The long spell of self-imposed isolation,the modern municipality cane into being in 1889 while experiencing the Meiji restoration.

Brought about by its closeness to Korea and the Asian continent, Fukuoka City boasts a long history dating back some 2,000 years. Known as the "cradle of Japanese culture," rice was first cultivated in Japan here In the 3rd century B.C.

From that time on the northern area of Kyushu served as the gateway for exchanges with the Korean Peninsula during the Bronze and Iron ages. A Gold Seal, known as the Kin-in, conferred to the King of Na (present day Fukuoka) by Emperor Ko of the Han Dynasty of China in 57 A.D. indicates the area's long ties with China.

The ruins of an ancient guest house known as the Korokan which dates back to the 9th century were discovered a few years ago near the city center. Artifacts excavated from the ruins, which was a center of international exchanges, diplomatic relations and trade, give further testimonials of contacts with the Asian continent.

From the 12th to the 16th centuries, the single merchant town of "Hakata" prospered as a trading city. In 1601 construction began on Fukuoka Castle, marking the beginning of the castle town of "Fukuoka." During the next three hundred years the two towns existed side by side creating a unique relationship.

Further developments in the local political autonomy system and changes during the Meijl Restoration, brought about the need to join the two towns of Fukuoka and Hakata into an incorporated city in 1889. Winning by Just a single vote, the city council selected the name "Fukuoka" for the new city. Yet even now, the city's gateways to the land and sea-JR Hakata Station and Hakata Port-still reflect the name of the ancient dichotomy.

Fukuoka City first emerged as Kyushu Island's leading city of politics, economics, and culture during the 1930'S. Although suffering extensive dam- age during World War 11, ft showed a phenomenal rate 01 recovery,one again establishing itself as the leading city in the region.

In 1989, Fukuoka City held the Asian-Pacific Exposition in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of its incorporation, and marking the beginning of a new start in the city's effort to develop even further into an active, dynamic Asian city.

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