Definitions

Hakodate

Hakodate

[hah-kaw-dah-te]
Hakodate, city (1990 pop. 307,249), extreme SW Hokkaido, Japan, on the Tsugaru Strait. Opened (1854) to U.S. ships and a little later (1857) to general foreign trade, it was the chief port of the island until recently replaced by Sapporo. It is linked with Aomori on Honshu by the Seikan Tunnel. A commercial and industrial center, the city's main industries are fishing, shipbuilding, and food processing. Of interest is the Goryokaku, the fort where the Tokugawa shogun made his last stand.
is a city and port located in Oshima, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is the capital city of Oshima Subprefecture.

As of March 2008, the city has an estimated population of 287,691 and a density of 442.24 persons per km². The total area is 677.77 km².

History

Pre-Meiji restoration

Hakodate was founded in 1454, when Kono Kaganokami Masamichi constructed a large manor house in the Ainu fishing village of Usukeshi (the word for bay in Ainu). The mansion is said to have included a barricade and looked like a box from the distance giving the area its name, box mansion.

After his death, Masamichi's son, Kono Suemichi, and family were driven out of Hakodate into nearby Kameda during Ainu rebellion in 1512 and little history was recorded for the area during the next 100 years. There was constant low level conflict in the Oshima peninsular at the time with the Ainu as armed merchants like the Kono family established bases to control trade in the region. This conflict culminated in an uprising from 1669 to 1672, led by Ainu warrior Shakushain after which the Ainu in the region were suppressed.

Hakodate flourished during the Hoei period (1704-11) and many new temples were founded in the area. The town's fortunes received a further boost in 1741 when the Matsumae clan, which had been granted nearby areas on the Oshima Peninsula as a march fief, moved its Kameda magistracy to Masamichi's house in Hakodate.

In 1779, the Tokugawa shogunate took direct control over Hakodate, which triggered rapid development in the area. Merchant Takadaya Kahei, who is honoured as the founder of Hakodate port, set up trading operations, which included the opening the northern Etorofu sea route to the Kuril island fisheries. He is credited with turning Hakodate from a trading outpost into a thriving city. A Hakodate magistracy was established in 1802.

Meiji restoration

The port of Hakodate was surveyed by a fleet of five US ships in 1854 under the conditions of the Treaty of Kanagawa, as negotiated by Commodore Matthew Perry. Hakodate port partially opened to foreign ships for provisioning in the following year and then completely to foreign trade on 2 June 1859 as one of three Japanese open ports designated in the 1858 Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed with the US.

A mariner in Perry's fleet died during a visit to the area and became the first US citizen to be buried in Japan when he was interred in Hakodate's cemetery for foreigners. British merchant, naturalist and spy, Thomas Blakiston, took up residence in Hakodate in the summer of 1861 to establish a saw milling business and in doing so acquainted the city with western culture. He stayed in Hakodate until 1884, during which time he documented the local natural environment, equipped the local meteorological station and ran guns to the Boshin War rebels.

As one of few points of Japanese contact with the outside world, Hakodate was soon host to several overseas consulates. The Russian consulate included a chapel from where Nicholas of Japan is credited with introducing Eastern Orthodox Christianity to Japan in 1861 (now the Japanese Orthodox Church). The Orthodox church is neighbored by several other historical missionary churches, including Anglican and Catholic.

Hakodate also played a central role in the Boshin War between the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Emperor which followed Perry's opening of Japan. Shogunate rebel Enomoto Takeaki fled to Hakodate with the remnants of his navy and his handful of French advisers in winter 1866, including Jules Brunet. They formally established the Republic of Ezo on December 25. The republic tried unsuccessfully to gather international recognition to foreign legations in Hakodate, including the Americans, French, and Russians.

The rebels occupied Hakodate's famous European-style Goryokaku fort and used it as the centre of their defences in southern Hokkaidō. Government forces defeated the secessionists in the Battle of Hakodate in 1869 and the city and fort were surrendered to emperor. Military leader, Hijikata Toshizo, was one of those slain in the fighting.

In 1878, Isabella Bird reported of the city in her travelogue:

The streets are very wide and clean, but the houses are mean and low. The city looks as if it had just recovered from a conflagration. The houses are nothing but tinder… Stones, however, are its prominent feature. Looking down upon it from above you see miles of grey boulders, and realise that every roof in the windy capital is “hodden doun” by a weight of paving stones.

20th century to present day

Hakodate was awarded city status on August 1, 1922. The city escaped most of the ravages of World War II. Areas around Hakodate-yama were fortified and access restricted to the public. Many prisoners of war were interned in Hakodate and historians record a total of 10 camps. The city was subjected to two Allied bombing raids on 14 and 15 July 1945. Around 400 homes were destroyed on the western side of Hakodate-yama and an Aomori-Hakodate ferry was attacked with 400 passengers killed.

Hakodate's size nearly doubled on December 1, 2004 when the neighboring municipalities of Toi, Esan, Todohokke and Minamikayabe were merged into it.

Geography

Hakodate is located in the centre of Kameda peninsula.

The city is overlooked by , a lumpy, forested mountain whose summit can be reached by hiking trail, cable car, or car. The night view from the summit is renowned in Japan as one of the best in the country. An obscure local nickname of the bumpy mountain is Gagyuzan (Mount Cow's Back), alluding to the way the mountain resembles a resting cow.

The former Goryukaku fort is now used in as a public park and is popular in Hokkaidō for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). Since April 2006, the park has also featured the tall, white Goryokaku Tower. Resembling an air traffic control tower, the structure offers a panoramic view of the park, including mainland Japan across the Tsugaru Strait on clear days.

Nearby cities and towns

Mountains

  • 334 m
  • 618 m. Hokkaidō's southern-most active volcano

Culture

The city is known for Hakodate Shio Ramen, which uses sliced squid in place of chāshū (Char siu, 叉焼 or 焼豚: traditionally barbecued pork but usually a thinly sliced braised pork when used as a ramen topping). On a similar note, Hakodate's city fish is the squid. Every year (August) the city gets together for the Hakodate Port Festival. Hordes of citizens gather in the streets to dance a wiggly dance known as the Ika-odori (Squid Dance), the name of which describes the dance appropriately. The glowing lights of squid-catching boats can be seen in the waters surrounding the city.

Transportation

Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaidō) operates the Hakodate Station.

Hakodate Airport is located in Hakodate.

Famous people

Sister cities

See also

References

External links

Search another word or see Hakodateon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature