fukuoka” is the main shopping area and now called Tenjin.
When Hakata and Fukuoka decided to merge, a meeting was held to decide the name for the new city. Hakata was initially chosen, but a group of samurai crashed the meeting and forced those present to choose Fukuoka as the name for the merged city. However, Hakata is still used to reference to the Hakata area of the city and, most famously, to refer to the city's train station, Hakata Station, and dialect, Hakata-ben.
20th century 
- 1903: Fukuoka Medical College, a campus associated with Kyoto Imperial University, is founded. In 1911, the college is renamed to Kyushu Imperial University and established as a separate entity.
- 1910: Fukuoka streetcar service begins. (The service ran until 1979.)
- 1929: Flights commence along the Fukuoka-Osaka-Tokyo route.
- 1945: Saturation bombing of Japanese cities commences on Honshū with Fukuoka one of the targets. Vivisections of American POWs are performed at Kyushu Imperial University Hospital.
- 1947: First Fukuoka Marathon.
- 1951: Fukuoka airport opens.
- 1953: Fukuoka Zoo opens.
- 1975: The city absorbed the town of Sawara.
- 1981: Subway commences service.
- 1988: Osaka's pro baseball team, the Nankai Hawks, are moved to Fukuoka and renamed the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. (Renamed the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in 2004).
21st century 
- 2005: Fukuoka city subway Nanakuma Line started operation.
Fukuoka is bordered on three sides by mountains and opens, on the north, to the Sea of Genkai. Much of the city is now built on reclaimed land, with ongoing developments in Higashi-ku building more artificial islands.
It is located 1,100 km from Tokyo.
Fukuoka has a humid subtropical climate and it has hot humid summers and relatively mild winters. The city also sees on average about 1600 mm of precipitation per year, with a stretch of more intense precipitation between the months of June and September. Along with much of the prefecture, Fukuoka City has a moderate climate with an annual average temperature of 16.3 °C (61 °F), average humidity of 70% and 1,811 annual daylight hours. Roughly 40% of the year is cloudy.
Winter temperatures rarely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) and it rarely snows, though light rain does fall on most days if not as consistently as on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu. Spring is warm and sunnier, with cherry blossoms appearing in late March or early April. The rainy season (tsuyu) lasts for approximately six weeks through June and July, during which time the humidity is very high and temperatures hover between 25 °C (77 °F) and 30 °C (86 °F). Summers are humid and hot, with temperatures peaking around 37 °C (99 °F). Autumn, often considered to be Fukuoka's best season, is mild and dry, though the typhoon season runs between August and September.
|Climate data for Fukuoka, Japan (1971-2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.4
|Average low °C (°F)||3.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||72.1
|Snowfall cm (inches)||2
|Avg. precipitation days||11.0||10.1||12.9||11.0||10.7||12.4||11.9||10.4||10.9||7.3||9.7||10.3||128.6|
|Avg. snowy days||6.8||5.5||1.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.2||3.4||17.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||99.9||114.3||149.7||177.2||195.0||147.6||182.7||199.3||157.8||174.9||133.2||116.9||1,848.5|
Fukuoka is not as seismically active as many other parts of Japan, but does experience occasional earthquakes. The most powerful recent earthquake registered a lower 6 of maximum 7 of the Japanese intensity scale and hit at 10:53 am local time on March 20, 2005, killing one person and injuring more than 400. The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Sea of Genkai, along a yet-undiscovered extension of the Kego fault that runs through the centre of Fukuoka. Genkai island, a part of Nishi-ku, was the most severely damaged by the earthquake and almost all island residents were forced to evacuate. Aftershocks continued intermittently throughout the following weeks as construction crews worked to rebuild damaged buildings throughout the city. Traditional Japanese houses, particularly in the areas of Daimyo and Imaizumi, were the most heavily damaged and many were marked for demolition, along with several apartment buildings. Insurance payments for damages were estimated at approximately 15.8 billion yen.
A similar quake, with an intensity of 5+, also occurred one month later on April 20, 2005.
Fukuoka's major Kego fault, runs northwest to southeast, roughly parallel to Nishitetsu's Ōmuta train line, and was previously thought to be 22 km long. It is estimated to produce earthquakes as strong as magnitude 7 at the focus approximately once every 15,000 years. If the focus were located at a depth of 10 km, this would translate to an earthquake of a lower-6 magnitude (similar to the March 20, 2005 earthquake) in downtown Fukuoka if it were the epicenter. The probability of an earthquake along the known length of the Kego fault occurring within 30 years was estimated at 0.4% prior to the March 20, 2005 earthquake, but this probability has been revised upwards since. Including the new extension out into the Genkai Sea, the Kego fault is now thought to be 40 km long.
