Bunkyō is a special ward located in Tokyo, Japan. Situated in the middle of the ward area, Bunkyō is a educational center. Beginning in the Meiji period, literati like Natsume Sōseki, as well as scholars and politicians have lived there. Bunkyō is home to the Tokyo Dome, Judo's Kōdōkan, the University of Tokyo's Hongo Campus. Bunkyō has a sister-city relationship with Kaiserslautern in the Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany, it was formed in 1947 as a merger of Hongo and Koishikawa wards following Tokyo City's transformation into Tokyo Metropolis. The modern Bunkyo ward exhibits contrasting Shitamachi and Yamanote geographical and cultural division; the Nezu and Sendagi neighborhoods in the ward's eastern corner is attached to the Shitamachi area in Ueno with more traditional Japanese atmosphere. On the other hand, the remaining areas of the ward represent Yamanote districts; as of May 1, 2015, the ward has a population of 217,743, a population density of 19,290 persons per km². The total area is 11.29 km².
Bunkyo was formed in 1947 as a merger of Hongo and Koishikawa wards following Tokyo City's transformation into Tokyo Metropolis. There are twenty districts in the area and these are as follows: Bunkyo is governed by Mayor Hironobu Narisawa, an independent supported by the Liberal Democratic Party, Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito; the city council has 34 elected members. The publishing company Kodansha has its headquarters in the ward, Kodansha International has its headquarters in the Otowa YK Building in the ward; the drugstore chain. Penta-Ocean, the construction firm specializing in marine works and land reclamation has its headquarters in Bunkyo. Chinzan-so Garden Denzū-in Temple Gokoku-ji Temple Harimasaka Sakura Colonnade Hatoyama Hall Kisshō-ji Kodansha Noma Memorial Museum Kodokan Judo Institute Koishikawa Botanical Garden Koishikawa Kōrakuen Koishikawa Ukiyo-e Art Museum Nezu Shrine Nippon Medical School Orugoru no Chiisana Hakubutsukan Rikugien Garden Shin-Edogawa Garden Tokyo Cathedral Tokyo Dome Tokyo Dome City Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery Toyo University Tōyō Bunko "Oriental Library", Japan's largest Asian studies library University of Tokyo Yanaka Cemetery Yayoi Museum Yushima Seidō Ochanomizu University University of Tsukuba Ōtsuka Campus University of Tokyo Hongō Campus Tokyo Medical and Dental University Atomi University Juntendo University Takushoku University Chuo University Engineering department Tokyo Woman's Christian University Toyo University Toyo Gakuen University Nippon Medical School Japan Women's University Bunkyo Gakuin University Bunkyo Gakuin College International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies Public elementary and junior high schools are operated by Bunkyo council.
Public high schools are operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education. Kogei High School Koishikawa High School Mukogaoka High School Takehaya High SchoolThe metropolis operates the Koishikawa Secondary Education School; the metropolis operates the Bunkyo School for the Blind. Toei Mita Line: Sengoku, Kasuga, Suidōbashi Toei Ōedo Line: Iidabashi, Hongō Sanchōme Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line: Sendagi, Yushima Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line: Shin-Ōtsuka, Myōgadani, Kōrakuen, Hongō Sanchōme, Ochanomizu Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line: Gokokuji, Edogawabashi Tokyo Metro Namboku Line: Kōrakuen, Tōdaimae, Honkomagome Shuto Expressway No.5 Ikebukuro Route Tokyo/Bunkyo travel guide from Wikivoyage Bunkyo City Official Website
Chiyoda is a special ward located in central Tokyo, Japan. It is known as Chiyoda City in English, it was formed in 1947 as a merger of Kanda and Kōjimachi wards following Tokyo City's transformation into Tokyo Metropolis. The modern Chiyoda ward exhibits contrasting Shitamachi and Yamanote geographical and cultural division; the Kanda area is in the core of the original commercial center of Edo-Tokyo. On the other hand, the western part of the Kōjimachi area represents a Yamanote district. Chiyoda consists of a surrounding radius of about a kilometer; as of May 2015, the ward has an estimated population of 54,462, a population density of 4,670 people per km², making it by far the least populated of the special wards. The total area is 11.66 km², of which the Imperial Palace, Hibiya Park, National Museum of Modern Art, Yasukuni Shrine take up 2.6 km², or 22% of the total area. Called the "political center" of the country, Chiyoda meaning "field of a thousand generations", inherited the name from the Chiyoda Castle.
