Chiba (city)

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Chiba (千葉市, Chiba-shi, Japanese: [tɕiꜜba]) is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It sits about 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of the centre of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay.[1] The city became a government-designated city in 1992. In June 2019, its population was 979,768, with a population density of 3,605 people per km2. The city has an area of 271.77 square kilometres (104.93 sq mi).

Chiba City
Top: Coastal industrial area, Chiba Folk Museum Middle: Makuhari Messe, Chiba Port Tower, Chiba Marine Stadium Bottom: Skyscrapers of Makuhari on the coast.
Top: Coastal industrial area, Chiba Folk Museum
Middle: Makuhari Messe, Chiba Port Tower, Chiba Marine Stadium
Bottom: Skyscrapers of Makuhari on the coast.
Flag of Chiba
Official seal of Chiba
Location of Chiba in Chiba Prefecture
Location of Chiba in Chiba Prefecture
Chiba is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°36′26.2″N 140°06′22.9″E / 35.607278°N 140.106361°E / 35.607278; 140.106361
Country Japan
PrefectureChiba Prefecture
 • MayorShunichi Kamiya (from April 2021)
 • Total271.77 km2 (104.93 sq mi)
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total979,768
 • Density3,600/km2 (9,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeZelkova serrata
– FlowerNelumbo nucifera
– BirdLittle tern
Phone number043-245-5111
Address1-1 Chiba-minato, Chūō-ku, Chiba-shi 260-8722
"Chiba" in kanji
Japanese name

Chiba City is one of the Kantō region's primary seaports, and is home to Chiba Port, which handles one of the highest volumes of cargo in Japan. Much of the city is residential, although there are many factories and warehouses along the coast. There are several major urban centres in the city, including Makuhari, a prime waterfront business district in which Makuhari Messe is located, and Central Chiba, in which the prefectural government office and the city hall are located.

Chiba is famous for the Chiba Urban Monorail, the longest suspended monorail in the world. Some popular destinations in the city include: Kasori Shell Midden, the largest shell mound in the world at 134,000 m2 (160,000 sq yd), Inage Beach, the first artificial beach in Japan which forms part of the longest artificial beach in Japan, and the Chiba City Zoological Park, popular on account of the standing red panda Futa.

Etymology edit

The name of Chiba in the Japanese language is formed from two kanji characters. The first, , means "thousand" and the second, means "leaves". The name first appears as an ancient kuni no miyatsuko, or regional command office, as Chiha no Kuni no Miyatsuko (千葉国造).[2] The name was adopted by a branch of the Taira clan, which moved to the area in present-day Chiba City in the late Heian period. The branch of the Taira adopted the name and became the Chiba clan, which held strong influence over the area of the prefecture until the Azuchi–Momoyama period. The name "Chiba" was chosen for Chiba Prefecture at the time of its creation in 1873 by the Assembly of Prefectural Governors (地方官会議, Chihō Kankai Kaigi), an early Meiji-period body of prefectural governors that met to decide the structure of local and regional administration in Japan.[3]

History edit

Early history edit

The first records related to the city of Chiba record the emigration of Taira Tsuneshige (1083?–1088), a powerful bushi warlord of the late Heian period, to Shimōsa Province, which historically occupied the north of Chiba Prefecture. Tsuneshige was appointed as gunji administrator of Sōma District, but was transferred to the same position in Chiba District two years later. Here he proclaimed himself Chiba Tsuneshige (千葉常重), became a kokushi governor of the province, and used the area around present-day Chiba City as a power base to rule over Shimōsa Province, Kazusa Province, as well as establish himself as a military force in the Kantō region.[4] Tsuneshige's son, Chiba Tsunetane (千葉常胤) (1118–1201) was instrumental in aiding Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147–1199) with the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate. Tsuneshige built a spacious residence and numerous temples in present-day Chiba City, and in the same period he transferred his power base from Ōji Castle to Inohana Castle on Mount Inohana.[5] The area of present-day Chiba City became jōkamachi (城下町), or castle town, and prospered under the Chiba clan.[6] The clan's power extended in the region until the Muromachi period.[7][8]

Medieval period edit

The Chiba clan's power and influence declined because of wars around the Kantō region during the Nanboku-chō and Muromachi periods. In the 16th century, instead of the Chiba clan, the Hara clan, which was one of the servants of Chiba clan, wielded power in this region. In the Sengoku period, the Hara clan was forcibly removed by Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利義明, not to be confused with 足利義昭). Then, Ashikaga Yoshiaki was also removed by the Sakai (酒井 not to be confused with the Sakai clan in Mikawa) clan, which was one of the servants of the Satomi (里見) clan. Finally both the Chiba and Sakai clans were annihilated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Later history edit

In the Edo period, the Oyumi (生実氏), Morikawa (森川氏) clan, and the Sakura (佐倉氏) clans governed the area now occupied by the city. A part of the area was also governed directly by the Tokugawa Bakufu. The Oyumi clan governed their territory stably. On the other hand, according to the Sakura clan, from the beginning of the Edo period, changed governors frequently, including Takeda Nobuyoshi, Matsudaira Tadateru, Ogasawara Yoshitsugu (小笠原吉次), and Doi Toshikatsu. Finally the Hotta clan stabilized the governance of their territory. Chiba prospered in this period as a shukuba (宿場) post-town of the Tokugawa shogunate.[6]

