Kiryū, Gunma

Kiryū (桐生市, Kiryū-shi) is a city located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. As of February 2015, the city had an estimated population of 114,924, and a population density of 419 persons per km². Its total area is 274.45 km².


Kiryū city hall
Kiryū city hall
Flag of Kiryū
Official seal of Kiryū
Location of Kiryū in Gunma Prefecture
Location of Kiryū in Gunma Prefecture
Kiryū is located in Japan
Coordinates: 36°24′18.6″N 139°29′50.1″E / 36.405167°N 139.497250°E / 36.405167; 139.497250Coordinates: 36°24′18.6″N 139°29′50.1″E / 36.405167°N 139.497250°E / 36.405167; 139.497250
PrefectureGunma Prefecture
 • Total274.45 km2 (105.97 sq mi)
 (February 2015)
 • Total114,924
 • Density419/km2 (1,090/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeSweet Osmanthus
- FlowerSalvia splendens
Phone number0277-46-1111
Address1-1 Orihimechō, Kiryū, Gunma-ken 376-8501


Kiryū is in the southeast part of Gunma, in the northern Kanto Plain near the Tochigi border. It is located approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of Tokyo. The city is also not far from Mount Akagi, a large but dormant volcano. The city consists of two separate geographic areas, with the city of Midori sandwiched in between. Situated at the foot of Mount Akagi, the city boasts one of the most beautiful settings in the Kantō region. Two rivers, the Kiryū and the Watarase River, run through the heart of the city and it is likewise surrounded by picturesque mountains to the north. Umeda, a district on the north side of the city, is well known for its cedar trees, while red pines are also common in other areas.

Surrounding municipalitiesEdit


During the Edo period, most of the area of present-day Kiryū was part of the tenryō holding under the direct administration of the Tokugawa shogunate in Kōzuke Province, with the exception of the commercial center and temple town of Kiryū-shinmachi, noted for sericulture since the Nara period, which was part of Shōnai Domain of Dewa Province. The area also prospered from its location on the Kiryū and Watarase rivers.

Modern Kiryū Town was created within Yamada District, Gunma Prefecture on April 1, 1889 with the creation of the municipalities system after the Meiji Restoration. It was raised to city status on March 1, 1921. Kiryū annexed the neighboring village of Sakaino on April 1, 1933 and village of Hirosawa on April 1, 1937. The city expanded further with the annexation of Umeda, Aioi and part of Kawauchi village on October 1, 1954.

View of Kiryū from the south looking north

On June 13, 2005, Kiryū absorbed the villages of Niisato and Kurohone (both from Seta District).


Traditionally, Kiryū's principal industry was sericulture and silk textile manufacturing, with records dating silk production as far back as 713.[citation needed] Pachinko manufacturing arrived in Kiryū after World War II, during the period of industrial reconstruction, with the formation of two main companies—the Heiwa Corporation in 1949, and the Sophia Corporation in 1951. Kiryū's factories are responsible for manufacturing 60% of Japan's pachinko machines.[citation needed] However, the decreased demand for silk goods and the closure of several area manufacturing concerns have caused the local economy to suffer.

Mitsuba Corporation, a major manufacturer of automotive parts is headquartered in the city.[1]


There are six public and two private high schools, ten public and two private middle schools, and seventeen public elementary schools in Kiryū. Gunma University School of Science and Technology is located in the Tenjin district of the city.




Local attractionsEdit

Having been virtually untouched by bombs during World War II, the city boasts one of the greatest concentrations of pre-war architecture in all of Japan.[citation needed]

Saw-tooth roof structuresEdit

Kinopi, mascot of Kiryu city

Kiryu is especially known in the area for saw-tooth roof structures. The official mascot of Kiryu city is a saw-tooth themed character named Kinopi (キノピー). Many of these saw-tooth structures are still in use today, re-purposed for various businesses.

The Silk Weaver’s Apprentice and the Kiryu Spirit (Manga Series)Edit

Kiryū City officially released a manga titled The Silk Weaver’s Apprentice and the Kiryū Spirit in collaboration with Tokyo-based publisher Manga Planet.[2] The series is being simultaneously released in both English and Japanese on Manga Planet's official website.[3] According to website[4], in the manga Princess Shirataki, the spirit of the Kiryū traditional weaving art, takes the form of a young girl and appears suddenly before an apprentice of the Kiryū tradition and his childhood friend, a girl going to Tokyo College of Art. These three live together, learn the seven techniques of the Kiryū art and discover how to use it in modern-day fashion.

Saw-tooth roof structure in Kiryu, Gunma, Japan

Sister-city relationsEdit

Noted peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Head Quarter, Offices and Plants." Mitsuba Corporation. Retrieved on August 20, 2014.
  2. ^ 桐生市役所. 桐生市を題材にした漫画「職人見習いは桐生の御霊(みたま)と暮らす」について|桐生市ホームページ. (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  3. ^ "The Silk Weaver's Apprentice and the Kiryu Spirit - Manga Planet". Manga Planet. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  4. ^ "The Silk Weaver's Apprentice and the Kiryu Spirit - Manga Planet". Manga Planet. Retrieved 2018-07-12.

External linksEdit