Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa
Kamakura is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan, the nation's most populous settlement from 1200 to 1300 AD, as the seat of the shogunate and of the Regency during the Kamakura period. Kamakura was designated as a city on November 3, 1939; as of September 1, 2016, the modern city has an estimated population of 172,302, a population density of 4,358.77 persons per km2. The total area is 39.53 km2. As a coastal city with a high number of seasonal festivals, as well as ancient Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples, Kamakura is a popular tourist destination within Japan. Surrounded to the north and west by hills and to the south by the open water of Sagami Bay, Kamakura is a natural fortress. Before the construction of several tunnels and modern roads that now connect it to Fujisawa and Zushi, on land it could be entered only through narrow artificial passes, among which the seven most important were called Kamakura's Seven Entrances, a name sometimes translated as "Kamakura's Seven Mouths".
The natural fortification made Kamakura an defensible stronghold. Before the opening of the Entrances, access on land was so difficult that the Azuma Kagami reports that Hōjō Masako came back to Kamakura from a visit to Sōtōzan temple in Izu bypassing by boat the impassable Inamuragasaki cape and arriving in Yuigahama. Again according to the Azuma Kagami, the first of the Kamakura shōguns, Minamoto no Yoritomo, chose it as a base because it was his ancestors' land because of these physical characteristics. To the north of the city stands Mt. Genji, which passes behind the Daibutsu and reaches Inamuragasaki and the sea. From the north to the east Kamakura is surrounded by Mt. Rokkokuken, Mt. Ōhira, Mt. Jubu, Mt. Tendai, Mt. Kinubari, which extend all the way to Iijimagasaki and Wakae Island, on the border with Kotsubo and Zushi. From Kamakura's alluvional plain branch off numerous narrow valleys like the Urigayatsu, Shakadōgayatsu, Ōgigayatsu, Kamegayatsu and Matsubagayatsu valleys.. Kamakura is crossed by the Namerigawa river, which goes from the Asaina Pass in northern Kamakura to the beach in Yuigahama for a total length of about 8 kilometres.
The river marks the border between Yuigahama. In administrative terms, the municipality of Kamakura borders with Yokohama to the north, with Zushi to the east, with Fujisawa to the west, it includes many areas outside the Seven Entrances as Yamanouchi, Koshigoe and Ofuna, is the result of the fusion of Kamakura proper with the cities of Koshigoe, absorbed in 1939, absorbed in 1948, with the village of Fukasawa, absorbed in 1948. North-west of Kamakura lies Yamanouchi called Kita-Kamakura because of the presence of East Japan Railway Company's Kita-Kamakura Station. Yamanouchi, was technically never a part of historical Kamakura since it is outside the Seven Entrances. Yamanouchi was the northern border of the city during the shogunate, the important Kobukorozaka and Kamegayatsu Passes, two of Kamakura's Seven Entrances, led directly to it, its name at the time used to be Sakado-gō. The border post used to lie about a hundred meters past today's Kita-Kamakura train station in Ofuna's direction.
Although small, Yamanouchi is famous for its traditional atmosphere and the presence, among others, of three of the five highest-ranking Rinzai Zen temples in Kamakura, the Kamakura Gozan. These three great temples were built here because Yamanouchi was the home territory of the Hōjō clan, a branch of the Taira clan which ruled Japan for 150 years. Among Kita-Kamakura's most illustrious citizens were artist Isamu Noguchi and movie director Yasujirō Ozu. Ozu is buried at Engaku-ji. Kamakura's defining feature is a Shinto shrine in the center of the city. A 1.8-kilometre road runs from Sagami Bay directly to the shrine. This road is known as the city's main street. Built by Minamoto no Yoritomo as an imitation of Kyoto's Suzaku Ōji, Wakamiya Ōji used to be much wider, delimited on both sides by a 3 metre deep canal and flanked by pine trees. Walking from the beach toward the shrine, one passes through three torii, or Shinto gates, called Ichi no Torii, Ni no Torii and San no Torii. Between the first and the second lies Geba Yotsukado which, as the name indicates, was the place where riders had to get off their horses in deference to Hachiman and his shrine.
