Kumamoto

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Kumamoto
熊本市
Designated city
Kumamoto City
From top left:Central Kumamoto view from Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto City Tramway, Fujisaki hachimangu shrine, Suizenji jojuen
From top left:Central Kumamoto view from Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto City Tramway, Fujisaki hachimangu shrine, Suizenji jojuen
Flag of Kumamoto
Flag
Location of Kumamoto in Kumamoto Prefecture
Location of Kumamoto in Kumamoto Prefecture
Kumamoto is located in Japan
Kumamoto
Kumamoto
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 32°47′N 130°44′E / 32.783°N 130.733°E / 32.783; 130.733Coordinates: 32°47′N 130°44′E / 32.783°N 130.733°E / 32.783; 130.733
Country Japan
Region Kyushu
Prefecture Kumamoto Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Seishi Kōyama
Area
 • Total 389.53 km2 (150.40 sq mi)
Population (March 1, 2010)
 • Total 731,286
 • Density 1,880/km2 (4,900/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Ginkgo
- Flower Camellia
- Bird Great Tit
Address 1-1 Tetorisai-machi, Chūō-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto-ken
860-8601
Phone number 096-328-2111
Website www.city.kumamoto.kumamoto.jp

Kumamoto (熊本市 Kumamoto-shi?) is the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

As of March 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 731,286 and a population density of 1,880 persons per km². The total area is 389.53 km².

Greater Kumamoto (熊本都市圏) had a population of 1,460,000, as of the 2000 census. It is not considered part of the Fukuoka–Kitakyushu metropolitan area, despite their shared border. The city was designated on April 1, 2012 by government ordinance.

History[edit]

Katō Kiyomasa, a contemporary of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was made daimyo of half of the (old) administrative region of Higo in 1588. After that, Kiyomasa built Kumamoto Castle. Due to its many innovative defensive designs, Kumamoto Castle was considered impregnable, and Kiyomasa enjoyed a reputation as one of the finest castle-builders in Japanese history. After Kiyomasa died in 1611, his son, Tadahiro, succeeded him, but Tadahiro was removed by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1632, replacing him with the Hosokawa clan.

The current administrative body of the City of Kumamoto was founded on April 1, 1889.

On February 1, 1991, the towns of Akita, Kawachi, Tenmei and Hokubu (all from Hōtaku District) were merged into Kumamoto.

On October 6, 2008, the town of Tomiai (from Shimomashiki District) was merged into Kumamoto.

On March 23, 2010, the town of Jōnan (also from Shimomashiki District); and the town of Ueki (from Kamoto District) were merged into Kumamoto.[1]

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Kumamoto has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is much heavier around the summer, especially the months of June and July.

Climate data for Kumamoto, Kumamoto (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.5
(72.5)
26.4
(79.5)
27.4
(81.3)
35.5
(95.9)
34.4
(93.9)
36.1
(97)
38.8
(101.8)
37.7
(99.9)
37.0
(98.6)
33.7
(92.7)
28.9
(84)
24.6
(76.3)
38.8
(101.8)
Average high °C (°F) 10.5
(50.9)
12.1
(53.8)
15.7
(60.3)
21.3
(70.3)
25.6
(78.1)
28.2
(82.8)
31.7
(89.1)
33.2
(91.8)
29.9
(85.8)
24.6
(76.3)
18.5
(65.3)
13.0
(55.4)
22.0
(71.6)
Average low °C (°F) 1.2
(34.2)
2.3
(36.1)
5.6
(42.1)
10.3
(50.5)
15.2
(59.4)
19.8
(67.6)
24.0
(75.2)
24.4
(75.9)
20.8
(69.4)
14.2
(57.6)
8.3
(46.9)
3.1
(37.6)
12.5
(54.5)
Record low °C (°F) −9.2
(15.4)
−9.2
(15.4)
−6.9
(19.6)
−2.5
(27.5)
1.3
(34.3)
7.1
(44.8)
14.3
(57.7)
15.3
(59.5)
6.7
(44.1)
0.5
(32.9)
−3.8
(25.2)
−7.9
(17.8)
−9.2
(15.4)
Rainfall mm (inches) 60.1
(2.366)
83.3
(3.28)
137.9
(5.429)
145.9
(5.744)
195.5
(7.697)
404.9
(15.941)
400.8
(15.78)
173.5
(6.831)
170.4
(6.709)
79.4
(3.126)
80.6
(3.173)
53.6
(2.11)
1,985.9
(78.186)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm) 8.6 9.0 12.4 10.9 11.1 14.4 13.5 10.7 10.6 6.9 7.9 8.2 124.2
 % humidity 70 67 67 66 68 75 77 73 72 69 72 71 71
Mean monthly sunshine hours 132.6 139.5 158.5 181.4 187.2 141.0 184.5 211.0 175.9 189.7 153.0 147.5 2,001.8
Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency[2]
Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency (records)[3]