With the seat of the Emperor in the Imperial Palace at the ward's center, many government institutions, such as the National Diet, the Prime Minister's Official Residence, the Supreme Court and agencies are located in Chiyoda, as are Tokyo landmarks such as Tokyo Station, Yasukuni Shrine and the Budokan. Akihabara, a district known for being an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for computer goods, is located in Chiyoda, as are fifteen embassies; the Chiyoda ward was created on March 1947 by the merger of Kanda Ward and Kōjimachi Ward. It has been a site of a number of historical events. In 1860, the assassination of Ii Naosuke took place outside the Sakurada Gate of the Imperial Palace. In 1932, assassins killed prime minister Inukai Tsuyoshi. In 1936, an attempted coup d'état, the February 26 Incident, occurred. In 1960, Socialist Party leader Inejirō Asanuma was assassinated in Hibiya Hall. In 1995, members of Aum Shinrikyo carried out the Tokyo subway sarin attack. Chiyoda is located at the heart of former Tokyo City in eastern mainland Tokyo.
The central area of the ward is furthermore occupied by the Imperial Palace. The east side of the ward, bordering Chūō, is the location of Tokyo Station; the south side, bordering Minato, encompasses the National Diet Building. It is exclusively occupied by administrations and agencies; the west and northwest are upper class residential. To the north and northeast are several residential neighborhoods and the Akihabara commercial district. Chiyoda is run by a city assembly of 25 elected members; the current mayor is an independent. For the Metropolitan Assembly, Chiyoda forms a single-member electoral district, it had been represented by Liberal Democrats for 50 years until the landslide 2009 election when 26-year-old Democratic newcomer Zenkō Kurishita unseated 70-year-old former Metropolitan Assembly president and six term assemblyman, Liberal Democrat Shigeru Uchida. In the 2013 election, no Democrat contested the seat and Uchida won back the district against a Communist and two independents.
The Tokyo Fire Department has its headquarters in Ōtemachi in Chiyoda. For the national House of Representatives, together with Minato and Shinjuku, forms the prefecture's 1st electoral district since the electoral reform of the 1990s; the district is represented by Constitutional Democrat Banri Kaieda. The ward is home to the National Diet, the Supreme Court of Japan and the residence of the Prime Minister of Japan and is the political nerve center of Japan; the Embassy of the United Kingdom is in Ichibancho in Chiyoda. The Embassy of Belgium has been located in the Kojimachi area since 1902 and at its location in Nibancho since 1928. During the reconstruction project from 2007 to 2009, the Belgian embassy was temporarily in Shibakoen, Minato ward; the Embassy of Ireland is located in the Kōjimachi area of Chiyoda. The Embassy of Israel is located in Niban-cho in Chiyoda; the Embassy of the Philippines is in Fujimi in Chiyoda. On December 31, 2001, Chiyoda had 6,572 buildings which were taller.
