Shibayama as seen from airplane taking off from Narita
Location of Shibayama in Chiba Prefecture
|• Total||43.47 km2 (16.78 sq mi)|
|Population (April 2012)|
|• Density||177/km2 (460/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Yamazakura (Prunus jamasakura)|
|Address||992, Koike, Shibayama-machi, Sanmu-gun, Chiba-ken 289-1624|
Shibayama (芝山町 Shibayama-machi?) is a town located in Sanbu District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, southeast of the city of Narita. As of April 2012, the town had an estimated population of 7,707 and a population density of 177 persons per km². The total area was 43.47 square kilometres (16.78 sq mi).
Shibayama in located in north-central Chiba Prefecture on the Shimōsa Plateau. Narita International Airport is located to the north of the town on the border between Shibayama and Narita. Most airport service facilities are located on the Narita side: however, Shibayama has developed a local industrial base due to the airport's presence, and hosts three major industrial areas. The remainder of the town is agricultural, and much of it is covered with rice paddies and areas of vegetable production. As it lies directly beneath one of the main approach paths to the airport, noise pollution and eminent domain issues have caused it to be a center of anti-airport activism.
In 2007 Nippon Cargo Airlines signed an order with Taisei Corporation for the construction of a crew training center. Construction on the crew center, located in Shibayama, was to begin in September 2007. The company scheduled for the facility to become operational in September 2008.
There are three elementary schools and one middle school in Shibayama: Shibayama Elementary School, Higashi Elementary School, Hishida Elementary School, and Shibayama Middle School.
Haniwa of Shibayama
Haniwa, terracotta funerary objects of the Kofun period (250 – 538 AD) are designated a cultural symbol for Shibayama. The main north-south road in Shibayama, Prefectural Route 62, is designated "Haniwa Avenue" in the town, and is lined with large-scale reproductions of haniwa statues. The Haniwa come from the many burial mounds located in Shibayama, primarily from the Shibayam Kofungun. Shibayama is home to the Shibayama Kofun Haniwa Museum, located in close proximity to the Shibayama Kofungun.
The Shibayama Haniwa Festival is held annually on the second Sunday of November. Created in 1982, the festival is a day-long which centers on a procession of adults dressed as local Kofun-period rulers, and elementary and middle school children dressed as kodaijin (古代人?), a term that means "ancient people". The festival ends after dark with a bonfire at the Shibayama Kumano Shrine that symbolizes the funeral service of a local Kofun-period ruler.
Shibayama Niōson Temple
Kannonkyō-ji, a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect, is popularly known in the town as the Shibayama Niōson Temple. It dates, by tradition, to 781 and contains a 3-tiered pagoda. The pagoda is designated a Chiba Prefectural Important Cultural Property. The temple also features a museum with displays of haniwa as well as Buddhist art and artifacts.
- Shirō Ishii - Imperial Japanese Army biological warfare specialist and war criminal
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- "Shibayama Kofungun". Nihon Kokugo Daijiten. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-09.(Japanese)
- "Shibayama Kofungun". Kokushi Daijiten. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-09.(Japanese)
- "Haniwa-matsuri" [Haniwa Museum Festival] (in Japanese). Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture: Shibayama Chōritsu Shibayama Kofun Haniwa Hakubutsukan. Retrieved 5/9/2012.
- "Shibayama Niōson" (in Japanese). Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture: Shibayama Niōson Kannonkyō-ji. Retrieved 5/9/2012.
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