Kurashiki, Okayama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kurashiki
倉敷市
Core city
Bikan district of Kurashiki
Bikan district of Kurashiki
Flag of Kurashiki
Flag
Location of Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture
Location of Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture
Kurashiki is located in Japan
Kurashiki
Kurashiki
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 34°35′N 133°46′E / 34.583°N 133.767°E / 34.583; 133.767Coordinates: 34°35′N 133°46′E / 34.583°N 133.767°E / 34.583; 133.767
Country Japan
Region Chūgoku (San'yō)
Prefecture Okayama Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Kaori Itō
Area
 • Total 354.71 km2 (136.95 sq mi)
Population (December 2012)
 • Total 477,983
 • Density 1,350/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Camphor
- Flower Wysteria
- Bird Kingfisher
Address 640 Nishinakashinden, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken
710-8565
Phone number 086-426-3030
Website City of Kurashiki

Kurashiki (倉敷市 Kurashiki-shi?) is a historic city located in western Okayama Prefecture, Japan, sitting on the Takahashi River, on the coast of the Inland Sea.

As of December 2012, the city has an estimated population of 477,983 and a population density of 1,350 persons per km². The total area is 354.71 km².

History[edit]

The modern city of Kurashiki was founded on April 1, 1928. Previously, it was the site of clashes between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the Heian period. It gradually developed as a river port. During the Edo period, it became an area directly controlled by the shogunate. Distinctive white-walled, black-tiled warehouses were built to store goods. During the Meiji Restoration (Japan's Industrial Revolution period), factories were built, including the Ohara Spinning Mill which still stands as the nostalgic tourist attraction Ivy Square.[1]

On August 1, 2005, the town of Mabi (from Kibi District), and the town of Funao (from Asakuchi District) were merged with Kurashiki.

Attractions[edit]

19th-century warehouses in the Bikan district of Kurashiki
Great Seto Bridge (Seto-Ohashi Bridge) seen from Shimotsui, Kurashiki

Kurashiki is the home of Japan's first museum for Western art, the Ohara Museum of Art. Established in 1930 by Magosaburō Ōhara, it contains paintings by El Greco, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, and Renoir. The collection also presents fine examples of Asian and contemporary art. The main building is designed in the style of Neoclassicism.

The old merchant quarter is called the Bikan historical area. It contains many fine examples of 17th century wooden warehouses (kura, 倉) painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows and filled with koi. The area has no electric poles in order to make it more closely resemble the look of the Meiji period. One of the city's former town halls was located in the Kurashiki Kan, a European style building constructed in 1917.

In 1998 a theme park called Tivoli (after the park of the same name in Copenhagen) opened near Kurashiki Station. After ten years of operation it was closed in 2008, with a massive debt.

The Great Seto Bridge connects the city to Sakaide in Kagawa Prefecture across the Inland Sea.

Kenzo Tange, winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize for architecture, designed the former Kurashiki City Hall in 1960.

Colleges and universities[edit]

The city is home to several private universities and one public university.

Sister/friendship cities[edit]

Kurashiki maintains the following sister/friendship cities.[2]

Notable people from Kurashiki[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kurashiki's History". City of Kurashiki. August 7, 2006. 
  2. ^ Kurashiki's Sister/Friendship Cities
  3. ^ "7 大山名人記念館(倉敷市芸文館内". Kurashiki City. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "棋士紹介:物故棋士一覧". Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 

External links[edit]