Shizuoka, Japan

Celebrating 50 Years.

The first of Omaha’s sister cities, Shizuoka, Japan, was established in 1965 by leading Omaha businessmen who saw the importance of establishing international connections and cultural education for Omaha and its citizens.

Population

The population of Shizuoka City is more than 470,000.

Area

Shizuoka is located on the Pacific coast about one hour south of Tokyo by bullet train. Since the city merger with Shimizu in May, 2003, Shizuoka City is the largest city in land area in all of Japan, the greater part of which is mountainous. Only about seven percent is flat land. To the north, the city embraces the Southern Japan Alps, whose peaks often reach more than 3,000 meters above sea level, and to the south the calm waters of Suruga Bay. All of this together makes for a beautifully natural rugged environment.

Location

Shizuoka is located in the approximate center of Japan with the Pacific Ocean to the south and Mt. Fuji to the northeast. Shizuoka is steeped in history dating back to the time of the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616). The original of the Sunpu Gate is located at his retirement home in central Shizuoka. Shizuoka City was called Sunpu until 100 years ago. Shizuoka City is the capital and nucleus of a broad urban area located in Shizuoka Prefecture. It is also the economic, political, information, education and cultural center of the region and is known for its agricultural crops of green tea, tangerines and strawberries.

History

The area that is now the city of Shizuoka has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Numerous kofun have been found within the city limits, and the Toro archaeological siteindicates that a major Yayoi period (circa 400 BC-300 AD) settlement existed in what is now part of the central city area.

Suruga was established as a province of Japan in the early Nara period. At some point between the year 701 and 710, the provincial capital was relocated from what is nowNumazu, to a more central location on the banks of the Abe River at a location named Sunpu (駿府?) (a contraction of “Suruga no Kokufu” (駿河の国府?)) or alternatively “Fuchū”(府中?).

During the Muromachi period, Sunpu was the capital of the Imagawa clan. The Imagawa were defeated at the Battle of Okehazama, and Sunpu was subsequently ruled byTakeda Shingen, followed by Tokugawa Ieyasu. However, Toyotomi Hideyoshi relocated Ieyasu, and installed Nakamura Kazutada to rule Sunpu. After the Toyotomi were defeated in the Battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu recovered Sunpu, reassigning it to his own retainer, Naitō Nobunari in 1601. This marked the start of Sunpu Domain.

In April 1606, Ieyasu officially retired from the post of Shogun, and retired to Sunpu, where he established a secondary court, from which he could influence Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada from behind the scenes. Subsequently, aside for brief periods, Sunpu was tenryō (territory under direct administration by the Shogunate), ruled by the Sunpu jōdai (駿府城代?), an appointed official based in Sunpu.

Exchanges

Many exchanges of junior high school and high school teachers and students occur. Omaha also continues on-going exchanges with the universities, Boy and Girl Scouts, the zoo, and hospitals among others. An official delegation from Shizuoka visits every few years and their arrival generally coincides with Omaha’s River City Roundup festivities.

Top Businesses

Shizuoka Gas Company
Natural gas distribution
Tokai Denpun Co., Ltd.
Starch, marine, livestock, seasoning, oils, fats
Suzuyo Shoji Co., Ltd.
Oil, gas, solar energy
Shimizu LNG
Natural gas distribution
Tokai Corporation
Energy, water, housing
ABC Co., Ltd.
Pachinhko parlors/gambling
Suzuyo & Co., Ltd.
Logistics
Hagoromo Foods Corporation
Packaged foods
MEGANETOP Co., Ltd.
Eyeglasses, contact lens
Takara MC Co., Ltd.
Supermarket chain

Did You Know?

Shizuoka is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture’s second largest city in terms of both population and area. It has been populated since prehistoric times. The city’s name is made up of two kanji, shizu, meaning “still” or “calm”; and oka, meaning “hill.” In 2003, Shizuoka merged with Shimizu City, briefly becoming the largest city by land area in Japan. In 2005, it became one of Japan’s 19 “designated cities.”  Mt. Fuji is Shizuoka’s claim to fame and was recently named as one of the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Japanese Flag

The national flag of Japan is a white rectangular flag with a large red disc (representing the sun) in the center. This flag is officially called Nisshōki (日章旗?, "sun-mark flag") in Japanese, but is more commonly known as Hinomaru (日の丸?, "circle of the sun")