Hitachi (日立市 Hitachi-shi) is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of September 2015, the city had an estimated population of 183,148 and a population density of 811 persons per km2. Its total area is 225.71 km2. Hitachi is well known in the world for its brand name of electric products, including power plants and appliances, of the Hitachi company founded in the town in 1910 by Namihei Odaira with considerable properties as its factories in the city.
Hitachi city hall
Location of Hitachi Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture
|• Mayor||Haruki Ogawa (since April 2015)|
|• Total||225.71 km2 (87.15 sq mi)|
|• Density||811/km2 (2,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|- Tree||Zelkova serrata|
|- Bird||Japanese cormorant|
|- Fish||Giant Pacific octopus|
|Address||1-1 Sukegawa-chō, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki-ken 317-8601|
Located in northern Ibaraki Prefecture, Hitachi has a long coast along the Pacific Ocean to the east. Main road Route 6 runs in parallel with the coat, connecting Tokyo and Sendai, but develops residential and commercial areas in the relatively narrow land of the coastal plain. Geologically the city covers Cambrian basement, some 500 million years old rock, such as marble being quarried in the west for manufacturing cement material.
Human settlement in the Hitachi area dates to at least the Japanese Paleolithic period. In the early Nara period, the area was defined as part of Taga Province, which was then merged into Hitachi Province under the Ritsuryō system. By the Sengoku period, the area was under the control of the Satake clan. Following the creation of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the Satake to Dewa Province, and the area became part of the domain’s awarded to Ieyasu's son Tokugawa Yorifusa. The area remained part of Mito Domain until the Meiji restoration.
The modern village of Hitachi was formed on April 1, 1889 with the establishment of the municipalities system. The area rapidly developed towards the end of the Meiji period under the direction of Fusanosuke Kuhara of the Kuhara zaibatsu with the opening of copper mines, and under Namihei Odaira, the founder of Hitachi. The village of Hitachi was raised to town status on August 26, 1924. Hitachi and the neighboring town of Sukegawa merged on September 1, 1939, to form the city of Hitachi.
The city suffered from major damage in World War II, from shore bombardment by the United States Navy on July 17, 1945, and in air raids on June 10 and July 19. Hitachi was an important military target, as it was a major industrial center, which containing numerous factories of the Hitachi zaibatsu, especially connected with the production of electrical equipment. It also had a copper mine that contained 1/10 of all of Japan's copper. Following an air raid on June 10 by the USAAF, which missed the Hitachi factories and burned down much of the civilian residential districts, the city was subjected to shore bombardment on July 19 by the battleships USS Iowa (BB-61), USS Missouri (BB-63), and USS Wisconsin (BB-64). However, the bombardment was very inaccurate, and although civilian casualties were very high, the Hitachi factories were again largely left intact. The shore bombardment was followed by a second air raid with incendiary bombs on July 19.
In 1976 the disassembled MiG-25 fighter jet that Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko had defected in was returned to the Soviet Union from the port of Hitachi. It had been extensively examined at the nearby Hyakuri Air Base.
The borders of Hitachi expanded in 1955–1956 through the annexation of the neighboring villages of Hidaka, Sakamoto, Higashiosawa, Nakasato, Toyoura and the town of Kuji. The village of Tsunezumi was annexed in 1992. In 2001, Mito was designated a special city with increased local autonomy. The neighboring town of Uchihara was annexed in 2005.
The city suffered from minor damage in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami with no fatalities reported.
Hitachi is a major industrial center, and is the former location of the headquarters of Hitachi and various of its group companies.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2015)
Hitachi Seaside Park.