Some of the districts in Chiyoda are not inhabited, either because they are parks, because they consist only of office buildings, and/or because they are small. The area on the eastern side of Akihabara Station is the location of several districts that cover at most a few buildings. Kanda-Hanaokachō is, for example, limited to the Akihabara Station and the Yodobashi Camera department store. Understanding the address system in the Kanda area can be troublesome for non-locals. Kōjimachi Area, former Kōjimachi Ward The Banchō area, an upper class residential area, home of the embassies of Belgium, the UK and Israel. Chiyoda - "1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku" is the official address of the Imperial Palace Fujimi, location of the Philippines embassy as well as several schools Hayabusachō - Houses the Supreme Court of Japan and the National Theater Hibiya Kōen - Address for Hibiya Park, a large park south of the Imperial Palace Hirakawachō Iidabashi Kasumigaseki - The nerve center of Japan's administrative agencies Kioichō - The name, ki-o-i, is a three-kanji acronym consisting of one kanji each from the names of the Kishū Domain, Owari Domain, Ii clan, whose daimyō residences were here during the Edo period Kitanomaru Park, North of the imperial palace
Tōeizan Kan'ei-ji Endon-in is a Tendai Buddhist temple in Tokyo, founded in 1625 during the Kan'ei era by Tenkai, in an attempt to emulate the powerful religious center Enryaku-ji, in Kyoto. The main object of worship is Yakushirurikō Nyorai, it was named in a reference both to the Enryaku-ji's location atop Mount Hiei, after the era during which it was erected, like Enryaku-ji. Because it was one of the two Tokugawa bodaiji and because it was destroyed in the closing days of the war that put an end to the Tokugawa shogunate, it is inextricably linked to the Tokugawa shōguns. Once a great complex, it used to occupy the entire heights north and east of Shinobazu Pond and the plains where Ueno Station now stands, it had immense wealth and prestige, it once consisted of over 30 buildings. Of the 15 Tokugawa shōguns, six are buried here. Many temple structures were destroyed in the great Meireki fire of 1657. A new hall was constructed inside the enclosure of Kan'ei-ji in 1698; the temple and its numerous annexes were completely destroyed during the Boshin War's Battle of Ueno and never restored.
Much of the site where it once stood is now occupied by Ueno Park. What is today the temple's main hall was taken from Kita-in in Kawagoe and transferred to the site of a former Kan'ei-ji subtemple. Kan'ei-ji's five-story pagoda and the Ueno Tōshō-gū shrine were amongst the gems of the old temple enclosure. Both stand undisturbed by the passage of years since the end of the Tokugawa shogunate; the Shinobazu Pond itself and the Bentendō Temple which stands on its island used to be an integral part of Kan'ei-ji. Tenkai, liking Lake Biwa, had Benten Island built in imitation of Chikubushima, the Bentendō on it. At the time the island was accessible only by boat, but a stone bridge was added on the east, making it possible to walk to it; the Bentendō Temple was destroyed during World War II, the present one is a reconstruction. Tenkai wanted to create a powerful religious center and, to achieve that, he built Kan'ei-ji imitating Enryaku-ji; the temple was therefore erected north-east of Edo Castle to ward off evil spirits that were believed to come from that unlucky direction.
Tenkai's project enjoyed from the beginning the shogunate support, so much so that Tokugawa Hidetada in 1622 donated the land on which it was built. At the time, on that land there were the suburban residences of three daimyōs, but the land was expropriated and donated to Tenkai for the temple, he was given 50 thousand silver Ryō and a building as a contribution. The chief abbot's residence, the Honbō, was built in 1625, considered the year of foundation of the temple. After that, several daimyōs contributed with the construction of other buildings; the main hall, called as in Enryaku-ji's case Konponchūdō, was finished only in 1697. In 1643, after Tenkai's death, disciple Kōkai took his place, his successor was Emperor Go-Mizunoo's third son Shuchōho Shinnō. From on until the end of the shogunate, Kan'ei-ji's chief abbots were chosen among the Emperor's children or favorite nephews and called with the honorific Rinnōjinomiya. With the favor of the Tokugawa the temple prospered but, at least in the first years since foundation, it was just the Tokugawa family temple, while the sole funeral temple of the Tokugawa was still Zōjō-ji, where the second shogun Hidetada rests.
