Cities of Japan
A city is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as towns and villages, with the difference that they are not a component of districts. Like other contemporary administrative units, they are defined by the Local Autonomy Law of 1947. Article 8 of the Local Autonomy Law sets the following conditions for a municipality to be designated as a city: Population must be 50,000 or greater At least 60% of households must be established in a central urban area At least 60% of households must be employed in commerce, industry or other urban occupations Any other conditions set by prefectural ordinance must be satisfied The designation is approved by the prefectural governor and the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications. A city can theoretically be demoted to a town or village when it fails to meet any of these conditions, but such a demotion has not happened to date; the least populous city, Hokkaido, has a population of six thousand, while a town in the same prefecture, Hokkaido, has nearly forty thousand.
Under the Act on Special Provisions concerning Merger of Municipalities, the standard of 50,000 inhabitants for the city status has been eased to 30,000 if such population is gained as a result of a merger of towns and/or villages, in order to facilitate such mergers to reduce administrative costs. Many municipalities gained city status under this eased standard. On the other hand, the municipalities gained the city status purely as a result of increase of population without expansion of area are limited to those listed in List of former towns or villages gained city status alone in Japan; the Cabinet of Japan can designate cities of at least 200,000 inhabitants to have the status of special city, core city, or designated city. These statuses expand the scope of administrative authority delegated from the prefectural government to the city government. Tokyo, Japan’s capital, existed as a city until 1943, but is now classified as a special type of prefecture called a metropolis; the 23 special wards of Tokyo, which constitute the core of the Tokyo metropolitan area, each have an administrative status analogous to that of cities.
Tokyo has several other incorporated cities and villages within its jurisdiction. Cities were introduced under the "city code" of 1888 during the "Great Meiji mergers" of 1889; the -shi replaced the previous urban districts/"wards/cities" that had existed as primary subdivisions of prefectures besides rural districts since 1878. There were 39 cities in 1889: only one in most prefectures, two in a few, none in some – Miyazaki became the last prefecture to contain its first city in 1924. In Okinawa-ken and Hokkai-dō which were not yet equal prefectures in the Empire, major urban settlements remained organized as urban districts until the 1920s: Naha-ku and Shuri-ku, the two urban districts of Okinawa were only turned into Naha-shi and Shuri-shi in May 1921, six -ku of Hokkaidō were converted into district-independent cities in August 1922. By 1945, the number of cities countrywide had increased to 205. After WWII, their number doubled during the "great Shōwa mergers" of the 1950s and continued to grow so that it surpassed the number of towns in the early 21st century.
As of October 1 2018, there are 792 cities of Japan. Administrative division Urban area List of cities in Japan Directory of current Japanese city leaders and outline of system "Japan's Evolving Nested Municipal Hierarchy: The Race for Local Power in the 2000s," by A. J. Jacobs at Urban Studies Research, Vol. 2011.
Fukushima is the capital city of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. It is located in the northern part of the central region of the prefecture; as of 1 April 2017, the city has an estimated population of 280,002 in 122,130 households and a population density of 390 persons per km². The total area of the city was 767.72 square kilometres. The present-day city of Fukushima consists of most of the former Shinobu and Date Districts and a portion of the former Adachi District; the city is located in nearby mountains. There are many onsen on the outskirts of the city, including the resort areas of Iizaka Onsen, Takayu Onsen, Tsuchiyu Onsen. Fukushima is the location of the Fukushima Race Course, the only Japan Racing Association horse racing track in the Tōhoku region of Japan. Fukushima is located in the central northeast section of Fukushima Prefecture 50 km east of Lake Inawashiro, 260 km north of Tokyo, about 80 km south of Sendai, it lies between the Ōu Mountains to the Abukuma Highlands to the east. Most of the city is within nearby mountains of the Fukushima Basin.
Mt. Azuma and Mt. Adatara loom over the city from the west and southwest In the north, Fukushima is adjacent to the Miyagi Prefecture cities of Shiroishi and Shichikashuku. In the northwest, Fukushima borders the Yamagata Prefecture cities of Takahata. Within Fukushima Prefecture, to the west of Fukushima is the town of Inawashiro, to the south is Nihonmatsu, to the east are Kawamata and Date, to the northeast is Koori; the Fukushima Basin is created by the surrounding Ōu Mountains in the west and the Abukuma Highlands in the east, with the Abukuma River flowing through the center of the basin, from south to north. Multiple tributaries to the Abukuma River source in the Ōu Mountains before flowing down into Fukushima, namely the Surikami and Arakawa rivers; these rivers flow eastward through the western side of the city until joining up with the Abukuma River in the central parts of the city. The irrigation from these rivers were used for the cultivation of mullberry trees, however in the latter half of the 20th century cultivation was switched from focusing on mullberry trees and instead growing a variety of fruit orchards.
The highest point within the city limits is Mt. Higashi-Azuma, a 1,974 m peak of Mt. Azuma, located on the western edge of the city; the lowest point is the neighborhood of Mukaisenoue, in the northeastern part of the city and has an elevation of 55 m. Mt. Shinobu, a 275 m monadnock, lies in the southeastern section of the Fukushima Basin and is a symbol of the city; the Abukuma River flows north-south through the central area of Fukushima and joins with many tributaries on its journey through the city. The Arakawa River originates from Mt. Azuma and flows eastward flowing into the Abukuma River near the city center; the Matsukawa River, which flows eastward from its origin in Mt. Azuma and joins with the Abukuma River in the northern part of the city. Another major tributary of the Abukuma River is the Surikami River, which originates along the Fukushima-Yamagata prefectural border near the Moniwa area in the northwest of the city. From there it flows into a reservoir created by the Surikamigawa Dam.
From there it continues flowing southeast before meeting up with the Abukuma River in northern Fukushima, thus completing its 32 km run. Other tributaries of the Abukuma River which flow within Fukushima are the Kohata, Mizuhara, Shimoasa, Iri, Ōmori, Hattanda rivers; the Oguni River flows through the city and is a tributary of the Hirose River, which itself is a tributary of the Abukuma River, however the Oguni River doesn't meet up with the Hirose River until the district of Date, outside of the Fukushima city limits. There are multiple lakes in the area of Fukushima. Goshiki-numa called Majo no Hitomi is a caldera lake located in Mt. Azuma's Mt. Issaikyō peak; the lake is so-named due its water color changing in relation to weather conditions. Lake Kama and Lake Oke are located in Bandai-Asahi National Park. In the Tsuchiyu area in the western part of the city lie the small lakes of Lake Me, Lake O, Lake Nida. In the neighborhood of Watari lies Lake Chaya. Lake Jūroku is in the Ōzasō neighborhood.
Fukushima Prefecture Nihonmatsu, Date Date District – Koori, Iitate Yama District – Inawashiro Yamagata Prefecture Yonezawa, Takahata Miyagi Prefecture Shiroishi, Shichikashuku Under the Köppen climate classification, the majority of Fukushima has a humid subtropical climate, however the mountains that line the western border of the city have a humid continental climate. There is a large temperature and weather difference between central Fukushima versus the mountains on the edge of the city; the hottest month tends to be August, with an average high of 30.4 °C in central Fukushima, at an elevation of 67 metres, while Tsuchiyu Pass on the western edge of the city and at an elevation of 1,220 metres has an average August high of 21.7 °C. The coldest month tends to be January, with an average low of -1.8 °C in central Fukushima and -9.0 on Tsuchiyu Pass. On average, central Fukushima receives 1,166.0 mm of precipitation annually and receives 0.5 mm or more of precipitation on 125.2 days per year.
An average of 189 cm of snow falls annually, with 22.9 days receiving more of snow. An average of 74 cm of snow falls in January. Central Fuk
Japanese bush warbler
The Japanese bush warbler, known in Japanese as uguisu, is an Asian passerine bird more heard than seen. Its distinctive breeding call can be heard throughout much of Japan from the start of spring; the bird is secretive. It is only seen in spring before there is foliage in the trees. In winter the call is a low chirping; the Japanese bush warbler tends to remain deep in the shadow of foliage during the day. The Japanese bush warbler is olive tending toward dusky colors below, it has pale eyebrows. It has a beak; the bird is 15.5 centimetres in length. They are omnivore but they eat little insect and spiders during summer and they eat seeds and nuts during winter; the reproductive season is the beginning of summer and males make territories and sing "Ho-hokekyo" for 1000 times a day. This bird tends to have polygamy relationships. Since the male tweets "Ho-hokekyyo", females are attracted to that. Form a side-hole type pot-shaped nest, lay 4-6 eggs, females raise their baby; the Japanese bush warbler is a common year-round resident throughout Japan and the northern Philippines.
