Maebashi

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Maebashi
前橋市
Core city
A view of Maebashi with Mt. Akagi, from the top of the Prefectural Government building
A view of Maebashi with Mt. Akagi, from the top of the Prefectural Government building
Flag of Maebashi
Flag
Official seal of Maebashi
Seal
Location of Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture
Location of Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture
Maebashi is located in Japan
Maebashi
Maebashi
 
Coordinates: 36°23′22.2″N 139°3′48.3″E / 36.389500°N 139.063417°E / 36.389500; 139.063417Coordinates: 36°23′22.2″N 139°3′48.3″E / 36.389500°N 139.063417°E / 36.389500; 139.063417
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Gunma Prefecture
Government
 • -Mayor Ryu Yamamoto (since February 2012)
Area
 • Total 311.59 km2 (120.31 sq mi)
Population (May 2015)
 • Total 339,701
 • Density 1,081/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Ginkgo & Zelkova
- Flower Rose & Azalea
Phone number 027-224-1111
Address 2-12-1, Ote-Machi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma-ken 371-8601
Website Official website
Maebashi City Hall

Maebashi (前橋市 Maebashi-shi?) is a city located in central Gunma Prefecture in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It is the capital of Gunma Prefecture.[1]

As of May 2015, the city had an estimated population of 339,701 and a population density of 1081 persons per km². Its total area was 311.59 km².[2] It was the most populous city within Gunma Prefecture until Takasaki merged with nearby towns between 2006 and 2009.[3]

Maebashi is known to be the "City of Water, Greenery and Poets" because of its pure waters, its rich nature and because it gave birth to several Japanese contemporary poets, such as Sakutaro Hagiwara.[4]


Geography[edit]

Maebashi is located at the foot of Mt. Akagi in the northeast corner of the Kantō Plain. It is also surrounded by Mount Haruna and Mount Myogi. Two rivers run through the city: the Tone River, Japan's second-longest, and the Hirose River.

Maebashi is the farthest from the sea (about 120 km) of all Japanese prefectural capitals.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Maebashi has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). In the winter, the "karakaze", or "dry wind" blows through Maebashi from the north. This is due to the snow clouds coming from the Sea of Japan being blocked by the Echigo Mountain Range between Gunma and Niigata Prefectures. Because of this, the city has a dry winter and is one of the sunniest place in Japan at over 2,210 hours of sunshine per year.[5] In the summer, it is hot since the location is inland. On July 24, 2001, Maebashi hit 40 °C (104 °F), the fifth hottest temperature ever in Japan.

Climate data for Maebashi, Gunma (1897~2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.0
(71.6)
24.6
(76.3)
27.1
(80.8)
32.4
(90.3)
36.5
(97.7)
38.3
(100.9)
40.0
(104)
39.1
(102.4)
38.1
(100.6)
33.0
(91.4)
26.6
(79.9)
23.5
(74.3)
40.0
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 8.4
(47.1)
8.9
(48)
12.1
(53.8)
18.0
(64.4)
22.4
(72.3)
25.4
(77.7)
28.9
(84)
30.1
(86.2)
25.9
(78.6)
20.7
(69.3)
15.8
(60.4)
11.0
(51.8)
19.0
(66.2)
Average low °C (°F) −1.8
(28.8)
−1.3
(29.7)
1.5
(34.7)
7.1
(44.8)
11.7
(53.1)
16.6
(61.9)
20.9
(69.6)
21.8
(71.2)
18.0
(64.4)
11.5
(52.7)
5.7
(42.3)
0.8
(33.4)
9.4
(48.9)
Record low °C (°F) −11.8
(10.8)
−9
(16)
−7.8
(18)
−3.1
(26.4)
0.3
(32.5)
6.0
(42.8)
11.9
(53.4)
13.6
(56.5)
8.4
(47.1)
0.6
(33.1)
−3.5
(25.7)
−7.4
(18.7)
−11.8
(10.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24.3
(0.957)
34.1
(1.343)
54.1
(2.13)
79.5
(3.13)
103.1
(4.059)
161.5
(6.358)
189.7
(7.469)
190.9
(7.516)
204.1
(8.035)
121.5
(4.783)
46.2
(1.819)
24.1
(0.949)
1,233.1
(48.548)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 6.5
(2.56)
7.9
(3.11)
4.5
(1.77)
0.5
(0.2)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.9
(0.35)
20.3
(7.99)
Average relative humidity (%) 57.0 56.2 56.6 61.7 67.7 75.2 79.3 78.9 79.4 73.4 65.6 59.8 67.57
Mean monthly sunshine hours 214.6 198.2 218.1 203.7 206.0 148.8 157.7 185.3 136.3 163.4 184.0 204.4 2,220.5
Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency[6]
Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency (records)[7]

