Tokyo History

From Virtual Japan

Jump to: navigation, search

Tokyo History

Tokyo is largely made up of the land that was during the Ritsuryo System the Province of Musashi, established in the 7th Century. The original Toshima, Ebara, Adachi, and Katsushika Districts make up much of the central wards of current day Tokyo where as Tama District consists of what is now western Tokyo. Edo was established during the Kamakura Period and its castle built by Ota Dokan in 1457 during the Marumachi Period. Tokugawa Ieyasu moved into Edo Castle in 1590 and established Edo as the governing center of Japan.


The Edo Period

Starting in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu was named Shogun, Edo became the governing center of Japan and grew rapidly. Edo Castle was completed in 1637. Twenty years later, in 1657, the Great Fire of Meireki killed 100,000 people destroying Edo Castle, Asakusa, and Yoshiwara.

In 1707, Mount Fuji erupted, striking Edo with a rain of ashes while the Great Edo Earthquake of 1855 destroyed much of the city. The population of the city has been above 1 million since the 1760s.

Meiji Restoration

In 1868, the Meiji Restoration took place and the shogunate was overthrown as the Empire was returned to power. Edo was renamed to Tokyo, which literally means “Eastern Capital” and became the home of Emperor Meiji, moving the court from Kyoto in 1869. Tokyo Castle became the Imperial Palace and in 1871 the feudal system was abolished and Tokyo Prefecture established. The current land included in Tokyo’s 23 special wards was incorporated in 1872 and the first rail line opened later that year between Shinbashi and Yokohama.

Numerous additions and growth occurred in the remaining years of the 19th century including the establishment of the University of Tokyo and Ueno Zoo as well as the opening of the Yamanote Line, Shinjuku Station, and Shibuya Station. Tokyo City was established in 1889 with 15 wards.

Pre-War Tokyo

In 1914, Tokyo Station was opened and in 1920 Meiji Shrine was constructed to commemorate Emperor Meiji and his Empress. In 1921, Prime Minister Takashi Hara was assassinated in Tokyo Station, and in 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed great parts of Tokyo killing 70,000 people. The first subway in Japan was opened in 1927 with the Ginza Line and Tokyo Airport at Haneda was completed in 1931.

World War II

During World War II, Tokyo was as heavily targeted bombing location for US bombers, including the Doolittle Raid of 1942 and the heavy bombing of Tokyo in 1945 precipitating the end of the war. The population of Tokyo by 1945 was half what it had been in 1940 before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor as many citizens fled the city for the country side.

Modern History

Following the war, Tokyo was reestablished with 23 Special Wards in 1947. In the same year, Typhoon Kathleen destroyed parts of Eastern Tokyo with flooding. In 1958, Tokyo Tower was completed and in 1962, it was estimated that Tokyo had surpassed 10 million residents making it the largest city in the world. The Tokyo Olympic Summer Games occurred in 1964, bringing Japan back onto the international stage following the war.

In 1978, the New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) was opened in [[Chiba Prefecture[]] and throughout the next decade the economy continued to grow, culminating in the first signs of the Japanese bubble economy in 1986 when land prices skyrocketed. In 1995, the Shinrikyo Sarin Nerve Gas attack on the Tokyo Subway system shocked the country, killing 12 and injuring thousands.

External Links

Pop culture / Travel / Forum / Gallery / FAQ/Help / Submit

Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved.