Naha is a city on the East China Sea coast of the southern part of Okinawa Island, the largest of Okinawa Prefecture. The modern city was officially founded on May 20, 1921. Before that, Naha had been for centuries one of the most important and populous sites in Okinawa.
Location of Naha in Okinawa Prefecture
|• Mayor||Mikiko Shiroma|
|• Core city||39.98 km2 (15.44 sq mi)|
|• Urban||478.57 km2 (184.78 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|• Core city||317,405|
|• Density||7,900/km2 (21,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|Address||1-1-1 Izumizaki, Naha-shi 900-8585|
Central Naha consists of the Palette Kumoji shopping mall, the Okinawa Prefecture Office, Naha City Hall, and many banks and corporations, located at the west end of Kokusai-dōri, the city's main street. Kokusai-dōri (国際通り, "International Avenue") boasts a 1.6 kilometer long stretch of stores, restaurants and bars. Kokusai-dōri ends at the main bus terminal in Okinawa and is served by several stations along the Okinawa Urban Monorail, the only train system in the prefecture.
Spurring off from Kokusai-dōri is the covered Heiwa-dōri Shopping Arcade and Makishi Public Market, a massive shōtengai filled with fresh fish, meat, and produce stands, restaurants, tourist goods shops, and liquor shops. Just outside the market area is the neighborhood of Tsuboya (壺屋, "pot/jar shop"), which was once a major center of ceramic production (see Tsuboya-yaki).
Northeast of Kokusai-dōri is a relatively new commercial district called Shintoshin (新都心, "New Metropolitan Center"). The area, formerly United States military housing, was released to Okinawa in 1987, but major development only began in the mid-1990s. Omoromachi Station is attached directly to an upscale shopping mall; another mall, Naha Main Place, a few hundred meters down the street, contains many upscale Western-brand fashion boutiques, with restaurants and other shops. Frequented by young people, the area boasts large stores such as Toys R Us and Best Denki (an electronics store), a co-op market, many restaurants and a movie theater.
The Okinawa Prefectural Museum, containing sections devoted to the art, history, and natural history of the Ryukyus, opened in the area in November 2007 and sits in front of Shintoshin Park.
According to the Irosetsuden (遺老説伝), the name of Naha comes from its original name, Naba, which was the name of a large, mushroom-shaped stone in the city. (Naba is a Western Japanese and Ryukyuan word for "mushroom.") Gradually, the stone wore away and became buried, and the name's pronunciation and its kanji gradually changed.
In Naha, some archeological relics of the Stone Age were found. From a Jōmon period kaizuka (shell mound), ancient Chinese coins were found. Pottery found by archaeologists indicates that the area was an active site of trade with the Japanese archipelago and Korean peninsula at least as early as the 11th century. Though it is not known just when the area first became organized as a functioning port city, it was active as such by the time of the unification of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in the early 15th century.
Though today Naha has grown to incorporate the former royal capital city of Shuri, center of Chinese learning Kumemura, and other towns and villages, in the period of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, it was a smaller city, prominent as a major port, but not as a political center.
Medieval Naha was on a tiny island called Ukishima, connected to the mainland of Okinawa Island by a narrow causeway called Chōkōtei (長虹堤 lit. "long rainbow embankment") which led on to Shuri. The main port area for international trade, Naha proper, was divided into the East (東, higashi) and West (西, nishi) districts and was on the southwestern portion of Ukishima. A large open-air marketplace was active in front of the royal government trading center, or oyamise (親見世). A number of Japanese temples and shrines were located here, along with a residence and embassy, known as the Tenshikan (天使館), for visiting Chinese officials. A pair of forts (Mie gusuku and Yarazamori gusuku) built atop embankments extending out across the entrance to the harbor defended the port, and a small island within the harbor held a warehouse, Omono gusuku (御物グスク), used for storing trade goods.
