Munakata, Fukuoka

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Flag of Munakata
Location of Munakata in Fukuoka Prefecture
Location of Munakata in Fukuoka Prefecture
Munakata is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 33°48′N 130°32′E / 33.800°N 130.533°E / 33.800; 130.533Coordinates: 33°48′N 130°32′E / 33.800°N 130.533°E / 33.800; 130.533
Country Japan
Region Kyushu
Prefecture Fukuoka Prefecture
 • Mayor Hiromi Tanii
 • Total 119.66 km2 (46.20 sq mi)
Population (April 2008)
 • Total 94,660
 • Density 790/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Camphor laurel
- Flower Japanese lily
Address 1-1-1 Tōgō, Munakata-shi, Fukuoka-ken
Phone number 0940-36-1121
Website City of Munakata

Munakata (宗像市 Munakata-shi?) is a city in Japan, located in Fukuoka Prefecture, in the north Chikuzen region of the prefecture. The city was founded on April 1, 1981.

As of April 1, 2008, the city has an estimated population of 94,660 and a population density of 791 persons per km 2. The total area is 119.66 km².

Efforts have been made to inculcate Japan-South Korea friendship, and also friendship with New Zealand in recent years.


The origin of the name Munakata is said to be from "Minokatachi" or "Minokata" from the enshrinement of three Munakata goddesses, descended from Susano-O and mentioned in the Kojiki.

The area has prospered from trade with China and Korea from ancient times. It has a world heritage candidate (Okinoshima) at Munakata Shrine. Munakata Shrine specifies itself as the territory of the god of Kyūshū during the Asuka period — ranging from Onga in the east, south to Wakamiya and Miyata, and Shingū in the west. During the age of civil wars a daimyo with leading Shinto priest and Munakata Ujisada of Munakata Shrine established Tsutagadake castle (Mount Jo). Through this, Munakata, Onga and Kurate were protected from invasion by other daimyos such as Tachibana Dōsetsu and the Ōtomo clan. There are also ghost stories connected with the area since the Yamada incident arose.

On April 1, 2003, Munakata absorbed the town of Genkai (from Munakata District to create the new and expanded city of Munakata.

On March 28, 2005, the village of Ōshima (also from Munakata District) was absorbed into Munakata.

In the earthquake on March 20, 2005, damage was done in various parts of the city. The quake registered just under five on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale.


Akama (赤間) is a historical district and city center of Munakata. It contains rows of old houses belonging, along with the original Akama hotel and two now-ruined castles: Hakusan Castle and Tsutagadake Castle. The Shinto priest and founder of Munakata Shrine was a local military leader in medieval times. It is also connected to the period in history when Takamori Saigō and Shinsaku Takasugi were in conflict with the national government.

The main JR Kyūshū train station in Munakata is called Akama, and is a part of the Kagoshima Main Line. The city is also served by the Kyōikudaimae and Tōgō JR stations.

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