Shimabara, Nagasaki

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Flag of Shimabara, Nagasaki.svg
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Shimabara in Nagasaki Prefecture Ja.svg
Location of Shimabara in Nagasaki Prefecture
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Location in Japan
Coordinates: 32°46′N130°20′E / 32.767°N 130.333°E / 32.767; 130.333 Coordinates: 32°46′N130°20′E / 32.767°N 130.333°E / 32.767; 130.333
Region Kyushu
Prefecture Nagasaki Prefecture
  Total82.77 km2 (31.96 sq mi)
(October 1, 2016)
  Density540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
  Tree camphor tree
  Flower Prunus mume
Time zone UTC+9 (JST)
City hall address537, Uenomachi, Shimabara-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Website Shimabara City [ dead link ]

Shimabara(島原市,Shimabara-shi) is a city located on the north-eastern tip of the Shimabara Peninsula, facing Ariake Bay in the east and Mount Unzen (including Fugendake) in the west, in Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.

Cities of Japan administrative division of Japan

A city is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as towns and villages, with the difference that they are not a component of districts. Like other contemporary administrative units, they are defined by the Local Autonomy Law of 1947.

Shimabara Peninsula Japanese peninsula

Shimabara Peninsula is east of Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. On its north-eastern tip stands Shimabara City.

Mount Unzen mountain in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan

Mount Unzen is an active volcanic group of several overlapping stratovolcanoes, near the city of Shimabara, Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island.


As of October 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 44,936 and a population density of 540 persons per km². The total area is 82.77 km².

Population All the organisms of a given species that live in the specified region

In biology, a population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding. The area of a sexual population is the area where inter-breeding is potentially possible between any pair within the area, and where the probability of interbreeding is greater than the probability of cross-breeding with individuals from other areas.

Population density A measurement of population numbers per unit area or volume

Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume; it is a quantity of type number density. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and most of the time to humans. It is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square.


Shimabara is a castle town, which was the capital of Shimabara Domain during the Edo period. It was the site of considerable foreign trade and missionary activity during the late Muromachi period, and in the early Edo period, a large percentage of the population were Kirishitan . Due to misgovernment, high taxes and persecution of Christianity, the population rose up during the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637, which was suppressed with extreme severity by the Tokugawa Bakufu. Shimabara was ruled by a branch of the Matsudaira clan from 1668 to 1774 and from 1774 to 1871.

Shimabara Castle Japanese castle in Shimabara, Nagasaki prefecture

Shimabara Castle, also known as Moritake Castle and Takaki Castle, is a Japanese castle located in Shimabara, Hizen Province. This five-story white building stands in stark contrast to the black Kumamoto Castle in neighboring Kumamoto Prefecture.

Shimabara Domain Japanese historical estate in Hizen province

The Shimabara Domain was a Japanese domain of the Edo period. It is associated with Hizen Province in modern-day Saga Prefecture.

Edo period period of Japanese history

The Edo period or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", and popular enjoyment of arts and culture. The shogunate was officially established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3, 1868, after the fall of Edo.

Modern Shimabara City was founded on April 1, 1940 by the merger of former town of Shimabara with several surrounding villages.

On January 1, 2006, the town of Ariake (from Minamitakaki District) was merged into Shimabara.

Ariake) was a town located in Minamitakaki District, Nagasaki, Japan.

Minamitakaki was a district located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

Throughout its history, Shimabara has been dominated by the seismic activity of Mount Unzen. A major volcanic eruption in 1792 resulted in a tsunami that destroyed most of the town and killed over 15,000 people, in one of Japan's worst volcanic disasters. In more recent history, major eruptions in 1990–1991 resulted in pyroclastic flows, which killed 43 people and forced the temporary evacuation of hundreds of others. The 5th International Conference of Cities on Volcanoes was held in Shimabara November 19–23, 2007.

<i>Tsunami</i> Series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water

A tsunami or tidal wave,, also known as a seismic sea wave, is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami. Unlike normal ocean waves, which are generated by wind, or tides, which are generated by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun, a tsunami is generated by the displacement of water.

Pyroclastic flow Fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter that moves away from a volcano

A pyroclastic flow is a fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter that moves away from a volcano about 100 km/h (62 mph) on average but is capable of reaching speeds up to 700 km/h (430 mph). The gases can reach temperatures of about 1,000 °C (1,830 °F).