Following reports that the city has only prepared for earthquakes up to a magnitude of 6.5, several strong aftershock renewed fears that the quakes might cause the portion of the Kego fault that lies under the city to become active again, leading to an earthquake as big as, or bigger than, the March 20 quake.
|Fukuoka has 7 wards (ku):||Ward||Population||Land area||Pop. density|
|as of August 1, 2010||km²||per km²|
|Higashi-ku||291 749||66.68||4 375.36|
|Hakata-ku||212 108||31.47||6 740.01|
|Minami-ku||248 901||30.98||8 034.25|
|Jōnan-ku||128 883||16.02||8 045.13|
|Sawara-ku||211 889||95.88||2 209.42|
|Nishi-ku||190 288||83.81||2 270.47|
As of May 2007[update], the city had an estimated population of 1,422,836 and a density of 4,184.07 persons per km². The total area is 340.60 km². With an average age of 38.6 years, Fukuoka is Japan's second youngest major city and with a growth rate of 4.4%, is also Japan's second-fastest growing city (based on 2000 census data[update]).
Fukuoka is the economic center of the Kyushu region, with an economy largely focused on the service sector. Large companies headquartered in the city include Iwataya and Kyushu Electric Power. Fukuoka is also the home of many small firms playing a supportive role in the logistics, IT and high-tech manufacturing sectors. Most of the region's heavy manufacturing takes place in the nearby city of Kitakyushu.
The port of Hakata and Fukuoka Airport also make the city a key regional transportation hub. Fukuoka houses the headquarters of Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) and Nishi-Nippon Railroad. Air Next, a subsidiary of All Nippon Airways, is headquartered in Hakata-ku; prior to its dissolution, Harlequin Air was also headquartered in Hakata-ku.
Fukuoka was selected as one of Newsweek's 10 "Most Dynamic Cities" in its July 2006 issue. It was chosen for its central Asian location, increasing tourism and trade, and a large increase in volume at its sea and airport. Fukuoka has a diverse culture and a wide range of cultural attractions.
In its July/August 2008 issue, Monocle selected Fukuoka as number 17 of the "Top 25 liveable cities". It was chosen for excellent shopping, outstanding food, good transport links, good museums, "a feeling of openness in its sea air", green spaces and because it's friendly, safe, clean and close to the rest of East Asia.
Sky Dream Fukuoka, located in Fukuoka City's western ward, was one of the world's largest ferris wheels at a height of 120 meters. It was closed on September 2009. Fukuoka Castle located adjacent to Ohori Park features the remaining stone walls and ramparts left after a devastating fire during the upheaval of the Meiji Restoration. It has now been preserved along with some reconstructed prefabricate concrete towers constructed during the 1950s and 1960s, when there was a trend across Japan to rebuild damaged castles as tourist attractions. Ōhori Park is also the location of one of Fukuoka City's major art galleries. There is a newly opened Kyushu National Museum in nearby Dazaifu.
The Marine Park Uminonakamichi is located on a narrow cape on the northern side of the Bay of Hakata. The park has an amusement park, petting zoo, gardens, beaches, a hotel, and a large marine aquarium. For tourists from other parts of Japan, local foods such as mentaiko, Hakata ramen and motsunabe are associated with Fukuoka. Yatai (street stalls) serving ramen can be found in Tenjin and Nakasu most evenings. Fukuoka Tower is near the beach in Momochi.
- Fukuoka Art Museum - In Ohori Park; contains a wide selection of contemporary and other art from around the world, including works by Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, and Salvador Dalí
- Fukuoka Asian Art Museum - contains art from various countries of Asia.
- Fukuoka City Museum - displays a broad range of items from the region's history, including a spectacular gold seal.
- Genko Historical Museum (元寇史料館, Museum of the Mongol Invasion) - In Higashi Koen (East Park); displays Japanese and Mongolian arms and armor from the 13th century as well as paintings on historical subjects. Open on weekends.
- Hakata Machiya Folk Museum - Dedicated to displaying the traditional ways of life, speech, and culture of the Fukuoka region.
The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize was established to honor the outstanding work of individuals or organizations in Asia.
