Kōchi, Kōchi

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Kōchi
高知市
Kōchi City
From top left: Katsurahama, Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, View of Kōchi from Mt. Godai, Yosakoi Festival, Harimayabashi, Tosa Electric Railway, Kōchi Castle
From top left: Katsurahama, Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, View of Kōchi from Mt. Godai, Yosakoi Festival, Harimayabashi, Tosa Electric Railway, Kōchi Castle
Flag of Kōchi
Official seal of Kōchi
Location of Kōchi in Kōchi Prefecture
Kochi in Kochi Prefecture Ja.svg
Kōchi is located in Japan
Kōchi
Kōchi
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 33°33′32″N 133°31′53″E / 33.55889°N 133.53139°E / 33.55889; 133.53139Coordinates: 33°33′32″N 133°31′53″E / 33.55889°N 133.53139°E / 33.55889; 133.53139
CountryJapan
RegionShikoku
Prefecture Kōchi
Government
 • MayorSeiya Okazaki
Area
 • Total309.00 km2 (119.31 sq mi)
Population
 (September 1, 2022)
 • Total320,513
 • Density1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address5-1-45 Honmachi, Kōchi-shi 780-0571
WebsiteOfficial website
Symbols
BirdJapanese wagtail[1]
FlowerWinter-hazel[1]
TreeChinaberry[1]
Kōchi
Japanese name
Kanji高知市
Hiraganaこうちし
Katakanaコウチシ

Kōchi (高知市, Kōchi-shi, pronounced [koːꜜtɕi ɕi]) is the capital city of Kōchi Prefecture located on the island of Shikoku in Japan. With over 40% of the prefectural population, Kōchi is the main commercial and industrial center and the "primate city" of the prefecture. As of 1 September 2022, the city had an estimated population of 320,513 in 164650 households, and a population density of 1000 persons per km².[2] The total area of the city is 309.00 square kilometres (119.31 sq mi).

Overview[edit]

A symbol of the city is its most famous dish, katsuo tataki, made by lightly searing and seasoning bonito.[3]

Cityscape[edit]

Geography[edit]

Katsura Hama

Kōchi is located on the southern coast of Kōchi Prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean to the south. The city area can be divided into three distinct geographic sections. The urban center lies at the head of Urado Bay, in a narrow alluvial plain crossed by several rivers, notably the Kagami River and Kokubu River. The plain is bounded by mountains to the north and a range of hills to the south and west.

The northern mountains form the least densely populated part of the city, with the only settlement being along narrow river valleys. The highest point in Kōchi is Kuishi-yama at 1,176 metres (3,858 ft).

To the south of the city center, Urado Bay cuts through the hills to its outlet into the Pacific Ocean. The land surrounding the bay and a small strip of the coastline form the third part of the city. This area, although hillier and less dense than the plain, is nevertheless a major location of housing and port-related industry.

Neighbouring municipalities[edit]

Kōchi Prefecture

Climate[edit]

Kōchi has a very wet humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), receiving twice as much rainfall as Shikoku's other chief cities Matsuyama and Takamatsu. It is also the most typhoon-prone of Japan's major cities owing to its location directly exposed to the open Pacific Ocean from which the storms enter the country, and has twice received over 50 cm (20 in) of rainfall in a day from a typhoon.

Climate data for Kochi (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1886−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.5
(74.3)
25.2
(77.4)
26.3
(79.3)
30.0
(86.0)
32.3
(90.1)
34.7
(94.5)
38.3
(100.9)
38.4
(101.1)
36.9
(98.4)
32.2
(90.0)
28.0
(82.4)
23.5
(74.3)
38.4
(101.1)
Average high °C (°F) 12.2
(54.0)
13.2
(55.8)
16.3
(61.3)
20.9
(69.6)
24.8
(76.6)
27.1
(80.8)
30.8
(87.4)
32.1
(89.8)
29.5
(85.1)
25.0
(77.0)
19.6
(67.3)
14.4
(57.9)
22.2
(72.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
7.8
(46.0)
11.2
(52.2)
15.8
(60.4)
20.0
(68.0)
23.1
(73.6)
27.0
(80.6)
27.9
(82.2)
25.0
(77.0)
19.9
(67.8)
14.2
(57.6)
8.8
(47.8)
17.3
(63.1)
Average low °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
3.1
(37.6)
6.4
(43.5)
10.9
(51.6)
15.5
(59.9)
19.7
(67.5)
23.9
(75.0)
24.5
(76.1)
21.4
(70.5)
15.6
(60.1)
9.7
(49.5)
4.2
(39.6)
13.1
(55.6)
Record low °C (°F) −7.6
(18.3)
−7.9
(17.8)
−6.5
(20.3)
−0.9
(30.4)
3.8
(38.8)
9.1
(48.4)
14.6
(58.3)
15.9
(60.6)
10.0
(50.0)
2.5
(36.5)
−1.9
(28.6)
−6.6
(20.1)
−7.9
(17.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 59.1
(2.33)
107.8
(4.24)
174.8
(6.88)
225.3
(8.87)
280.4
(11.04)
359.5
(14.15)
357.3
(14.07)
284.1
(11.19)
398.1
(15.67)
207.5
(8.17)
129.6
(5.10)
83.1
(3.27)
2,666.4
(104.98)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 6.0 7.5 10.5 10.4 11.1 15.1 13.7 12.9 13.2 9.0 7.3 6.4 123.2
Average relative humidity (%) 61 60 62 65 70 78 79 76 74 68 68 64 69
Mean monthly sunshine hours 190.7 177.2 192.2 197.3 195.7 133.8 173.7 204.0 162.0 179.6 168.8 184.6 2,159.7
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[4]