Shimabara is a popular tourist destination, due to its historical associations, location in Unzen-Amakusa National Park, and numerous onsen . The most popular tourist destination within the urban area is Shimabara Castle and the nearby "Samurai Street". The city has so much natural spring water, both hot and cold, that it runs through the streets. One picturesque spot, "Carp Street", has colorful koi swimming in the canals.

Unzen-Amakusa National Park national park of Japan

Unzen-Amakusa National Park is a national park in Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima Prefectures, Japan. Established in 1934, the park derives its name from Mount Unzen, an active volcano at the middle of the Shimabara Peninsula, and the Amakusa islands in the Yatsushiro Sea. The area is closely connected to the early history of Christianity in Japan, and the park encompasses numerous areas related to Kakure Kirishitan.

<i>Onsen</i> hot spring and its associated bathing facilities and inns

An onsen  (温泉) is a Japanese hot spring; the term also extends to cover the bathing facilities and traditional inns frequently situated around a hot spring. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsens scattered throughout all of its major islands.

Koi form of Cyprinus rubrofuscus (previously categorized as Cyprinus carpio)

Koi or more specifically nishikigoi, are colored varieties of Amur carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.

Principal agricultural products include mandarin oranges, tea, and tobacco.


Shimabara is host of the Shimbara Water Festival on the first weekend of August. There are also festivals in Minamishimabara, like the Marine Festival in Kuchinotsu and the Minamishimabara Sakura Festivals.

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Saga Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Saga Prefecture is a prefecture in the northwest part of the island of Kyushu, Japan. It touches both the Sea of Japan and the Ariake Sea. The western part of the prefecture is a region famous for producing ceramics and porcelain, particularly the towns of Karatsu, Imari, and Arita. The capital is the city of Saga.

Kumamoto Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Kumamoto Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kumamoto.

Nagasaki Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Nagasaki Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Nagasaki.

Shimabara Rebellion 1630s rebellion in Japan

The Shimabara Rebellion was an uprising that occurred in the Shimabara Domain of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan from 17 December 1637 to 15 April 1638.

Isahaya, Nagasaki City in Kyushu, Japan

Isahaya is a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on September 1, 1940.

Obama, Nagasaki human settlement in Japan

Obama was a town located in Minamitakaki District, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

Minamiarima was a town located in Minamitakaki District, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

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Matsukura Shigemasa Japanese daimyo of the late Sengoku and early Edo periods

Matsukura Shigemasa was a Japanese feudal lord of the late Sengoku and early Edo periods. He held the title of Bingo no Kami and the Imperial court rank of junior 5th, lower grade. Though he began as a retainer of Tsutsui Sadatsugu of Yamato Province, he became a lord in his own right, acquiring the 60,000 koku Shimabara Domain in Kyushu, in 1600. He is most famous for being the lord whose domain was the center of the Shimabara Rebellion of 1638.

Minamishimabara City in Kyushu, Japan

Minamishimabara is a city in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. It occupies the southern tip of Shimabara Peninsula.

Unzen, Nagasaki City in Kyushu, Japan

Unzen is a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, on the northern tip of Shimabara Peninsula, facing Ariake Bay in the east and Mount Unzen to the south. As of November 2018, the city has an estimated population of 42,457 and a population density of 220 persons per km². The total area is 206.92 km².

Ariake Sea bay

The Ariake Sea is a body of salt water surrounded by Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto Prefectures, all of which lie on the island of Kyūshū in Japan. It is the largest bay in Kyūshū. Its deepest point is only about 50 m deep, and extreme tides exceed 4 m, covering roughly 1,700 km2. It is used for aquaculture, with nori being a major product. Various species of fauna, including mudskippers, pen shells, and fiddler crabs, live in the Ariake Sea. In autumn, there is red-grass along the sea shore. Recent years have brought increasing pollution, with resultant red tides. Isahaya Bay is a branch of the Ariake Sea. Across the Amakusa Islands lies the Yatsushiro Sea. There is ongoing land reclamation as evidenced by satellite despite government attempts to dissuade farmers from carrying out the activity.

Shimabara Railway

Shimabara Railway is a railway company in Nagasaki, Japan.

1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami

The 1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami resulted from the volcanic activities of Mount Unzen on 21 May. This caused the collapse of the southern flank of the Mayuyama dome in front of Mount Unzen, resulting in a tremendous tsunami, killing 15,000 people altogether. It was also called Shimabara erupted, Higo affected (島原大変肥後迷惑), since many people were killed by this tsunami in Higo.