Chichibu, Saitama

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Chichibu
秩父市
View of central Chichibu, from Hitsujiyama Park
View of central Chichibu, from Hitsujiyama Park
Flag of Chichibu
Official seal of Chichibu
Location of Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture
Location of Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture
Chichibu is located in Japan
Chichibu
Chichibu
Location of Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture
Coordinates: 35°59′30.4″N 139°5′7.7″E / 35.991778°N 139.085472°E / 35.991778; 139.085472Coordinates: 35°59′30.4″N 139°5′7.7″E / 35.991778°N 139.085472°E / 35.991778; 139.085472
CountryJapan
RegionKantō
PrefectureSaitama
First official recorded708 AD
City establishedApril 1, 1950
Government
 • MayorKuniyasu Kuki (since April 2009)
Area
 • Total577.83 km2 (223.10 sq mi)
Population
 (January 1, 2021)
 • Total61,159
 • Density110/km2 (270/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
TreeKaede
FlowerShiba-zakura
BirdBlue-and-white flycatcher
Phone number0494-22-2211
Address8-15 Kumaki, Chichibu, Saitama 368-8686
WebsiteOfficial website
Chichibu City Hall

Chichibu (秩父市, Chichibu-shi) is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 January 2021, the city had an estimated population of 61,159 in 26,380 households and a population density of 110 inhabitants per square kilometre (280/sq mi).[1] The total area of the city is 577.83 square kilometres (223.10 sq mi).

Geography[edit]

Oku-Chichibu ("Further Chichibu") Mountains

Chichibu is in the westernmost part of Saitama. Unlike other parts of the prefecture, it is largely mountainous and the population is concentrated in river terraces along the Arakawa River. It is Saitama's largest municipality in terms of surface area and shares borders with Tokyo, Yamanashi, Nagano and Gunma Prefectures. A large portion of the city belongs to Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.[2]

Because the region is not suitable for growing rice, many people have traditionally depended on sericulture farming. Limestone from Mount Bukō, which rises south of the city center, is another major source of income for the region. The city is shifting its focus toward sightseeing, taking advantages of its rich natural environment and relative closeness to the Tokyo metropolitan area. The city is also famous for its brewing industry.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Saitama Prefecture

Tokyo Metropolis

Yamanashi Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture

Gunma Prefecture

Climate[edit]

Chichibu has a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light to no snowfall. The average annual temperature in Chichibu is 13.2 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1325 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.8 °C, and lowest in January, at around 6.0 °C.[3]

Climate data for Chichibu, Saitama
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.6
(47.5)
8.9
(48.0)
12.2
(54.0)
18.2
(64.8)
22.8
(73.0)
25.0
(77.0)
28.5
(83.3)
30.5
(86.9)
25.2
(77.4)
20.0
(68.0)
15.6
(60.1)
11.2
(52.2)
18.9
(66.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.8
(33.4)
1.8
(35.2)
5.3
(41.5)
11.6
(52.9)
16.5
(61.7)
20.0
(68.0)
23.6
(74.5)
25.0
(77.0)
20.5
(68.9)
14.1
(57.4)
8.3
(46.9)
3.0
(37.4)
12.5
(54.6)
Average low °C (°F) −5.5
(22.1)
−4.3
(24.3)
−1.0
(30.2)
5.5
(41.9)
10.4
(50.7)
15.6
(60.1)
19.7
(67.5)
20.8
(69.4)
16.8
(62.2)
9.4
(48.9)
2.6
(36.7)
−3.1
(26.4)
7.2
(45.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 28.2
(1.11)
39.8
(1.57)
59.9
(2.36)
79.3
(3.12)
98.4
(3.87)
153.4
(6.04)
152.6
(6.01)
210.4
(8.28)
205.2
(8.08)
129.9
(5.11)
56.9
(2.24)
24.3
(0.96)
1,238.3
(48.75)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 11
(4.3)
17
(6.7)
11
(4.3)
2
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(1.2)
44
(17.3)
Average relative humidity (%) 63 64 64 68 71 79 81 79 82 80 76 69 73
Mean monthly sunshine hours 196.6 171.9 188.8 166.4 187.7 111.6 122.6 152.9 95.6 128.5 155.1 187.1 1,864.8
Source: NOAA (1961-1990)[4]

Demographics[edit]

Per Japanese census data,[5] the population of Chichibu has been gradually decreasing over the past 60 years.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1950 78,285—    
1960 82,811+5.8%
1970 78,764−4.9%
1980 76,875−2.4%
1990 75,845−1.3%
2000 73,875−2.6%
2010 66,939−9.4%

History[edit]

Chichibu was incorporated as a city on April 1, 1950, although Chichibu Province had already existed since before the Nara period and the region has developed many local traditions. Chichibu Province was incorporated into Musashi Province in the 7th century AD. During premodern times, the town developed as a marketplace of the district as well as the town around Chichibu Shrine. The city's older name, Ōmiya ("big shrine"), was derived from the shrine. Since its incorporation in 1950, the area of the city has grown through a series of mergers, the most recent in 2005.

Timeline[edit]

  • 708: Deposits of copper are discovered in the region and offered to the Imperial Court. The era name Wadō (和銅, meaning "Japanese copper") is proclaimed in recognition of this welcome event in the initial months of Empress Genmei's reign.[6] The copper is used to mint Wadō Kaihō or Wadōkaichin, which are amongst the oldest examples of coinage in Japan.-- see image of Wado Kaichin from Japan Mint Museum
  • 1884: The Chichibu incident: uprising of impoverished peasants under the influence of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement. Seven are sentenced to death and over 4,000 people punished.
  • 1889: Ōmiya Town was founded within Chichibu District, Saitama with the establishment of the municipalities system
  • 1914: The Chichibu Railway opened.
  • 1916: Ōmiya Town was renamed Chichibu Town.
  • 1950: Chichibu was elevated to city status.
  • 1954: Chichibu absorbed the villages of Odamaki, Haraya and Kuna.
  • 1957: Chichibu absorbed the villages of Takashino and Ōta.
  • 1958: Chichibu absorbed the town of Kagemori.
  • 1969: The Seibu Chichibu Line opened.
  • 2005: Chichibu absorbed the town of Yoshida, and the villages of Arakawa and Ōtaki (all from Chichibu District).