100 metres after the second torii, the dankazura, a raised pathway flanked by cherry trees that marks the center of Kamakura, begins. The dankazura becomes wider so that it will look longer than it is when viewed from the shrine, its entire length is under the direct administration of the shrine. Minamoto no Yoritomo made his father-in-law Hōjō Tokimasa and his men carry by hand the stones to build it to pray for the safe delivery of his son Yoriie; the dankazura used to go all the way to Geba, but it was drastically shortened during the 19th century to make way for the newly constructed Yokosuka railroad line. In Kamakura, wide streets are called Ōji 、narrower ones Kōji, the small streets that connect the two are called zushi, intersections tsuji. Komachi Ōji and Ima Kōji run east and west of Wakamiya Ōji, while Yoko Ōji, the roa
Kikokuzan Kongō Jufuku Zenji known as Jufuku-ji, is a temple of the Kenchō-ji branch of the Rinzai sect and the oldest Zen temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Ranked third among Kamakura's prestigious Five Mountains, it is number 24 among the Thirty-Three Kamakura Kannon pilgrimage temples and number 18 of the Kamakura Nijūyon Jizō temples, its main object of worship is Shaka Nyorai. The temple was founded by Hōjō Masako, a great historical figure familiar enough to the Japanese to appear on television jidaigeki dramas, in order to enshrine her husband Minamoto no Yoritomo, founder of the Kamakura shogunate, who died falling from his horse in 1199. Having chosen Jufuku-ji's present site because it used to be Yoritomo's father's residence, she invited Buddhist priest Myōan Eisai to be its founding priest. Eisai is important in the history of Zen because it was he who, after being ordained in China, introduced it to Japan, he is known for introducing green tea to the country. Ostracized by the Tendai school in Kyoto because of the new ideas he had introduced there after coming back from China, Eisai agreed to come to Kamakura, where he was to stay and have great religious influence.
Among the famous Zen masters that were active at Jufuku-ji are Enni Bennen, invited to come here in 1257 by Hōjō Tokiyori, the Chinese Rankei Dōryū. Although small now, in its heyday the temple used to have as many as 14 subtemples, its Main Hall, which constitutes the bulk of its compound now, is closed to the public and can be seen only from the inner gate. Over the centuries, the Main Hall burned down many times so that, in spite of the temple's great age, the present one dates only to the period between 1751 and 1763. Inside it are three statues of Shakyamuni which are the main object of worship. There are a statue of Eleven-Headed Kannon and two enormous wooden Deva Kings or Niō, brought here from Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū at the time of the mandatory separation of Shinto and Buddhism, in 1872. In the temple's vast graveyard behind the main hall, inside caves called yagura, are buried all the chief priests of the temple. Two yagura are dedicated to Hōjō Masako and her son Minamoto no Sanetomo, assassinated while still young by nephew Kugyō on the stairs of Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū.
Masako and Sanetomo's ashes are not there, because they were put in a temple, Chōshōjū-in, which no longer exists, are therefore lost. Among the other graves can be found not only those of Japanese celebrities including haiku poet Takahama Kiyoshi and novelist Osaragi Jirō, but those of some foreigners, among them Countess Iso Mutsu. For an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture, see the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism. Mutsu, Iso. Kamakura. Fact and Legend. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-1968-8. OCLC 33184655
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." He was the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete; the Emperor of Japan is the only head of state in the world with the English title of "Emperor". The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing monarchical house in the world; the historical origins of the Emperors lie in the late Kofun period of the 3rd–7th centuries AD, but according to the traditional account of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu, said to be a direct descendant of the sun-goddess Amaterasu. The current Emperor is Akihito, he acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father, Emperor Shōwa, in 1989. The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito will abdicate on 30 April 2019.