In summer the Japanese bush warbler can be found in Hokkaidō, Manchuria and central China. In winter, the bush-warbler can be found in southern China and Taiwan, it was introduced to Oahu in Hawaii between 1929–1941 and have since spread to other South Eastern islands of the Hawaiian chain. In summer it ranges from low hills to high mountains, preferring bamboo thickets and black pine trees. In winter it seeks cover at lower elevations; the propensity of the Japanese bush warbler to sing has led to the birds being kept as cage birds. Robert Young records that to encourage singing the cages of kept birds were covered with a wooden box with a small paper window that allowed only subdued light in. Along with the return of the barn swallow the bush warbler's call is viewed by Japanese as a herald of springtime, it is one of the favorite motifs of Japanese poetry, featured in many poems including those in Man'yōshū or Kokin Wakashū. In haiku and renga, uguisu is one of the kigo. In poetry the bird is associated with the ume blossom, appears with ume on hanafuda playing cards.
There is a popular Japanese sweet named Uguisu-boru which consists of brown and white balls meant to resemble ume flower buds. However, the distinctive song is not heard until in spring, well after the ume blossoms have faded. In haiku the bird with this song is known as sasako, the song is called sasanaki; the beauty of its song led to the English name Japanese Nightingale, although the Japanese bush warbler does not sing at night as the European nightingale does. This name is no longer used. An uguisu-jō is a female announcer at Japanese baseball games, or a woman employed to advertise products and sales with a microphone outside retail stores; these women are employed because of their beautiful'warbling' voices. They are employed to make public announcements for politicians in the lead-up to elections. In Japanese architecture there is a type of floor known as "uguisubari", translated into English as "nightingale floor"; these floors have squeaking floorboards that resemble the Japanese bush warbler's low chirping, are meant to be so designed to warn sleepers of the approach of ninja.
Examples can be seen at Nijō Castle and Chion-in temple in Kyoto. The nightingale's droppings contain an enzyme, used for a long time as a skin whitening agent and to remove fine wrinkles, it is sometimes sold as "uguisu powder". The droppings are used to remove stains from kimono. Pi pi pi... kekyo kekyo Hooo- hoke'kyo Hoohokekyo. Young Japanese bush warblers do not perform the "hoohokekyo" song skillfully, but learn to sing by imitating others in the vicinity. Hooo- hokekyo, hooo- hokekyo; the songs of two Japanese bush warblers are recorded here on a single file. Hamao, S. and M. Hayama, 2015. Breeding ecology of the Japanese Bush Warbler in the Ogasawara Islands. Ornithological Science, 14: 111-115. Hamao S Ippu-tasai no tori: Uguisu. Bun-ichi Sogo Shuppan, Tokyo. Japanese bush-warbler, Mike Danzenbaker's bird photo website
The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", popular enjoyment of arts and culture; the shogunate was established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 1868, after the fall of Edo. A revolution took place from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which existed with the Tennō's court, to the Tokugawa, when the samurai became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of shogunate. Instrumental in the rise of the new-existing bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area.
He maintained two million koku of land, a new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town, had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved to seize control from the Toyotomi clan. Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyō at the Battle of Sekigahara gave him control of all Japan, he abolished numerous enemy daimyō houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyō, but his assumption of the title of shōgun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada as shōgun and himself as retired shōgun in 1605; the Toyotomi were still a significant threat, Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka; the Tokugawa period brought 250 years of stability to Japan.
The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shōgun had national authority and the daimyō had regional authority; this represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, a land assessment system reaping great revenues; the feudal hierarchy was completed by the various classes of daimyō. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the shinpan, or "related houses", they were twenty-three daimyō on the borders of Tokugawa lands. The shinpan held honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu; the second class of the hierarchy were the fudai, or "house daimyō", rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service.
