Sabae, Fukui

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Sabae City Hall
Sabae City Hall
Flag of Sabae
Official seal of Sabae
Location of Sabae in Fukui Prefecture
Location of Sabae in Fukui Prefecture
Sabae is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°57′23.3″N 136°11′3.4″E / 35.956472°N 136.184278°E / 35.956472; 136.184278Coordinates: 35°57′23.3″N 136°11′3.4″E / 35.956472°N 136.184278°E / 35.956472; 136.184278
RegionChūbu (Hokuriku)
 • - MayorSasaki Katsuhisa (since October 2020)
 • Total84.59 km2 (32.66 sq mi)
 (June 2018)
 • Total69,338
 • Density820/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
City symbols 
Phone number0778-51-2200
AddressNishiyamacho 13-1, Sabae-shi, Fukui-ken 916-8666
Red Panda in Nishiyama Zoo

Sabae (鯖江市, Sabae-shi) is a city in Japan. Sabae is part of Fukui Prefecture. The city had an estimated population of 69,338 as of 1 June 2018. The population density is 820 persons per km².[1]

Demographics[change | change source]

Per Japanese census data, the population of Sabae has increases constantly over the last 40 years. [2]

Year Population
1970 52,612
1980 59,579
1990 62,283
2000 64,898
2010 67,450

History[change | change source]

Edo period[change | change source]

From the beginning Sabae was ruled by Manabe Clan. The Sabae area used to be the gate town of Jōshō Temple. In the Edo period, the West-Sabae Jin'ya (administrative headquarter for a small province) was under the direct control of the Shogunate. At that time, Sabae was the gate town until 1871. In meantime Sabae Jin'ya became Sabae Han (historical term for the estate of a daimyo in the Edo period) (1720-1871)

Manabe Akikatsu (1804-1884) is known as the most famous Sabae's feudal lord, who in 1856 opened Kyōyōkei - a place where the lords can relax. Kyōyōkei was the foundation of the current Nishiyama Park.

When Sabae became Han there was a plan to build a castle. However, the Sabae Castle was never built. There were many problems such as financial difficulties and the occurrence of famine. Instead, Manabe Akikatsu took the money that was meant for the castle and gave it to the villages that were suffering from famine.

The Birth of Sabae City[change | change source]

In 1889, the municipal system was introduced. 1 city - Fukui, 9 towns and 168 villages were established.

Sabae was one of 9 towns. It had administrated 10 villages. These villages are: Funatsu Village, Shin-Yokoe Village, Shinmei Village, Tachimachi Village, Yoshikawa Village, Yutaka Village, Nakagawa Village, Katakami Village, Kitanakayama Village, Kawada Village.

In 1948 Funatsu Village and Shin-Yokoe Village became a part of Sabae Town. Since then Sabae Town was gradually growing until it became Sabae City.

Culture[change | change source]

Former Uryu Residence[change | change source]

It is the oldest residence in Fukui Prefecture. Originally located on the east side of the former Hokuriku Expressway, but it was relocated to northeastern corner of the Shinmeisha (Shintō Shrine) in 1975.

Jōshō Temple[change | change source]

Buddthist temple which building stared in 1208. Shisoku Gate of this temple is a cultural property.

Nishiyama Park[change | change source]

Nishiyama Park is considered to be one of 100 historical parks in Japan. There is also a zoo, which is famous for having Red Pandas, an adventure forest and Japanese garden.

Economy[change | change source]

Sabae is one of the largest manufacturer of eyeglass frames in Japan.[3]

Eyeglasses[change | change source]

Sabae eyewear is produced in Sabae City, one of the world's three largest eyewear production areas. Fukui Prefecture, particularly Fukui City and Sabae City, manufactures high quality frames that account for 95% of all Japanese eyewear frames sold both nationally and internationally. About 4000 people are involved in the local industry, and it takes about half a year to a year to manufacture one pair of eyewear. Sabae eyewear is manufactured with the technology of titanium.

The technology is also used in producing medical and electronic equipment. There are more than 5,000 stores in Japan that sell Sabae eyeglasses, and the average price is 35,000 yen excluding lenses now.

History[change | change source]

Gozaemon Masunaga, the "ancestor of domestic eyeglasses," started  manufacturing eyewear frames in Fukui around 1905. At that time, most people in Sabae were working in the farming industry. Farming was challenging in winter, since the Fukui region experiences a lot of snow.  Masunaga started this industry because the eyeglass industry does not depend on the season. He invited craftsmen from Osaka to try to spread the industry as a side business of a farmer in Fukui. At that time, education and the development of printing technology were spreading so people started to read prints such as newspapers. The demand for eyewear has expanded. In 1935, the eyewear industry spread to Sabae and Fukui. The industry succeeded in manufacturing the titanium-based eyewear frames in 1981 for the first time in the world. After that, a large military factory was converted to an eyewear factory after the end of World War II made Sabae’s eyeglasses industry famous.

Process[change | change source]

More than 200 steps are required to complete one eyeglasses frame. However these processes can be divided into 9 processes. 

  1. Design:  In this process, eyewear is designed by craftsmen  using the computer and paper.  They focus on how people who wear the eyewear feel. This is the most important part of the production process
  2. Mold-Making: In this process, a metal is cut very precisely to make the shape of eyewear.
  3. Press:  In this process, the parts which are used to make metal frames are pressed many times by machine
  4. Precision Cutting: In this process, parts are precisely cut in a short time by craftsmen.
  5. Brazing: In this process, parts are bonded, or brazed, at temperatures of 700 degrees or higher.
  6. Polishing: In this process, it is polished by craftsmen to erase damages and make gloss.
  7. Inspection:  In this process, the products are inspected by craftsmen to find defective products again and again for safety.
  8. Surface Treatment: In this process, it is plated gold to prevent corrosion and make its appearance beautiful.
  9. Finishing: In this process, the entire pair of glasses is balanced as a finish work.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Official statistics of Sabae City" (in Japanese). Japan: Sabae City. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  2. "Fukui (Japan): Prefecture, Cities, Towns and Villages". Population Statistics, Charts and Map (in Latin). 2018-10-01. Archived from the original on 2020-10-22. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  3. Lewis, Leo (April 4, 2018). "Made in Japan: can handcrafted glasses survive an automated world?". Financial Times. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018.

Other websites[change | change source]