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Kuji (Kuji-shi) is a city in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.


The Kuji River flows through the city and finally into the Pacific Ocean. It has a length of 27 km. The source of the river is from Mount Myojin.


The city was founded on November 3, 1954. In 2003, the city had an estimated population of 36,596 and the population density of 111.70 persons per kmē. The total area is 327.62 kmē.

On March 6, 2006 Kuji merged with the village of Yamagata, from Kunohe District, to form the new city of Kuji.

After the creation of new Kuji and the incorporation of surrounding villages, the city's population grew to 37,569 people by 2008. The total area for the new Kuji is 623.14 kmē. The population density for this new area is approximately 60.3 persons per kmē.

Kuji suffered extensive damage when an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on 11 March 2011.


For its small size, Kuji boasts a wealth of local specialties and tourist attractions. Most popular and well known of these include Kuji amber, Ama diver women, Kokujiyaki ceramic pottery, and the Kosode Coastline, yet there are many other highlights of Kuji City.

Kuji Amber: Kuji is one of Japan's largest producers of amber.

Ama divers: Kuji is also known as the Northern Limit of the Ama, female skin divers. Ama dive without breathing aids to depths reaching 10 meters, with the goal of procuring shellfish, seaweed, and pearls. In Kuji, the most acclaimed catch of the Ama is uni, sea urchin. Kuji Ama also retrieve abalone and other seafood delicacies which can be eaten fresh at a diving demonstration held during the on season at the Kuji Ama Diving Center. Due to the long winter and harsh climate of the Tohoku region, Ama dives do not occur further north than Kuji city.

Kokuji-yaki: Kokuji-yaki is a style of ceramic pottery unique to the Kokuji district of Kuji City.

Kosode Coast: Kuji is on the northern reaches of the region known as the "Sanriku Coastline," a stretch of the Northeastern Japanese coast known for its dramatic rock formations and views. Kuji boasts its own slice of the Sanriku coast, called the Kosode Kaigan, or Kosode coast. Kosode is the name of a small fishing community in the coastal mountains of Kuji city.