Gifu (岐阜市) is a Japanese city located in the south-central part of Gifu Prefecture and is the Capital City. And is home to Japan’s oldest fishing tradition and has a historic castle with stunning views of the mountains and greenery, it was officially established as a city in July 1889.
Two years later, on October 28, 1891, the Mino-Owari earthquake occurred, estimated at 8 magnitude on the Richter scale. About 37% of the city was lost to fire, resulting in 1,505 casualties (245 killed, 1,260 wounded). After that, Gifu erected the first Earthquake Memorial Hall in all of Japan that provides commemorative services to victims on the 28th of each month.
Gifu was also the target of heavy World War II bombing on 9 July 1945, which resulted in 13.83 casualties (863 dead, 520 wounded) and 20.426 buildings affected. Gifu celebrates these events every year on July 9, with the Peace Bell ringing at every temple in the city.
In the years following the wars, tragedy struck Gifu once again. On September 12, 1976, Typhoon 17 hit the city, killing five people and affecting more than 40,000 families. Gifu recovered, however, through the establishment of various local industries Gifu began to grow and reached the point where it was designated a central city by the national government in 1996.
When Gifu was founded in 1889, it was a small town that experienced moderate growth as Japan industrialized at the beginning of the century. During Japan’s military formation in the 1930s, the city became an industrial center and experienced exponential growth. Gifu remained prosperous in the post-war years, until its population began to decline like many Japanese cities in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the city has shown a large population increase in recent years, this trend mainly results in the inclusion of Yanaizu’s population , which added nearly 13.000 people and nearly 9.000 foreign residents. Shortly after this change, however, the city’s economic revival took hold and the population began to show a true increase.
Gifu’s first major industry was textiles. For a long time, he traded with Tokyo and Osaka as a leader in the Japanese fashion industry. As the city is located near Aichi Prefecture, access to many important companies in the automotive industry, such as Toyota. Making it a thriving area for many subcontractors in metallurgy, molds and dies and parts. In addition to the modern industries on which Gifu’s economy is based, the city also has a wide variety of traditional industries (umbrella, lantern and other industries).