The Info List - Edo

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EDO (江戸, "bay -entrance" or "estuary "), also romanized as JEDO, YEDO or YEDDO, is the former name of Tokyo
. It 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 home to an urban culture centered on the notion of a "floating world ".


* 1 History

* 1.1 Magistrate

* 2 Government and administration * 3 Geography * 4 Gallery * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References

* 8 External links

* 8.1 Historic


Main article: Edo period

From the establishment of the Tokugawa _bakufu _ headquarters at Edo, the town became the _de facto_ capital and center of political power, although Kyoto
remained the formal capital of the country. Edo
grew from what had been a small, little-known fishing village in 1457 into the largest metropolis in the world with an estimated population of 1,000,000 by 1721.

was repeatedly devastated by fires, with the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657 being the most disastrous. An estimated 100,000 people died in the fire. During the Edo period , there were about 100 fires mostly begun by accident and often quickly escalating and spreading through neighborhoods of wooden _machiya _ which were heated with charcoal fires. Between 1600 and 1945, Edo/ Tokyo
was leveled every 25–50 years or so by fire, earthquakes, or war. Map of Edo
in the 1840s

In 1868, when the shogunate came to an end, the city was renamed _Tokyo_ ("eastern capital"). The emperor moved his residence to Tokyo, making the city the formal capital of Japan:

* _ Keiō 4_: On the 17th day of the 7th month (September 3, 1868), Edo
was renamed Tokyo
. * _ Keiō 4_: On the 27th day of the 8th month (October 12, 1868), Emperor Meiji was crowned in the _Shishin-den_ in Kyoto. * _ Keiō 4_: On the eighth day of the ninth month (October 23, 1868), the nengō was formally changed from _Keiō_ to _Meiji_ and a general amnesty was granted. * _Meiji 2_: On the 23rd day of the 10th month (1868), the emperor went to Tokyo
and Edo
castle became an imperial palace.


Scroll depicting the Great Fire of Meireki
Great Fire of Meireki

Ishimaru Sadatsuga was the magistrate of Edo
in 1661.


During the Edo
period, the Shogunate appointed administrators (_machi bugyō_) with jurisdiction over the police, and beginning with the rule of Tokugawa Yoshimune
Tokugawa Yoshimune
), the fire department (_machibikeshi_). The _machi bugyō_ heard criminal and civil suits, and performed other administrative functions.


_ Chōnin_-room exhibit at the Fukagawa Edo

The city was laid out as a castle town around Edo Castle . The area surrounding the castle known as _Yamanote_ consisted largely of _daimyō _ mansions, whose families lived in Edo
as part of the _sankin kōtai _ system; the _daimyō _ made journeys in alternating years to Edo, and used the mansions for their entourages. It was this extensive samurai class 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 a significant samurai population. Kyoto's character was defined by the Imperial Court, the court nobles , its Buddhist temples and its history; Osaka was the country's commercial center, dominated by the _chōnin _ or the merchant class.

Areas further from the center were the domain of the _chōnin_ (町人, "townsfolk"). The area known as Shitamachi (下町, "lower town" or "downtown"), northeast of the castle, was a center of urban culture. The ancient Buddhist temple of Sensō-ji still stands in Asakusa
, marking the center of an area of traditional Shitamachi culture. Some shops in the streets near the temple have existed continuously in the same location since the Edo

The Sumida River , then called the Great River (大川, _Ōkawa_), ran along the eastern edge of the city. The shogunate's official rice-storage warehouses, other official buildings and some of the city's best-known restaurants were located here. _ Nihonbashi
in Edo, ukiyo-e _ print by Hiroshige

The " Japan
Bridge" (日本橋, _Nihon-bashi_) marked the center of the city's commercial center, an area also known as _Kuramae_ (蔵前, "in front of the storehouses"). Fishermen, craftsmen and other producers and retailers operated here. Shippers managed ships known as _tarubune_ to and from Osaka
and other cities, bringing goods into the city or transferring them from sea routes to river barges or land routes such as the Tōkaidō . This area remains the center of Tokyo's financial and business district.

The northeastern corner of the city was considered a dangerous direction in traditional _onmyōdō _ (cosmology), and is protected from evil by a number of temples including Sensō-ji and Kan\'ei-ji . Beyond this were the districts of the _eta _ or outcasts, who performed "unclean" work and were separated from the main parts of the city. A long dirt path, which was a short distance north of the _eta_ districts, extended west from the riverbank leading along the northern edge of the city to the Yoshiwara
pleasure districts. Previously located within the city proper near Asakusa
, the districts were rebuilt in this more-remote location after the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657.


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

_See Tokyo
for photographs of the modern city._


* Tokyo

* Edo period * Edo society * Fires in Edo * 1703 Genroku earthquake * Edokko (native of Edo) * History of Tokyo
* Iki (a Japanese aesthetic ideal) * Asakusa


* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Sansom, George. _A History of Japan: 1615–1867_, p. 114. * ^ US Department of State. (1906). _A digest of international law as embodied in diplomatic discussions, treaties and other international agreements_ (John Bassett Moore, ed.), Vol. 5, p. 759; excerpt, "The Mikado, on assuming the exercise of power at Yedo, changed the name of the city to Tokio". * ^ Gordon, Andrew. (2003). _A Modern History of Japan
from Tokugawa Times to the Present_, p. 23. * ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). _Kyoto: the Old Capital, 794–1869,_ p. 327. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 328. * ^ Encyclopædia Britannica (1911): "Japan: Commerce in Tokugawa Times," p. 201. * ^ Taxes, and samurai stipends, were paid not in coin , but in rice. See _koku _.


* Forbes, Andrew; Henley, David (2014). _100 Famous Views of Edo_. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B00HR3RHUY * Gordon, Andrew. (2003). _A Modern History of Japan
from Tokugawa Times to the Present._ Oxford: Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
. ISBN 0-19-511060-9 /ISBN 978-0-19-511060-9 (cloth); ISBN 0-19-511061-7 /ISBN 978-0-19-511061-6 . * 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 . ISBN 0-8047-0527-5 /ISBN 978-0-8047-0527-1 . * Akira Naito (Author), Kazuo Hozumi. _Edo, the City that Became Tokyo: An Illustrated History_. Kodansha International, Tokyo
(2003). ISBN 4-7700-2757-5 * Alternate spelling from 1911 _Encyclopædia Britannica_ article.


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