His successor Iemitsu sent his remains to Nikkō because the Nikkō Tōshō-gū, mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the dynasty, was there. After that, the fourth shōgun Tokugawa Ietsuna and the fifth Tokugawa Tsunayoshi were put to rest in Ueno, Kan'ei-ji became a Tokugawa funeral temple like Zōjō-ji. Zōjō-ji didn't like the change, but after the next shogun Tokugawa Ienobu's mausoleum was built on its land, the custom became to alternate the temples at each generation, that lasted until the closing of the shogunate era. Excepted Ieyasu and Iemitsu and last shogun Yoshinobu, all of the Tokugawa shōguns are buried either at Zōjō-ji or Kan'ei-ji, six at one and six at the other. In what used to be the Kan'ei-ji cemetery near the Tokyo National Museum are interred Tokugawa Ietsuna, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Tokugawa Yoshimune, Tokugawa Ieharu, Tokugawa Ienari, Tokugawa Iesada and Iesada's wife Tenshō-in. Ietsuna's and Tsunayoshi's mausoleums were destroyed in 1945; the cemetery can be seen from the street.
The last visit from Tokugawa shogunate member at 8th August 1863 by Tenshō-in, due to memorial service of his husband Tokugawa Iesada. In his book High City, Low City Japanologist Edward Seidensticker describes the last days and the destruction of Kan'ei-ji; the revolutionary forces had occupied most of Tokyo, Edo Castle and the majority of the Tokugawa troops had surrendered, however one band of shogunate soldiers barricaded itself in Ueno with the intention to resist. About 2000 men strong, it was composed of members of the Shōgitai, a military unit of former Tokugawa retainers, they held the Kan'ei-ji's abbot in hostage, maybe for this reason the Satsuma and Chōshū revolutionaries didn't attack immediately. On July 4, 1868, the final attack came and from early morning artillery rounds fell from Hongo's heights on Ueno. After a fierce battle, in the late afternoon the revolutionary forces broke through the defenses in the south at the Black Gate (
Akihabara is a common name for the area around Akihabara Station in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo, Japan. Administratively, the area called Akihabara belongs to the Sotokanda and Kanda-Sakumachō districts in Chiyoda. There exists an administrative district called Akihabara in the Taitō ward further north of Akihabara Station, but it is not the place people refer to as Akihabara; the name Akihabara is a shortening of Akibagahara, which comes from Akiba, named after a fire-controlling deity of a firefighting shrine built after the area was destroyed by a fire in 1869. Akihabara gained the nickname Akihabara Electric Town shortly after World War II for being a major shopping center for household electronic goods and the post-war black market. Nowadays, Akihabara is considered by many to be an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for video games, anime and computer goods. Icons from popular anime and manga are displayed prominently on the shops in the area, numerous maid cafés are found throughout the district.
The main area of Akihabara is located on a street just west of Akihabara Station, where most of the major shops are situated. Most of the electronics shops are just west of the station, the anime and manga shops and the cosplay cafés are north of them; as mentioned above, the area called Akihabara now ranges over some districts in Chiyoda ward: Sotokanda, Kanda-Hanaokachō, Kanda-Sakumachō. There exists an administrative district called Akihabara in Taitō ward, but it is not the place which people refer to as Akihabara, it borders on Sotokanda in between Akihabara and Okachimachi stations, but is half occupied by JR tracks. The area, now Akihabara was once near a city gate of Edo and served as a passage between the city and northwestern Japan; this made the region a home to many craftsmen and tradesmen, as well as some low class samurai. One of Tokyo's frequent fires destroyed the area in 1869, the people decided to replace the buildings of the area with a shrine called Chinkasha, meaning fire extinguisher shrine, in an attempt to prevent the spread of future fires.
The locals nicknamed the shrine Akiba after the deity that could control fire, the area around it became known as Akibagahara and Akihabara. After Akihabara Station was built in 1888, the shrine was moved to the Taitō ward where it still resides today. Since its opening in 1890, Akihabara Station became a major freight transit point, which allowed a vegetable and fruit market to spring up in the district. In the 1920s, the station saw a large volume of passengers after opening for public transport, after World War II, the black market thrived in the absence of a strong government; this disconnection of Akihabara from government authority has allowed the district to grow as a market city and given rise to an excellent atmosphere for entrepreneurship. In the 1930s, this climate turned Akihabara into a future-oriented market region specializing in household electronics, such as washing machines, refrigerators and stereos, earning Akihabara the nickname "Electric Town"; as household electronics began to lose their futuristic appeal in about the 1980s, the shops of Akihabara shifted their focus to home computers at a time when they were only used by specialists and hobbyists.