Tomari (泊), on the mainland of Okinawa Island to the northeast of Ukishima, served as the chief port for trade within the Ryūkyū Islands. The administrators of Tomari were also responsible for collecting and managing the tribute paid to the kingdom by the Amami Islands, whose tribute ships made port here.
Kume-Ōdōri (久米大通り, "Kume Great Avenue") ran across Ukishima from southeast to northwest, forming the center of the walled community of Kumemura, the center of classical Chinese learning in Ryūkyū for centuries. Kumemura is traditionally believed to have been founded by 36 Min families sent to Ryūkyū by the Ming Chinese Imperial Court and to be inhabited primarily or solely by descendants of those settlers; historian Uezato Takashi points out, however, that due to Naha's prominence in international maritime trade networks, it is quite likely that many other Chinese, chiefly from Fujian and other maritime trading areas along the southern Chinese coast, would have settled here as well.
Major sites in the community included the Tensonbyō Taoist temple near the northern end of Kume-Ōdōri and two shrines called Upper and Lower Tenpigū, dedicated to the Taoist goddess of the sea Tenpi, also known as Matsu. A Confucian temple, the gift of the Kangxi Emperor, was built in Kumemura in the 1670s; the Meirindō, a school of classic Confucian Chinese learning, was established in 1718. Following their destruction in World War II, the Meirindō, Confucian temple, and Tenpigū shrines were rebuilt on the site of the Tensonbyō in northern Kume, where they stand today as the Confucian temple Shiseibyō.
On the northwest side of Ukishima lay Wakasamachi (若狭町, "Wakasa town"), a community traditionally said to have been founded by Japanese settlers. It was organized around Wakasamachi-Ōdōri, an avenue which intersected with Kume-Ōdōri and ran across tidal mudflats to the east of Ukishima, connecting the community to the port of Tomari on the Okinawan mainland. A number of Japanese shrines and temples were located in Wakasamachi, including the Naminoue Shrine, the Zen temple Kōganji, and temples devoted to Ebisu and Jizō. The community had lodgings specifically set aside for traders and travelers from the Tokara Islands.
Another settlement, known as Izumizaki, lay on the mainland of Okinawa Island, just across the Kumoji River from Ukishima. Izumizaki had no notable or major port facilities and is believed to have been simply an extension of the residential community of Naha proper, which thus spread onto the mainland as the population and according demand for land grew. At some point, the tidal mudflats and Kumoji River separating Ukishima, that is, Naha, from Okinawa Island were filled in. The neighborhoods of Kume, Wakasa, and Tomari can still be found in Naha today.
Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expeditionary squadron stopped in Naha en route to Tokyo in 1853; and the American ships visited several more times. The lithographs prepared from drawings made by the expedition's official artist would be widely circulated. These images would provide the basis for 19th century impressions of the geography and people of the Ryūkyū islands.
After the replacement of the Ryūkyū Kingdom with the Ryūkyū Domain in 1872, Naha became the capital city. The Ryūkyū Domain was abolished in 1879 and the former Ryūkyū Kingdom came to an end, fully annexed by Japan as Okinawa Prefecture, with Naha remaining as the capital city. Shuri and other neighboring municipalities were absorbed into the city.
On April 1, 2013, Naha became a core city, a category of cities of Japan under the Local Autonomy Law of Japan. Naha now carries out many of the functions, notably for public health care, normally delegated to the prefectural government. Naha is the first core city in Okinawa Prefecture.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Kainan Church) is the episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Naha.
The restored and rebuilt Shuri Castle, the former royal palace of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, is one of the finest gusuku (Okinawan castle) and among the most important historical sites in Naha. The palace, and a series of tunnels underneath it, were used as a major command post by the Imperial Japanese military during World War II, and the castle was subsequently almost destroyed in 1945 by the US Marines, Army and Navy. After the war, the University of the Ryūkyūs was constructed on the site. Today Shuri Castle has been reconstructed, including the famous Shureimon, its main gate, and is registered, along with a number of other gusuku and other Okinawan historical and sacred sites, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Four universities are in the Naha area. Two are run by Okinawa Prefecture; two are private. The University of the Ryukyus, the sole national university in Okinawa Prefecture, was also in Naha, on the site of Shuri Castle. Before the restoration of the castle, the university moved to the town of Nishihara to the northeast of Naha.
