Kitakyūshū


Kitakyūshū

Infobox City Japan
Name= Kitakyūshū
JapaneseName= 北九州市
Map

Region= Kyūshū
Prefecture= Fukuoka
District=
Area_km2= 486.81
PopDate= October 2005
Population= 993,483
Density_km2= 2040.80
Coords=
LatitudeDegrees= 33
LatitudeMinutes= 53
LatitudeSeconds=
LongtitudeDegrees= 130
LongtitudeMinutes= 53
LongtitudeSeconds=
Tree= Ichiigashi (Japanese beech)
Flower= Tsutsuji (Azalea) Himawari (Sunflower)
Bird=
Symbol

SymbolDescription=
Mayor= Kenji Kitahashi
CityHallPostalCode= 803-8501
CityHallAddress= 1-1 Jōnai, Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū-shi, Fukuoka-ken
CityHallPhone= 093-582-2236
CityHallLink= [http://www.city.kitakyushu.jp/ City of Kitakyūshū]
nihongo|Kitakyūshū|北九州市|Kitakyūshū-shi|literally "Northern Kyūshū" is a city located in Fukuoka prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. It is midway between Tokyo and Shanghai. Within Japan it is a leading city in anti-pollution measures and recycling with the [http://www.kitaq-ecotown.com/about/english/ Ecotown] facility in Wakamatsu ward.

Kitakyūshū has a population of just under one million. Together with Shimonoseki on Honshū the city is the major part of the Kanmon Straits area (北九州都市圏, 関門都市圏) which has a total population of about 1.5 million ("Bureau of Statistics definition").

Kokura Station in Kitakyūshū is 20 minutes by shinkansen from the largest city in Kyūshū, Fukuoka which has a population of about 1.4 million, or 2.6 million in the Greater Fukuoka urban area (福岡都市圏). Kokura Station is Kyūshū's second largest railway station after Hakata station, with about 120,000 users daily.

The New Kitakyushu Airport opened on March 16, 2006 and has stimulated the local economy through tourism and business trips.

Geography

There are multiple metropolitan area definitions for this area, with populations ranging from 1.15 million to 2.4 million people, depending on definition. Please see . Some estimates include nearby Shimonoseki and Ube cities, but Ōita is definitely not in any definition. Also, Kitakyūshū, Iizuka, and Greater Fukuoka have coalesced somewhat where suburbs are between the two.

Wards

Kitakyūshū has seven wards ("ku"):
Nakama city was to become the eighth ward of Kitakyūshū in 2005, to be called Nakama-ku, Kitakyūshū. However, the planned merger was rejected on December 24, 2004 by Nakama city's councillors, despite having been initiated by Nakama city. The reason is that as part of the merger the twenty-one councillors would be reduced to just three in the enlarged Kitakyūshū city.

History

The city's symbol mark is a flower with the kanji of "Kita" in the middle and five petals representing the five towns which came together to make the city in February 1963. The city was officially designated by government ordinance on April 1, 1963.

Kokura Prefecture

Kokura Prefecture was founded separately from Fukuoka Prefecture in 1871 when the clan system was abolished. The old wooden-built Kokura Prefectural Office is still standing, and is being restored. It is opposite Riverwalk Kitakyushu. In 1876 Kokura Prefecture was absorbed by Fukuoka Prefecture. The city of Kokura was founded in 1900.

Kitakyūshū city

The city of Kitakyūshū was founded on February 10, 1963 and was designated on April 1, 1963 by government ordinance. It resulted from the amalgamation of five cities, Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Yahata and Wakamatsu, centred around the ancient feudal city of Kokura.

Lucky Kokura

Kokura was the primary target of the nuclear weapon "Fat Man" on August 9, 1945. Major Charles Sweeney had orders to drop the bomb visually, but the city was obscured by clouds. Hence Nagasaki, the secondary target, was where the bomb was dropped. The expression "Kokura's luck" thereafter became common in Japan to refer to occasions when someone avoids something unpleasant without their knowledge.

Demographics

As of October 1, 2005, the city has an estimated population of 1,014,608 and the total area is 483.15 km². The average population density is thus 2,063 persons per square kilometre. The population has steadily decreased in recent years.

The city has a much larger total area than that of Fukuoka which is only 340.03km².

