Hikone, Shiga

From Academic Kids

Hikone (彦根市; -shi) is a city located in Shiga, Japan.

As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 108,613 and the density of 1,106.60 persons per km². The total area is 98.15 km².

The city was founded on February 11, 1937.

Missing image
JapanShigaHikoneCastle.jpg
Hikone Castle

Hikone's most famous historical site is Hikone Castle. Its construction was begun in 1603 by Ii Naokatsu, son of the former lord Ii Naomasa, but was not completed until 1622. Naokatsu's lands had been taken from him in the interval by the Tokugawa shogunate, and when his brother Naotake assumed control of the Omi area, he was able to complete the castle by collecting stones from the former Sawayama castle. When the Meiji era began in 1868, many castles were scheduled to be dismantled and only a request from the emperor himself, touring the area, kept Hikone-jo intact. Today it remains one of the oldest original-construction castles in Japan.

Hikone lies on the Nakasendo, which was one of the most important trading routes until modern times. Today, a small area south of the castle, called the Yume Kyobashi Castle Road, is built in the old style and attracts visitors keen to see modern construction fused with traditional looks. Even the Biwako Bank in this district has remodeled itself to fit in with the surrounding structures.

Hikone is the home of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a facility operated jointly by a consortium of the fifteen public universities in the State of Michigan and the government of Shiga Prefecture that offers programs for American university students and scholars for the study of Japanese language and culture, as well as courses in English for the citizens of the Shiga Prefecture. The Michigan Center, as it is known, was founded in 1989 under the auspices of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Agreement, the oldest such relationship between a US state and Japanese prefecture.

In 2003, meetings were held to discuss the merger of Hikone city with Toyosato (豊郷町), Kora (甲良町), and Taga (多賀町) towns. However, a survey taken in Feb. 2004 by the city revealed that most of the city's citizens opposed the merger leading the city government to shelve the proposal for the time being.

Miscellaneous topics

Sister cities

External links

Template:Shigaja:彦根市 eo:Hikone

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