Naha's public elementary and junior high schools are operated by the Naha City Board of Education. Naha's public high schools are operated by the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education. Private schools include the Okinawa Actors' School.
Naha has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa)—bordering on Tropical rainforest (Köppen climate classification Af)—with hot summers and mild winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year; September is the wettest month and December is the driest. Naha has hot and humid summers with July and August being the city's warmest months, exceeding an average high of 31 degrees Celsius. Naha has warm winters, with average high temperatures in the coolest months of January and February, hovering around 19-20 degrees Celsius and average lows around 14-15 degrees Celsius. The city sees a substantial amount of rainfall, averaging in excess of 2,000 mm (79 in) of rain per year.
Naha is an economic center of Okinawa dominated by tourism, retail and service industries. Okinawa's largest banks, Bank of the Ryukyus, Bank of Okinawa and Okinawa Kaiho Bank, are headquartered in Naha. The Bank of Japan, Mizuho Bank, Shoko Chukin Bank and Japan Post Bank also have branches in Naha. Major international insurance companies also have call centers based in the city.
Naha Airport and Naha Port serve the city. Naha Airport is the hub of Okinawa Prefecture.
The Okinawa Urban Monorail, also known as the Yui Rail (ゆいレール) carries passengers from Naha Airport Station to the center of Naha, Kokusai-dōri, Shintoshin, and to the terminal at Shuri Station, near Shuri Castle.
Two designated yakuza groups, the Kyokuryu-kai and the Okinawa Kyokuryu-kai, are based in Naha. The Okinawa Kyokuryu-kai is the largest yakuza group in Okinawa Prefecture, followed by the Kyokuryu-kai.
Famous people with links to the city of Naha include:
Portions of Naha have been faithfully recreated in 3D for Sega Ryu ga Gotoku 3, or Yakuza 3 in its North American localization, in a 2009 video game on PlayStation 3. This virtual version includes Kokusai-dōri, the covered Heiwa-dōri Shopping Arcade, Makishi Public Market and the Monorail's Prefectural Office Station.
Shuri Castle during the American invasion was recreated in Call of Duty: World at War during the final stages of the game. The player must help capture the castle and it is the final level for the American portion of the story.
Naha City was prominently featured in the plot of the 1986 film The Karate Kid Part II. However, the film was actually shot in Hawaii.
The opening scene of David Mitchell's 1999 novel Ghostwritten is set in Naha.
The name Naha was used in Microsoft's 2003 space simulation game Freelancer. The Gas Miner "Naha" is a station owned by the Gas Miners Guild (GMG) in the Sigma-13 system.
所在地 沖縄県那覇市山下町3番1号（〒900-0027）Archived 2009-04-17 at the Wayback Machine."
The table contains a comparison of karate styles. Some of the distinguishing features are listed, such as lineage, general form of stances, and number of kata.
The four earliest karate styles developed in Japan are Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Shito-ryu, and Goju-ryu. The first three styles find their origins in the Shorin-Ryu style from Shuri, Okinawa, while Goju-ryu finds its origins in Naha.