Notable Figures

;Writers
*The novelist Mori Ōgai lived in Kokura for several years and his house is open to the public in Kokura Kita ward. He wrote "Kokura Nikki" (Kokura diary) here. It is a ten minute walk from Kokura Station.
*The writer Matsumoto Seicho [http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%BE%E6%9C%AC%E6%B8%85%E5%BC%B5] was born in Kokura. A [http://www.kid.ne.jp/seicho/html/ museum] dedicated to him is located in the city centre near Kokura Castle.
*The writer Hino Ashihei was born in Wakamatsu ward and his birthplace can be visited.
*Lily Franky the illustrator was born in Kokura.

;Scientists
*Professor Ted Fujita was born in what is now Kokura Minami ward.

;Radio
* [http://www.crossfm.co.jp/home/index.php Cross FM] started in Kitakyūshū, and is now also in Fukuoka city.

;Actors
*Gravure idol/model Saaya Irie lives in Kitakyūshū

Festivals

There are several local festivals (matsuri) held in the summer in various parts of the city and including the beautiful Tobata Gion Yamagasa festival in Tobata ward and the Wasshoi Hyakuman matsuri which brings all the festivals together for a grand parade and finale near the City Hall in Kokura Kita ward.

Scenic areas

Hiraodai (平尾台) karst plateau and Mount Adachi (足立) in Kokura Minami ward; and Mount Sarakura (皿倉), and Kawachi (河内) reservoir in Yahata Higashi ward are all great walking areas with fine scenery.

Hiraodai includes the Shonyudo cave, where in summer you can walk for about one kilometre in freezing cold water.

Economy

Nippon Steel Corporation is still a major employer but the Yahata and Tobata plants are much reduced from the heyday of the 1960s. The Zenrin company known for its mapping and navigation software is based here, and so is TOTO, the biggest Japanese bathroom fixture manufacturer.

The major department stores in Kokura Kita ward are Kitakyūshū-based Izutsuya by the Murasaki river and Colet Izutsuya, in front of the South exit of Kokura Station in the former Isetan department store building.

A smaller scale shopping centre called Cha Cha Town has been created by Nishitetsu railroad and bus company next to the Sunatsu bus depot in Kokura Kita ward. It is of course easily accessible by bus and there are lots of free concerts on the stage in the middle of the complex. "Cha" is part of the local Kitakyūshū dialect, and Cha Cha Town is popular with all ages.

Riverwalk Kitakyushu is the newest shopping centre in Kokura. It contains many brand name shops, a Starbucks restaurant (note - there is another Starbucks near Kokura Station), the Kitakyūshū studios of NHK TV, two theatres, a multiplex cinema and a branch of the Kitakyushu city art museum. It is next to the castle and to Murasaki River which runs through the centre of Kokura Kita ward.

The [http://www.ksrp.or.jp/e/index.html Kitakyushu Science and Research Park] is home to four universities and nine research organisations. It is aiming to become a centre for hi-tech research in Asia.

Transportation

Located at a strategic position on the south side of the Kanmon Straits, Kitakyūshū is an important transport hub for traffic between Honshū and Kyūshū and has a large port.

Planes

The new 24-hour New Kitakyushu Airport opened on March 16, 2006. It is much larger than the previous Kitakyushu Airport and offshore on an artificial island in the Suo Nada gulf in the Seto Inland Sea, near Kanda town. It will eventually be connected with Kokura Station by a new fast rail link. A new airline based in the city called StarFlyer began operations when the airport opened.

Trains

Kokura Station owned by JR Kyushu is the penultimate stop on the Sanyo Shinkansen before the Hakata Station terminus and all Shinkansen services stop here. It is also served by local and express trains on the Kagoshima and the Nippo main lines. Within the city transport is provided by buses and a monorail line.

Mojiko Station is the northern terminus of the Kagoshima Main Line (J: Kagoshima honsen) which is the most important line on the JR Kyushu network.

The Kitakyushu Monorail links Kokura station efficiently and cheaply with residents and commuters in Kokura Minami ward.

