難波の南蛮、戎橋の夷。

Mapping Japanese City Spaces: Kumamoto

This was another request, from an old Kyoto classmate who lives there.  Kumamoto, a major city in central Kyushu.  It makes for a nice contrast with Niigata, a city of similar size but different geography and growth history.  Kumamoto has become very popular as of late, with the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen and a ubiquitous PR campaign featuring this guy:

…minus the unholy evil, naturally.

 


 

You can click on any map to enlarge it.

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1960-2010 Time Elapse

 


 

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1960

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1960

Kumamoto in 1960 still retained some shape of the old Edo castle town, though to a lesser degree than some cities.  Notice the city stood on its own, with no satellites or near neighbors.

Kumamoto Metro Area     275,304     11th
Kikuchi     8,357

Kumamoto City     275,304     13th
100% of metro area

 


 

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1970

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1970

Kumamoto began to spread out, especially southwards along the railway.

Kumamoto Metro Area     352,936     11th     + 28.2%
Kikuchi     8,434     + 0.9%

Kumamoto City     346,885     19th     + 26.0%     – 6 ranks
98.3% of metro area     – 1.7% of metro area

 


 

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1980

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1980

Urban expansion continued at a steady pace through the 1970s.  Metropolitan Kumamoto had fallen notably in ranking, not due to decline but because it was outpaced by cities that suburbanized more rapidly in the same period.

Kumamoto Metro Area     446,793     13th     + 26.6%     – 2 ranks
Kikuchi     7,319     – 13.2%

Kumamoto City     425,558     18th     + 22.7%     + 1 rank
95.2% of metro area     – 3.1% of metro area

 


 

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1990

Kumamoto Metro Area, 1990

Kumamoto’s growth continued apace in the 1980s.  New suburbs were beginning to emerge, not as a ring of satellite towns but as contiguous extensions of the city space.

Kumamoto Metro Area     531,298     13th     + 18.9%
Kikuchi     7,736     + 5.7%

Kumamoto City     496,564     19th     + 16.7%     – 1 rank
93.5% of metro area     – 1.7% of metro area

 


 

Kumamoto Metro Area, 2000

Kumamoto Metro Area, 2000

More steady development on the periphery of the city.  Kumamoto continued to grow outwards at a time when many cities’ expansion had stalled.

Kumamoto Metro Area     613,999     14th     + 15.6%     – 1 rank
Kikuchi     7,853     + 1.5%

Kumamoto City     548,054     16th     + 10.4%     + 3 ranks
89.3% of metro area     – 4.2% of metro area

 


 

Kumamoto Metro Area, 2010

Kumamoto Metro Area, 2010

Kumamoto’s commuter towns are continuing to develop, especially to the north.  With its steady growth, Metropolitan Kumamoto is beginning to outpace the cities that rapidly suburbanized in the past but are stagnating now.

Kumamoto Metro Area     690,334     13th     + 12.4%     + 1 rank

Kumamoto City     579,318     20th     + 5.7%     – 4 ranks
83.9% of metro area     – 5.4% of metro area

 

If there’s any city or region of Japan you’d like to see, just ask me in the comments!

 

National land numerical information (densely inhabited district data)
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
1960: A16-60_43_DID.shp
1965: A16-65_43_DID.shp
1970: A16-70_43_DID.shp

1975: A16-75_43_DID.shp
1980: A16-80_43_DID.shp
1985: A16-85_43_DID.shp
1990: A16-90_43_DID.shp
1995: A16-95_43_DID.shp
2000: A16-00_43_DID.shp
2005: A16-05_43_DID.shp
2010: A16-10_43_DID.shp
Processed and edited in ArcGIS Explorer
Microsoft Bing Maps used as basemap

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3 responses

  1. Outstanding,

    April 15, 2014 at 9:36 AM

  2. lord kelvin

    Sister City: Billings Montana

    April 21, 2014 at 12:01 PM

  3. Pingback: Kumamoto Part 1- That Gigantic Castle | perihele

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