This new specialization brought in a new type of computer nerds or otaku. The market in Akihabara latched onto their new customer base, focused on anime and video games; the connection between Akihabara and otaku has survived and grown to the point that the region is now known worldwide as a center for otaku culture, some otaku consider Akihabara to be a sacred place. On Sunday, 8 June 2008, at 12:33 JST, a man drove into a crowd with a truck stabbed at least 17 people using a dagger. Seven died and ten were injured. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrested Tomohiro Katō, 25, on suspicion of attempted murder, arrested him again weeks on suspicion of murder. Kato was sentenced to death by the Tokyo District Court in 2011, the sentence was upheld on appeal in 2012; the influence of otaku culture has shaped Akihabara's businesses and buildings to reflect the interests of otaku and gained the district worldwide fame for its distinctive imagery. Akihabara tries to create an atmosphere as close as possible to the game and anime worlds of customers' interest.
The streets of Akihabara are covered with anime and manga icons, cosplayers line the sidewalks handing out advertisements for maid cafés. The idol group AKB48, one of Japan's highest selling contemporary musical acts, runs its own theater in Akihabara, from which the group's name is derived. Release events, special events, conventions in Akihabara give anime and manga fans frequent opportunities to meet the creators of the works they follow so and strengthen the connection between the region and otaku culture; the design of many of the buildings serves to create the sort of atmosphere. Architects design the stores of Akihabara to be more opaque and closed to reflect the general desire of many otaku to live in their anime worlds rather than display their interests to the world at large. Akihabara's role as a free market has allowed a large amount of amateur work to find a passionate audience in the otaku who frequent the area. Doujinshi, amateur manga has been growing in Akihabara since the 1970s when publishers began to drop manga that
Special wards of Tokyo
The special wards are 23 municipalities that together make up the core and the most populous part of Tokyo, Japan. Together, they occupy the land, Tokyo City before it was abolished in 1943 to become part of the newly created Tokyo Metropolis; the special wards' structure was established under the Japanese Local Autonomy Law and is unique to Tokyo. Analogues exist in historic and contemporary Chinese and Korean administration. In Japanese, they are known as the 23 wards. Confusingly, all wards refer to themselves as a city in English, but the Japanese designation of special ward remains unchanged. Moreover, in everyday English, Tokyo as a whole is referred to as a city. Thus, the closest English equivalents for the special wards would be the London boroughs or New York City boroughs, this can help to understand their structures and functions. However, Greater London and New York City only consist of boroughs, whereas Tokyo contains 62 municipalities of which only 23 are special wards; this is a grouping of special wards.
Although special wards are autonomous from the Tokyo metropolitan government, they function as a single urban entity in respect to certain public services, including water supply, sewage disposal, fire services. These services are handled by the Tokyo metropolitan government, whereas cities would provide these services themselves; this situation is identical between the Federal District and its 31 administrative regions in Brazil. To finance the joint public services it provides to the 23 wards, the metropolitan government levies some of the taxes that would be levied by city governments, makes transfer payments to wards that cannot finance their own local administration. Waste disposal is handled by each ward under direction of the metropolitan government. For example, plastics were handled as non-burnable waste until the metropolitan government announced a plan to halt burying of plastic waste by 2010. Unlike other municipalities, special wards were not considered to be local public entities for purposes of the Constitution of Japan.
This means that they had no constitutional right to pass their own legislation, or to hold direct elections for mayors and councilors. While these authorities were granted by statute during the US-led occupation and again from 1975, they could be unilaterally revoked by the National Diet; the denial of elected mayors to the special wards was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in the 1963 decision Japan v. Kobayashi et al.. In 1998, the National Diet passed a revision of the Local Autonomy Law that implemented the conclusions of the Final Report on the Tokyo Ward System Reform increasing their fiscal autonomy and established the wards as basic local public entities; the word "special" distinguishes them from the wards of other major Japanese cities. Before 1943, the wards of Tokyo City were no different from the wards of Kyoto; these original wards numbered 15 in 1889. Large areas from five surrounding districts were merged into the city in 1932 and organized in 20 new wards, bringing the total to 35.
