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As of March 1, 2012, the city has an estimated population of 579,069, the second largest in Saitama Prefecture after Saitama. The total area is 61.97 km². On October 11, 2011, Kawaguchi City absorbed the neighboring city of Hatogaya.
After the last ice age, during early and middle Jomon period, most of the area which is now Kawaguchi City were under sea level except for the area which is now Omiya Tableland. (Japanese: ) Ancient people living in this area left several shell heaps, in which a lot of shells, Jomon pottery, and pit houses were dug up.
In Kofun period, countless barrows were constructed particularly in the west of Japan. Some barrows were also found in Kawaguchi, the largest one is Takainari Barrow, which was destroyed because of the use of the soil in 1960.
In middle ages, Kawaguchi was part of Musashi province, which included entire Saitama, Tokyo, and part of Kanagawa prefecture. It is not known when people started using the name Kawaguchi, but in a tale of war named Gikeiki, which was reportedly written in around 1300, there was a name of Ko Kawaguchi, that means little Kawaguchi. However, it is not proven that the name designated current Kawaguchi.
Once Tokugwa Ieyasu, a founder of Tokugawa Shogunate, died in 1616, Tokugawa shogunate established Kawaguchi Juku(Japanese:川口宿) on the Nikko Onari Kaido, a road used by shoguns to visit Nikko Toshogu, a shrine for worship of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hence, a dozen hotels were built to serve travelers there.
As Edo, now Tokyo, increased its importance as both political and industrial gravity, demand for metal products increased. Because of proximity to Tokyo and convenient water transportation using Arakawa River, Kawaguchi became the center of casting industry. A lot of orders of military weapons from Tokugawa shogunate and many Daimyos, governors of a province, to fight against foreign countries during late Edo period made Kawaguchi more and more competitive casting town. Since then casting have been the symbol of Kawaguchi.
In 1910 Kawaguchi-machi Station opened, which was the first train station in Kawaguchi.
On April 1, 1933, Kawaguchi City was established with merger of Kawaguchi-machi, Aoki-mura, Minami-Hirayanagi-mura, and Yokozone-mura. Kawaguchi City was the second city in Saitama Prefecture, after Kawagoe City. Following this merger, in 1940 with Hatogaya-machi, Shiba-mura, Kamine-mura, and Shingo-mura, in 1956 with part of Angyo-mura, in 1962 with part of Misono-mura, Kawaguchi City expanded its territory. However, Hatogaya-machi separated from Kawaguchi City in 1948 in accordance with the referendum. Kawaguchi had been the most populous city in Saitama until Urawa overtook Kawaguchi. Now, Kawaguchi is the second most populated city in Saitama Prefecture after Saitama City, the capital city of Saitama Prefecture.
Kawaguchi underwent a lof of disasters, such as flood, earthquake and war. Arakawa River inundated Kawaguchi countless times and ruined agricultures, which resulted in devastating famine. Also in 1923, Great Kanto Earthquake struck Kawaguchi, and 99 people were killed, but fortunately no fire occurred unlike Tokyo and Yokohama. It could have been much worse.
Currently, the population of Kawaguchi continues to increase, and many tall apartment buildings are being built around train stations, so Kawaguchi Station area looks like skyscraper. This is because many casting foundries moved to suburb industrial parks and the sites turned into apartment buildings, whereas in suburb areas nature still remains and they are good healing spots for citizens of Kawaguchi.
On 11 October, 2011, Kawaguchi merged Hatogaya, which is surrounded by Kawaguchi and was once part of Kawaguchi. The name of the new city will remain Kawaguchi.
Kawaguchi is located near the center of the Kanto Plain, and borders the Tokyo wards of Kita-ku and Adachi-ku to the south, the Saitama cities of Toda and Warabi to the west, Saitama City to the north, and Koshigaya and Soka to the east. The city area is mostly flat and mainly residential except for the Omiya tableland, which occupies part of the north and east area. The Arakawa River runs across the border with Kita-ku to the south.
As of May 1, 2010, registered population was 516,409, including 20,808 alien residents, continuing a trend of population growth in the city since 1933 when the city was founded. There has been a gradual increase in the number of non-Japanese residents living in the city because of the convenient location to Tokyo and relatively low rent. Now, the number of people from China is the largest, followed by Korea and Philippines.
Kawaguchi is a typical suburb city of Tokyo metropolitan area, where population greatly changes between daytime and nighttime due to commute to big cities, especially to Tokyo. In mid 1990s, population growth rate declined, but recent apartment construction boom in the city helps increase population growth rate again. The number of children continues to decrease in accordance with the decline of number of birth: 4,735 in 2009 down from the highest number of 7,932 in 1971. By contrast, the rate of people over the age of 65 is increasing, approximately 18.5% as of January 1, 2010. Yet the number is below the national average.
