Aomori Prefecture – Culture, History, Sightseeing and More
Aomori 青森市 is the capital city of the Prefecture Aomori in Japan. It’s also the northern most part of the Tohoku region of Japan. Aomori can be translated “Green Forest”. Aoi being ‘Blue or Green’ and Mori as ‘Forest’. Settlement has been dated to possibly as late as 5500 to 4000 BC. The land form of Aomori was said to be created around the Cenozoic Era, Paleozoic Era and the Mesozoic Era. It was said to be at the bottom of the sea and over the many many years of volcanic eruption from Mt. Iwaki, Mt Osore and from the Hakkoda Mountains the land mass finally appeared.
Aomori was not called Aomori until after 1624 in the early Edo period. It was noted that during these days there was green forests near the current city on Honcho in Aomori. This was used as a landmark for ships that came into the ports that were being constructed at that time. The eastern side of Aomori prefecture is called ‘Nanbu’ the western side is called ‘tsugaru’. In 1495 to 1575 there was a a civil war between the Nanbu clan which controlled most of Aomori, Akita and Iwate regions in Japan. In 1590, a vassal of the Nanbu clan started a rebellion his name was Oura Tamenobu, he quickly became the lord of the area and then soon after called himself Tsugaru Tamenobu at this same time Nanbu Nobunao was becoming the lord of the Nanbu region in Northern Japan.
During the beginning of the Meiji Period (1868), these two regions finally merged and became what is now called Aomori prefecture. These events strongly influenced the Matsuri/Festivals that are still taking place today in Aomori. Such as the Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri, Aomori Nebuta Matsuri and the Goshogawara Tachineputa Matsuri which are held yearly in August. These matsuri have a long history.
Many individuals claim that these matsuri begun when Tsugaru Tamenobu commissioned a huge lantern and ordered it to be taken to Kyoto in 1593. With that, there is a few interesting differences between the matsuri in Nanbu region and Tsugaru region. Neputa and Nebuta matsuri of the tsugaru region is to be said to be the brave festival/matsuri as it’s held in the night. Where as the Nachinohe Sansha Taisai matsuri is very elegant and it takes place during the day time. These are the historical matsuri that have taken place in the past and have been passed on until today.
Almost ten years after the Meiji Era begun, Aomori begun to start the first apple farm/cultivation in Japan, and still even today Aomori is the main apple production of Japan. This site here has a great amount of information regaring water ways, trains, highways and airports and a bit more about the mountain ranges, click here to check it out.
For additional information about Aomori you can check out:
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Festivals in Aomori:
Aomori Nebuta Festival
Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival
Hachinobe Sansha Taisai Festival
Aomori has 8 different ski resorts:
I broke the cities into their original regions from when the two clans had control over the Aomori prefecture. I mixed up the sides, but the left side of the Aomori was controlled by the Tsugaru clan and on the right side of Aomori the Nanbu clan.
|Nanbu & Shimokita Region (right side)
||Tsugaru Strait (left side)
Tatehana Morning Market + Aomori Apples
About the Author
I've been interested in Japanese as a language and as a culture since I was about 15 years old. In April 2017 my wife and I moved to Fukuoka, Japan to go to school for 2 years. We've since returned to America and now are looking to expand Nihon Scope further for future visitors of Japan to get in touch with the best school they can. We're also here sharing our experiences of Japan and the culture. Get in touch with us on Facebook for the quickest response!