Demographics[edit]

Per Japanese census data,[5] the population of Kōchi increased rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, and has since leveled off.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1920 133,277—    
1930 159,010+19.3%
1940 163,182+2.6%
1950 190,452+16.7%
1960 221,737+16.4%
1970 265,571+19.8%
1980 318,266+19.8%
1990 335,287+5.3%
2000 348,979+4.1%
2010 343,416−1.6%

History[edit]

Feudal period[edit]

As with all of Kōchi Prefecture, the area of Nahari was part of ancient Tosa Province. The river plain now containing the city center was originally settled as a castle town around Kōchi Castle, the seat of the daimyō of Tosa Domain. The castle site was chosen by Yamauchi Kazutoyo in 1601 to replace the earlier seats of the Chōsokabe clan who had previously ruled in province. The city takes its name from that of the castle. As the centre of administration for the province, and the prefecture which succeeded it, the town rapidly grew to become the largest settlement of the region.

Meiji period[edit]

During the time of the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi became famous as a center of pro-imperial ideology, and later for incubating democratic and human rights movements. The city was incorporated on April 1, 1889 with the establishment of the modern municipalities system..

Tram service began in the city on May 2, 1904, and the city was connected to the national rail network on November 12, 1951.

WWII air raid[edit]

Kōchi was selected as a target by the United States' XXI Bomber Command because of the city's status as a prefectural capital, and the fact that it was a center for industry and commercial trade. On July 3, 1945 at 6:22 PM (JST) 129 aircraft took off to bomb Kōchi. 1060 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on Kōchi, destroying 48% of the built up areas of the city, killing 401 civilians and rendering over 40,000 homeless.[6]

Modern period[edit]

On April 1, 1998, the city was designated as the first core city on Shikoku.

On January 1, 2005, the villages of Kagami and Tosayama, both from Tosa District were merged into Kōchi.

On January 1, 2008, the town of Haruno (from Agawa District) was also merged into Kōchi.

Government[edit]

Kōchi city hall

Kōchi has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 42 members. The current mayor (since 2003) is Seiya Okazaki.[7]

Kōchi contributes 15 members to the Kōchi Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is divided between the Kōchi 1st district and Kōchi 2nd districts of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

External relations[edit]

Twin towns/sister cities[edit]

International[edit]

Sister Cities
City Country State since
Fresno United StatesUnited States California February 11, 1965
Surabaya Indonesia East Java April 17, 1997[8]
Friendship city
City Country State since
Wuhu ChinaChina Anhui April 19, 1985
Mokpo South Korea South Jeolla Province November 9, 2012

National[edit]

Sister city
City Prefecture region since
Kitami HokkaidoOkhotsk Hokkaidō region April 28, 1986

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

Kōchi is home to two universities, Kōchi University (national) and University of Kochi (prefectural), and four junior colleges including Kochi Junior College.

National university
Public university
Private university

Schools[edit]

Elementary and secondary education

Kōchi has 39 public elementary schools, 17 public middle schools and one public high school operated by the city government, one private and one national elementary school, and five private combined middle/high schools. The city has eight public high schools administered by the Kōchi Prefectural Department of Education. The prefecture also operates one middle school and one combined middle/high school.

Transport[edit]

Kochi Expwy
Port of Kochi

Airport[edit]

Railways[edit]

Kōchi is located on the JR Shikoku's Dosan Line connecting it to northern Shikoku, and via interchanges with the Tosa Kuroshio Railway to the eastern and western parts of Kōchi Prefecture. JR's central station in Kōchi is Kōchi Station.

Conventional lines[edit]

JR logo (shikoku).svgShikoku Railway Company JR Shikoku Dosan Line

Tramways[edit]

The most visible form of transport within Kōchi is the tram service run by Tosaden Kōtsū. Its three lines with historic cars service the major north–south and east–west axes of the city.

Tosaden Kōtsū

Busways[edit]

The city also has an extensive bus network.

Highways[edit]

Kōchi is also serviced by the Kōchi interchange of the Kōchi Expressway which connects to the national expressway system.

