Morioka, Iwate

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Morioka
盛岡市
Core city
Morioka and Mount Iwate
Morioka and Mount Iwate
Flag of Morioka
Flag
Official seal of Morioka
Seal
Location of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture
Location of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture
Morioka is located in Japan
Morioka
Morioka
 
Coordinates: 39°41′N 141°09′E / 39.683°N 141.150°E / 39.683; 141.150Coordinates: 39°41′N 141°09′E / 39.683°N 141.150°E / 39.683; 141.150
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Iwate
Government
 • -Mayor Hiroaki Tanifuji
Area
 • Total 886.47 km2 (342.27 sq mi)
Population (February 2014)
 • Total 300,549
 • Density 339/km2 (880/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Katsura
- Flower Rabbit-ear Iris
- Bird Wagtail
Phone number 019-651-4111
Address 12-2 Uchimaru, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken 020-8530
Website Official website
Morioka City Hall

Morioka (盛岡市 Morioka-shi?) is the capital city of Iwate Prefecture located in Japan. As of February 2013, the city had an estimated population of 300,549 and a population density of 339 persons per km². The total area was 886.47 square kilometres (342.27 sq mi).

Geography[edit]

Morioka is located in the Kitakami Basin in central Iwate Prefecture, at the confluence of three rivers, the Kitakami, the Shizukuishi and the Nakatsu. The Kitakami River is the second largest river on the Pacific side of Japan (after the Kiso River) and the longest in the Tohoku region. It runs through the city from north to south and has a number of dams within the city boundaries, including the Shijūshida Dam and Gandō Dam. An active volcano, Mount Iwate, dominates the view to the northwest of the city. Mount Himekami is to the north and Mount Hayachine can sometimes be seen to the southeast.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Morioka, Iwate
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.5
(34.7)
2.4
(36.3)
6.4
(43.5)
14.0
(57.2)
19.8
(67.6)
23.2
(73.8)
26.5
(79.7)
28.1
(82.6)
23.4
(74.1)
17.5
(63.5)
10.7
(51.3)
4.3
(39.7)
14.8
(58.6)
Average low °C (°F) −6.6
(20.1)
−6.1
(21)
−2.8
(27)
2.5
(36.5)
7.9
(46.2)
13.3
(55.9)
18.0
(64.4)
19.2
(66.6)
14.0
(57.2)
6.7
(44.1)
1.1
(34)
−3.3
(26.1)
5.3
(41.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 57.5
(2.264)
53.0
(2.087)
79.8
(3.142)
92.7
(3.65)
94.1
(3.705)
110.1
(4.335)
170.7
(6.72)
168.6
(6.638)
161.8
(6.37)
101.0
(3.976)
90.3
(3.555)
72.9
(2.87)
1,252.5
(49.312)
Snowfall cm (inches) 71.7
(28.23)
51.3
(20.2)
37.6
(14.8)
3.1
(1.22)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
6.7
(2.64)
40.8
(16.06)
211.2
(83.15)
 % humidity 73.4 71.2 68.8 66.2 68.9 76.2 81.4 80.9 81.1 78.3 75.1 74.4 74.66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 136.3 144.9 183.7 195.8 215.4 185.7 169.1 185.5 149.8 165.7 134.1 119.0 1,985
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency

History[edit]

The area of present day Morioka has been continuously inhabited since the Japanese Paleolithic period. Numerous Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun period tombs and remains have been found. The Emishi inhabited the area into the Heian period. During the Enryaku era of the Heian period, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, was ordered north to Shiwa Castle in 803 AD, as a military center to extend the domination of the Yamato dynasty over Mutsu Province. The area was later ruled by the Abe clan until their destruction during the Former Nine Years War at the hands of the Minamoto and Kiyohara clans. The Kiyohara were in turn defeated in the Gosannen War and the area came under the control of the Ōshū Fujiwara Clan based in Hiraizumi, to the south of Morioka. After the Ōshū Fujiwara were destroyed by Minamoto no Yoritomo at the start of the Kamakura period, the area was disputed by several samurai clans until the Nanbu clan, based in Sannohe to the north, expanded their territory during the Sengoku period and built Kozukata Castle in 1592.

Following the Battle of Sekigahara and the formal recognition of Morioka Domain under the Tokugawa Shogunate, Kozukata Castle was renamed Morioka Castle.[1] Its name was changed from 森岡 to 盛岡 (both read as "Morioka")[2] During the Boshin War of the Meiji restoration, Morioka Domain was a key member of the pro-Tokugawa Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei.

After the start of the Meiji period, former Morioka Domain became Morioka Prefecture in 1870, and part of Iwate Prefecture from 1872. With the establishment of the municipality system in 1889, the city of Morioka was established and made the capital of Iwate Prefecture. The city was connected by train to Tokyo in 1890. The city emerged from World War II with very little damage, having been subject to only two minor air raids during the war.[3]

On January 10, 2006, the village of Tamayama (from Iwate District) was merged into Morioka. Morioka was proclaimed a core city in 2008, with increased local autonomy.

During the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Morioka was hit by a 6.1 earthquake, and numerous aftershocks, but with little damage other than extensive power outages.[4]

Transportation[edit]

Highway[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Sports venues[edit]

Temples and shrines[edit]

  • Hoon-ji is a Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple which was originally built at Sannohe by the 13th lord of the Nambu clan, Nambu Moriyuki, in 1394, and brought to Morioka by the 27th lord, Nambu Toshinao. It was considered the head temple among the 280 operated by the Nambu clan. A notable feature is the Rakan-dō, built in 1735 and rebuilt in 1858. Its central statue Rushana butsu is reported to be made by Kōbō-daishi. Within the Rakan-dō are statues of the 500 Rakan, which were made in Kyoto and later brought to Morioka. Included are representations of Kublai Khan and Marco Polo. It is an active Zen training temple for monks.
Sansa Odori festival
  • Mitsuishi (literally, 'three rocks') is a Shinto shrine which has three large rocks on the grounds with shackles around them to represent the story of 'Oni no tegata', which is a legend explaining the origin of the name of Iwate prefecture. According to the legend, there was once an Oni or demon who often tormented and harassed the local people. When the people prayed to the spirit of Mitsuishi for protection, the demon was immediately shackled to the rocks and made to promise never to trouble the people again. As a sign of this promise, the demon left a handprint on one of the rocks, thus giving rise to the name Iwate, literally meaning "rock hand".

Food[edit]

Morioka attracts tourists with local noodles such as jajamen, reimen, and wanko soba. Brewing is also a thriving industry of the city. Nambu Senbei, a type of rice cracker, is considered a local specialty.

Education[edit]

University[edit]

Public High Schools[edit]

  • Morioka First High School
  • Morioka Second High School
  • Morioka Third High School
  • Morioka Fourth High School
  • Morioka South High School
  • Morioka Agricultural High School
  • Morioka Industrial High School
  • Morioka Commercial High School
  • Iwate Prefectural Toryo High School
  • Morioka City High School

Media[edit]

Sister city relations[edit]

Notable persons[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "不来方" [Kozukata]. Dijitaru Daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Ministry of Home Affairs of Japan (Japanese)
  4. ^ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-61-magnitude-quake-hits-near-morioka-japan-2011-03-11 - retrieved March 14, 2011
  5. ^ "ミラノコレクションA.T." [Milano Collection A.T.]. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 

External links[edit]