Kesennuma, Miyagi

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Flag of Kesennuma
Location of Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture
Location of Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture
Kesennuma is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 38°53′N 141°35′E / 38.883°N 141.583°E / 38.883; 141.583Coordinates: 38°53′N 141°35′E / 38.883°N 141.583°E / 38.883; 141.583
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Miyagi Prefecture
 • Mayor Noboru Suzuki
 • Total 333.37 km2 (128.71 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 73,403
 • Density 220/km2 (600/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Japanese Black Pine
- Flower Azalea
- Bird Seagull
Address 1-1-1 Yōka-machi, Kesennuma-shi
Phone number 0226-22-6600

Kesennuma (気仙沼市 Kesennuma-shi?) is a city located in the extreme part of northeastern Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

It wraps around the western part of Kesennuma Bay, and also includes the island of Ōshima. Its coastline forms the southern boundary of the Rias Coastline National Park, which stretches north all the way to Aomori Prefecture.

The city borders Hirota Bay, Kesennuma Bay, and the Pacific Ocean to the east and Minamisanriku, Miyagi to the south. Iwate Prefecture makes up the remainder of its borders, with Murone Village to the west, and Rikuzen-Takata City to the north. The highest point in Kesennuma is 711.9 m high, on the border with Motoyoshi, while the lowest point is at sea level. The Ōkawa River flows through the city and into Kesennuma Bay.

Large sections of the city were destroyed by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and major fires on March 11, 2011.[1]


Kesennuma City was formed on June 1, 1953, when Kesennuma Town, Shishiori Village and Matsuiwa Village were merged. It grew in size on April 1, 1955, when Niitsuki Village, Hashikami Village and Oshima Village were annexed, and again in 2006 and 2009 with the incorporation of Karakuwa and Motoyoshi (respectively, both from Motoyoshi District).[2]

The city is Japan's busiest port for processing bonito and swordfish. Presently, fishing and associated industries account for 85% of jobs in the town.[3]

On March 11, 2011, large parts of the city were destroyed by the tsunami which followed the Tōhoku earthquake. The island of Oshima and its 3,000 residents, included in the city limits, was isolated by the tsunami which damaged the ferry connections.[4] After the tsunami, spilled fuel from the town's fishing fleet caught fire and burned for four days.[5] As of 22 April 2011, the city had confirmed 837 deaths with 1,196 missing.[6]

In August 2013, residents decided to scrap a fishing boat - the Kyotoku Maru No 18 - which was swept inland by a giant wave during the 2011 tsunami. There had been plans to preserve the boat as a monument, as it had become a symbol of the tsunami.[7]


Average temperature and precipitation in Kesennuma

Kesennuma is situated in a temperate climate zone and has a moderate climate. The city's average temperature is 10.8°C (53.8°F) and its average annual precipitation is 1,370.6 mm. Its all-time record high is 36.0°C on August 15, 1994, and its all-time record low is -12.6°C on February 17, 1980. The city's climate is fairly similar to Sendai, the largest city in Miyagi Prefecture. Since Kesennuma is located north of Sendai, it is naturally slightly cooler. However, Kesennuma is known to be fairly warm for a city located at its latitude, largely because of ocean currents that flow close by.[citation needed]


Kesennuma Shinkin Bank Head Office building before the 2011 tsunami

Kesennuma relies on tourism and commercial fishing, the latter being what the city is known for, especially its tuna, pacific saury and skipjack tuna production, keeping the fishing port very active. It also has a shark fin fishery.


Kesennuma, as the largest center in northeast Miyagi, is an education center for high school, featuring five of them. It also has eight junior high schools and fourteen elementary schools.



Major roads[edit]

National highways[edit]

Prefectural highways[edit]

  • Miyagi Highway
    • 5 Kesennuma
    • 26 Kesennuma – Karakuwa
    • 34 Kesennuma - Rikuzen-Takata
    • 65 Motoyoshi – Kesennuma
    • 208, 209, 210, 211, 218


There are ferry services to Ōshima Island and the Karakuwa peninsula.

Sister/friendship cities[edit]

International sister/friendship cities[edit]

Japanese sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ "Blaze engulfs northeast Japan waterfront after quake". Reuters. March 11, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Matsuyama, Kanoko, and Stuart Biggs, (Bloomberg L.P.), "Tsunami - insult to injury", Japan Times, 30 April 2011, p. 3.
  4. ^ Asahi Shimbun, "Islanders cut off from mainland due to tsunami", 29 March 2011.
  5. ^ The Economist, "Disaster in Japan: Come back in ten years' time", 26 March 2011, pp. 47-48.
  6. ^ Bloomberg L.P., "Tsunami abetted fishing sector fall", The Japan Times, 26 April 2011, p. 8.
  7. ^ Wingfield-Hayes, Rupert. "Japanese town to scrap marooned 'tsunami boat'". BBC News. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 

External links[edit]