Sōma, Fukushima

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Sōma
相馬市
City
(Upper) Matsukawa Lagoon, Uda River, (Center) Soma Shrine, (Lower) Hyakusyaku Kannon, and Soma Nakamura Shrine.
(Upper) Matsukawa Lagoon, Uda River, (Center) Soma Shrine, (Lower) Hyakusyaku Kannon, and Soma Nakamura Shrine.
Flag of Sōma
Flag
Official seal of Sōma
Seal
Location of Sōmain Fukushima Prefecture
Location of Sōmain Fukushima Prefecture
Sōma is located in Japan
Sōma
Sōma
 
Coordinates: 37°47′48″N 140°55′10.7″E / 37.79667°N 140.919639°E / 37.79667; 140.919639Coordinates: 37°47′48″N 140°55′10.7″E / 37.79667°N 140.919639°E / 37.79667; 140.919639
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Fukushima Prefecture
Government
 • - Mayor Hidekiyo Tachiya
Area
 • Total 197.79 km2 (76.37 sq mi)
Population (October 2017)
 • Total 35,592
 • Density 179/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols  
• Tree Japanese black pine
• Flowers Spring: sakura
Summer: rugosa rose
Autumn: balloon flower
Winter: sazanka
• Bird Japanese bush-warbler
Phone number 0244-37-2117
Address 13 Nakamura Ōtesaki, Sōma-shi, Fukushima-ken 976-8601
Website Official website
Sōma City Hall

Sōma (相馬市, Sōma-shi) is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, in the Tōhoku region of northern Japan. As of 1 October 2017, the city had an estimated population of 35,592 and a population density of 179 persons per km2 in 14,358 households.[1] The total area of the city was 197.79 square kilometres (76.37 sq mi).

Geography[edit]

Sōma is located in northeastern Fukushima Prefecture, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Abukuma Plateau to the west. Sōma is closer to Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture than it is to the prefectural capital of Fukushima.

Neighboring municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Sōma has a humid climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) characterized by mild summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average annual temperature in Sōma is 12.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1260 mm with September as the wettest month.The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 24.8 °C, and lowest in January, at around 1.8 °C.[2]

Demographics[edit]

Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Sōma has remained the same over the past 40 years.

Census Year Population
1970 37,189
1980 37,332
1990 39,134
2000 38,842
2010 37,817

History[edit]

The area of present-day Sōma was part of ancient Mutsu Province, and has been settled since at least the Jōmon period. During the Edo period, the area developed as the castle town of Sōma Domain, home of the Sōma clan from the Kamakura period until the Boshin War. After the Meiji Restoration, it was organized as part of Iwaki Province. With the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1896, the area was organized into a number of towns and villages within the districts of Namekata and Uda. In 1896, Namekata and Uda were merged to create Sōma District. The town of Nakamura was established on April 1, 1889. Nakamura was merged with seven neighbouring villages and raised to city status on March 31, 1954, becoming the city of Sōma.

2011 earthquake and tsunami[edit]

The eastern, coastal portion of Sōma was inundated by tsunami flood waters following the magnitude 9.0 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami off its coastline on March 11, 2011.[4] The tsunami reached up to approximately 4 km inland in Sōma, flooded areas included Sōma Port and the Matsukawa-ura Bay area, up to the elevated Route 6 Sōma Bypass.[5] The tsunami was measured to have been 9.3 meters or higher in Sōma.[6]

Sōma is about 45 kilometres (28 miles) north of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the site of the nuclear accident that followed the tsunami, and was thus not subject to mandatory evacuation.[7].

Government[edit]

Sōma has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 20 members.[8]

Economy[edit]

Sōma has a mixed economy, based on agriculture, commercial fishing and light manufacturing. The area is noted for its strawberry cultivation.

Education[edit]

Sōma has nine public elementary schools and four public junior high schools operated by the city and two public high schools operated by the Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education. The prefecture also operates one special education school.

Hospital[edit]

Soma General Hospital, a public hospital with 240 beds, is located in Sōma.

Transportation[edit]

Railway[edit]

Highway[edit]

Seaports[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Noted people from Sōma[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sōma city official home page(in Japanese)
  2. ^ Sōma climate data
  3. ^ Sōma population statistics
  4. ^ Kyodo News, "Survivors in trauma after life-changing nightmare day", The Japan Times, 13 March 2011, p. 2.
  5. ^ NHK, TV News Broadcast, 13 March 2011.
  6. ^ http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/observation_2_04_20110313180559.html JMA tsunami observation data.
  7. ^ Fukushima evacuation orders and restricted areas]
  8. ^ Sōma City Council membership list(in Japanese)
  9. ^ [1] Agency for Cultural Affairs (in Japanese)

Further reading[edit]

Sasaki, Takashi (2013). Fukushima: vivir el desastre (in Spanish). Translated by F. Javier de Esteban Baquedano. Gijón, Spain: Satori Ediciones. ISBN 978-84-941125-3-9. 

External links[edit]