Yamakasa (山笠), held for two weeks each July, is Fukuoka's oldest festival with a history of over 700 years. The festival dates back to 1241 when a priest called Shioichu Kokushi saved Hakata from a terrible plague by being carried around the city on a movable shrine and throwing water. Teams of men (no women, except small girls, are allowed), representing different districts in the city, commemorate the priest's route by racing against the clock around a set course carrying on their shoulders floats weighing several thousand pounds. Participants all wear shimekomi (called fundoshi in other parts of Japan), which are traditional loincloths. Each day of the two-week festival period is marked by special events and practice runs, culminating in the official race that takes place the last morning before dawn. Tens of thousands line the streets to cheer on the teams. During the festival period, men can be seen walking around many parts of Fukuoka in long happi coats bearing the distinctive mark of their team affiliation and traditional geta sandals. The costumes are worn with pride and are considered appropriate wear for even formal occasions, such as weddings and cocktail parties, during the festival period.
Hakata Dontaku (博多どんたく) is held in Fukuoka City on May 3 and 4. Boasting over 800 years of history, Dontaku is attended by more than 2 million people, making it the Japanese festival with the highest attendance during Japan's Golden Week holidays. During the festival, stages are erected throughout downtown for traditional performances and a parade of floats is held. The full name is Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri.
The festival was stopped for seven years during the Meiji era, and since it was restarted in the 12th year of the Meiji era it has been known as Hakata Dontaku.
Notable musical names in J-pop include Ayumi Hamasaki (allegedly Japan's richest woman), singer/songwriter Ringo Shiina, hugely popular singer/songwriter duo Chage & Aska, singer-songwriter Eri Nobuchika, Misia and Yui. During the 1970s, local musicians prided themselves on their origins and dubbed their sound, Mentai Rock.
Fukuoka is served by Fukuoka Airport, the Sanyō Shinkansen and the Kyushu Shinkansen high speed rail line and other JR Kyushu trains at Hakata Station and by ferry. JR Kyushu and a Korean company operate hydrofoil ferries (named Beetle and Kobee) between Hakata and Busan, South Korea. The city has three subway lines, and the newest one, Subway Nanakuma Line, opened on February 2, 2005. A private railway line, run by Nishitetsu is also heavily used and connects the downtown area of Tenjin to the city of Omuta.
Fukuoka is the home of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, one of Japan's top professional baseball teams. Threatened with bankruptcy and forced by its creditors to restructure, in 2004 former owner Daiei sold the Hawks to Softbank Capital.
Annual sporting events include:
- The All Japan Judo Category Championships is held in early April.
- The Kyushu Ekiden, beginning in Nagasaki and ending in Fukuoka, the world's longest relay race, held in October.
- The November tournament of professional Sumo is held at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center
- Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championships, with start/finish at Heiwadai Athletic Stadium, held on the 1st Sunday of December.
Fukuoka has hosted the following sporting events.
- 1995 Summer Universiade
- 2001 World Aquatics Championships.
- 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
- Fukuoka International Women’s Judo Championships from 1983 to 2006.
Sports teams and facilities 
|Kyuden Voltex||Rugby||Top League||Level-5 Stadium||1951|
|West Red Sparks||Rugby||Top League||Sawayaka Sports Park||1966|
|Fukuoka Softbank Hawks||Baseball||Pacific League||Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome||1989 (year of relocation from Ōsaka as Daiei Hawks, changed to current name from 2005)|
|Avispa Fukuoka||Association football||J. League Division 2||Level-5 Stadium||1995 (year of relocation from Fujieda, Shizuoka as Fukuoka Blux, changed to current name from 1996)|
|Fukuoka J-Anclas||Association football||Nadeshiko League||Level-5 Stadium||1986 (as Fukuoka Jogakuin High School football club, changed to a senior club team and participated Nadeshiko League Div. 2 from 2006)|
|Rizing Fukuoka||Basketball||bj league||Accion Fukuoka||2007|
Fukuoka City operates all public elementary and junior high schools, while the prefecture operates the high schools.