By this merger, together with smaller ones in 1920 and 1936, Tokyo City came to expand to the current city area. On March 15, 1943, as part of wartime authoritarian tightening of controls Tokyo's local autonomy under the Imperial municipal code was eliminated by the Tōjō cabinet and the Tokyo city government and prefectural government merged into a single prefectural government; the 35 wards of the former city were integrated into 22 on March 15, 1947 just before the legal definition of special wards was given by the Local Autonomy Law, enforced on May 3 the same year. The 23rd ward, was formed on August 1, 1947 when Itabashi was split again; the postwar reorganization under the US-led occupation authorities democratized the prefectural administrations but did not include the reinstitution of Tokyo City. Seiichirō Yasui, a former Home Ministry bureaucrat and appointed governor, won the first Tokyo gubernatorial election against Daikichirō Tagawa, a former Christian Socialist member of the Imperial Diet, former vice mayor of Tokyo city and advocate of Tokyo city's local autonomy.
Since the 1970s, the special wards of Tokyo have exercised a higher degree of autonomy than the administrative wards of cities but still less than other municipalities in Tokyo or the rest of the country, making them less independent than cities, towns or villages, but more independent than city subdivisions. Today, each special ward has assembly. In 2000, the National Diet designated the special wards as local public entities, giving them a legal status similar to cities; the wards vary in area and population, some are expanding as artificial islands are built. Setagaya has the most people, while neighboring Ōta has t
Yoshiwara was a famous yūkaku in Edo, present-day Tōkyō, Japan. In the early 17th century, there was widespread male and female prostitution throughout the cities of Kyoto and Osaka. To counter this, an order of Tokugawa Hidetada of the Tokugawa shogunate restricted prostitution to designated city districts: Shimabara for Kyōto, Shinmachi for Ōsaka, Yoshiwara for Edo. A leading motive for establishing these districts was the Tokugawa shogunate trying to prevent the nouveau riche chōnin from engaging in political intrigue; the Yoshiwara Yūkaku was created in the city of Edo, near what is today known as Nihonbashi, near the start of the busy Tōkaidō that leads to western Kyoto in western Japan. In 1656, due to the need for space as the city grew, the government decided to relocate Yoshiwara and plans were made to move the district to its present location north of Asakusa on the outskirts of the city; the old Yoshiwara district burned down in the Great fire of Meireki of 1657. Yoshiwara was home to some 1,750 women in the 18th century, with records of some 3,000 women from all over Japan at one time.
The area had over 9,000 women in 1893. These girls were indentured to the brothels by their parents between the ages of about seven to twelve. If she was lucky, she would become an apprentice to a high-ranking courtesan; when the girl was old enough and had completed her training, she would become a courtesan herself and work her way up the ranks. The young women had a contract to the brothel for only about five to ten years, but massive debt sometimes kept them in the brothels their entire lives. One way a woman could get out of Yoshiwara was for a rich man to buy her contract from the brothel and keep her as his wife or concubine. Another would be; this did not occur often, though. Many women died of sexually transmitted diseases or from failed abortions before completing their contracts. A significant number served out their contracts and married a client, went into other employment, or returned to their family homes. In these cases, the advanced payments their parents received could be used to fund her dowry.
Social classes were not divided in Yoshiwara. A commoner with enough money would be served as an equal to a samurai. Though samurai were discouraged from entering the Yoshiwara area, they did so; the only requirement on them was. By law, brothel patrons were only allowed to stay for a day at a time. Like all official policies for Yoshiwara, this was enforced. Yoshiwara became a strong commercial area; the fashions in the town changed creating a great demand for merchants and artisans. Traditionally the prostitutes were supposed to wear only simple blue robes, but this was enforced; the high-ranking ladies dressed in the highest fashion of the time, with bright colorful silk kimonos and expensive and elaborate hair decorations. Fashion was so important in Yoshiwara that it dictated the fashion trends for the rest of Japan. Most prostitutes were, girls from poor families and were exploited. Most of them were so poor that when they died their bodies were brought anonymously to Jōkan-ji temple and left at the back entrance since a proper burial would have been too expensive.