Expressway[edit]

Japan National Route[edit]

Seaways[edit]

  • Port of Kōchi

Tourism[edit]

Katsurahama Beach
Harimaya-bashi

Kōchi Castle still exists in its pre-restoration form, and is one of the main tourist attractions. Other places of interest in the city centre are the Obiyamachi (帯屋町) shopping arcade, the regular Sunday street markets which are close to a kilometre in length, and Harimaya-bashi (はりまや橋), a bridge that featured in a famous Kōchi song about the forbidden love of a Buddhist priest.

Local attractions[edit]

The mountain Godaisan (五台山) holds a public park with views of the city, and is home to stop 31 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, Chikurin-ji, as well as the Makino Botanical Garden.

Off Museum Road (Kenritsu Bijutsukandori) is The Museum of Art, Kōchi, where the main collection is composed of expressionistic works related to Kōchi.[9]

The Former Yamauchi Residence and Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives are also to be found in the city.

Historic spots[edit]

Castle
Shrine

The Shinto Shrine Tosa jinja is located to the west.[10]

Temples

Temples No.30 (Zenrakuji, No.31(Chikurin-ji) and No.33 (Sekkei-ji) on the Shikoku Pilgrimage are located in the city.

At the mouth of Urado Bay, the remnants of Urado Castle (an earlier provincial seat) stand above Katsurahama (桂浜), a famous beach with an aquarium and statue of the Kōchi hero Sakamoto Ryōma.

Nearby on the grounds is the Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum.[11]

Culture[edit]

Festival・Events[edit]

Festival

Kōchi's most famous festival is the Yosakoi which is held in August. Teams of dancers dance to traditional and modern songs at various places around Kōchi. The total number of dancers is in the thousands.

Events
  • Sunday street markets

Gourmet[edit]

Museums[edit]

Sports[edit]

Club Sport League Venue Established
Kōchi Fighting Dogs Baseball Shikoku Island League Plus Kochi Municipal Baseball Park, Kochi Prefectural Haruno Baseball Stadium 2005
Kochi United SC Soccer Japan Football League, J.League Kochi Haruno Athletic Stadium 2018

Notable people from Kōchi[edit]

  • Nakahama Manjirō (1827–1898) was one of the first Japanese people to visit the United States and an important translator during the opening of Japan.
  • Okada Izō (1832–1865) was a samurai of the late Edo period, feared as one of the four most notable assassins of the Bakumatsu period.
  • Sakamoto Ryōma (1836–1867) was a leader of the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate during the Bakumatsu period.
  • Itagaki Taisuke (1837–1919) was a politician and leader of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement, which evolved into Japan's first political party.
  • Tsutomu Seki (born 1930) is an astronomer who has discovered a number of comets and asteroids.
  • Nobuo Uematsu (born 1959) is a video game composer, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series.
  • Ryōko Hirosue (born 1980) is an actress and pop star, best known in the West for her roles in the Luc Besson-produced Wasabi and the Academy Award-winning Japanese film Departures.
  • Aaron Zagory (born 1985) is a Kōchi-born former US college football player, and the starting kicker for Stanford University in 2006 and 2008.
  • Sumi Shimamoto (born 1954) is an anime voice actress, best known for playing Kyoko Otonashi in Maison Ikkoku and Nausicaa in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
  • Noa Tsurushima (born 2001) is a model and actress, best known for portraying Is and As in Kamen Rider Zero-One.
  • Tomitaro Makino (1862–1957) was a pioneering botanist, sometimes referred to as the Father of Japanese Botany.
  • Kusunose Kita (1836–1920) was an advocate for Women's rights in Japan, particularly in Kochi.
  • Tetsuya Nomura (born 1970) is a video game artist, designer and director who currently works for Square Enix. Famous for being a character designer for the Final Fantasy Series.
  • Nakamura Kazuha (born 2003) is a Japanese singer, dancer and ballerina who was born in Kochi, but raised in Breda, Holland. Member of Korean girl group Le Sserafim since 2022.
  • Shana Nonaka (born 2003) is a Japanese singer, dancer. Member of korean K-pop group *Lapillus (group)*

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c [1] Archived October 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Kōchi city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  3. ^ [2] Archived November 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  5. ^ Kōchi population statistics
  6. ^ "21st Bomber Command Tactical Mission Report 247, 250, Ocr". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  7. ^ "ようこそ!市長室へ" [welcome! To the Mayor's Office]. Kōchi City (in Japanese). Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  8. ^ "The Twin City". Surabaya.go.id. Archived from the original on 2013-12-14. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  9. ^ [3] Archived January 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Kōchi Prefectural Museum of History, map; retrieved 2011-08-09
  11. ^ "The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum". Kochi-bunkazaidan.or.jp. Archived from the original on 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2013-12-09.

External links[edit]