History[edit]

The modern town of Maebashi was established within Higashigunma District, Gunma Prefecture on April 1, 1889 with the creation of the municipalities system after the Meiji Restoration. Maebashi was raised to city status on April 1, 1892. In 1901, it annexed a portion of Kamikawabuchi village from Seta District. On August 5, 1945 approximately 64.2% of the urban core of the city was destroyed during World War II during air raids which followed the dropping of propaganda leaflets warning of the impending attacks.[8][9]

In 1951, a portion of Kaigaya Village from Seta District was merged into Maebashi. The city expanded further on April 1, 1954 by annexing the villages of Kamikawabuchi, Shimokawabuchi, Azuma, Minamitachibana, Kaigaya, Haga, Motosōja, and Sōja from Seta District, followed by a portion of Jōnan village in 1957. On April 1, 1960 a portion of Tamamura Town and another portion of Jōnan village were merged into Maebashi, which finally anned the remainder of Jōnan village in 1967. Maebashi hosted the 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

On April 1, 2001, Maebashi was designated a special city (tokureishi) with increased local autonomy. On December 5, 2004 the town of Ōgo, and the villages of Kasukawa and Miyagi (all from Seta District) were merged into Maebashi. On May 5, 2009, the village of Fujimi (Seta District) was merged into Maebashi. Seta District was dissolved as a result of this merger.[10] Maebashi became a core city (Chūkakushi) on April 1, 2009.

Name Origins[edit]

Maebashi area was called Umayabashi (厩橋) during the Nara Period. This name finds its origins in the fact that there was a bridge (hashi 橋) crossing the Tone River and not far from the bridge there was a small refreshment house with a stable (umaya 駅家), often used by people travelling on the Tōzan-dō (the way that was connecting the capital to the eastern regions of Japan). The spelling was officially changed into Maebashi (前橋) in 1649 during the Edo Period when Maebashi became a castle town and the center of Maebashi Domain, a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate.[11]

Economy[edit]

The air conditioning system and compressor manufacturing company Sanden Corporation as well as the tofu and tofu products company Sagamiya Foods have manufacturing sites in the city.[12] The Gunma Bank is headquartered in Maebashi.

Education[edit]

There are 16 high schools, 23 middle schools, and 56 elementary schools in Maebashi.

Universities[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Railway[edit]

Highway[edit]

Sports[edit]

Thespakusatsu Gunma at Shoda Shoyu Stadium Gunma was originally formed in Kusatsu, but plays in Maebashi due to J. League stadium requirements.

Local attractions[edit]

Festivals[edit]

  • Ogo Gion Festival

Noted people from Maebashi[edit]

Sister-city relations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), "Maebashi area"; retrieved 2015-5-10.
  2. ^ [1] Maebashi City Office. (Japanese)
  3. ^ Takasaki City Office. September 30, 2014. "Demography Study"
  4. ^ Maebashi City Office. March 27, 1989. "Declaration from the Municipal Council"
  5. ^ Maebashi Hours of Bright Sunshine
  6. ^ "Monthly Mean Climate Data". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  7. ^ "観測史上1~10位の値(年間を通じての値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  8. ^ Craven, Wesley; Cate, James (editors) (1953). The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki. The Army Air Forces in World War II. Volume V. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 656, 675. OCLC 256469807. 
  9. ^ Caidin, Martin (1960). A Torch to the Enemy: The Fire Raid on Tokyo. Bantam War Books. ISBN 0-553-29926-3. 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ Maebashi no Rekishi (History of Maebashi) (July 24, 2012)
  12. ^ "Major Corporations in Gunma Prefecture". Department of Industry and Economy, Gunma Prefecture. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Yagyū, Toshinaga (1957, 1989) Shōden Shinkage-ryū. Kōdansha, reprinted by Shimazu Shobō, ISBN 4-88218-012-X.

External links[edit]

Media related to Maebashi at Wikimedia Commons