What is the History of Tokyo

What is the History of Tokyo

The sprawling metropolis of Tokyo was born out of humble beginnings as a small, little known fishing village in 1457 named EDO.  EDO grew to be the largest city in the world in 1721 with an estimated population of 1,000,000.

Edo was repeatedly devastated by fires, with the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657 (in which an estimated 100,000 people died) the most disastrous. During the Edo period there were about 100 fires, most of them started accidentally and quickly escalating and spreading through neighbourhoods of wooden machiya which were heated with charcoal fires. It is estimated that between 1600 and 1945 Edo was leveled every 25–50 years or so by fire, earthquakes, or war.

Handscroll depicting the Great Fire of Meiriki located in the Edo-Tokyo Museum


In 1868 the Shogunate came to an end and Edo was renamed to Tokyo on 3 September 1868 with the Emperor relocating to Edo Castle in the newly renamed Tokyo.

Kabuki play depicting a scene from the Royal Court

Woodblock Print depicting Royal Court by Utagawa Toyokuni at Kasasagi Gallery


The city was laid out as a castle town around Edo Castle.  The area surrounding the castle (known as the Yamanote) consisted largely of daimyo (feudal lords’) mansions.

Today the 23 wards that make up Tokyo house a population of nearly 9 Million residents (population at Japanese census Oct 2013 was 8,949.447) and is the 17th most populated city in the world


Tokyo is a Big City…

It is believed that between 84% to 96% of the population in Japan are followers of Shinto and Buddhism.  There are over a 100 shrines and temples in central Tokyo and it is customary for people to offer pledges and visit them during the course of their working day.

Information in this article was sourced from several sources including wikipedia.  Wikipedia are an ad free information website that rely on donations in order to provide their service and remain ad free   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo



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