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Former location of Edo and Present location of Tokyo
Former location of Edo and Present location of Tokyo
Country Japan
Castle Built 1457
Capital 1603
Renamed Tokyo 1868
Population (1721)[1]
 - Total 1,000,000

Edo (江戸?), literally: bay-door, "estuary", pronounced [edo]), once also spelled Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo, and was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. During this period it grew to become one of the largest cities in the world and the site of a vibrant urban culture centered on notions of the "floating world".[1] For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation). ... This article is about the history of the city now known as Tokyo. ... Bay redirects here. ... This article is about the architectural feature. ... For other meanings, see Estuary (disambiguation) Río de la Plata estuary An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. ... Geographical renaming is the act of changing the name of a geographical feature or area. ... Tokyo, the seat of the Government of Japan and home of the Emperor, is the capital of Japan. ... For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation). ... The Tokugawa shogunate or Tokugawa bakufu (徳川幕府) (also known as the Edo bakufu) was a feudal military dictatorship of Japan established in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family until 1868. ... Ukiyo (浮世) or The Floating World is a term used to describe the pleasure-seeking lifestyle and culture of Edo Period Japan (1615-1857). ...



The site of the city, on what is now known as Tokyo Bay, had been settled for several centuries, but first became historically significant with the building of Edo Castle in 1457 by order of Ōta Dōkan. Kyoto was the site of the Japanese emperor's residence and the capital of Japan for many centuries, until the Tokugawa shogunate was established in 1603 and Edo became its seat of government. From that point Kyoto remained merely the formal capital of the country, while the de facto capital was now Edo, the center of real political power. Edo consequently rapidly grew from what had been a small, virtually unknown fishing village in 1457 to a metropolis of 1,000,000 residents by 1721, the largest city in the world at the time.[1][2] Tokyo Bay from space Tokyo Bay ) is a bay in the southern Kantō region of Japan. ... Edo Castle (江戸城 -jō) was built in 1457 by ÅŒta Dōkan in what is now the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo, but was then known as Edo, Toshima District, Musashi Province. ... ÅŒta Dōkan (太田道灌) (1432-1486) was born as ÅŒta Sukenaga (太田資長) into a daimyo family descending from Minamoto no Yorimasa. ... For other uses, see Kyoto (disambiguation). ...

Edo was repeatedly devastated by fires, with the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657—in which an estimated 100,000 people died—perhaps the most disastrous. During the Edo period there were about one hundred fires, typically started by accident and often quickly escalating to giant proportions, spreading through neighbourhoods of wooden machiya that were heated with charcoal fires. Between 1600 and 1945, Edo/Tokyo was leveled every 25–50 years or so by fire, earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and war. Historical marker for memorial to victims of Great Fire of Meireki The Great fire of Meireki ) destroyed 60-70% of the Edo (the forerunner of Tokyo) and Edo Castle in 1657. ... The Edo period ), also called Tokugawa period, is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868. ... Machiya are traditional wooden townhouses found throughout Japan and typified in the historical capital of Kyoto. ...

In 1868, when the shogunate came to an end, the city was renamed Tokyo, meaning "eastern capital", and the emperor moved his residence to Tokyo, making the city the formal capital of Japan. Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate Shōgun )   is supreme general of the samurai,a military rank and historical title in Japan. ...

  • Keiō 4, on the 17th day of the 7th month (September 3, 1868): Edo was renamed "Tokyo," i.e. meaning "Eastern Capital."[3]
  • Keiō 4, on the 27th day of the 8th month, (October 12, 1868): Emperor Meiji is crowned in the Shishin-den in Kyoto.[4]
  • Keiō 4, on the 8th day of the 9th month (October 23, 1868): The nengō is formally changed from Keiō to Meiji; and a general amnesty is granted.[4]
  • Meiji 2, on the 23rd day of the 10th month (1868): The emperor went to Tokyo; and Edo castle became an Imperial palace.[4]

is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation). ... is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Emperor Meiji ) (November 3, 1852 — July 30, 1912) was the 122nd emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from February 3, 1867 until his death. ... is the 296th day of the year (297th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Japanese era calendar scheme is a common calendar scheme used in Japan, which identifies a year by the combination of the Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. ...

