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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

The History of Chitose City

(Japanese translation below)


By Zen Maruyama

Chitose is located in the southeastern part of Hokkaido. Chitose has been an important transportation route connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. The Chitose area has been called "Shikotsu" in the Ainu language since the 1600s.


However, because people didn’t like the sound, the name was changed to Chitose in 1805. The name was changed to Chitose after the saying, "cranes live for a thousand years, turtles live for ten thousand years" because of the many cranes in Chitose at that time.


In 1926, the Hokkaido railroad opened a new station in Chitose. The Hokkaido Shimbun (Hokkaido Newspaper) used this railroad for salmon hatching events. When they returned from the events, they promised to fly the plane they had just purchased over Chitose, but many people said that if they're going to fly in, please land and show us the plane up close. Those kinds of comments led to the creation of the landing site. The landing field was built by a total of 150 village residents over a two-day span and was the beginning of the Chitose Airfield. 


Later, the population increased due to the opening of the naval air force base, and in 1942 (Showa 17), Chitose Village was upgraded to Chitose City. After the Second World War, civil aviation resumed at Chitose Airfield, which had been used by the U.S. military. A garrison and base of the Ground Self-Defense Force and Air Self-Defense Force was established in 1954 and 1957, respectively, supporting the development of Chitose after it became Chitose City in 1958.



千歳市の歴史

丸山 禅


千歳は北海道の南東部に位置する。千歳は太平洋と日本海を結ぶ重要な交通路であった。千歳は1600年代からアイヌ語で「シコツ」と呼ばれていた。しかし、その響きが好まれなかったため、1805年に「チトセ」と改められた。当時、千歳に鶴が多かったことから「鶴は千年、亀は万年」ということわざが生まれ、千歳に改名された。


1926年(大正15年)、北海道鉄道が千歳に新駅を開設した。北海道新聞社はサケの孵化イベントのためにこの鉄道を利用した。イベントから帰るとき、購入したばかりの飛行機を千歳上空に飛ばす約束をしていたのだが、「どうせ飛ばすなら着陸して間近で見せてくれ」という声が多かった。そうした声が、着陸場を作るきっかけになった。村民総勢150人が2日がかりで作った着陸場が、千歳飛行場の始まりだった。


その後、海軍航空隊基地の開設により人口が増加し、1942年(昭和17年)、千歳村は千歳市に昇格した。第二次世界大戦後、米軍が使用していた千歳飛行場で民間航空が再開された。1954年(昭和29年)には陸上自衛隊の駐屯地が、1957年(昭和32年)には航空自衛隊の基地が設置され、千歳の発展を支えた。


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