- National Universities
- Kyushu University (九州大学 Kyushu Daigaku )
- Kyushu Institute of Design (九州芸術工科大学 Kyushu Geijutsu Kōka Daigaku ) - merged with Kyushu University on October 2003
- Prefectural University
- Fukuoka Women's University (福岡女子大学 Fukuoka Joshi Daigaku )
- Private Universities
- Daiichi University, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (第一薬科大学 Daiichi Yakka Daigaku )
- Fukuoka Institute of Technology (福岡工業大学 Fukuoka Kōgyō Daigaku )
- Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University (福岡女学院大学 Fukuoka Jogakuin Daigaku )
- Fukuoka University (福岡大学 Fukuoka Daigaku )
- Kyushu Sangyo University (九州産業大学 Kyushu Sangyō Daigaku )
- Nakamura Gakuen University (中村学園大学 Nakamura Gakuen Daigaku )
- Seinan Gakuin University (西南学院大学 Seinan Gakuin Daigaku )
- Fukuoka College of Health Sciences (福岡医療短期大学 Fukuoka Iryō Tanki Daigaku )
- Fukuoka Institute of Technology, Junior college (福岡工業大学短期大学部|Fukuoka Kōgyō Daigaku Tanki Daigakubu)
- Junshin Junior College (純真短期大学 Junshin Tanki Daigaku )
- Koran Women's Junior College (香蘭女子短期大学 Kōran Joshi Tanki Daigaku )
- Kyushu Zokei Art College (九州造形短期大学 Kyushu Zōkei Tanki Daigaku )
- Nakamura Gakuen Junior College (中村学園大学短期大学部 Nakamura Gakuen Daigaku Tanki Daigakubu )
- Nishinihon Junior College (西日本短期大学 Nishi Nihon Tanki Daigaku )
- Seika Women's Junior College (精華女子短期大学 Seika Joshi Tanki Daigaku )
- Catholic schools
International relations 
Fukuoka City established the Asian Pacific City Summit in 1994. It consists of 26 Asian-Pacific Cities.
Notable people from Fukuoka 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2012)|
- Jirō Akagawa (novelist)
- Aska (singer) (Chage and Aska)
- Sonny Chiba (actor)
- Dan Takuma (businessman)
- Ayumi Hamasaki (J-pop singer)
- Kiyoshi Hikawa (enka singer)
- Kōki Hirota (politician: 32nd Prime Minister of Japan)
- Erina Ikuta (J-pop singer and member of Morning Musume)
- Gakuryū Ishii (film director)
- Kaibara Ekken (Neo-Confucianist philosopher)
- Ai Kawashima (singer-songwriter)
- Yoshinori Kobayashi (manga artist)
- Misia (J-pop singer)
- Kenzo Nakamura (Judo athlete)
- Ai Nonaka (voice actor)
- Yukari Oshima (actress)
- Noriko Sakai (singer and actress)
- Kensuke Sasaki (professional wrestler)
- Kōji Seto (actor)
- Ringo Shiina (J-pop singer born in Saitama Prefecture and raised in Fukuoka)
- Keita Tachibana (J-pop singer and member of W-inds)
- Tamori (TV presenter)
- Reina Tanaka (J-pop singer and member of Morning Musume)
- Ryoko Tani (judo athlete)
- Masaaki Yuasa (director)
- Yui (singer)
- Yumeno Kyūsaku (novelist)
- "The World's top 25 most liveable cities". Monocle.com. (subscription required)
- Takehiko Furuta, 失われた九州王朝 (A lost Kyushu dynasty), Asahi publishing, 1993.
- The Truth of Descent from Heaven. Yukio Yokota. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- Fukuoka/Hakata Tourist Information website: Hakozaki Shrine
- 気象庁 Japan Meteorological Agency. "気象庁 | 平年値（年・月ごとの値）". Data.jma.go.jp. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
- "気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値)". Japan Meteorological Agency.
- "地震保険について". 民間危機管理再生機構 The Nongovernmental crisis Management & Regeneration Organization(NPO).
- "Making a Difference." Fukuoka Now. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
- "会社概要." Air Next. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
- "会社概要." Harlequin Air. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
- "FSE.org.jp". FSE.org.jp. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
- Newsweek Print Article, Accessed November 15, 2008
- Telegraph.co.uk Accessed November 15, 2008
- "Monocle", July/August 2008, issue 15, volume 02, page 26
- Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival. Japan National Tourist Organization. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- The Yamakasa. Cogito Kyushu Networks. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- Hakata Gion Yamakasa. WebJapan. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri. (Japanese) Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- "姉妹都市交流" [Sister City Relations] (in Japanese). Fukuoka City. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Fukuoka, Fukuoka|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Fukuoka.|
- Official website (Japanese)
- Official Tourism Site of Fukuoka city
- Fukuoka City page of Fukuoka Tourism Association website
- Fukuoka Now
- Fukuoka travel guide from Wikivoyage