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Midori Ward Office
Location of Midori-ku in Saitama
|• Total||26.51 km2 (10.24 sq mi)|
|Population (February 29, 2012)|
|• Density||4,295.81/km2 (11,126.1/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Cherry blossom|
|- Flower||Cornus florida|
|Address||975-1 Oji-Nakao Midori-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken
A wide area of green farmland, Minuma Rice Paddies, forms the central part of the ward. The major river system includes the Shiba River, the Ayanose River, and the Minuma Irrigational Canal. In the southern section of the ward runs the Tōhoku Expressway.
The first people who stayed permanently in this area is considered to have arrived approximately twenty five thousand years ago. Paleolithic archaeological sites found in the area include Matsuki (松木?), Wadakita (和田北?), Kitajukunishi (北宿西?), and Mamiya Miyaushiro (間宮宮後?).
In the Early modern period, the area witnessed large-scale civil engineering projects: the construction of the Minuma Reservoir (見沼溜井 Minuma Tamei?), the demolition of the reservoir, and the creation of the Minuma Irrigational Canal (見沼代用水 Minumadai Yōsui?). Daimon (大門?) became one of the post stations or shukuba of the Nikkō Onari Kaidō and known as Daimon-juku (大門宿?).
In 1889, a policy change in the governmental administrative system set up five villages: Tanida (谷田?), Omagi (尾間木?), Mimuro (三室?), and Daimon (大門?). These were subsequently merged into the city of Urawa. In 2001, the cities of Urawa, Yono, and Ōmiya merged to become the new city of Saitama. Midori-ku was established as a ward in 2003 when Saitama was designated by government ordinance.
Controversy over name
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During the merging process that established the city of Saitama, the proposed name Minuma (見沼?), which has traditionally referred to the region, met public opposition, for it conveys images of backwardness. In particular, the second kanji character Swamp (沼 Numa?) attracted negative reactions from residents. In a referendum, "Urawahigashi-ku" and "Higashiurawa-ku" were voted in first and third place, respectively. Nevertheless, they were eliminated on the grounds that they contained the name of the former city of Urawa. The second place name, "Misono-ku", was also rejected because most of the new ward was not part of the former village of Misono. "Higashi-ku", meaning "East Ward", ranked fourth in the vote was also eliminated, since the city of Iwatsuki, located east of Saitama was expressing a desire to join the new city. As a result, the fifth choice "Midori-ku", meaning "Green Ward", was chosen as the name of the ward.
-  Official City website, retrieved on September 4, 2008
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- Official website (Japanese)