Sōma, Fukushima

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For other uses, see Souma (disambiguation).
Sōma City
(Upper) Matsukawa Lagoon, Uda River, (Center) Soma Shrine, (Lower) Hyakusyaku Kannon, and Soma Nakamura Shrine.
(Upper) Matsukawa Lagoon, Uda River, (Center) Soma Shrine, (Lower) Hyakusyaku Kannon, and Soma Nakamura Shrine.
Flag of Sōma
Location of Sōma in Fukushima Prefecture
Location of Sōma in Fukushima Prefecture
Sōma is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 37°47′N 140°55′E / 37.783°N 140.917°E / 37.783; 140.917Coordinates: 37°47′N 140°55′E / 37.783°N 140.917°E / 37.783; 140.917
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Fukushima Prefecture
 • Mayor Hidekiyo Tachiya
 • Total 197.67 km2 (76.32 sq mi)
Population (May 1, 2011)
 • Total 36,891
 • Density 190/km2 (480/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Japanese Black Pine
- Flower Spring: Sakura
Summer: Rugosa Rose
Autumn: Balloon flower
Winter: Sazanka
- Bird Japanese Bush-warbler
Address 13 Nakamura aza Ōtesaki, Sōma-shi, Fukushima-ken
Phone number 0244-37-2117
Website www.city.soma.fukushima.jp

Sōma (相馬市 Sōma-shi?) is a coastal city located in the northern Hamadōri area of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.


Aerial view of Sōma

The area was formerly divided between the districts of Namekata and Uda, which had alternated between belonging to the old Iwaki Province, Mutsu Province, the second Iwaki Province, and today's Fukushima Prefecture. In 1896, Namekata and Uda were merged to create Sōma District.

Formerly named Nakamura (中村?), Sōma City was the base of the Sōma clan from the late Sengoku period until the Boshin War. In the 7th century, present-day Sōma city was the realm of the Uda no Kuninomiyatsuko (浮田国造?).[clarification needed] The Sōma horse chasing Festival held on July 23 to 25 every year is a designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.[citation needed]

As of 2011, the city has an estimated population of 36,891 [1] and a population density of 190 persons per km². The total area is 197.67 km². The city was established on March 31, 1954.

Sōma is closer to Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture than it is to Fukushima (Nakadori) and Iwaki (southern Hamadōri).


March 2011 earthquake and tsunami[edit]

The eastern, sea-side part of Sōma was inundated by devastating tsunami flood waters following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off its coastline on March 11, 2011.[2] The tsunami reached up to approximately 4 km inland in Sōma, flooded areas included Sōma Port and the Matsukawa-ura Bay area, up to the elevated Route 6 Sōma Bypass.[3] The tsunami was measured to have been 9.3 meters or higher in Sōma.[4]

Sōma is about 45 kilometres (28 miles) north of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the site of the nuclear accident that followed the tsunami.




  1. ^ "Estimated population May 1, 2011" (in Japanese). Official Fukushima Prefecture website. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  2. ^ Kyodo News, "Survivors in trauma after life-changing nightmare day", The Japan Times, 13 March 2011, p. 2.
  3. ^ NHK, TV News Broadcast, 13 March 2011.
  4. ^ http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/observation_2_04_20110313180559.html JMA tsunami observation data.

External links[edit]