From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|— Core city —|
|松山市 · Matsuyama|
|- Mayor||Tokihiro Nakamura|
|- Total||428.86 km2 (165.6 sq mi)|
(January 1, 2005)
|- Density||1,196.15/km2 (3,098/sq mi)|
|Website||City of Matsuyama|
4-7-2 Nibanchō, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime-ken
Matsuyama (松山市 Matsuyama-shi ) is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on the Shikoku island of Japan. It is located on the northeastern portion of the Dōgo Plain. Its name means "pine tree mountain." The city was founded on December 15, 1889.
The city is known for hot springs (onsen) and is home to Dōgo Onsen, the oldest hot spring bath house in Japan. A second favorite tourist spot is Matsuyama Castle. Eight of the eighty-eight temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are in Matsuyama.
History and culture
Matsuyama was in medieval times part of the Iyo-Matsuyama Domain, a fiefdom of Iyo Province consisting mainly of a castle town, supporting Matsuyama Castle. There was a nearby village at Dōgo Onsen to the east and a port somewhat farther to the west at Mitsuhama providing a link to the Japanese mainland (Honshū) and Kyūshū.
Famous Buddhist temples in Matsuyama include Ishite-ji (石手寺) and Taisanji (太山寺), both dating back to the 8th century, although the oldest surviving buildings are from the early 14th century. Famous shrines of the city include Isaniwa shrine, built in 1667.
The haiku poet Masaoka Shiki lived in Matsuyama. His house, now known as the Shiki-do, and a museum, the Shiki Memorial Museum, are popular attractions, and the centerpieces of the city's claim as a center of the international haiku movement. Other famous haiku poets associated with Matsuyama include Kobayashi Issa (an occasional visitor), Shiki's followers, Takahama Kyoshi and Kawahigashi Hekigoto, and Taneda Santoka. Santoka's house, known as Isso-an, is also a tourist attraction and is periodically open to the public. The Matsuyama Declaration of 1999 proposed the formation of International Haiku Research Center, and the first Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards were given in 2000. Recipients have included Yves Bonnefoy (2000), Cor van den Heuvel (2002) and Gary Snyder (2004).
The famed novel Botchan by Natsume Sōseki is set in Matsuyama. As a result, there are numerous sites and locales named after the main character, including Botchan Stadium, the Botchan Ressha (an antique train that runs on the streetcar route), and Botchan dango.
Matsuyama also figures in several works by Shiba Ryōtarō, notably his popular novel, Saka no ue no kumo [Clouds Above the Hill] (1969). In anticipation of the upcoming NHK Taiga drama adaptation of this novel, a Saka no ue no kumo Museum (坂の上の雲ミュージアム) was established in 2007.
Matsuyama was also the setting of a 1907 novel about the Russo-Japanese War, As the Hague Ordains, by American writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore. Matsuyama figures in the novel because the city housed a camp for Russian prisoners during the war. A Russian cemetery commemorates this important episode in Matsuyama history. The Russo-Japanese War is also remembered in Matsuyama because of the contributions of two Japanese military leaders, the Akiyama brothers, Akiyama Saneyuki and Akiyama Yoshifuru, who were born in the city.
The city today
In the twentieth century, various mergers joined the castle town with neighboring Dōgo, Mitsuhama, and other townships, aided by urban sprawl, creating a seamless modern city that now ranks as the largest in Shikoku. As of the most recent merger, on January 1, 2005, joining the city of Hōjō and town of Nakajima (from the former Onsen District) with Matsuyama, the city had an estimated population of 512,982 and a density of 1196 persons per km². The total (merged) area is 428.86 km².
Matsuyama Airport has regular flights to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major Japanese cities and selected international destinations, including both Shanghai and Seoul. There is regular ferry service to Hiroshima and regular night ferries to Kobe, Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū, and several other destinations. Also, hydrofoil service exists between Hiroshima and a few other destinations.
Famous products (meibutsu) of Matsuyama include tarts and Botchan dango. In the 17th century, the lord of Matsuyama castle Sadayuki Matsudaira (松平定行) introduced the process of tart-making, originally brought to Japan by the Portuguese, to Matsuyama. At first it was a Castella with jam. According to legend Sadayuki made some changes, such as adding red bean paste. Now there are many kinds and makers of tarts in Matsuyama; some add yuzu paste or chestnut to the red bean paste. In addition to tarts, Botchan dango is also a famous product of Matsuyama. Botchan dango was named after the famous novel Botchan by Natsume Sōseki. It consists of three bean paste beads of three flavors, matcha, egg, and red bean paste. Within the paste is contained mochi.
Matsuyama is the site of a number of festivals, including the Dogo Festival, held in the spring, the Matsuyama Festival, held in August, and the Fall Festival, held in October, which features battling mikoshi.
Famous people from Matsuyama
- Akiyama Yoshifuru, general in the Imperial Japanese Navy
- Harada Sanosuke, 10th unit captain of the Shinsengumi
- Ishida Hakyo, poet
- Kawahigashi Hekigoto, poet
- Masaoka Shiki, poet
- Nakamura Kusatao, poet
- Chiaki Kusuhara, beach volleyball player
- Eiji Mizuguchi, baseball player
- Hiroko Otsuka, rhythmic gymnast
- Isao Okido, kendoka
- Kazuko Kadoya, basketball player
- Kazuyuki Matsuzawa, actor
- Kenta Abe, baseball player
- Kotomi Aoki, manga artist
- Kyoshi Takahama, poet
- Makoto Tamada, motorcycle racer
- Mansaku Itami, film director
- Masaru Kageura, baseball player
- Mika Saiki, beach volleyball player
- Radio Wada, manga artist
- Reiko Tosa, athlete
- Ryo Aono, snowboarder
- Takashi Nishimoto, baseball player
- Tetsu Yano, writer
- Tomochika, comedian
- Tomoko Honda, announcer
- Toshiro Tomochika, football player and politician
- Yasuyuki Muneta, judoka
- Yoko Matsuyama, actress
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Matsuyama, Ehime|
- Matsuyama City official website in Japanese
- Matsuyama official website in English
- Matsuyama travel guide from Wikitravel
- Sophia Club A NPO that creates a friendly environment for foreigners
- Matsuyama Declaration
- Photos of Matsuyama including Dogo Onsen, the Castle and local temples
- Masaoka Shiki Haiku Awards
- CityMayors.com city profile by Mayor Nakamura