Government and administration

During the Edo period, the Shogunate appointed administrators called machi bugyō to run the police and, from the time of Tokugawa Yoshimune onward, the commoner fire department (machibikeshi). The machi bugyō heard criminal and civil suits and performed other administrative functions. Tokugawa Yoshimune 1684-1751. ... Firefighter with an axe A firefighter, sometimes still called a fireman though women have increasingly joined firefighting units, is a person who is trained and equipped to put out fires, rescue people and in some areas provide emergency medical services. ...


View of Edo, left screen from a pair of six-panel folding screens, 17th century.
View of Edo, left screen from a pair of six-panel folding screens, 17th century.

The city was arranged as a castle town, around Edo castle. The area immediately surrounding the castle, known as the "Yamanote", consisted largely of daimyō (feudal lords') mansions, whose families lived in Edo year-round as part of the sankin kōtai system; the daimyō themselves made journeys in alternating years to Edo and made use of these mansions for their extensive entourages. It was this extensive samurai (noble warrior class) population which defined the character of Edo, particularly in contrast to the two major cities of Kyoto and Osaka, neither of which were ruled by a daimyō or had any significant samurai population. Kyoto's character was dominated by the Imperial Court, the court nobles, its numerous Buddhist temples, and its traditional heritage and identity, while Osaka was the country's commercial center, dominated by the chōnin merchant class. Daimyo Matsudaira Katamori visits the residence of a retainer. ... Tokiwa bashi on the Nagasaki Kaido in Kitakyushu, used for sankin kotai Sankin kōtai (参勤交代) was a policy of the shogunate during most of the Edo period of Japanese history. ... For other uses, see Samurai (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Osaka (disambiguation). ... The kuge (公家) was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo. ... Chōnin (町人 townsman) was a social class that emerged in Japan during the early years of the Tokugawa period. ...

Other areas further from the center were the domains of commoners, or chōnin (町人), literally "townsfolk." The area known as Shitamachi (下町, lit. "lower town"), to the northeast of the castle, was perhaps one of the key centers of urban culture. The ancient Buddhist temple of Sensō-ji still stands in Asakusa and marks the center of an area of traditional "low-town" culture. Some of the shops in the streets before the temple have been carried on continuously in the same location since the Edo period. Sensō-ji (金龍山浅草寺, KinryÅ«-zan Sensōji) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taitō Ward, Tokyo. ... Sensoji Temple The Kaminarimon is the outer gate of the Sensoji, Asakusas famous temple. ...

The Sumida River, then simply called the Great River (大川), ran along the eastern edge of the city, along which one would find the shogunate's official rice storage warehouses[5] and other official buildings, along with some of the city's most famous restaurants. The Sumida River flowing through Adachi, Tokyo The Sumida River (隅田川, Sumida-gawa) is a river which flows through Tokyo, Japan. ...

The Edo Bridge (江戸橋, Edo-bashi) marked the center of the city's commercial center, an area also known as Kuramae (蔵前, "in front of the storehouses"). Many fishermen, craftsmen, and other producers and retailers operated here, as did shippers who managed ships to and from Osaka (called tarubune) and other cities, either taking goods into the city, or simply transferring them from sea-routes onto river barges or onto land routes such as the Tōkaidō, which terminated here. The area remains the center of Tokyo's financial and business district today. Nihonbashi (the bridge) Marker from which distances are measured Bank of Japan For the place in Osaka written with the same kanji in Japanese, see Nipponbashi. ... Nissaka, the 25th station on the Tōkaidō, as illustrated by the Ukiyo-e master Hiroshige. ...

