History of Fukui City

最終更新日 2018年6月8日 印刷

History of Fukui City

Facing the majestic Sea of Japan in the west and reaching out for the renowned Hakusan peak in the east, Fukui City is located in the center of the Fukui plain formed by three main rivers – Kuzuryu, Asuwa and Hino.

About 1,500 years ago, thanks to the river improvement project implemented by Emperor Keitai, who was originally from this area, the plain, which used to be swamp land, was turned into a grain-growing region.

About 500 years ago, for five generations, Asakura Takakage and his descendants built a town in Ichjodani, located southeast of Fukui City, and ruled Echizen province (present-day Fukui) .
The town became so prosperous that it came to be called “Little Kyoto.”

The urban area development started about 400 years ago with the building of Kitanosho Castle by Shibata Katsuie followed by the second son of Tokugawa Ieyasu – Yuki Hideyasu. He entered the province and built the actual castle town after he was appointed the fedal lord of Fukui Domain which held a fief yielding 680,000 koku (1koku stands for the amount of rice needed per adult per year) .

In the end of the Edo period, Matsudaira Shungaku, a highly respected man, became the lord of Fukui. He recruited qualified personnel (Hashimoto Sanai was one of them) and reformed the domain duties. He encouraged silk production and raw Japanese silk trade, which became the foundation for Fukui's current textile industry.

Municipalized in 1889 with a population of no more than 40,000 people, Fukui merged with several other towns and villages and grew into a city of 270,000 people living in an area 121 times larger than before.

The city has suffered from devastating destruction many times: the air raids in 1945, the massive earthquake in 1948, etc. However, it rose from the ashes like the Phoenix, which became the city’s symbol. Thanks to the indomitable spirit of its people,  it continues to develop as a leading city in the Hokuriku area.