The role of the Emperor of Japan has alternated between a ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate in 1199, the Emperors of Japan have taken on a role as supreme battlefield commander, unlike many Western monarchs. Japanese Emperors have nearly always been controlled by external political forces, to varying degrees. In fact, between 1192 and 1867, the shōguns, or their shikken regents in Kamakura, were the de facto rulers of Japan, although they were nominally appointed by the Emperor. After the Meiji Restoration in 1867, the Emperor was the embodiment of all sovereign power in the realm, as enshrined in the Meiji Constitution of 1889. Since the enactment of the 1947 Constitution, he has been a ceremonial head of state without nominal political powers. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Imperial Palace has been called Kyūjō Kōkyo, is on the former site of Edo Castle in the heart of Tokyo. Earlier, Emperors resided in Kyoto for nearly eleven centuries.
The Emperor's Birthday is a national holiday. Unlike most constitutional monarchs, the Emperor is not the nominal chief executive. Article 65 explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the Prime Minister is the leader; the Emperor is not the commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Japan Self-Defense Forces Act of 1954 explicitly vests this role with the Prime Minister; the Emperor's powers are limited only to important ceremonial functions. Article 4 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor "shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in the Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government." It stipulates that "the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state". Article 4 states that these duties can be delegated by the Emperor as provided for by law. While the Emperor formally appoints the Prime Minister to office, Article 6 of the Constitution requires him to appoint the candidate "as designated by the Diet", without giving the Emperor the right to decline appointment.
Article 6 of the Constitution delegates the Emperor the following ceremonial roles: Appointment of the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. Appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet; the Emperor's other duties are laid down in article 7 of the Constitution, where it is stated that "the Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people." In practice, all of these duties are exercised only in accordance with the binding instructions of the Cabinet: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, cabinet orders, treaties. Convocation of the Diet. Dissolution of the House of Representatives. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet. Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment and restoration of rights.
Awarding of honors. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. Performance of ceremonial functions. Regular ceremonies of the Emperor with a constitutional basis are the Imperial Investitures in the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Speech from the Throne ceremony in the House of Councillors in the National Diet Building; the latter ceremony opens extra sessions of the Diet. Ordinary sessions are opened each January and after new elections to the House of Representatives. Extra sessions convene in the autumn and are opened then. Although the Emperor has been a symbol of continuity with the past, the degree of power exercised by the Emperor has varied throughout Japanese history. In the early 7th century, the Emperor had begun to be called the "Son of Heaven"; the title of Emperor was borrowed from China, being derived from Chinese characters and was retroactively applied to the legendary Japanese rulers who reigned before the 7th–8th centuries AD.
According to the traditional account of the Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. Modern historians agree that the Emperors before the possible late 3rd century AD ruler known traditionally as Emperor Ōjin are legendary. Emperor Ank
Coming of Age Day
Coming of Age Day is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached or will reach the age of majority between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year, to help them realize that they have become adults. Festivities include coming of age ceremonies held at local and prefectural offices, as well as after-parties among family and friends. Coming of age ceremonies have been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donned new robes and a hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood; the holiday was first established in 1948, to be held every year on January 15. In 2000, as a result of the Happy Monday System, Coming of Age Day was changed to the second Monday in January. Japan's low birth rate and shrinking percentage of young people, coupled with disruptions to some ceremonies in recent years and a general increase in the number of 20-year-olds who do not feel themselves to be adults have led to decreased attendance of the ceremonies, which has caused some concern among older Japanese.
In 2012, the decline continued for the fifth year in a row, with the total of 1.22 million adults celebrating the holiday in 2012 – under half of the participants seen at its peak in 1976, when 2.76 million adults attended ceremonies. This was the first time. Japan lowered the age of adulthood in 2018 from 20 years of age to 18, set to take effect in 2022; this change has caused confusion on the status of the holiday, raised concerns among the kimono industry which profits from the garments worn during the ceremonies. Coming of age ceremonies mark one's coming of age, which reflects both the expanded rights but increased responsibilities expected of new adults; the ceremonies are held in the morning at local city offices throughout Japan. All young adults who turned or will turn 20 between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current one and who maintain residency in the area are invited to attend. Government officials give speeches, small presents are handed out to the newly recognized adults.
