Tokyo, Japan - The History of Tokyo
By Harry Preston
In feudal times, the current prefecture of Tokyo was part of the province of Musashi, and more specifically. After the defeat of those facing Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1590, it allowed the nine provinces of the Kanto region to choose the small village of Edo, which was centered around a castle built in 1457, to serve as capital in its field.
It became Shogun Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and thus became the de facto political center of Japan, opening what historians call the Edo era. Even if Kyoto is still officially the capital, as a place of residence for emperors. All their wives and son lived in Edo. The city soon became a large dense population, despite a great fire in 1657 which destroyed much of the city and killed nearly 100 000 people.
In July 1868, following the Meiji revolution, Emperor Mutsuhito Edo chose a new place of residence, in the city which is now known as Tokyo, the capital of the east. In 1871, the Tokyo metropolitan group was formed, and the city which was previously divided into 15 districts, became one metropolis.
In 1943, the city of Tokyo merged and the Tokyo metropolitan prefecture (Tokyo-to) was created. The common Tokyo no longer exists, its boroughs, reorganized to form the current 23 special districts, becoming separate municipalities.
The prefecture has been sorely tested in the first half of the twentieth century, first by the earthquake of 1923 Kanto (142 dead and 807 missing) and the many bombings that it has endured during the Second World War (more than 100 000 dead). Much of the city was destroyed during the two disasters, resulting in the need for major reconstruction which explains why, while retaining a number of ancient historical monuments, most of the city has developed a particularly modern architecture.
The Summer Olympics of 1964 took place in Tokyo, which resulted in the construction of numerous infrastructure (including highways and transport). Thereafter, the city experienced phenomenal growth during the economic boom in Japan during the 1960s (10% of average economic growth per year), 1970 (5% growth) and 1980 (4%), the urban area, the largest in the world in terms of population, now largely beyond the borders of the prefecture and fully embracing the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and partly that of Chiba.
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