The northeastern corner of the city, regarded as a dangerous direction in traditional onmyōdō (cosmology/geomancy), is guarded from evil spirits by a series of temples, including Sensō-ji and Kan'ei-ji. Just beyond these lay the districts of the eta or outcastes, who engaged in unclean vocations and were thus separated from the main sections of commoner residences. A long dirt path extended west from the riverbank, a short distance north of these eta districts, leading along the northern edge of the city to the Yoshiwara pleasure districts. Previously located within the city proper, close to Asakusa, the districts were rebuilt in this more distant location after the Meireki Fire of 1657. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Pagoda of Kanei-ji Kanei-ji ) is a Tendai Buddhist temple in Tokyo, founded in 1625 by Tenkai. ... Burakumin (: buraku, community or hamlet + min, people), or hisabetsu buraku ( discriminated communities / discriminated hamlets) are a Japanese social minority group. ... Prostitutes on display in Yoshiwara during the Edo Period This movie set in Kyoto recreates the appearance of a red-light district such as Yoshiwara. ...


Edo, 1865 or 1866. Five albumen prints joined to form panorama. Photographer: Felice Beato
Edo, 1865 or 1866. Five albumen prints joined to form panorama. Photographer: Felice Beato

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 121 pixelsFull resolution (2966 × 450 pixel, file size: 736 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Panorama of Edo (now Tokyo) showing daimyo residences, Japan, by Felice Beato, 1865 or 1866. ... Felice Beato, unknown photographer, c. ...


  1. ^ a b c Sansom, George. A History of Japan: 1615-1867, p. 114.
  2. ^ Gordon, Andrew. (2003). A Modern History of Japan from Tokugawa Times to the Present, p. 23.
  3. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: the Old Capital, 794-1869, p. 327.
  4. ^ a b c Ponsonby-Fane, p. 328.
  5. ^ Taxes, and samurai stipends, were paid not in coin, but in rice. See koku.
  • Gordon, Andrew. (2003). A Modern History of Japan from Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10-ISBN 0-195-11060-9; 13-ISBN 978-0-195-11060-9 (cloth) 10-ISBN 0-195-11061-7; 13-ISBN 978-0-195-11061-6
  • Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: the Old Capital, 794-1869. Kyoto:: Ponsonby Memorial Society.
  • Sansom, George. (1963). A History of Japan: 1615-1867. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 10-ISBN 0-8047-0527-5; 13-ISBN 978-0-804-70527-1

For other uses, see Money (disambiguation). ... A koku ) is a unit of volume in Japan, equal to ten cubic shaku. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... Sir George Bailey Sansom KCMG (1883-1965) was a historian of pre-modern Japan particularly noted for his historical surveys and attention to Japanese society. ... The Stanford University Press is a publishing house, a division of Stanford University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... Supporters contend that the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1910-1911) represents the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century; indeed, it was advertised as such. ...

See also

  • 1703 Genroku earthquake
  • Edokko (native of Edo)
  • History of Tokyo
  • Iki (one of Japanese aesthetic ideals)
Edokko (江戸っ子, literally Edo child) is a Japanese term referring to a native of Tokyo (the term came into use when Tokyo was known as Edo). ... Former Edo Castle, now the Kokyo Imperial Palace. ... Iki (「いき」, often 粋) is one of traditional aesthetic ideals in Japan. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Edo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (322 words)
The Tokugawa shogunate was established in 1603 with Edo as its seat of government (de facto capital).
Edo was devastated repeatedly by fires, the Meireki no Taika of 1657 perhaps having been the most serious one: an estimated 100,000 people perished in the flames.
During the Edo period, the Shogunate appointed administrators (machi bugyo) to oversee the government of Edo.
Edo period - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4947 words)
The period marks the governance of the Edo or Tokugawa Shogunate which was officially established in 1603 by the first Edo shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The beginning of the Edo period coincides with the last decades of the Nanban trade period, during which intense interaction with European powers, on the economic and religious plane, took place.
It is at the beginning of the Edo period that Japan built her first ocean-going Western-style warships, such as the San Juan Bautista, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported a Japanese embassy headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, which then continued to Europe.
  More results at FactBites »



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