Government[edit]

Chichibu has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 22 members. Chichibu contributes one member to the Saitama Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Saitama 11th district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

Economy[edit]

The local economy of Chichibu remains based on agricultural and forestry, as well as tourism.

Education[edit]

Chichibu has 14 public elementary schools and eight public middle schools operated by the city government, and two public high schools operated by the Saitama Prefectural Board of Education. The prefecture also operates two special education schools for the handicapped.

Transportation[edit]

Railway[edit]

Two lines serve the city: the Chichibu Main Line and Seibu Chichibu Line. The Chichibu Railway was constructed along the Arakawa River and first opened in 1914. Seibu Railway reached the city in 1969 and considerably reduced the travel time to Tokyo. It takes approximately one and a half hours to travel from Seibu-Chichibu Station to Ikebukuro Station, one of the major train terminals in Tokyo. These lines carry people as well as limestone from Mount Bukō. The two lines were directly connected on April 1, 1989. Chichibu Railway also operated the Mitsumine Ropeway, which carried passengers visiting Mitsumine Shrine [ja]. The ropeway was taken out of service since May 19, 2006, and was officially abandoned on December 1, 2007.[7]

SeibuRailway mark.svg Seibu RailwaySeibu Chichibu Line

CTK logomark 2019.svg Chichibu RailwayChichibu Main Line

Highway[edit]

Two national roads, Route 140 and 299, serve the city. Route 140 connects the city to its nearest expressway interchange, Hanazono Interchange of the Kan-Etsu Expressway. The city had no road communication to Yamanashi Prefecture due to steep Okuchichibu Mountains, but the opening of the Karisaka Tunnel in 1998 enabled the city to connect to Yamanashi.[8]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

On December 3, Chichibu holds an annual night festival (Intangible cultural heritage). It attracts crowds from Chichibu, Saitama prefecture, neighboring Tokyo, and the Kantō region. Kawase matsuri is Chichibu shrine's summer festival. It takes place every July 19 and July 20. Eight groups carrying special dashi floats march along to festival music around the city. Mikoshi (sacred portable shrines) are brought to special places in each neighborhood where they are enshrined. Neighborhood association heads wash the mikoshi in the Arakawa River.

Other attractions of the city include:

In popular media[edit]

As a picturesque area within fairly easy reach of Tokyo, Chichibu has been much photographed. However, the photography of Chichibu by the Chichibu native Bukō Shimizu (1913–1995) is particularly extensive: Shimizu presented photographs of the mountains, people and customs of Chichibu in numerous books for the Japanese market, starting in 1954.[10][11]

The town of Chichibu is the setting for the popular anime series Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and the anime films The Anthem of the Heart and Her Blue Sky, all of which were written by Mari Okada who was born in Chichibu.

Possible connection with The Mikado[edit]

The city considers itself as the inspiration for Gilbert and Sullivan's 1885 comic opera, The Mikado; the name of the opera's setting, "Titipu", is pronounced "Chichipu" in Japanese. Rokusuke Ei, a popular essayist, was convinced that Chichibu, the site of a peasant uprising in 1884, inspired the author, W. S. Gilbert, to set the opera in Japan. Other Japanese researchers have concluded that Gilbert may simply have heard of Chichibu silk, an important export in the 19th century. A theatre company from Chichibu has presented The Mikado in Japanese in Chichibu and throughout Japan.[12][13] In August 2006, it travelled with this production to the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England.[14]

Notable people from Chichibu[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chichibu city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ "環境省_秩父多摩甲斐国立公園_概要・計画書".
  3. ^ Chichibu climate data
  4. ^ "Chichibu Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  5. ^ Chichibu population statistics
  6. ^ Titsingh, Issac. (1834). Nipon o daï itsi ran, p. 63.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ 雁坂トンネル Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b c d "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Archived from the original on 4 January 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  10. ^ Mihashi Sumiyo (三橋純予), "Shimizu Bukō", Nihon shashinka jiten (日本写真家事典) / 328 Outstanding Japanese Photographers (Kyoto: Tankōsha, 2000; ISBN 4-473-01750-8), p.175. (in Japanese) (Despite the English-language alternative title, all in Japanese.)
  11. ^ a b 埼玉ゆかりの偉人/検索結果(詳細)/清水 武甲 (in Japanese). Saitama, Japan: Saitama Prefecture. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  12. ^ Sumiko Enbutsu: The Mikado in the Town of Chichibu Archived February 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Brooke, James. "Japanese Hail The Mikado, Long-Banned Imperial Spoof", The New York Times, 3 April 2003, accessed 15 July 2014
  14. ^ [1] Archived September 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine; and [2]
  15. ^ Mari Okada IMDB
  16. ^ Internet Movie Database
  17. ^ "JWP女子プロレス 中島安里紗" [JWP Female Professional Wrestling: Arisa Nakajima]. JWP Official Information (in Japanese). Japan: JWP Female Professional Wrestling. 2005. Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Akira Taue profile". Pro Wrestling NOAH Official Site (in Japanese). Japan: NOAH. Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2012.

CHICHIBU SILK HISTORY https://chichibu.com/CHICHIBUSILKHISTORY.html#Topic14

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]