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Introduction to Aomori >>

Location, Statistics and Climate >>

Map of Japan

Situated in the centre of Aomori Prefecture, the northern tip of the Japanese island of Honshū, Aomori City faces Mutsu Bay to the north. In the other three directions it is hemmed in by mountains, the Hakkōda Mountains figuring most prominently among them.

Aomori City has fairly temperate summers, and its four seasons are clearly demarcated. It has one of the highest degrees of snowfall of any city with a population of over 300,000.

Honorary citizens >>

Shikō Munakata, 1903~1975

Shikō Munakata Awarded 17th February 1969, passed away 13th September 1975

By constantly honing his talents since the days of his youth, Munakata reached the pinnacle of his chosen genre, the woodblock print, and achieved national and international fame for himself and renown for Aomori City, the place of his birth. In 1970 he became the first person from Aomori Prefecture to be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit.

Minoru Yokoyama, 1903~1974

Minoru Yokoyama Awarded 13th July 1973, passed away 14th August 1974

In 1947 Yokoyama became mayor in Aomori's first post-war elections. His contribution toward rebuilding the city after the ravages it suffered during the war and his service during four terms until 1963 lay the foundations of modern-day Aomori City.

Morizō Ishidate, 1901~1996

Morizō Ishidate Awarded 15th May 1988, passed away 18th July 1996

During his eminent career, this son of Aomori rose to be Dean of the prestigious Tokyo University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Among his contributions to medical science are the development of the cardiotonic drug Vitacamphor and the chemotherapeutic anti-cancer agent Nitromin. He was also the first in Japan to synthesize Promine, perhaps the earliest effective drug against Hansen's disease. He campaigned against the Japanese Leprosy Law with its policy of forced segregation and lived long enough to witness its abolition on 1st April 1996.

Nori Awaya, 1907~1999

Nori Awaya Awarded 22nd June 1998, passed away 22nd September 1999

In the history of Japanese popular music, Nori Awaya will always be remembered as "Noriko Awaya, the Queen of the Blues". In the turbulent years before and during the War, she gave the Japanese people courage and hope through her songs. In 1972 she was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon, and in 1982 the Order of the Precious Crown, Wisteria.

Yuichirō Miura, born 1932

Yuichirō Miura Awarded 3rd November 2008

Yuichirō Miura is a skier and adventurer who has won national and international renown for his achievements, which include skiing down the highest mountains of the world's seven continents and making two successful ascents of Mt. Everest whilst in his seventies. Furthermore, as Principal of Clark Memorial International High School, he is an active figure in the educational sector, working to foster the ambitions and potential of the students in his care.

Recipients of the Aomori Medal of Honour >>

Aomori Medal of Honour

Aomori Medal of Honour

The stylized hamanasu, Aomori's municipal flower, in the upper part between the two suspension rings represents indomitability of the spirit, while the seven-pointed star set off with pearls and the bay laurel at its center is the city emblem and stands for the glory and prosperity of Aomori.

Hitoshi Saitō, born 1961

Hitoshi Saitō Awarded 30th November 1988

Hitoshi Saitō began to practice judo as a junior high school student and went on to win numerous championships, culminating in Olympic gold medals in Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988) in the heavyweight (over 95 kg) division.

Yukihito Tamakuma, born 1964

Yukihito Tamakuma Awarded 7th August 1990

On 29th July 1990 Yukihito Tamakuma, fighting as "Leopard Tamakuma", won the WBA world flyweight title match to become the first world boxing champion to hail from Aomori.

Takanori Hatakeyama, born 1975

Takanori Hatakeyama Awarded 12th September 1998

On 5th September 1998, Takanori Hatakeyama captured the WBA world super featherweight title. On 11th June 2000 he again put in a brilliant performance to win the WBA world lightweight title belt, becoming the fourth Japanese boxer to win title matches in two weight categories. He also twice successfully defended his titles.

Keizō Miura, 1904~2006

Keizō Miura Awarded 15th July 2003, passed away 5th January 2006

Keizō Miura was a pioneer of Japanese skiing from the days he worked at the Aomori Regional Forest Office. He also won acclaim at home and abroad as an alpine photographer. Still an active skier at the age of 99, on 19th February 2003 Miura performed the difficult feat of skiing down the Mont Blanc Vallee Blanche glacier with his son Yuichirō and grandson Yūta.

Yuichirō Miura, born 1932

Yuichirō Miura Awarded 15th July 2003

Yuichirō Miura earned his spurs as a professional skier and adventurer who has skied not only down Mt. Fuji but down the highest peaks of all seven continents. In yet another of his continuing challenges, on 22nd May 2003 he ascended Mt. Everest with his second son Gōta, to claim, at age 70, the record of oldest person to reach the highest peak in the world.

City emblem; municipal tree, flower, bird and insect >>

City emblem

Aomori City Emblem

Adopted on 27th April 2005, the city emblem is derived from the kanji character 'ao' (青), meaning blue or green. By itself, the lower part of this character (月) is used to represent the moon (the circle of the emblem), and the seven tips of the stylized plant over the moon here indicate the seven stars of the Big Dipper (the star of the emblem), a constellation strongly associated with the North. The emblem therefore not only symbolizes Aomori's name, but also its position at the northernmost extremity of the Japanese mainland.

Municipal tree - Aomori Todomatsu (Maries' Fir, Abies mariesii)

Aomori Todomatsu

It is extremely special for a tree to have 'Aomori' in its name, and because this evergreen keeps its beauty during the four seasons it is a fitting choice for a municipal tree.

Municipal flower - Hamanasu (Beach Rose, Rosa rugosa)

Hamanasu

The fragile flowers and fleeting fragrance of this rose have often been admired in songs and poems. The bright red hips accentuate its beauty further.

Municipal bird - Owl

Owl

In the Namioka area of our city, many owls nest in the apple orchards where they are cherished and carefully protected.

Municipal insect - Firefly

Firefly

Because the firefly only lives near clear water, it has become a symbol of unspoiled nature. The firefly has always been an object of admiration in Japan, and thanks to the efforts of our citizens it can still be found in the Hosogoe and Yoshinoda areas.

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