Morioka, Iwate
is the capital city
Cities of Japan
||A is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as and , with the difference that they are not a component of...

 of Iwate Prefecture
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...


As of 2005, the city has an estimated population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 of 300,740 and a population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 of 588.11 persons per km². The total area is 489.15 km².

Morioka was founded in 1597 by Nobunao, the 26th lord of the Nanbu clan, as a castle town. In 1655 Nanbu-han was divided into Morioka-han and Hachinohe-han. Its name was changed from 森岡 to 盛岡 (both read as Morioka) in 1683 when the population was 36,000.