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Miyakonojō is a city in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on April 1, 1924.As of November 1, 2012, the city has an estimated population of 168,072, with 70,549 households and a population density of 257.26 per km². The total area is 653.31 km² making it the largest city in the prefecture in terms of area.On January 1, 2006, the towns of Takajō, Takazaki, Yamada and Yamanokuchi (all from Kitamorokata District) were merged into Miyakonojō.HistoryMiyakonojō is known as the birthplace of the Shimazu Estate, the largest shōen (estate or manor) of medieval Japan. In the 1020s, a powerful official named Taira no Suemoto developed a small manor named Shimazu-in. Expanded substantially in the first half of the 12th century, it eventually covered large portions of Satsuma, Ōsumi and Hyūga Provinces. In 1185, Koremune no Tadahisa was appointed as jitō of the Shimazu Estate and thereafter claimed the clan name of Shimazu. It is said that one of Tadahisa's residences, called Iwayoshi Gosho, was located at Miyakonojō. Between the Muromachi period and Edo period, the Hōngō family, which was a branch family of the Shimazus, controlled the area. After the Boshin War, it became one of the cities to abolish the han system. In 1871, it became a prefecture for a year.
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