Many women celebrate this day by wearing furisode, a style of kimono with long sleeves that hang down, zōri sandals. Since most are unable to put on a kimono by themselves due to the intricacies involved, many choose to visit a beauty salon to dress and to set their hair. A full set of formal clothing is expensive, so it is either borrowed from a relative or rented rather than bought for the occasion. Men sometimes wear traditional dress, but nowadays many men wear formal Western clothes such as a suit and tie more than the traditional hakama. After the ceremony, the young adults celebrate in groups by going to parties or going out drinking. Genpuku Secular coming of age ceremony
Sagami Province was a province of Japan located in what is today the central and western Kanagawa Prefecture. Sagami bordered on Izu, Suruga Provinces. However, most of the present-day cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, now part of Kanagawa Prefecture, were not in Sagami, but rather, in Musashi Province, its abbreviated form name was Sōshū. Sagami was one of the original provinces of Japan established in the Nara period under the Taihō Code; the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Although remnants from the Japanese Paleolithic and Yayoi periods are scarce, remains from the Jōmon period are plentiful. Kofun period remains are from the 1st – 4th centuries AD. Whether or not Sagami was part of Musashi prior to the Nara period is still a topic of controversy; the original capital of the province may have been located in what is now Hiratsuka, although other contenders include Ōiso and Ebina. Of all the former provinces of Japan, Sagami is the only in which the ruins of the Nara period capital have yet to be found.
The Kokubun-ji is located in. Under the Engishiki classification system, Sagami was ranked as a "major country" in terms of importance and a “far country, in terms of disctance from the capital, it was included as one of the Tōkaidō provinces and was governed by a Kuni no miyatsuko. Samukawa jinja was designated as the chief Shinto shrine for the province. Records of Sagami during the Heian period are sparse, but during this period large shōen controlled by various warrior-class clans developed; the Miura clan was one of the most powerful of these clans. During the Kamakura period, Sagami was the center of the Kamakura shogunate, based in Kamakura, founded by Minamoto no Yoritomo and subsequently controlled by his former stewards, the Hōjō clan; the province came under the control of the Uesugi clan for much of the Sengoku period, was a contested territory, before the consolidation under the rule of the Later Hōjō clan based at Odawara. After the defeat of the Later Hōjō clan at the hands of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590, Sagami was part of the territory in the Kantō region which came under the rule of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
With the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, the western portion of the province formed Odawara Domain, the remainder of the province was tenryō territory under direct administrative control of the Tokugawa shogunate, ruled though a number of hatamoto administrators. A number of feudal domains from outside Sagami Province had small scattered holdings within the province. During the Edo period, Sagami prospered due to its location on the Tōkaidō road connecting Edo with Kyoto, numerous post towns developed. Uraga, at the entrance to Edo Bay was a major maritime security checkpoint for ships entering or leaving the Shogunate capital. However, the 1703 Genroku earthquake caused severe damage to Odawara, destroying much of Odawara-juku; this was followed by further natural disasters, including the October 4, 1707 Hōei earthquake and the Hōei eruption of Mount Fuji in December of the same year. During the Bakumatsu period, Kurihama in southern Miura Peninsula was the location of the first landing of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry and his fleet of black ships in 1853, which led to the Treaty of Kanagawa, which opened Sagami to foreign visitation and led to the rapid development of Yokohama as a treaty port.
After the Meiji Restoration, Sagami Province was reorganized in 1871 into Odarawa, Ongino-Yamanaka, Mito, Oyumi and Nishi-Ohira Prefectures. All for former Sagami Province became part of the new Kanagawa Prefecture in 1876. Kanagawa Prefecture Aikō District Ashigarakami District Ashigarashimo District Kamakura District - dissolved Kōza District Miura District Ōsumi District - merged with Yurugi District to become Naka District on March 26, 1896 Tsukui District - dissolved Yurugi District - merged with Ōsumi District to become Naka District on March 26, 1896 Tōkaidō – connecting Edo with Kyoto Shōnan, common name for Sagami Province's Sagami Bay coastline Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth.. Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5. Historical and Geographic Dictionary of Japan. Tokyo: Librarie Sansaisha. OCLC 77691250 Media related to Sagami Province at Wikimedia Commons Murdoch's map of provinces, 1903