By the 18th century, 145 fudai controlled the greatest assessed at 250,000 koku. Members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven han formed the tozama, former opponents or new allies; the tozama were located on the peripheries of the archipelago and collectively controlled nearly ten million koku of productive land. Because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyō, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions; the Tokugawa shogunate not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyō and the religious orders. The emperor was held up as the ultimate source of political sanction for the shōgun, who ostensibly was the vassal of the imperial family; the Tokugawa helped the imperial family recapture its old glory by rebuilding its palaces and granting it new lands. To ensure a close tie between the imperial clan and the Tokugawa family, Ieyasu's granddaughter was made an imperial consort in 1619.
A code of laws was established to regulate the daimyō houses. The code encompassed private conduct, dress, types of weapons and numbers of troops allowed. Although the daimyō were not taxed per se, they were levied for contributions for military and logistical support and for such public works projects as castles, roads and palaces; the various regulations and levies not only strengthened the Tokugawa but depleted the wealth of the daimyō, thus weakening their threat to the central administration. The han, once military-centered domains, became mere local administrative units; the daimyō did have full administrative control over their territory and their complex systems of retainers and commoners. Loyalty was exacted from religious foundations greatly weakened by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, through a variety of control mechanisms. Like Hideyoshi, Ieyasu encouraged foreign trade but was suspicious of outsiders, he wanted to make Edo a major port, but once he learned that the Europeans favored ports in Kyūshū and that China had rejected his plans for official trade, he moved to control existing trade
The Tokugawa Shogunate known as the Tokugawa Bakufu and the Edo Bakufu, was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1603 and 1867. The head of government was the shōgun, each was a member of the Tokugawa clan; the Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. This time is called the Tokugawa period or pre-modern. Following the Sengoku period, the central government had been re-established by Oda Nobunaga during the Azuchi–Momoyama period. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, central authority fell to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Society in the Tokugawa period, unlike in previous shogunates, was based on the strict class hierarchy established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi; the daimyō were at the top, followed by the warrior-caste of samurai, with the farmers and traders ranking below. In some parts of the country smaller regions, daimyō and samurai were more or less identical, since daimyō might be trained as samurai, samurai might act as local rulers.
Otherwise, the inflexible nature of this social stratification system unleashed disruptive forces over time. Taxes on the peasantry were set at fixed amounts that did not account for inflation or other changes in monetary value; as a result, the tax revenues collected by the samurai landowners were worth less and less over time. This led to numerous confrontations between noble but impoverished samurai and well-to-do peasants, ranging from simple local disturbances to much larger rebellions. None, proved compelling enough to challenge the established order until the arrival of foreign powers. A 2017 study found that peasant rebellions and collective desertion lowered tax rates and inhibited state growth in the Tokugawa shogunate. In the mid-19th century, an alliance of several of the more powerful daimyō, along with the titular Emperor, succeeded in overthrowing the shogunate after the Boshin War, culminating in the Meiji Restoration; the Tokugawa shogunate came to an official end in 1868 with the resignation of the 15th Tokugawa shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, leading to the "restoration" of imperial rule.
Notwithstanding its eventual overthrow in favor of the more modernized, less feudal form of governance of the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa shogunate oversaw the longest period of peace and stability in Japan's history, lasting well over 260 years. The bakuhan taisei was the feudal political system in the Edo period of Japan. Baku is an abbreviation of bakufu, meaning "military government"—that is, the shogunate; the han were the domains headed by daimyō. Vassals provided military service and homage to their lords; the bakuhan taisei split feudal power between the shogunate in Edo and provincial domains throughout Japan. Provinces had a degree of sovereignty and were allowed an independent administration of the han in exchange for loyalty to the shōgun, responsible for foreign relations and national security; the shōgun and lords were all daimyōs: feudal lords with their own bureaucracies and territories. The shōgun administered the most powerful han, the hereditary fief of the House of Tokugawa.
Each level of government administered its own system of taxation. The emperor, nominally a religious leader, held no real power; the shogunate had the power to discard and transform domains. The sankin-kōtai system of alternative residence required each daimyō to reside in alternate years between the han and the court in Edo. During their absences from Edo, it was required that they leave family as hostages until their return; the huge expenditure sankin-kōtai imposed on each han helped centralize aristocratic alliances and ensured loyalty to the shōgun as each representative doubled as a potential hostage. Tokugawa's descendants further ensured loyalty by maintaining a dogmatic insistence on loyalty to the shōgun. Fudai daimyō were hereditary vassals of Ieyasu, as well as of his descendants. Tozama became vassals of Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara. Shinpan were collaterals of Tokugawa Hidetada. Early in the Edo period, the shogunate viewed the tozama as the least to be loyal. In the end, it was the great tozama of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa, to a lesser extent Hizen, that brought down the shogunate.