Three railway lines run through Kawaguchi: the Keihin-Tohoku Line south to north in the west, the Musashino Line east to west in the north, and the Saitama Rapid Railway Line south to north in the central. Kawaguchi Station is the busiest station in the city in term of the number of passengers. The Keihin-Tohoku Line and Saitama Rapid Railway Line directly connect the city with central Tokyo.
- JR Keihin-Tohoku Line: Kawaguchi, Nishi-Kawaguchi
- JR Musashino Line: Higashi-Kawaguchi
- Saitama Rapid Railway Line: Kawaguchi Motogo, Minami Hatogaya, Hatogaya, Araijuku, Tozuka Angyo, Higashi-Kawaguchi
Kawaguchi City has a highly developed bus network, mainly operated by Kokusai Kogyo Bus. The east region of the city is relatively far from train stations, many people use buses to the nearest train stations. Some bus routes have over twenty bus services an hour in the morning.
- Kokusai Kogyo Bus
- Tobu Bus Central
Three Highway routes listed below run through the city.
- Highway Interchanges
- Tohoku Expressway: Kawaguchi Junction
- Tokyo Gaikan Expressway: Kawaguchi-Nishi, Kawaguchi-Chuo, Kawaguchi Junction, Kawaguchi-Higashi
- Shuto Expressway: Kawaguchi Junction, Araijuku, Angyo, Shingo, Higashi Ryoke
Most elementary and junior high school students living in the city attend the schools administered by the city. It was not until recently that could students select the school they would attend, so they had to enroll in the schools located in the district where they lived. In 2003 for junior highs, in 2005 for elementary schools, the city educational council reformed the system to allow students to select the school they will attend. However, if applications are overbooked, lotteries will be conducted.
List of schools
Universities and colleges
- Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi High School
- Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi Kita High School
- Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi Technical High School
- Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi Seiryo High School
- Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi Higashi High School
- Saitama Prefectural Hatogaya High School
- Kawaguchi Municipal High School
- Kawaguchi Municipal Kenyo High School
- Kawaguchi Municipal Sogo High School
Junior high schools
(all managed by the city)
- Angyo Junior High School
- Angyo-higashi Junior High School
- Aoki Junior High School
- Haimatsu Junior High School
- Higashi Junior High School
- Kamiaoki Junior High School
- Kamine Junior High School
- Kishikawa Junior High School
- Kita Junior High School
- Koyaba Junior High School
- Minami Junior High School
- Motogo Junior High School
- Nakacho Junior High School
- Nishi Junior High School
- Ryoke Junior High School
- Sachinami Junior High School
- Shiba Junior High School
- Shiba-higashi Junior High School
- Shiba-nishi Junior High School
- Shibazono Junior High School
- Shiwasuda Junior High School
- Tozuka Junior High School
- Tozuka-nishi Junior High School
- Zaike Junior High School
- Hatogaya Junior High School
- Sato Junior High School
- Hachimangi Junior High School
(all managed by the city)
- Angyo Elementary School
- Angyo-higashi Elementary School
- Aoki-kita Elementary School
- Aoki-chuo Elementary School
- Asahi-higashi Elementary School]
- Asahi-nishi Elementary School
- Funato Elementary School
- Haramachi Elementary School
- Higashihongo Elementary School
- Higshiryoke Elementary School
- Honcho Elementary School
- Iinaka Elementary School
- Iizuka Elementary School
- Jirin Elementary School
- Kamiaoki Elementary School
- Kamiaoki-minami Elementary School
- Kamine Elementary School
- Kamine-higashi Elementary School
- Kizoro Elementary School
- Nakacho Elementary School
- Namiki Elementary School
- Negishi Elementary School
- Hatogaya Elementary School
- Sato Elementary School
- Sakuramachi Elementary School
- Tuji Elementary School
- Nakai Elementary School
- Minamihatogaya Elementary School
- Ryoke Elementary School
- Saiwaicho Elementary School
- Sashima Elementary School
- Shiba Elementary School
- Shiba-chuo Elementary School
- Shiba-fuji Elementary School
- Shiba-higashi Elementary School
- Shiba-hinotume Elementary School
- Shiba-minami Elementary School
- Shiba-nishi Elementary School
- Shingo Elementary School
- Shingo-higashi Elementary School
- Shingo-minami Elementary School
- Shiwasuda Elementary School
- Tozuka Elementary School
- Tozuka-ayase Elementary School
- Tozuka-higashi Elementary School
- Tozuka-kita Elementary School
- Tozuka-minami Elementary School
- Yanagisaki Elementary School
- Zaike Elementary School
- Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi Special Educational School
Points of interest
- "かわぐちの人口第１表人口と世帯 平成２４年３月". Kawaguchi official website (in Japanese). Kawaguchi City. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- The short history of Kawaguchi 川口市史縮小版. Kawaguchi City Office. 1996.
- 川口市統計書 平成21年版 [The statistics of Kawaguchi (2009)]. Kawaguchi City Office. 2010.
- Ministry of Justice. "Press release June 2009".
- Kokusai Bus.com
- Kawaguchi city office (4 June 2009). "中学校選択制について".