Shuri karate is rather different from Naha karate, drawing on different predecessor influences. Shito-ryu can be regarded as a blend of Shuri and Naha traditions as its kata incorporate both Shuri and Naha kata.When it comes to individual karate styles; Shotokan involves long, deep stances and powerful long range techniques. Shito-ryu, on the other hand, uses more upright stances and stresses speed rather than power in its long and middle range techniques. Wado-ryu too employs shorter, more natural stances and the style is characterised by the emphasis on body shifting to avoid attacks. Kyokushin, a hard style, involves breaking more often than the other styles and full contact, knockdown sparring as a main part of its training. Goju-ryu places emphasis on Sanchin kata and its rooted Sanchin stance, and it features grappling and close-range techniques.Japan National Route 332
National Route 332 is a national highway of Japan connecting Naha Airport and central Naha, Okinawa in Japan, with a total length of 3.1 km (1.93 mi).Japan National Route 58
National Route 58 (国道58号) is a highway in Japan. This very unusual road has continuous numbering over disconnected segments on the islands of Kyūshū, Tanegashima, Amami Ōshima, and Okinawa. The road has a total of 255.5 km on land. It originates in the prefectural capital of Kagoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture and terminates in Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture.
At the northern terminus, Route 58 meets Routes 3 and 10. The segment in the city of Kagoshima measures only about 700 m. The next segment links Nishinoomote, Nakatane, and Minamitane. On Amami Ōshima, the highway connects Amami, Tatsugo, and Setouchi. The final segment starts in Kunigami at the northern tip of Okinawa Island and runs along the west coast to the southern terminus in Naha.Japan Transocean Air
Japan Transocean Air Co., Ltd. (日本トランスオーシャン航空株式会社, Nippon Toransuōshan Kōkū Kabushiki-gaisha), or JTA, is an airline based in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It operates domestic services on behalf of Japan Airlines. Its main base is Naha Airport. From 1967 until 1993, the airline was known as Southwest Air Lines.Lake Man
Lake Man (漫湖, Manko) is an area of wetlands in Okinawa that is located between the cities of Naha and Tomigusuku, and within Manko Park. Despite being called "Lake Man", it is in fact a wetland and not a lake. Lake Man covers .11 square kilometres (0.042 sq mi).Lake Man is close to Naha Port, located at the confluence of the lower reaches of the Kokuba River and the Noha River, to the south of Naha. Travelers from outside Okinawa Prefecture, en route from Naha Airport to the city Naha, cross this estuary, with the left side commanding a view of Lake Man.
The Manko Waterbird & Wetland Center (英語版 案内) is located next to the wetland area and provides information and activities related to the area, as well as a boardwalk into the wetlands.Minami-Daito Airport
Minamidaito Airport (南大東空港, Minamidaitō Kūkō, (IATA: MMD, ICAO: ROMD)) is an airport in Minamidaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
The prefecture operates the airport, which is classified as a third class airport.
Only a round flight from Naha, to Minami-Daito and Kitadaitō, back to Naha is operated every day. The route differs on the day of the week. Flight from Kitadaito to Minamidaitō is the shortest flight in Japan, costs JPY¥7,600, and is only 12 km (7.5 mi) long, takes 3 minutes in the air.Naha Air Base
Naha Air Base (那覇基地, Naha Kichi), formally known as the Kōkū Jieitai Naha Kichi (航空自衛隊那覇基地), is an air base of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force formerly under control of the United States Air Force. It is located at Naha Airport on the Oroku Peninsula in Naha, Okinawa, Japan.Naha Airport
Naha Airport (那覇空港, Naha Kūkō) (IATA: OKA, ICAO: ROAH) is a second class airport located 4 km (2.5 mi) west of the city hall in Naha, Okinawa. It is Japan's seventh busiest airport and the primary air terminal for passengers and cargo traveling to and from Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, and handles scheduled international traffic to Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and mainland China. The airport is also home to Naha Air Base of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
Naha Airport served 17.5 million passengers in 2014, an increase of roughly 3 million passengers in two years.Naha Airport (Indonesia)
Naha Airport (IATA: NAH, ICAO: WAMH) is an airport serving the locality of Tahuna, in the Sangihe Islands, part of the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. The airport is connected to Manado by daily Wings Air flights.Nese language
Nese is a moribund Oceanic language or dialect known by no more than twenty people in the Matanvat area of the northwest tip of the island of Malakula in Vanuatu. It is now rarely spoken, having been replaced as a primary mode of communication by Bislama.
