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about Fukuoka

Fukuoka (福岡市; -shi) is the capital city of Fukuoka prefecture on the northern tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan.

It is the largest city in Kyūshū, followed closely by Kitakyushu. Kyūshū is the third largest island of Japan and most southerly of the main islands. It is considered the birthplace of Japanese civilization. The city is one of the main areas of the Fukuoka-Kitakyushu metropolitan area.

Fukuoka history

The Mongols attempted two unsuccessful invasions of Japan. The first invasion fleet was utterly destroyed by a typhoon (kamikaze) in 1281. The Mongolian fleets survived the typhoon the second time but the landed troops, starved because their provisions had been lost in the typhoon, were annihilated by Japanese infantry and samurai.

Fukuoka's Hakata bay is Japan's gateway to Korea and China. Gateways, of course, attract undesirables and having bored of terrorising the continent the great Mongol Kublai Khan of the Mongol Empire and after founding the Yuan Dynasty, Emperor of China, turned his attention to Zipangu. In 1268, Japan had to face an external pressure it had never experienced before. Few knew it might change the fate of the Hojos and the Kamakura Shogunate. Kublai Khan of Mongol, grandson of Genghis Khan, sent an envoy to Japan to make the Shogunate acknowledge Khan's suzerainty. The Kamakura Shogunate refused. Mongolia repeatedly sent envoys thereafter, each time urging the Shogunate accept their proposal but to no avail. In 1274, Mongol fleets with 900 ships and 33,000-strong troops invaded northern part of Kyushu island.

His first invasion was compromised by a combination of incompetence and storms but it was the second invasion, in 1281, destroyed by the famous "kamikaze" (or "wind of god") that marked the end of his Japanese ambitions. Fortunately, a typhoon hit the area in the middle of the battle and most of the ships were destroyed, forcing them to retreat. Kublai sent another envoy in 1279. Back at the time, Hojo Tokimune of the Hojo clan (1251-1284) was the Eighth Regent. Not only did he decline the offer, but executed (beheaded) the five Mongolian emissaries after summoning them to Kamakura.

After the first invasion of 1274, the Japanese samurai built a stone barrier of 20 kilometers long (Height about 2-3 metres; width at base about 3 metres. Built in 1276-1277; excavated in the 1930s.) bordering the coast of Hakata Bay of today's Fukuoka city. This stone barrier, on which the Japanese soldiers forcefully fought in resistance, effectively prevented the landing of the Yuan (Mongol) army on the shore of Hakata (now in Fukuoka city) during the second invasion of 1281.

Getting infuriated, Kublai made another attack on Fukuoka Prefecture in 1281 reinforcing the troops to 140,000 soldiers with 4,000 ships. The Japanese warriors were no match for Mongolians, and the Kublai fleets invaded up to Dazaifu (太宰府市; -shi), 15 kilometers south of Fukuoka city. By sheer luck, another typhoon struck the area again, and it gave a crushing blow to the Mongolian troops. (Hence the Japanese called the typhoon Kamikaze or Divine Winds, and many believed even in the Pacific War that Japan would win by the mercy of Kamikaze.) Under pressure from his Mongolian advisors Kublai attempted to conquer Japan, Myanmar, and Vietnam. All those attempts failed and the cost of these expeditions and the paper currency he created caused inflation.

First Invasion, November 1274

Mainly land battles fought on the coastal strip of today's Fukuoka city.

Second Invasion, June:August 1281

Mainly sea battles fought on the coastal waters of northern Kyushu.


Fukuoka was formerly the residence of the powerful daimyo of Chikuzen, and played a conspicuous part in the medieval history of Japan; the renowned temple of Ieiyasu in the district was destroyed by fire during the revolution of 1868. (from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica)

The modern city was formed on April 1, 1889 with the merger of the former cities of Hakata and Fukuoka. Historically, Hakata was the port and merchant district, and as such was more associated with the area's culture: it remains the main commercial area. On the other hand, the Fukuoka area was home to many samurai, and its name has been used since Kuroda Nagamasa, the first daimyo of Chikuzen, named it after his birthplace in Okayama Prefecture. Today, the old Fukuoka is the main shopping area called Tenjin.

When Hakata and Fukuoka decided to merge, a meeting was held to decide the name for the new city. Hakata was initially chosen, but a group of samurai crashed the meeting and forced those present to choose Fukuoka as the name for the merged cities. However, Hakata is still used to refer to the Hakata area of the city, and most famously to refer to the city's train station (Hakata Station).

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fukuoka".

This city is also known as: Fukuoka.

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