Modern history edit

After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Chiba Prefecture was established in 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture. The border between Kisarazu and Inba was the location of Chiba Town and was thus chosen as the location of the prefectural government. With the opening of the Sobu Main Line, Chiba developed rapidly, becoming the political, economic, and cultural capital of Chiba Prefecture. The town of Chiba was established within Chiba District with the creation of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889. Chiba City formed on January 1, 1921.[6] Numerous small villages and towns were merged into the previous town of Chiba (千葉町), a process that continued until 1944. Large-scale land reclamation added to the area of the city throughout the 20th century. The city was a major center of military production leading up to World War II, and as such, was a target of aerial bombing by the United States. The city was almost completely destroyed by the end of the war. Post-war industrialization led to the city becoming a major part of the Keiyō Industrial Zone.[6] Chiba became a Designated City of Japan on April 1, 1992.[1]

Demographics edit

Per Japanese census data,[9] Chiba's population has expanded significantly over the past 70 years.[10]

As of February 2016, the city had an estimated population of 972,861 and a population density of 3,580 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 271.76 km2 (104.93 sq mi). There were 19,135 registered foreign residents in the city as of March 31, 2007, constituting about 2% of the total population. It is the 13th most populous city in Japan as of 2022.

Historical population
1921 (founding) 33,887—    
1930 49,088+44.9%
1940 92,061+87.5%
1950 133,944+45.5%
1960 241,615+80.4%
1970 482,133+99.5%
1980 746,430+54.8%
1990 829,455+11.1%
2000 887,164+7.0%
2010 961,749+8.4%
2020 974,951+1.4%
Source: [10][9]

Politics and government edit

Building of Chiba Prefectural government and Chiba Urban Monorail

Chiba was governed by Keiichi Tsuruoka, an independent (elected with support of LDP and Kōmeitō), until May 1, 2009. He was arrested in April 2009 during a corruption investigation by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.[11] He was succeeded by Toshihito Kumagai of the DPJ, who won election in June 2009.[12]

The city assembly has 54 elected members.

Wards edit

Climate edit

Chiba has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool to mild winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter.

Climate data for Chiba (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1966−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 10.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 2.4
Record low °C (°F) −5.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 67.5
Average snowfall cm (inches) 2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 6.2 6.8 11.2 10.7 11.2 12.4 10.7 8.5 12.0 11.5 8.8 6.5 116.6
Average relative humidity (%) 53 55 61 66 71 77 78 77 77 73 66 57 68
Mean monthly sunshine hours 191.6 165.3 167.5 177.0 180.5 126.9 162.7 189.4 134.6 131.6 143.6 174.8 1,945.5
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[13]

Culture edit

One of the many points of interest is the Experimental Station for Landscape Plants.

Facilities edit

Park edit

Sports edit

Home stadium of the Chiba Marines

Chiba plays host to the annual International Chiba Ekiden and the Chiba International Cross Country takes place just outside the city. Chiba Velodrome is located within the city. It also hosts the Bridgestone Open golf tournament.

Chiba is home to several professional sports teams, most notably:

Club Sport League Venue Established
Chiba Lotte Marines Baseball Pacific League Chiba Marine Stadium 1950
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Football J. League Division 2 Fukuda Denshi Arena 1946

Transportation edit

Airports edit

There is no commercial airport within city limits. Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) are the closest major airports.

Railway edit

Chiba Station

The Chiba Urban Monorail runs through Chiba City. The major intercity railway stations are Chiba Station, (Sobu Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibo Line, Sōbu Main Line, Narita Line, transfer for Chiba Urban Monorail), Keisei Chiba Station (Keisei Chiba Line), and Soga Station, (Keiyō Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibo Line) all in Chūō-ku.

Highway edit

Education edit

Colleges and universities edit

High schools edit

Chiba has 20 public high schools operated by the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education and two public high schools operated by the Chiba City Board of Education, including Inage Senior High School. There are also nine private high schools, including the Makuhari Junior and Senior High School.

Elementary and middle schools edit

Chiba has 114 public and one private elementary school and 59 public and one private middle school.

International schools edit

Hospitals and clinics edit

  • Chiba Kaihin Hospital (Mihama-ku)
  • Chiba University Hospital (Chuo-ku)
  • Kashiwado Hospital (Chuo-ku)
  • Tokyo Dental College Chiba Hospital (Mihama-ku)
  • Koizumi Clinic (Hanamigawa-ku)
  • Mizuno Clinic (Hanamigawa-ku)
  • Hirayama Hospital (Hanamigawa-ku)

International relations edit

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Chiba is twinned with:[14]

Friendship cities edit

Notable people edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy" 千葉市 [Chiba-shi]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系 (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  2. ^ 千葉国造(下総). (in Japanese).
  3. ^ 千葉県の成立と行政的変遷. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  4. ^ 千葉常重 [Chiba Tsuneshige]. Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  5. ^ 千葉常胤 [Chiba Tsunetane]. Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  6. ^ a b c d "Chiba". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  7. ^ "Chiba". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  8. ^ 千葉氏 [Chiba-shi]. Kokushi Daijiten (国史大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  9. ^ a b Chiba population statistics
  10. ^ a b Chiba City Population Data
  11. ^ Kyodo News, No (2009-04-23). "Chiba's mayor arrested". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  12. ^ DPJ-backed Kumagai takes Chiba mayoral election, Japan Times Online, June 15, 2009
  13. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  14. ^ "Sister and Friendship Cities of Chiba City". Chiba. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  15. ^ IEEE Richard H. Kaufmann Award Recipients: Sususmu Tadakuma
  16. ^ "the Nihon Ki-in". Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2015-06-27.

External links edit