Nese is one of the few languages to have linguolabial consonants.Okinawa Island
Okinawa Island (沖縄本島, Okinawa-hontō, alternatively 沖縄島 Okinawa-jima; Okinawan: 沖縄/うちなー Uchinaa or 地下/じじ jiji; Kunigami: ふちなー Fuchináa) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan in the Kyushu region. It is the smallest and least populated of the five main islands of Japan. The island is approximately 70 miles (110 km) long and an average 7 miles (11 km) wide, and has an area of 1,206.98 square kilometers (466.02 sq mi). It is roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the main island of Kyushu and the rest of Japan. It is 500 km (300 mi) north of Taiwan. The total population of Okinawa Island is 1,384,762. The Greater Naha area has roughly 800,000 residents while the city itself has about 320,000 people. Naha is home to the prefectural seat of Okinawa Prefecture on the southwestern part of Okinawa Island. It has a humid subtropical climate. Okinawa is part of the Kyushu region.
Okinawa's population is among the longest living peoples in the world. Residents have less cancer, heart disease and dementia than Americans, while Okinawan women live longer than anywhere else on Earth.Okinawa has been a critical strategic location for the United States Armed Forces since the end of World War II. The island hosts around 26,000 US military personnel, about half of the total complement of the United States Forces Japan, spread among 32 bases and 48 training sites. US bases in Okinawa played critical roles in the Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, and Iraq War. The presence of the US military in Okinawa has caused political controversy both on the island and elsewhere in Japan.Okinawa Islands
The Okinawa Islands (沖縄諸島, Okinawa Shotō) (Okinawan: Uchinaa, informally Churaashima "beautiful island", Kunigami: Fuchinaa) are an island group in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, and are the principal island group of the prefecture. The Okinawa Islands are part of the larger Ryukyu Islands group, and are located between the Amami Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture to the northeast and the Sakishima Islands of Okinawa Prefecture to the southwest.The Okinawa Islands, apart from the main island, contain three smaller island groups: the Kerama, Yokatsu, and Iheya-Izena island groups.The Okinawa Islands are the political, cultural and population center of Okinawa Prefecture. The prefectural capital of Naha is within the island group. 90% of the population of the prefecture reside within the Okinawa Islands, primarily on the largest island of the group, Okinawa Island. Access to the various Okinawa Islands is primarily via small airports which connect to Naha Airport. Additionally, the islands are connected via ferry service to the Port of Naha in the prefectural capital.The Okinawa Islands are within the subtropical climate zone, which supports the production of sugarcane, pineapples and cut flowers. The military bases of the United States in Okinawa Prefecture are located on the Okinawa Islands.Historically the rule of the Ryukyu Kingdom, centered on Okinawa Island, consolidated the Okinawa Islands before spreading south to the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands and north to Amami Ōshima.Okinawa Urban Monorail
The Okinawa Urban Monorail (沖縄都市モノレール, Okinawa Toshi Monorēru), also known as Yui Rail (ゆいレール, Yui Rēru), is a monorail line in Naha, Okinawa, Japan. Operated by Okinawa Urban Monorail, Inc. (沖縄都市モノレール株式会社, Okinawa Toshi Monorēru Kabushiki-gaisha), it opened on August 10, 2003, and is the only public rail system in Okinawa Prefecture, the first rail line on Okinawa since World War II. Also Naha Airport Station is the westernmost, and Akamine Station is the southernmost rail station in Japan. It uses the OKICA as its contactless smart card, and by spring 2020 will also accept Suica.Okinawan martial arts
Okinawan martial arts refers to the martial arts, such as karate, tegumi and Okinawan kobudō, which originated among the indigenous people of Okinawa Island. Due to its central location, Okinawa was influenced by various cultures with a long history of trade and cultural exchange, including Japan, China and Southeast Asia, that greatly influenced the development of martial arts on Okinawa.Ryukyu Kingdom
The Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawan: 琉球國 Ruuchuu-kuku; Japanese: 琉球王国 Ryūkyū Ōkoku; Middle Chinese: Ljuw-gjuw kwok; historical English name: Lewchew, Luchu, and Loochoo) was an independent kingdom that ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th to the 19th century. The kings of Ryukyu unified Okinawa Island and extended the kingdom to the Amami Islands in modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture, and the Sakishima Islands near Taiwan. Despite its small size, the kingdom played a central role in the maritime trade networks of medieval East and Southeast Asia, especially the Malacca Sultanate.Shuri, Okinawa
Shuri Island (首里, Okinawan: Sui or Shui) is a district of the city of Naha, Okinawa. It was formerly a separate city in and of itself, and the royal capital of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. A number of famous historical sites are located in Shuri, including Shuri Castle, the Shureimon gate, Sunuhyan-utaki (a sacred space of the native Ryukyuan religion), and royal mausoleum Tamaudun, all of which are designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Originally established as a castle town surrounding the royal palace, Shuri ceased to be the capital when the kingdom was abolished and incorporated into Japan as Okinawa prefecture. In 1896, Shuri was made a ward (区, ku) of the new prefectural capital, Naha, though it was made a separate city again in 1921. In 1954, it was merged again into Naha.Shōrei-ryū
Shorei Ryu (昭霊流, Shōrei ryū) is the Naha-Te style of Okinawan karate. Shorei Ryu means "the style of inspiration". It is believed that the term Shorei is derived from the Shoreiji Temple in southern China. The teachings of this temple provided the basis for the Naha-Te style.
The Shorei Ryu system was influenced in its early development by Shuri-Te. Kanryo Higashionna originally studied Shuri-Te with Sokon Matsumura but he later traveled to China and studied kempo there. Shorei Ryu has two major styles today. One style is called Goju Ryu and was founded by Chojun Miyagi (1888–1953) and the other is called Uechi Ryu, founded by Kanbun Uechi (1877–1948).The Shorei Ryu name (alternatively, Goju-Shorei-Ryu and later, Shorei-Goju Ryu) was also used for the style of karate brought to the United States by Robert Trias. Later Trias used the name Shuri-Ryu, although some lineages still use the Shorei Ryu name. This style should not be confounded with traditional Shorei Ryu. Trias's karate incorporated elements from Naha-Te, Shuri-Te, Tomari-Te, and others.Tsuboya ware
Tsuboya ware (壺屋焼, Tsuboya-yaki) is a type of Ryukyuan pottery traditionally from Tsuboya, presently a part of Naha, in the former Ryukyu Kingdom.Yamashita Cave Man
The Yamashita Cave People (山下洞人, Yamashita Dōjin) are the prehistoric humans known from many bones found in the Yamashita limestone cave near Naha, in Okinawa, Japan. The remains have been dated at 32,000±1000 years ago. The most important bones found in the cave in Yamashita are those of an approximately 6 to 8-year-old girl.
|Climate data for Naha, Okinawa (1981-2010)|
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||26.8
|Average high °C (°F)||19.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||17.0
|Average low °C (°F)||14.6
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||6.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||107.0
|Average precipitation days||10.5||10.2||11.8||10.5||11.5||10.6||8.8||11.8||11.2||8.3||8.5||8.1||121.8|
|Average relative humidity (%)||67||70||73||76||79||83||78||78||76||71||69||66||74|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||94.2||87.1||108.3||123.8||145.8||163.6||238.8||215.0||188.9||169.6||123.0||115.6||1,774|
|Source #1: JMA (1981-2010) |
|Source #2: Climatebase.ru (extremes)|
※ also a prefectural capital; † eligible for core city status but not yet nominated; ☆ to become core cities
|2,000,000 and more|