Mobara, Chiba

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Mobara
茂原市
City
Mobara City Hall
Mobara City Hall
Flag of Mobara
Flag
Official seal of Mobara
Seal
Location of Mobara in Chiba Prefecture
Location of Mobara in Chiba Prefecture
Mobara is located in Japan
Mobara
Mobara
 
Coordinates: 35°25′42.7″N 140°17′17.1″E / 35.428528°N 140.288083°E / 35.428528; 140.288083Coordinates: 35°25′42.7″N 140°17′17.1″E / 35.428528°N 140.288083°E / 35.428528; 140.288083
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Chiba Prefecture
Area
 • Total 100.01 km2 (38.61 sq mi)
Population (April 2012)
 • Total 91,439
 • Density 914/km2 (2,370/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Azalea
- Flower Cosmos
Phone number 0475-33-2111
Address 1 Dōbyō, Mobara-shi, Chiba-ken 297-8511
Website www.city.mobara.chiba.jp

Mobara (茂原市 Mobara-shi?) is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

As of April 2012, the city has an estimated population of 91,439 and a population density of 914 persons per km². The total area is 100.01 km².

Geography[edit]

Mobara is located in an inland area of north-central Bōsō Peninsula. The elevation is low, ranging from 8–9 meters in the east, and rising to 100 meters in the west. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and with warming effects of the Kuroshio Current give the area a mild maritime climate, with hot, humid summers and cool, mild winters.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

History[edit]

Pre-history[edit]

Mobara was settled from the earliest times, as evidenced by archaeological sites and shell mounds dating from the Jōmon period and Yayoi periods. The city also has examples of kofun, or burial tombs, from the Kofun period.

Early history[edit]

Mobara was the location of at least two shōen estates, the Mobara-sō and the Tachibana-sō, in the Heian period. At the beginning of the Edo period, in 1591, an extensively land survey was carried out by the Tokugawa clan.

Modern history[edit]

The modern town of Mobara was created during the early Meiji period-cadastral reforms in the Chōsei District. Numerous small villages were brought together to form the present-day city of Mobara.

The Bōsō Tetsudo, now the JR Sotobō Line, was established in 1897 between Ichinomiya and Ōami Station in present-day Ōamishirasato. Mobara Station was one station established on the line, thus connecting Mobara to the wider rail network. In 1909 a handcar system ran from Mobara Station and Chōnan. The handcar railroad was constructed and operated by the prefecture.

World War II[edit]

A base for the 252 Air Group of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), a fighter aircraft unit, was established in Mobara. In 1941, by order of the IJN, 100 residences and their associated farmland, schools, town halls, police substations, temples, and shrines were forcibly confiscated without warning to build the base. Mobara Airfield was completed using a kinrō dōin group that consisted of the forced labor of Korean residents in Japan and students from Chōsei Middle School students in 1943. The airfield was located on the east banks of the small Aku River, directly to the east of Mobara Station along the present-day JR East Sotobō Line, and consisted of a runway and 20 structures, some of them concealed underground. Tokubetsu kōgekitai, or kamikaze units, were sent from Mobara Airfield to the IJN Kokubu Air Corps in present-day Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture to attack American forces off Okinawa. The United States confiscated the airfield shortly after the surrender of Japan in 1945. Remains of the runway, approximately ten air field structures, and a tunnel are now on the property of the Mitsui Chemicals.[1][2]

Post-war history[edit]

At the end of World War II the 113th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army occupied the Mobara Airfield. The Japan Self-Defense Forces attempted to confiscate base in 1954, but after organized efforts by residents, agricultural organizations, the town and prefectural governments, the plans were abandoned the following year. The site was used to build Mobara Middle School for the rapidly expanding population of the town.[1] On April 1, 1952, Mobara expanded by annexation of neighboring villages of Tōgō, Toyoda, Ninomiya-Hongō, Tsurue, and Gogō and was elevated to city status. On May 1, 1972, Mobara merged with the neighoring town of Honnō. On December 11, 1990, the city was hit by an F-3 tornado, which killed one person, injured 78, and damaged or destroyed 1,747 homes in the city.[3]

Economy[edit]

Mobara serves as a regional commerce center for surrounding Chōsei District. The economy of Mobara is dominated by electronics manufacturing. Futaba Corporation, a major manufacturer of radio control models and toys, is headquartered in Mobara. Natural gas production is also important to the city; Kanto Natural Gas Development Co., Ltd. and Otaki Gas Co., Ltd. have headquarters here. Chemical production, centered around Mitsui Chemicals, is the largest producer of iodine in Japan. 40% of the total world production of iodine is produced in Mobara. Much land in Mobara are still used for rice production. Additionally, negi, or the ubiquitous Welsh onion of Japanese cuisine, is an important agricultural product.

Transportation[edit]

Rail[edit]

Highways[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Tanabata festival[edit]

A popular annual event in Mobara is the Tanabata festival, during which a wide array of stalls and parades dominate much of the city's central shopping district. While the rest of Japan usually celebrates Tanabata on July 7, the Mobara festival is held in late July so as to coincide with school holidays.

Sister city relations[edit]

Notable people from Mobara[edit]

Mobara is also the hometown of Akira Haraguchi, the man famous for reciting over 100,000 digits of Pi, who works as a mental health counsellor and business consultant in Mobara.[4]

References[edit]

  • "Mobara-shi". Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系 “Compendium of Japanese Historical Place Names”). Tokyo: Netto Adobansusha. 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  1. ^ a b Imao, Keisuke (2011). Chizu de yomu sensō no jidai: egakareta Nihon, egakarenakatta Nihon (in Japanese). Tokyo: Hakusuisha. p. 240. ISBN 9784560081181. OCLC 709666060. 
  2. ^ "414: Sensō no hi no 1945-nen 8-gatsu 15-nichi gozen [...]". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  3. ^ "1990/12/11 19:13 千葉県茂原市で発生した竜巻" (in Japanese). Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  4. ^ Japanese man recites pi from memory to 100,000 decimal places, claims world record International Herald Tribune

External links[edit]

Media related to Mobara, Chiba at Wikimedia Commons