History of Fukui City

最終更新日 2015年7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 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 Toshikage and his descendants ruled the administrative center in Ichijodani in the southeast of Fukui city known as Echizen Province.
They developed it to such prosperity that it came to be called “Little Kyoto”.   


The present 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, who built the actual castle town after he was appointed the castellan of Kitanosho which held a fief yielding 680,000 koku (1koku stands for the amount of rice need for 1 adult per year) and entered the country.

In the end of 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 and Japanese raw silk trade which became the foundation for Fukui textile kingdom nowadays.

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

The city has suffered from the 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 and it continues to develop as a leading city of Hokuriku area.