Boats

Kitakyūshū is the largest ferry port in Western Japan. Ferry services operate between Kitakyūshū and Shimonoseki, Matsuyama, Tokushima, Kōbe, Ōsaka, Tōkyō, Ulsan (Korea), Busan (Korea) and city's isolated islands. The main ferry port is at Shin-Moji, but there are also ferries at Moji-ko and in Kokura near the station.

Within the Kanmon-Kitakyūshū area, there are three commuter lines: Trans-Dokaiwan (Waka-To) Ferry, The Kanmon Straits Ferry, and The Kanmon Straits Liner.

Bridges

There are several bridges in Kitakyūshū and between the city and other places. The largest ones are the Kanmon Straits' Kanmonkyo Bridge (J: Kanmon Kyo) between Kitakyūshū and Shimonoseki (on Kyūshū and Honshū respectively) and the Waka-To Ō-hashi bridge linking Tobata and Wakamatsu wards. But there are also bridges over the Onga river (J: Onga-gawa) on the western border of the city.

The previous mayor Mr. Koichi Sueyoshi was very keen on building bridges and other major construction projects, having been formerly employed by the Construction ministry (Kensetsusho).

On September 30, 2005 ownership of the Waka-To Ō-hashi bridge was transferred from Japan Highway Public Corporation to Kitakyūshū city, and on April 1, 2006 to the Kitakyushu City Road Public Corporation.

Miscellaneous

A modern city

Kitakyūshū is now the most advanced city in Japan with regard to pollution control and recycling technology. In the 1960s it saw the birth of environmental protests in Japan, led by a group of housewives in Sanroku-cho, Tobata ward who were concerned that their washing always became dirty while drying on the lines. Now Kitakyūshū advises sister cities such as Dalian on water purification etc. In 1992, Kitakyūshū was one of twelve world cities given a Local Government Honours Award at the United Nations Earth Summit to honour its environmental programs.

Kitakyūshū is home to the West Japan Industry and Trade Convention Association, with its Kitakyushu International Conference Center and the West Japan General Exhibition Center, and is very active in holding and hosting international conferences of various kinds, especially on the environment and education. A theme park called Space World is in East Yahata ward. There is a training centre of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also.

The previous Mayor (Koichi Sueyoshi) was the third since the city's foundation, and was elected in 1987. The Kitakyushu Renaissance [http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8C%97%E4%B9%9D%E5%B7%9E%E5%B8%82%E3%83%AB%E3%83%8D%E3%83%83%E3%82%B5%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B9%E6%A7%8B%E6%83%B3] project began in December 1988 and is to finish in 2006.

An unfortunate reputation

Kitakyūshū has suffered unfairly from the unfortunate image and reputation - both domestically and overseas - of an industrial and heavily polluted city with many smokestacks, which it indeed was back in the 1960s when it was a major engine of the Japanese economy and local people took pride in the multi-coloured rainbows of smoke. As a result some superficial and ill-informed guidebooks have described the city as "hideous", "ugly" etc. - but nowadays this is becoming more and more outdated, and it was in any case never the whole story.

In the 1970s, the Municipality started adopting measures to decrease the pollution. Nowadays, Kitakyūshū is making great efforts to show itself as an environmentally-friendly place.

The city covers a vast area - it is the largest in Kyūshū - and there are many unspoilt and beautiful areas which have never been touched by industry, especially in the southern part. It has some of the best sightseeing spots in Kyūshū.

Sister cities

*flagicon|China Dalian, China
*flagicon|South Korea Incheon, South Korea
*flagicon|United States Norfolk, Virginia, United States
*flagicon|United States Tacoma, Washington, United States

Education

Research Institutes / Graduate Schools

*Kitakyushu Science and Research Park(北九州学術研究都市)
**Fukuoka University Institute for Recycling & Environmental Control System(福岡大学大学院工学研究科 資源循環・環境制御システム研究所)
**Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology(九州工業大学 大学院生命体工学研究科)
**The Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems/Information, Production and Systems Research Center, Waseda University(早稲田大学大学院 情報生産システム研究科 情報生産システム研究センター)

Universities / Colleges

;National University
*Kyushu Institute of Technology (九州工業大学)

;Public Universities
*Kyushu Dental College(九州歯科大学)
*University of Kitakyushu(北九州市立大学)