The temple therefore became known as Nage-komi dera. A memorial to thousands of anonymous prostitutes of the Yoshiwara was consecrated in the Meiji era; the area was damaged by an extensive fire in 1913 nearly wiped out by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake in 1923. It remained in business, until prostitution was outlawed by the Japanese government in 1958 after World War II. Prostitution is technically illegal, although this supposed illegality has been accomplished by applying a rather strained definition of the term; the area known as Yoshiwara, near Minowa station on the Hibiya Line, is now known as Senzoku Yon-chōme and retains a large number of soaplands and other façades for sexual services. People involved in mizu shōbai would include hōkan, dancers, rakes, tea-shop girls, Kanō, courtesans who resided in seirō and geisha in their okiya houses; the courtesans would consist of yūjo, shinzō, hashi-jōro, kōshi-jōro, tayū, oiran and the yobidashi who replaced the tayū when they were priced out of the market.
In addition to courtesans, there were geisha/geiko, otoko geisha and okaasan. The lines between geisha and courtesans were drawn, however - a geisha was never to be sexually involved with a customer, though there were exceptions. Today, Yoshiwara corresponds to Tōkyō Taitō-ku Senzoku 4 Chōme. At first glance, Yoshiwara to
The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", popular enjoyment of arts and culture; the shogunate was established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 1868, after the fall of Edo. A revolution took place from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which existed with the Tennō's court, to the Tokugawa, when the samurai became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of shogunate. Instrumental in the rise of the new-existing bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area.
He maintained two million koku of land, a new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town, had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved to seize control from the Toyotomi clan. Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyō at the Battle of Sekigahara gave him control of all Japan, he abolished numerous enemy daimyō houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyō, but his assumption of the title of shōgun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada as shōgun and himself as retired shōgun in 1605; the Toyotomi were still a significant threat, Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka; the Tokugawa period brought 250 years of stability to Japan.
The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shōgun had national authority and the daimyō had regional authority; this represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, a land assessment system reaping great revenues; the feudal hierarchy was completed by the various classes of daimyō. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the shinpan, or "related houses", they were twenty-three daimyō on the borders of Tokugawa lands. The shinpan held honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu; the second class of the hierarchy were the fudai, or "house daimyō", rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service.
By the 18th century, 145 fudai controlled the greatest assessed at 250,000 koku. Members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven han formed the tozama, former opponents or new allies; the tozama were located on the peripheries of the archipelago and collectively controlled nearly ten million koku of productive land. Because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyō, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions; the Tokugawa shogunate not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyō and the religious orders. The emperor was held up as the ultimate source of political sanction for the shōgun, who ostensibly was the vassal of the imperial family; the Tokugawa helped the imperial family recapture its old glory by rebuilding its palaces and granting it new lands. To ensure a close tie between the imperial clan and the Tokugawa family, Ieyasu's granddaughter was made an imperial consort in 1619.
A code of laws was established to regulate the daimyō houses. The code encompassed private conduct, dress, types of weapons and numbers of troops allowed. Although the daimyō were not taxed per se, they were levied for contributions for military and logistical support and for such public works projects as castles, roads and palaces; the various regulations and levies not only strengthened the Tokugawa but depleted the wealth of the daimyō, thus weakening their threat to the central administration. The han, once military-centered domains, became mere local administrative units; the daimyō did have full administrative control over their territory and their complex systems of retainers and commoners. Loyalty was exacted from religious foundations greatly weakened by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, through a variety of control mechanisms. Like Hideyoshi, Ieyasu encouraged foreign trade but was suspicious of outsiders, he wanted to make Edo a major port, but once he learned that the Europeans favored ports in Kyūshū and that China had rejected his plans for official trade, he moved to control existing trade