Landmarks[edit]

Kumamoto Castle

The city's most famous landmark is Kumamoto Castle, a large and, in its day, extremely well fortified Japanese castle. The donjon (castle central keep) is a concrete reconstruction built in the 1970s, but several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle, which was assaulted during the Satsuma Rebellion and sacked and burned after a 53-day siege. It was during this time that the tradition of eating basashi (raw horse meat) originated. Basashi remains popular in Kumamoto and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in Japan, though these days it is usually considered a delicacy.

Within the outer walls of Kumamoto Castle is the Hosokawa Gyobu-tei, the former residence of the Higo daimyo. This traditional wooden mansion has a fine Japanese garden located on its grounds.

Miyamoto Musashi lived the last part of his life in Kumamoto. His tomb and the cave where he resided during his final years (known as Reigandō, or "spirit rock cave") is situated close by. He penned the famous Go Rin no Sho (The Book of Five Rings) whilst living here.

Kumamoto is also home to Suizen-ji Jōju-en, a formal garden neighboring Suizenji Temple approximately 3 kilometers southeast of Kumamoto Castle.

A notable shrine is Takahashi Inari Shrine.

Suizenji Park is also home to the Suizenji Municipal Stadium, where the city's football team, Roasso Kumamoto used to play regularly, but nowadays they use the larger KKWing Stadium in Higashi Ward.

The downtown area has a commercial district centred around two shopping arcades, the Shimotori and Kamitori, which extend for several city blocks. The main department stores are located here along with a vast number of smaller retailers, restaurants, and bars. Many local festivals are held in or near the arcades.

Cultural venues include the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art and Kumamoto Prefectural Theater.

Kumamoto has a prefectural mascot, "Kumamon". Kumamon is a black bear with red cheeks.[4]

Economy[edit]

Asiana Airlines operates a sales office on the fourth floor of the Asahi Shimbun Daiichi Seimei Building in Kumamoto.[5]

Government[edit]

Wards[edit]

Map of Kumamoto's wards

The mayor is Seishi Kōyama election in the 2006 election.

Since April 1, 2012, Kumamoto has five wards (ku):

Transport[edit]

Kumamoto city tram

Local public transport is provided by the Kumamoto City Transportation Bureau. Trams run to a few suburbs near the downtown area. A large bus terminus, called the Kotsu Centre, provides access to both local and intercity destinations. JR Kumamoto station provides rail links to Japan's extensive rail network. On March 12, 2011, work on the shinkansen (high-speed bullet train) network was completed, establishing a direct high-speed rail link to Tokyo via Fukuoka's Hakata terminus. Several local taxi companies serve the Kumamoto metropolitan area and are the only 24-hour public transport in the city.

Kumamoto Airport is located in nearby Mashiki.

Sports[edit]

There is a local football club Roasso Kumamoto in J.League.

Sporting events[edit]

The Kumamoto Castle Marathon is a yearly event in Kumamoto City. It was established in commemoration of Kumamoto becoming a designated city in 2012.[6]

Education[edit]

Notable people from Kumamoto[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Kumamoto City is twinned with the following cities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "都道府県別市町村変更情報:福岡." kokudo.or.jp. Retrieved on November 22, 2008. (Japanese)
  2. ^ "平年値(年・月ごとの値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  3. ^ "観測史上1~10位の値(年間を通じての値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  4. ^ The Life and Times of Japan’s Mascots
  5. ^ "Worldwide Offices Japan". Asiana Airlines. Retrieved on January 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Kumamoto Castle Marathon website Information on 2013 Kumamoto Castle Marathon
  7. ^ "Twinning". City of Heidelberg. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  8. ^ City of San Antonio International Relations Office. Retrieved 12 October 2011

External links[edit]