;Private Universities
*Kyushu International University(九州国際大学)
*Kyushu Kyoritsu University(九州共立大学)
*Kyushu Nutrition Welfare University(九州栄養福祉大学)
*Kyushu Polytechnic College(九州職業能力開発大学校)
*Kyushu Women's University(九州女子大学)
*Seinan Women's University(西南女学院大学)
*The University of Environmental & Occupational Health Japan(産業医科大学)

;Colleges
*Higashi Chikushi Junior College(東筑紫短期大学)
*Kyushu Women’s Junior College(九州女子短期大学)
*Orio Aishin Junior College(折尾愛真短期大学)
*Seinan Jo Gakuin University Junior College(西南女学院大学短期大学部)

Sports

Professional Teams

*New Wave Kitakyushu - Football, Japan Football League

Sporting Venues

*Adventure Pool
*Anō Dome
*Cultural Memorial swimming pool
*Honjō Stadium - Home stadium for New Wave Kitakyushu
*Katsuki Sports Center
*Kitakyushu Media Dome - Indoor Keirin stadium
*Kitakyushu Municipal Baseball Stadium
*Kitakyushu Municipal Gymnasium
*Kokura Race course (Kokura keibajo)
*Momozono civic swimming pool
*Orio Sports Center
*Sayagatani Stadium

Notable people from Kitakyūshū

People from old Kokura, Moji, Tobata, Wakamatsu, and Yahata cities are also included.
*Shinji Aoyama: Film director
*Wataru Aso: Incumbent governor of Fukuoka Prefecture
*Chage (Chage and Aska): Singer
*Ted Fujita: Meteorologist
*Ashihei Hino: Novelist
*Keiichiro Hirano: Novelist
*Hideyuki Hirayama: Film director
*Sota Hirayama: Football player
*Tsukasa Hojo: Mangaka
*Yasuto Honda: Retired football player
*Mochiru Hoshisato: Mangaka
*Tsuyoshi Ihara: Actor
*Kenji Kimihara: Long distance runner, silver medalist at the 1968 Summer Olympics
*Yōichi Masuzoe: Politician, incumbent Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare
*Reiji Matsumoto: Mangaka
*Seichō Matsumoto: Novelist
*Futoshi Matsunaga: Serial killer
*Takuro Miuchi: Rugby football player
*Masashi Motoyama: Football player
*Seiko Noda: Politician, current member of House of Representatives
*Katsuya Onizuka: retired boxer, former WBA Super Flyweight champion
*Kenichi Ohmae: Economic and business strategist
*Oku Yasukata: field marshal of Imperial Japanese Army
*Ryuzo Saki: Novelist
*Yoshinori Suematsu: Politician, current member of House of Representatives
*Hajime Sugiyama: Former Field Marshal of Imperial Army General Staff Office
*Yoshie Takeshita: captain of the Japanese women's volleyball team

External links

*
* [http://www.city.kitakyushu.jp/ Official website] in Japanese
* [http://www.city.kitakyushu.jp/pcp_portal/PortalServlet?DISPLAY_ID=DIRECT&NEXT_DISPLAY_ID=U000000&LANG_ID=2/ Official website] in English
* [http://www.fukuoka-tourism.net/e/kitakyushu.html Kitakyushu page of Fukuoka Prefecture Tourism Association website]
* [http://www.ksrp.or.jp/e/index.html Kitakyushu Science and Research Park]
* [http://www.cca-kitakyushu.org/ CCA Kitakyushu]
* [http://www.kitakyu-fc.com/english/guide/ Kitakyushu Film Commission]
* [http://www.kitaq-koryu.jp/en/index.php Kitakyushu International Association] produces [http://www.inf.ne.jp/kia/kankobutu/himawari_e.pdf Himawari] - a monthly newsletter
* [http://www.kqkicks.antazi.com/main.html Kitakyushu Kicks] - an unofficial English language website about Kitakyushu
* [http://www.e-you.biz/ www.e-you.biz] - a website for foreigners in Kitakyushu
* [http://weather.msn.com/local.aspx?wealocations=wc:jaxx0039&tbid=7dd9f2fb_8f1b_4033_acef_5cd9e91ce886 Kitakyushu weather]
* [http://kitakyushu-guide.blogspot.com/ Kitakyushu guide] - some tourist maps about Kitakyushu


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