These four states are called Satchotohi for short. The number of han fluctuated throughout the Edo period, they were ranked by size, measured as the number of koku of rice that the domain produced each year. One koku was the amount of rice necessary to feed one adult male for one year; the minimum number for a daimyō was ten thousand koku. Regardless of the political title of the Emperor, the shōguns of the Tokugawa family controlled Japan; the administration of Japan was a task given by the Imperial Court in Kyoto to the Tokugawa family, which returned to the court in the Meiji Restoration. While the Emperor had the prerogative of appointing the shōgun, he had no say in state affairs; the shogunate appointed a liaison, the Kyoto Shoshidai, to deal with the Emperor and nobility. Towards the end of the shogunate, after centuries of the Emperor having little say in state affairs and being secluded in his Kyoto palace, in the wake of the reigning shōgun, Tokugawa Iemochi, marrying the sister of Emperor Kōmei, in 1862, the Imperial Court in Kyoto
Shukuba were post stations during the Edo period in Japan located on one of the Edo Five Routes or one of its sub-routes. They were called shuku-eki; these post stations were places. They were created based on policies for the transportation of goods by horseback that were developed during the Nara and Heian periods; these post stations were first established by Tokugawa Ieyasu shortly after the end of the Battle of Sekigahara. The first post stations were developed along the Tōkaidō. In 1601, the first of the Tōkaidō's fifty-three stations were developed, stretching from Shinagawa-juku in Edo to Ōtsu-juku in Ōmi Province. Not all the post stations were built at the same time, however, as the last one was built in 1624; the lodgings in the post stations were established for use by public officials and, when there were not enough lodgings, nearby towns were put into use. The post station's toiyaba and sub-honjin were all saved for the public officials, it was hard to receive a profit as the proprietor of these places, but the shōgun provided help in the form of various permits, rice collection and simple money lending, making it possible for the establishments to stay open.
The hatago, retail stores, tea houses, etc. which were designed for general travelers, were able to build a profit. Ai no shuku were intermediate post stations. Speaking, as the Meiji period arrived and brought along the spread of rail transport, the number of travelers visiting these post stations declined, as did the prosperity of the post stations. Toiyaba: General offices that helped manage the post town. Honjin: Rest areas and lodgings built for use by samurai and court nobles. Honjin were not businesses. Waki-honjin: These facilities were for use by samurai and court nobles, but general travelers could stay here if there were vacancies. Hatago: Facilities that offered accommodations to general travelers and served food. Kichin-yado: Facilities that offered accommodations to general travelers, but did not serve food. Chaya: Rest areas that sold tea and alcohol to travelers. Shops: General shops built to sell wares to travelers. Kōsatsu: Signboards on which the shōgun's proclamations were posted.
Nationally designated Architectural Preservation Sites Aizu Nishi Kaidō's Ōuchi-juku Hokkoku Kaidō's Unno-juku Nakasendō's Narai-juku Nakasendō's Tsumago-juku Tōkaidō's Seki-juku Saba Kaidō's Kumagawa-shuku Inaba Kaidō's Hirafuku-shuku Inaba Kaidō's Ōhara-shuku Inaba Kaidō's Chizu-shuku Tōkaidō's Ishibe-juku Ai no shuku Castle town Edo Five Routes
The Tōhoku region, Northeast region, or Northeast Japan consists of the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. This traditional region consists of six prefectures: Akita, Fukushima, Iwate and Yamagata. Tōhoku retains a reputation as a scenic region with a harsh climate. In the 20th century, tourism became a major industry in the Tōhoku region. In mythological times, the area was known as Azuma and corresponded to the area of Honshu occupied by the native Ainu; the area was the Dewa and the Michinoku regions, a term first recorded in Hitachi-no-kuni Fudoki. There is some variation in modern usage of the term "Michinoku". Tōhoku's initial historical settlement occurred between the seventh and ninth centuries, well after Japanese civilization and culture had become established in central and southwestern Japan; the last stronghold of the indigenous Emishi on Honshu and the site of many battles, the region has maintained a degree of autonomy from Kyoto at various times throughout history.
