Kamikoani, Akita


Kamikoani Village Hall



Location of Kamikoani in Akita Prefecture


Coordinates: 40°3′48″N 140°17′45″E / 40.06333°N 140.29583°E / 40.06333; 140.29583Coordinates: 40°3′48″N 140°17′45″E / 40.06333°N 140.29583°E / 40.06333; 140.29583
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Akita Prefecture
District Kitaakita
  Total 256.72 km2 (99.12 sq mi)
Population (May 2015)
  Total 2,378
  Density 9.26/km2 (24.0/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Cryptomeria
- Flower Amitostigma kinoshitae
Phone number 0186-77-2221
Address Kosawada-aze Mukaikawahara 118, Kamikoani-mura, Kitaakita-gun, Akita-ken 018-4494
Website Official website

Kamikoani (上小阿仁村 Kamikoani-mura) is a village located in Kitaakita District, Akita Prefecture, in the northern Tohoku region of Japan. As of June 2015, the village had an estimated population of 2,378 and a population density 9.26 persons per km². The total area was 256.72 square kilometres (99.12 sq mi).


Kamikoani is located in the flatlands of north-central Akita Prefecture. Due to its inland location, the city is noted for its heavy snowfall in winter.

Neighboring municipalities


Kamikoani has a Humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heaviest from August to October.


A “Kotani Village” in Dewa Province is mentioned in records of the area from the period of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. During the Edo period, the area came under the control of the Satake clan, who ruled the northern third of the province from Kubota Domain. After the start of the Meiji period, the area became part of Kitaakita District, Akita Prefecture in 1878.

The modern village of Kamikoani was founded on April 1, 1889 with the establishment of the municipalities system.

Non-doctor crisis

In February 2008, a male doctor who had been working in remote areas for more than 20 years started working in Kamikoani. He said "This village is the last place in my career as a doctor. I want to continue medication as I have love and interest for people." before working. In 4th month after starting, he intimated his intention of resigning, and quit 2 months later.[1][2]

In 2009, Yukiko Arisawa, a 61-year-old female doctor, started working Kamikoani, after working on isolated islands and in Thailand. She intimated her intention of resigning in March 2010, but postponed until March 2011 because of concerns that it would take time to find a replacement.

For these sudden resignations, Kouhou Kamikoani, the official public relations magazine published by the public relations section of the village office, reported that the doctors suffered from harassment by the local villagers.[3] According to the magazine, she was harassed many times. For instance, she had bullying phone calls, and her efforts were criticized. When she set a light with a sensor by herself in front of her house to deal with patients at night, someone said "You are wasting our tax." even though she had paid for setting the light and the electricity bill every month. Another villager said "I wonder how you could go shopping with having patients waiting." when she went out to buy sandwiches because she had not time to have lunch. She managed to have only 18 holidays in 2009 and she worked hard, but some people said "How can you have a holiday in weekdays?" and criticized when she had a holiday on August 17. And, someone scattered defamatory leaflet in front of her house.[4]


The economy of Kamikoani is based on agriculture.


Kamikoani has one combined elementary/middle school.



Sister city relations


  1. "The only doctor in village quits. Caused by heartless jeering to a hardworking doctor from villagers? - Kamikoani village, Akita". Yomiuri Shimbun. March 10, 2010
  2. "Rendering great service to Non-Doctor village Dr.Matsuzawa arrives at Kamikoani in Akita". Kawakita Shimpo. February 7, 2008
  3. March edition. p.16 Kouhou Kamikoani. March 10, 2010
  4. The only doctor in the village quits. The village is in an uproar for non-doctor crisis. AKITA Yomiuri Online. March 12, 2010
  5. "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Retrieved 21 November 2015.
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