588 Kadena, Kadena Town, Okinawa, JAPAN 904-0293

TEL:098-956-1111 矢印マーク Getting to Kadena town office

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Kadena Town's History

shopping district of kadena along prewar kadena main street kunigami highway

From prehistoric age to Ryukyu dynasty age

Kadena Town has a long history. It has some ruins, including Noguni-kaizuka ( ruins of residence), Kadena-kaizuka, the relic-spreded area at the mouth of Hija-gawa(river), Yara -gusuku (something like a castle to protect villagers from enemies), Kadena-gusuku, Kuninao-gusuku. We can get some knowledge about ancient life from them.

Kadena is one of the oldest residence areas in Okinawa. We can find shell mounds made 6000-7000 years before along Hija-gawa. It means this area was productive. People of those days are thought to have lived in caves ,fishing and hunting for food. As social system developed, they moved inland and organized villages. Yara, Kadena, Noguni(now Kadena Air Base) districts are said to be the oldest resident areas in Kadena town.

Yara-gusuku (Yara Castle) was constructed in 14th century. It is thought that villages surrounded it. We can read about the life style of those days on 'Omoro Soushi' 'Ryukyu Koku Kyuki'. There were some famous people born in Kadena. For example, Awamari, the lord of Katsuren castle, who resisted against Ryukyu government in 1400's was from Motomachi district, Kadena. Noguni Soukan, who brought sweet potatos from China was from Noguni district.

From village to town

Kadena Town was a village belonging Chatan Magiri in Ryukyu dynasty. Since 1908,as Chatan Magiri became Chatan Mura(village), Kadena became the part of Chatan village.

Before WWII,all of Kadena was a farm village. Due to its excellent location in the middle of Okinawa island, Kadena has developed as an economical, a cultural and an educational center of Okinawa. In Kadena, many public facilities such as a terminal railway station and Ken-ritsu dai-ni Chugakko(2nd Junior highschool of Okinawa prefecture) and Ken-ritsu Nourin Gakko (Aguricultural school of Okinawa prefecture) and Kan-ritsu Seinen Shihan Gakko (National School of Education), Kadena Police Office, Okinawa Seito Kadena Kojo (Okinawa Sugar-manufacturing Campany ,Kadena factory) were established. Hija-gawa (Hija River) is famous for its beautiful scenery with plentiful water and as a hub port of livestock. A lot of ships transported them from every district of Nakagashira-gun and to other towns. Kadena has been developed as a industrial area with beautiful scenery.

Separation from Chatan Village

During WWII, Kadena was a first place to be hit by U.S. military. The town was burnt out until the end of war.

People could enter a part of Kadena Air Base until U.S.Military strengthened its management on April 1948. After entry to Kadena Air Base was prohibited, Chatan Village was separated into two parts. At that time a transportation network had not been implemented. It was inconvenient for both Kadena residents and local government to communicate, because they must make a detour around Kadena Air Base to visit each other. Kadena Village separated from Chatan Village on 4th December 1948 with population of 3800, became Kadena Village. At that time, Okinawans could not get jobs other than something related with the U.S.Militaty, because of a great confusion after WWII. People and business chances gathered in Kadena, so it urbanized gradually.

 As the Korean War started, U.S.Military expanded Kadena Air Base year by year. Every time U.S.Military expanded it, a lot of farmland and residential area were requisitioned. As the result, the population density of Kadena became more crowded.

And people have been suffered, for example roaring of engines, airplane accidents, fuel running out from air base, water pollution. Kadena Town is now called 'a town based on U.S.military', an Okinawan society in miniature.

anuary 1st,1976, Kadena Village changed its official name into Kadena Town. It is a 7th town in Okinawa. Since 1978, Kadena Town desided its basic concept for its town planning, and later it made a great success in infrastracture, education and culture. A new government office and Kadena Bunka Center (Kadena Cultural Center) were built in 1983. And now Kadena Town carries forward ''Kadena Town Center Scheme'' including urban renewal project of old town area .