IndustryKamaishi City has developed as the “Iron and Fish Town” for a long time.
As mentioned, the feudal lord succeeded in producing iron from ore in 1857 for the first time in Japan with a Western-style blast furnace. By the Meiji era (1868−1912), 13 blast furnaces had emerged in Kamaishi, making it a central industrial area. After that, businessmen and engineers who inherited Takato Oshima‘s solid idea of “hatch it small and raise it big” succeeded in continuous iron roll-out after 48 failures, recording the first successful operation using cork in 1894. Kamaishi’s engineers and skilled workers contributed to getting a steel mill, built in Yawata (Fukuoka Prefecture) in 1901, to operate on its own. Despite many subsequent trials and difficulties, Kamaishi has continued to produce iron to this day.
Statue of Oshima Takato in Kamaishi Station Square
Since ancient times, fisheries have remained active in Kamaishi despite the advent of the new marine order era triggered by the 200 nautical mile issue and the slump in the fishing industry due to recent climate change. It is because Kamaishi nestles with the “three major fishing grounds in the world.” Kamaishi is home to various seafood processing companies and one of Japan’s leading tuna fishing fleets. Different processed products full of individuality and distinction are produced and distributed on the market.