|• Mayor||Takafumi Yamauchi|
|• Total||623.14 km2 (240.60 sq mi)|
|Population (April 2008)|
|• Density||60.3/km2 (156/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Address||1-1 Kawasakichō, Kuji-shi, Iwate-ken
After the creation of new Kuji and the incorporation of surrounding villages, the city's population grew to 37,569 people by 2008. The total area for the new Kuji is 623.14 km². The population density for this new area is approximately 60.3 persons per km².
For its small size, Kuji boasts a wealth of local specialties and tourist attractions. Most popular and well known of these include Kuji amber, Ama diver women, Kokujiyaki ceramic pottery, and the Kosode Coastline, yet there are many other highlights of Kuji City.
Kuji is also known as the Northern Limit of the Ama, female skin divers. Ama dive without breathing aids to depths reaching 10 meters, with the goal of procuring shellfish, seaweed, and pearls. In Kuji, the most acclaimed catch of the Ama is uni, sea urchin. Kuji Ama also retrieve abalone and other seafood delicacies which can be eaten fresh at a diving demonstration held during the on season at the Kuji Ama Diving Center. Due to the long winter and harsh climate of the Tohoku region, Ama dives do not occur further north than Kuji city.
Kokujiyaki is a style of ceramic pottery unique to the Kokuji district of Kuji City.
Kuji is on the northern reaches of the region known as the "Sanriku Coastline," a stretch of the Northeastern Japanese coast known for its dramatic rock formations and views. Kuji boasts its own slice of the Sanriku coast, called the Kosode Kaigan, or Kosode coast. Kosode is the name of a small fishing community in the coastal mountains of Kuji city. Kosode Coast was spotlighted as the location of the TV drama Amachan.
Kuji currently has two sister cities:
Ties with Franklin
In 1960 the sister city bond was established via Mayor Frank S. Records of Franklin, Indiana and Mayor Gyobun Yamauchi, Mayor of Kuji, Japan. A Franklin College graduate and childhood resident of Franklin, Miss Thomasine Allen traveled to Japan to pursue Christian missionary work. After teaching in various locations in Japan for several years from 1915, she found her way to Kuji, Japan in 1938 and spent the rest of her life in Kuji (with the exception of repatriation during WWII). She dedicated her time to establishing Christian facilities in Kuji including a kindergaten, hospital, church and college. Upon establishment of the sister city relationship, Thomasine Allen was voted by the City Council of Kuji City to be an honorary citizen of Kuji.
Ties with Klaipėda
Partnership between Kuji and Klaipėda began in 1989, 1 year before the independence of Lithuania, hence becoming the first Lithuanian sister city in Japan. After 1991 January events in Lithuania, then-Mayor of Kuji city Yoshiaki Kuji condemned military actions of Soviet Union by sending a protest note to the General Secretary of the CPSU Mikhail Gorbachev. 1995 World Municipalities Congress in Hague recognised Klaipeda’s and Kuji’s cities cooperation as an example to follow. Congress expressed hope that this cooperation will inspire other Lithuania’s and Japan’s cities to expand their partnership.
- Yasuda, Koji (2011), http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110312004789.htm, Yomiuri Shimbun, March 13, 2011, yomiuri.co.jp. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
- "Sister Cities", Franklin, IN Official Website, accessed 26 June 2010
- Hemphill, Elizabeth Anne. "A Treasure to Share". Valley Forge, Pa. The Judson Press, 1964.
- 20 years anniversary of partnership between Lithuania and Japan cities. Lithuanian embassy in Japan
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kuji, Iwate.|
- Kuji City official website (Japanese)
- Kuji tourism information website (Japanese)
- Kuji Kohaku Amber homepage (Japanese)