Kamihama City

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Kamihama City (神浜市 Kamihama-shi) is a city where the story of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record takes place. The city consists of 9 wards and has recently undergone a rapid development. Part of the city comprises traditional landmarks such as old town, castle, and shrines. Skyscrapers can also be seen in the city center.

Map of Kamihama. Wards, in top-down order from left to right: Hokuyo (bright pink), Shinsei (magenta), Mizuna (blue), Sakae (bright green), Sankyo (aqua blue), Chuo (olive green), Minagi (purple), Kosho (orange), and Daito (bright pink)

History

As explained in episode 4: According to a legend regarding Mizuna Ward, in the days when a daimyo held power, a local commoner man and a noblewoman living in Mizuna Castle fell in love despite their unequal status. The woman's jealous fiance murdered the man. The woman mourned him greatly and visited a local shrine every night to pray to meet her dead lover once again. After 1,500 nights, and after sacrificing the lives of everyone else who lived in the castle town, her prayers were answered and she was reunited with her lover.

Although many of the details differ, it is possible that this legend originates as a corrupted retelling of the tragic romance of Tsuyu and Chizuru, with the latter playing the role of the man.

Warring States Period

In the Warring States Period, the area now known as Kamihama was called Souma Province. The people of Souma Province revered an ancient Sacred Tree, where human sacrifice had once been observed. Souma consisted of at least 8 domains that roughly correspond to the modern ward structure of Kamihama:

  • Hokuyo Domain, controlled by the Mizuna clan. They had been exiled their from their original Mizuna Domain because Tsuyu Mizuna's refusal to marry into the Sumiya clan was supported by her father.
  • Sango Domain, controlled by the Sango clan.
  • Sakae Domain, controlled by the Sakae clan.
  • Mizuna Domain, controlled by the Kumai clan on behalf of the Sumiya clan, the Kyoto family who owns the land.
  • Kosho Domain, controlled by the Kosho clan.
  • Taito Domain, controlled by outlaws known as the Taito Gang.
  • Nagitsu Domain, controlled by the Nagitsu clan.
  • The 8th domain is unlabelled on the map, so it's unknown what it was called or who controlled it.
51183 souma map translated.jpg

Taisho Era

As revealed in Rondo of Oblivion Sleeps for Eternity, there was a well-recorded tragedy in Kamihama that unfolded near the end of the Taisho Era. A girl of noble upbringing, Ruri Mizuna, become engaged to a successful businessman from Kosho Ward, Tsukihiko. According to the official story, Ruri wasn't very happy with the arrangement at first, but then she fell in love with him at first sight at a party. The truth however is that the engagement came about because of her wish when she became a magical girl. Ruri's great uncle was opposed to the marriage, and rumours arose that Tsukihiko's family was responsible for the historical disgrace of the Mizuna clan a generation or two earlier. However, Ruri managed to convince him to allow it. But after Tsukihiko's childhood friend appeared, he was assaulted by thugs and suddenly lost his memory. After that the relationship grew sour, ultimately ending in tragedy – Ruri killed Tsukihiko and then herself.

Geography

Kamihama City consists of 9 wards.

Shinsei ward

Shinsei ward (新西区 Shinsei-ku) is a ward located in the western part of the city.

Mizuna ward

Mizuna ward (水名区 Mizuna-ku) is a ward located in the western part of the city, comprising traditional landmarks such as old town, castle and shrines.

Sankyō ward

Sankyō ward (参京区 Sankyō-ku) is one of 9 wards in Kamihama City.

Chūō ward

Chūō ward (中央区 Chūō-ku) is a ward located in the central part of the city.

Sakae ward

Sakae ward (栄区 Sakae-ku) is a shopping district ward.

Kōshō ward

Kōshō ward (工匠区 Kōshō-ku) is a ward located in the eastern part of the city.

Daitō ward

Daitō ward (大東区 Daitō-ku) is a ward located in the eastern part of the city.

Minaminagi ward

Minaminagi ward (南凪区 Minaminagi-ku) is a ward located in the southern part of the city.

Hokuyō ward

Hokuyō ward (北養区 Hokuyō-ku) is a ward located in the northern part of the city. This ward is home to the city's upper class and wealthier residents. It is shown that Touka Satomi's family lives here, and this is also where the main headquarters of the Magius is located.

Unknown Locations

  • Mall
  • Tomorrow Shop
  • The Mirror Mansion: The Mirror Witch was lured to an abandoned house on Kamihama's east side (ward unknown), where it now permanently resides.

Outside Kamihama City

  • According to the map exhibited on the Anime Japan 2019, Takarazaki City is located west of this city and Mitakihara City is located northwest of this city, but it is unknown if the three cities are contiguous.
  • Outside the city is a location named the "Yadokita Service Area", a building atop a bridge above a highway leading into the city, with a Ferris wheel directly next to it. It is directly on the border into Kamihama City, beyond which Kyubey cannot enter due to Alina Gray's quarantine barrier.

Gallery

Maps

Backgrounds

Outdoors

Indoors

Etymology

  • The name Kamihama (神浜) likely originates from combining the Kanji names of two major Japanese cities: Kobe (戸) and Yokohama (横).
    • It may also be a combination of the terms "kami" (神), a spirit in Japanese Shintoism, and "hama" (破魔), meaning "exorcism", the expulsion or defeat of evil spirits.
      • This would be an obvious reference to needing to defeat Rumors, the ability of magical girls to summon their Witch forms as Doppels, and the city's status as the beginning of the efforts to erase Witches and Witchification from the Magical Girl system.
      • "Hama" (破魔) can also refer to a decorative bow or arrow (the weapon of both Madoka Kaname and Iroha Tamaki) that acts as a ward against evil.
  • Shinsei (新西)
  • Mizuna (水名)
  • Sankyō (参京)
  • Chūō (中央)
  • Sakae (栄)
  • Kōshō (工匠)
  • Daitō (大東)
  • Minaminagi (南凪)
  • Hokuyō (北養)

Trivia

  • Some of the cityscapes of Kamihama City seem to reference the real one of the cities of Kobe and Yokohama.
  • The metro system of Kamihama is similar to that of Robert Moses, and how he strategically isolated parts of New York from public transport, parks, museums, etc. Kamihama's design is a more simplistic version, but it reflects real efforts in urban planning to discriminate against poor communities in the American 1930-60s. Infrastructure was literally built so as to isolate poor communities from public utilities and such. Everything from highway construction to dump locations to inconsistent bridge heights has been used historically.
  • The Yadokita Service Area that sits on the city's border is directly based on the Kariya Highway Oasis of Kariya City in Aichi Prefecture. It is considered the third most popular theme park in Japan.
    • Like Kamihama, Kariya originated as a castle town in an area contested by multiple clans, including the Mizuno and Matsudaira clans.
    • Kariya City was the birthplace of artist On Kawara, who belonged to "a broadly international generation of Conceptual artists that began to emerge in the mid-1960s, stripping art of personal emotion, reducing it to nearly pure information or idea and greatly playing down the art object." This may be intended to be similar to Kyubey's view of humanity and the Magical Girl system, represented by Kyubey appearing on the Yadokita Service Area multiple times. Kawara's works tended to focus on the concept of time: the Today series pf paintings, which were simple images of the date that the painting was created on written in the language and grammatical conventions of the country it was created in; for languages like Japanese that do not use the Roman alphabet, Esperanto (a language favored by Kenji Miyazawa) was used instead. One Million Years lists each year in a one million-year period leading up to, and then following, the conception of the piece itself.