There is a beautiful story, found here, that relates the founding of the city.
Long Ago in Hita (The Origins of Hita)
(I’ve taken the liberty of fixing a few glaring errors while still remaining true to the source.)
Long, long ago, in the very middle of Kyushu, there was a huge lake.
The lake was surrounded by towering mountains, and the streams flowing down from the mountains gathered to form a vast expanse of water.
The surface of the Lake was shaped like a lotus leaf, and the images of the flowers, greenery and autumn leaves reflected on it over the seasons were stunningly beautiful.
In the lake stood three smal1 islands, still and quiet.
Then, one morning a huge hawk appeared out of the eastern sky.
It soared slowly in a circle over the lake, its wings spread wide, then suddenly swooped down, moistening its feathers on the surface of the lake and sending up a spray of water… then it let out a cry, soared up once more, sending sparkling droplets of water into the sky.
It vanished, bathed in sunbeams, into the northern sky.
Suddenly dark clouds covered the sky, the heavens began to roar with thunder, torrential rain lashed down, and the lake began to surge and heave.
The lake began to churn up furiously the swirling waters dashing against the surrounding mountains.
With a tremendous crash, the waters broke through the western side and began to pour away in a deluge towards Chikugo.
For three days and three nights the storm raged, and when at last the light returned, there was no lake to be seen.
All that were left were three hills, and around them a few clear streams.
The hills were narrled after the heavenly bodies; the eastern hill was named Hinokurrla (after the sun) the western hill Hoshikuma (after the stars); and the northern hill, Tsukikuma (after the moon) the stream flowing by these three hills became known as the Mikuma River.
The land formed here was named Hitaka (Sun hawk), after the giant hawk shining in the light of the sun; and this became Hita.
It is also said that the name Hita comes from the hawk wetting its feathers (hitasu), or from the water draining away (hita).