The haiku poet Matsuo Bashō wrote Oku no Hosomichi during his travels through Tōhoku. The region is traditionally known as a less developed area of Japan; the catastrophic 9.0-Magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, inflicted massive damage along the east coast of this region, killed 15,894 people and was the costliest natural disaster which left 500,000 people homeless along with radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Masamune, feudal lord of Date clan, expanded trade in the Tōhoku region. Although faced with attacks by hostile clans, he managed to overcome them after a few defeats and ruled one of the largest fiefdoms of the Tokugawa shogunate, he worked on many projects to beautify the region. He is known to have encouraged foreigners to come to his land. Though he funded and promoted an envoy to establish relations with the Pope in Rome, he was motivated at least in part by a desire for foreign technology, similar to that of other lords, such as Oda Nobunaga.
Further, once Tokugawa Ieyasu outlawed Christianity, Masamune reversed his position, though disliking it, let Ieyasu persecute Christians in his domain. For 270 years, Tōhoku remained a place of tourism and prosperity. Matsushima, for instance, a series of tiny islands, was praised for its beauty and serenity by the wandering haiku poet Matsuo Bashō, he showed sympathy for Christian traders in Japan. In addition to allowing them to come and preach in his province, he released the prisoner and missionary Padre Sotelo from the hands of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Date Masamune allowed Sotelo as well as other missionaries to practice their religion and win converts in Tōhoku; the most used subdivision of the region is dividing it to "North Tōhoku" consisting of Aomori and Iwate Prefectures and "South Tōhoku" consisting of Yamagata and Fukushima Prefectures. The population collapse of Tōhoku, which began before the year 2000, has accelerated, now including dynamic Miyagi. Despite this, Sendai City has grown due to the disaster.
The population collapse of Aomori and Akita Prefectures, Honshu's 3 northernmost, began in the early 1980s after an initial loss of population in the late 1950s. Fukushima Prefecture, prior to 1980, had traditionally been the most populated, but today Miyagi is the most populated and urban by far. Tōhoku, like most of Japan, is mountainous, with the Ōu Mountains running north-south; the inland location of many of the region's lowlands has led to a concentration of much of the population there. Coupled with coastlines that do not favor seaport development, this settlement pattern resulted in a much greater than usual dependence on land and rail transportation. Low points in the central mountain range make communications between lowlands on either side of the range moderately easy. Tōhoku was traditionally considered the granary of Japan because it supplied Sendai and the Tokyo-Yokohama market with rice and other farming commodities. Tōhoku provided 20 percent of the nation's rice crop; the climate, however, is harsher than in other parts of Honshū due to the stronger effect of the Siberian High, permits only one crop a year on paddy fields.
In the 1960s, steel, chemical and petroleum refining industries began developing. Designated citiesSendai Core citiesIwaki Koriyama Akita Morioka Aomori Hachinohe Other citiesAizuwakamatsu Daisen Date Fukushima Goshogawara Hachimantai Hanamaki Higashimatsushima Higashine Hirakawa Hirosaki Ichinoseki Ishinomaki Iwanuma Kakuda Kamaishi Kaminoyama Katagami Kazuno Kesennuma Kitaakita Kitakami Kitakata Kuji Kurihara Kuroishi Minamisōma Misawa Miyako Motomiya Murayama Mutsu Nagai Nan'yō Natori Nihonmatsu Nikaho Ninohe Noshiro Obanazawa Oga Ōdate Ōfunato Ōsaki Ōshū Rikuzentakata Sagae Sakata Semboku Shinjō Shiogama Shirakawa Shiroishi Sōma Sukagawa Tagajō Takizawa Tamura Tendō Tome Tomiya Tōno Towada Tsugaru Tsuruoka Yamagata Yokote Yonezawa Yurihonjō Yuzawa Mount Bandai Three Mountains of Dewa Hakkōda Mountains Mount Hayachine Mount Iwaki Lake Tazawa Lake Towada Kitakami River Oirase River Valley the islands of Matsushima Bay Mount Osore Sanriku Coastline Bandai-Asahi National Park Miss Veedol Beach Rikuchu Kaigan National Park Towada-Hachimantai National Park 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 2006 Kuril Islands earthquake Geography of Japan Tōhoku dialect List of regions in Japan Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth..
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