Horai bridge in Shimada
Location of Shimada in Shizuoka Prefecture
|• -Mayor||Katsurō Sakurai|
|• Total||315.88 km2 (121.96 sq mi)|
|Population (June 2012)|
|• Density||315/km2 (820/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Flower||rose, azalea|
|- Bird||Blue-and-White Flycatcher|
|Address||1-1 Chūō-chō, Shimada-shi, Shizuoka-ken 427-8501|
Shimada is located in the Shida Plains of west-central Shizuoka Prefecture. It is located on both banks of the Ōi River. The area enjoys a warm maritime climate with hot, humid summers and mild, cool winters.
- Aoi-ku, Shizuoka
- Tenryū-ku, Hamamatsu
- Yoshida, Haibara District
- Kawanehon, Haibara District
- Mori, Shuchi District
Shimada (Kanaya) began as an outlying fortification to Kakegawa Castle erected by Yamauchi Kazutoyo in the Sengoku period to control the crossing of the Ōi River. In the Edo period, Kanaya-juku and Shimada-juku developed as post towns on the Tōkaidō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto. The area was mostly tenryō territory under direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate with a daikansho based at a Jinya located within Shimada-juku. As the Tokugawa shogunate forbade the construction of any bridge or establishment of a ferry service on the Ōi River for defensive purposes, travellers were often detained at either Shimada or Kanaya for days, sometimes weeks, waiting for the river levels to fall to fordable levels. The first bridge (the Hōrai Bridge) across the river connected these two towns in 1879, after the Meiji Restoration.
During the cadastral reform of the early Meiji period in 1889, Kanaya Town was created within Haibara District, and Shimada Town within Shida District. On April 16, 1889, the two towns were connected by rail, with the opening of Shimada Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line.
Shimada was elevated to city status on January 1, 1948. On January 1, 1955, it annexed neighboring Rokugo Village, Otsu Village, Daichō Village and a portion of Ikumi Village. On June 1, 1961 it further expanded through annexation of Hatsukura Village.
On March 15, 2012, the city became the second municipality, after Tokyo, outside Tōhoku to accept debris from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami for disposal in the town's incinerators. Other cities had been reluctant to accept debris from the disaster, in spite of being asked to help recovery efforts, because of fears that the debris were contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
The economy of Shimada is primarily agricultural, with green tea as the main crop. Light industries include factories for the production of automobile components.
- JR Central - Tōkaidō Main Line
- Ōigawa Railway Ōigawa Main Line
Shimada is twinned with the following cities.
- Himi, Toyama, Japan, from April 15, 1987
- Huzhou, Zhejiang, China, from May 1987
- Brienz, Switzerland, from August 10, 1986
- Richmond, California, USA, from December 1961. There is currently a student exchange program between Shimada and Richmond.
Notable people from Shimada
- Tarzan Goto - professional wrestler
- Yukihiro Ikeda - musician
- Takahiro Kawamura - professional football player
- Kayoko Kishimoto - actress
- Sho Naruoka - professional football player
- Hirotoki Onozawa - professional rugby player
- Masaki Yamamoto - professional football player
- Kyodo News, "City of Shimada to accept debris from Iwate to help reconstruction", Japan Times, 16 March 2012, p. 1.
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