Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Fukuyama City Overview
Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Fukuyama City Overview
Looking at Fukuyama City Through Data Fukuyama City's History Fukuyama City's Location and Area
Fukuyama City's Manufacturing Industry
Fukuyama City's Wholesale Industry
Fukuyama City's Retail Industry
Fukuyama City's Trade
Fukuyama City's Local Items and Specialty Goods
Fukuyama City's Sightseeing
Fukuyama City's Friendship Towns and Sister Cities
Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce & Industry General Information
Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce & Industry General Information
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Fukuyama City Map
The population to approximately 470,000 people

Fukuyama City's Location and Area

   Fukuyama City is located on the southeast tip of Hiroshima Prefecture, in the approximate center of Sanyo, which faces the Seto Inland Sea. Separated from Okayama City to the east by fifty-eight kilometers and Hiroshima City to the west by 103 kilometers, Fukuyama City has not been greatly influenced by either large city. In the realms of politics, economics, culture, etc., Fukuyama is one of the leading cities in the Bingo area.
   As of October 1, 2008, the city is 29.5 kilometers from east to west and 47.5 kilometers from north to south with a total area of 518.07 square kilometers.
Fukuyama City's History
   Fukuyama City has a very long history. Tomo-no-ura, located on the tip of the Numakuma Peninsula that juts out into the Seto Inland Sea, has prospered since ancient times as a harbor with favorable tides and winds. Tomo-no-ura is even mentioned in the Manyoshu poetry collection and in works by famous poet Otomo no Tabito.
   During the Nanboku-cho period (1336-1392), Ashikaga Takauji held his final war council in Tomo-no-ura before attacking Kyoto. The Mori Clan, which became the master of the Chugoku region, regarded Tomo-no-ura highly and built Tomo Castle in the latter half of the Muromachi period (1333-1573).
   Ashikaga Yoshiaki, the last of the Muromachi shogunate, was chased out of Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga in the fist year of the Tensho era (1573). He entered Tomo Castle in Tensho 4 (1576) and formulated a plan for a siege known as the "Nobunaga Encirclement." But making peace with Hideyoshi meant that the dream of restoring the shogunate remained unfulfilled, and lead to the saying "the Ashikaga Clan rose in Tomo and fell in Tomo."
   In more modern times, Katsunari Mizuno became the feudal lord with a fief of 100,000 koku of rice in year 5 of the Genna era (1619) and named this area "Fukuyama." He also built Hisamatsu Castle, drained and reclaimed land around the Ashida River Delta, and proceeded to develop the castle town.
   Fukuyama was ruled by five generations of the Mizuno Clan (1619-1698), one generation of the Matsudaira Clan (1700-1710), and 10 generations of the Abe Clan (1710-1868) until the return of people and land to the emperor, laying the foundation for the Fukuyama of today.
   At the beginning of the time of the Mizuno Clan, the atmosphere of the old castle town still remained. After that, the area's character developed into that of a port town, and came to be known as "Tomo-no-tsu." The Joseon Korea royal embassies to Tokugawa Japan stopped in the area, which developed into one of the most important ports on the Seto Inland Sea. Even now, visitors can still see traces of the old city streets, multiple Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, as well as the historical remnants of the then-prospering port facilities.
   Prefectural offices, governmental branch offices, and county offices were established in the Meiji era, and Fukuyama carried out a central role in local administration. After the modern municipal system was set up in Meiji 22 (1889), Fukuyama became Fukuyama Town. In Meiji 24 (1891), the Sanyo Main Line and private railways were opened, further advancing the basic development of the town.
The Birth of Fukuyama City to War Damage
   Fukuyama City, with an area of 5.8 square kilometers and population of 32,356 people, was born in 1916 under the enforcement of the municipal system (ranked #73 in the country and #4 in Hiroshima Prefecture). Fukuyama was further expanded by the merger of ten adjoining villages in 1933 and two villages in 1942.
   On August 8, 1945, 80% of the city was reduced to rubble by air raids. Many people were killed or injured and industry was much damaged, but the citizens' fervent desire for revival from the war damage and the city planning promotion that took place starting the following year led to the beginning of the formation of the current modern urban area.
Post-War Reconstruction to an Industrial City
   Up until 1975, the city area and population continued to grow through mergers with one city and fourteen villages, such as Matsunaga City. Basic transit development continued with the national highways and Sanyo Shinkansen. In the realms of culture and transit, Fukuyama rapidly grew into a key city that connected Sanyo, Sanin, and Shikoku.
   In addition to characteristic traditional local industries such as fiber products, woodwork, tatami omote (outer rush mats), and koto (Japanese harps), in 1961 Fukuyama became the home of the NKK Corporation (the largest in the world) Fukuyama Steelworks (presently the JFE Steel Corporation West Japan Steelworks). In September of 1964, Fukuyama was designated as a Bingo Special Area for Industrial Consolidation. Heavy industrialization continued expanding and Fukuyama became one of Western Japan's prominent industrial cities.
   A "Rose Exhibition" celebrating the city's official flower was first held by the citizens in 1956. From 1971, it was held annually as the citizen-wide "Fukuyama Rose Festival" through the Fukuyama festival committee. Even now, many people from within and without the prefecture attend Fukuyama's largest, most beloved event.
Designated as Core City to the Present
   In 1993, Fukuyama City was designated as a "Local City Key Region." In April 1998, Fukuyama City gained even more prestige by becoming the second-ranked "Core City" of the Chugoku Area after Okayama City.
   As part of the country-wide movement known as the "Great Heisei Merger" through the Special Mergers Law Major Revision, Fukuyama City merged with Shinichi Town and Utsumi Town (2003), Numakuma Town (2005), and Kannabe Town (March 1, 2006), increasing the population to approximately 470,000 people. And as the second largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture, Fukuyama City still continues to develop.
Looking at Fukuyama City Through Data
Item Unit Fukuyama City Year Surveyed Remarks
Population People 469,698 03/31/2008 Basic Resident Register (Including Foreigners)
Number of Households Households 187,013 03/31/2008
Area Square
518.07 10/01/2008 Nationwide Survey of City, Town, and Village Area by Prefecture
(1)Number of Privately Operated Businesses Companies 22,999 10/01/2006 2006 Businesses and Corporate Figures Survey
(2)Number of Workers People 206,587
(1)Number of Businesses Companies 1,466 12/31/2006 2006 Census of Manufactures
(Businesses with over 4 workers)
(2)Number of Workers People 42,724
(3)Amount of shipped manufactured products, etc. 100 million yen 16,865
Wholesalers 06/01/2007 2007 Census of Commerce (Hiroshima Prefecture)
(1)Number of Businesses Businesses 1,508
(2)Number of Workers People 14,350
(3)Yearly amount of products sold 100 million yen 9,914
Retail Business 06/01/2007 2007 Census of Commerce (Hiroshima Prefecture)
(1)Number of Businesses Businesses 4,397
(2)Number of Workers People 29,170
(3)Yearly amount of products sold 100 million yen 5,410
(1)Exports 1 million yen 563,020 2008
(Preliminary Figures)
Kobe Customs Fukuyama Customs Branch
(2)Imports 1 million yen 530,636

* Figures are from April 1, 2007 and cover the metropolitan area.