From Virtual Japan

Jump to: navigation, search

Kumamoto is a city in Japan. It is the capital city of the Kumamoto Prefecture, and is located in the western part of the Kyushu Region. Tokyo is about 1 hour and 35 minutes by air and Seoul, Korea is 1 hour and 25 minutes by air.

The temperature is of a typical inland climate characterized by hot summers and cold winters. The estimated population of the city is 669,034 with a total land area of 266 square kilometers. The city flower is the Camellia and the city tree is the Ginkgo tree.

This prefecture developed as an agricultural-based region and has slowly moved away from it. The production outputs of primary industries still exceed national averages. From 1975 to 1999 the tertiary industries or the service sector have developed smoothly. Present day Primary or agricultural production is 3.6%, secondary markets such as commerce are 23.8% and the tertiary markets make up the remaining 72.6%.


Kato Kiyomasa who administered half of the Higo Region in 1588 built the Kumamoto Castle. It was believed by some to be impregnable and Kiyomasa became very famous for his innovative defensive designs.

In 1867 feudalism was ended by the corruption of the Tokugawa regime.

In 1877, after the defeat of anti-governmental elements, the Meiji government established a new education system. A national higher education institution was created, the fifth upper secondary school and the emergence of modern industry as well as agricultural production.

Then on April 1, 1889 the city of Kumamoto was founded.

Points of Interest

  • Shimada Museum of Art contains items and antiques related to the history of samurai culture in the city. The exhibits feature weapons, articles, paintings and calligraphy works of Miyamoto Musashi, a great swordsman of the Edo Era. There is also a gallery and cafe inside.
  • Kumamoto Castle was built by the warrior Kiyomasa Kato. It ranks among one of the three most famous castles in Japan. There is a spectacular outward curving wall called mushagaeshi that repelled invaders. Many of the castle buildings were destroyed during the Seinan Civil War of 1877. In 1960 the main tower was rebuilt and now houses a collection of weapons, armor and furniture of the Edo Era. Plans are still being made to restore it to its original glory.

External Links

Pop culture / Travel / Forum / Gallery / FAQ/Help / Submit

Copyright 2008, VirtualJapan.com. All Rights Reserved.