The Port of Chiba is the capital of Chiba Prefecture in Japan. It rests on the Boso Peninsula about 14 nautical miles each across Tokyo Bay from the Port of Tokyo and about eight nautical-miles southeast of the Port of Funabashi. While most of the city is residential, several warehouses and factories are located on the coast of the Port of Chiba. Chiba is famous for the Chiba Urban Monorail (Japanese), the world's longest suspended monorail, as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2006, more than 930 thousand people lived in the Port of Chiba.
In the second half of the 20th Century, the Port of Chiba underwent rapid industrial growth. It is home to big steel factories, chemical-producing complexes, and an important power plant. The Port of Chiba is also a major seaport, handling some of the largest volumes of cargo in Japan. The city contains several urban centers. The Makuhari is a busy waterfront business district, and Central Chiba is home to the prefectural government offices and city hall.
The first records that mention the Port of Chiba are from the Heian period that lasted from the end of the 8th Century to the late 12th Century. Taira Tsuneshige, descendant of Emperors and member of the nobility, moved there and took control of the government. His descendants took the name "Chiba."
From the 12th to 15th Centuries, the Chiba clan controlled the castle town. The family ruled until the Muromachi Shogunate rose to power.
Under the Kamakura Shogunate, the Chiba clan supported Minamoto Yoritomo, the first Kamakura Shogun, making them an important family in the Kamakura Bakufu (feudal military dictatorship). Minamoto Yoritomo built the Inohana Castle on the mountain of the same name, moving his headquarters to the Port of Chiba from Oohji Castle.
The Chiba clan and the Port of Chiba declined in importance beginning in the 14th Century as a result of the many wars taking place in the Kanto region between the Northern and Southern Imperial Courts. During this period, the Hara clan was subservient to the Chiba clan.
By the 16th Century, the Hara clan had gained power over the region. They were soon displace by Yoshiaki Ashikaga, who was then pushed out of power by the Sakai. In the end, both clans were annihilated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japan's Great Unifier, in the 16th Century.
During the Tokugawa period from the early 17th Century to the middle 19th Century, the Port of Chiba was a stopping place on several important roads. As railways were introduced into Japan in the middle 19th Century, the Port of Chiba began to grow considerably.
The modern Port of Chiba was founded in early 1921, and it was designated a city in 1992 by government ordinance.
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