A City of History


Morioka is a city dating back to 1597 and began as a castle town. This was the year that Lord Nambu Nobunao began construction of Morioka Castle. It was constructed of granite produced in the area and completed in 1633. Morioka Castle then became the home of all the successive lords. The Nambu Family retained control until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.


Morioka Castle built 1597

In 1871, the area became first, Morioka Prefecture and a year later, Iwate Prefecture. By this time, the original castle built by Lord Nambu Nobunao was seen as a symbol of the feudal era. All buildings within the castle grounds were destroyed by 1874. The stone walls remain however, and have served as an inspiration to generations of poets and writers who have immortalized them.


Morioka was named the capital of Iwate Prefecture in 1889. To reflect the city's growing stature, the Bank of Iwate was constructed in 1911. Located near the Nakanohashi Bridge, the building was designed by Iwate native, Manji Kasai in a magnificent display of architecture from the Meiji era. In 1992, the city merged with neighbouring Tonan Village to reach its current population of 290,000 people.


Bank of Iwate built 1911