Nanmoku (南牧村 Nanmoku-mura) is a village located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. As of February 2015, the town had an estimated population of 2,025, and a population density of 17 persons per km2. Its total area is 118.83 km2. Nanmoku, like many rural areas in Japan, is seeing a significant amount of population decline; in 1955 there were more than 10,000 inhabitants. The majority of the remaining villagers are over 60 years in age (57.1% in 2012), with a median age of 62.5 for the total population – the oldest in Japan.
Nanmoku village office
Location of Nanmoku in Gunma Prefecture
|• Total||118.83 km2 (45.88 sq mi)|
|• Density||17/km2 (40/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|• Bird||Japanese bush-warbler|
|Address||1089 Ōaza Dainichimukai, Namoku-mura, Kanra-gun, Gunma-ken 370-2601|
- Mount Arafune (1423 m)
- Mount Hikage (1407 m)
- Mount Ōya (1081 m)
- Eboshidake (1182 m)
- Mount Kurotaki (870 m)
- Mount Yotsumata (900 m)
- Tateiwa (1265 m)
- Nanmoku River
- Ōshiozawa River
- Kumakura River
- Ōnita River
During the Edo period, the area of present-day Shimonita was largely part of the tenryō territory held directly by Tokugawa shogunate within Kōzuke Province. The village of Nanmoku was created on March 15, 1955 by the merger of the villages of Iwado, Tsukigata and Ozawa.
The economy of Nanmoku is heavily dependent on agriculture.
Namoku has no schools at present.
Nanmoku is not served by any rail network at present. The nearest train station is Shimonita Station in the neighboring town of Shimonita.
Nanmoku is not served by any national highways at present.
Nanmoku is popular locally for its scenery. The village is located in the valley of a small mountain range, where there are excellent hiking opportunities. One of the mountains, Mt. Arahune, is home to a park with a campsite, including a large multipurpose recreational area that has tennis, water sports, and fishing facilities. There is also an astronomy center located on the grounds. Nanmoku also has a museum that documents local culture and history.
The village is particularly famous for hitoboshi (火とぼし), the two-day local fire festival, the largest in the prefecture. Many people who have moved away but still have family in the village return for this festival, and it is popular with tourists as well. Though such fire festivals were once popular, few remain. Nanmoku's version falls on August 14 and 15, and coincides with Obon, a festival honoring ancestors. However, Hitoboshi itself commemorates the village's victorious alliance with the Takeda clan during the Sengoku period. During the festival, villagers take turns standing on a bridge and twirling burning bales of hay over the edge.