Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Capital Gains: The Moving Japanese Capital

As I’m sure most of you know, or should know, Japan’s capital is Tokyo.

But it’s a relatively new capital.

Forget about the fact that Tokyo only became Tokyo in and around 1868. Before that the city was known as Edo (pronounced Eh-dough).

Tokyo, by the way, is pronounced with two syllables as Toe-quoh, and not as Toe-key-oh.

No… before 1869, the capital of Japan was Kyoto, thought it had a different name at one point in time, too.

There have actually been too many capital moves for me to list here, suffice to say that excluding the “mythical” emperors that Japan includes (the first Emperor Jimmu, for example, is either mythical, or is real but with a completely different and non-deity based origin).

Let’s just say that until the 40th Emperor of Japan, Temmu, who reigned from 673AD - 686AD, the location of the capital city changed every time a new emperor ascended the throne.

After Temmu, the capital of Japan did move with every new emperor’s accession, but at least now it only moved within the Kinki district.

So… for what possible reason did the country continually move its place of power?

It was for empirical safety… moving removed the government from any sphere of influence the previous government may have held. It allowed the new government to work with a clean slate.

Kindda cool, actually.

So… from 686AD until 794AD, the Japanese capital continued to move within the Kinki area.

But after that, it remained at Heiankyo, the city that was eventually renamed Kyoto.

Kyoto is, like Tokyo, pronounced as a two-syllable word, not three. So it is Quoh-toe, not Key-yo-toe.

I can’t find evidence for this, but I recall being told when I was in Japan that Kyoto meant Western gate, and Tokyo meant gate to the west.

Of course, with Tokyo the new power in 1868, maybe Tokyo was the Eastern Gate, and Kyoto was the gate to the east.&

You’ll note that To-Kyo is the opposite position of Kyo-To.

Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. Anyhow...

Here’s a list of the Capital moves, per Wikipedia.

For the sake of continuity, the listing includes the mythical/legendary Emperors and their capitals:

Legendary period
  1. Kashihara, Yamato at the foot of Mt. Unebi during the reign of Emperor Jimmu;
  2. Kazuraki, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Suizei;
  3. Katashiha, Kawachi during the reign of Emperor Annei;
  4. Karu, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Itoku;
  5. Waki-no-kami, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Kōshō;
  6. Muro, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Kōan;
  7. Kuruda, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Kōrei;
  8. Karu, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Kōgen;
  9. Izakaha, Yamato during the reign of Emperor Kaika;
  10. Shika, Yamato (Palace of Mizugaki) during the reign of Emperor Sujin;
  11. Shika, Yamato (Palace of Tamagaki) during the reign of Emperor Suinin;
  12. Makimuko, Yamato (Palace of Hishiro) during the reign of Emperor Keikō;
  13. Shiga, Ōmi (Palace of Takaanaho) during the reign of Emperor Seimu;
  14. Ando, Nara (Palace of Toyoura) and Kashiki on the island of Kyushu during the reign of Emperor Chūai.
Of note, Wikipedia says the above list is "incomplete". IE, there were more emperors and moves not listed, because they are unsure just where the capital was located.

Kofun period
  • Karushima, Yamato (Palace of Akira), during the reign of Emperor Ōjin;
  • Naniwa, Settsu (Palace of Takatsu), during the reign of Emperor Nintoku;
  • Iware, Yamato (Palace of Wakasakura), during the reign of Emperor Richū;
  • Tajihi, Kawachi (Palace of Shibakaki), during the reign of Emperor Hanzei;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Palace of Tohotsu), during the reign of Emperor Ingyō;
  • Isonokami, Yamato (Palace of Anaho),during the reign of Emperor Ankō;
  • Sakurai, Nara (Hatsuse no Asakura Palace), 457–479 during the reign of Emperor Yūryyku;
  • Sakurai, Nara (Iware no Mikakuri Palace), 480–484 during the reign of Emperor Seinei;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Chikatsu-Asuka-Yatsuri Palace), 485–487 during the reign of Emperor Kenzō;
  • Tenri, Nara (Isonokami Hirotaka Palace), 488–498 during the reign of Emperor Ninken;
  • Sakurai, Nara (Nimiki Palace), 499–506 during the reign of Emperor Buretsu;
  • Hirakata, Osaka (Kusuba Palace), 507–511;
  • Kyōtanabe, Kyoto (Tsutsuki Palace), 511–518 during the reign of Emperor Keitai;
  • Nagaoka-kyō (Otokuni Palace), 518–526 during the reign of Keitai;
  • Sakurai, Nara (Iware no Tamaho Palace), 526–532 during the reign of Keitai;
  • Kashihara, Nara (Magari no Kanahashi Palace), 532–535 during the reign of Emperor Ankan;
  • Sakurai, Nara (Hinokuma no Iorino Palace), 535–539 during the reign of Emperor Senka.
Asuka period
  • Asuka, Yamato (Shikishima no Kanasashi Palace), 540–571 during the reign of Emperor Kinmei;
  • Kōryō, Nara (Kudara no Ohi Palace), 572–575;
  • Sakurai, Nara (Osata no Sakitama Palace or Osada no Miya), 572–585 during the reign of Emperor Bidatsu;
  • Shiki District, Nara (Iwareikebe no Namitsuki Palace), 585–587 during the reign of Emperor Yōmei;
  • Shiki District, Nara (Kurahashi no Shibagaki Palace), 587–592 during the reign of Emperor Sushun;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Toyura Palace or Toyura-no-miya), 593–603 during the reign of Empress Suiko;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Oharida Palace or Oharida-no-miya), 603–629 during the reign of Suiko;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Okamoto Palace or Oakmoto-no-miya), 630–636 during the reign of Emperor Jomei;
  • Kashihara, Nara (Tanaka Palace or Tanaka-no-miya), 636–639;
  • Kōryō, Nara (Umayasaka Palace or Umayasaka-no-miya, 640;
  • Kōryō, Nara (Kudara Palace or Kudara-no-miya), 640–642;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Oharida Palace), 642–643;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Itabuki Palace or Itabuki no miya), 643–645 during the reign of Empress Kōgyoku;
  • Osaka (Naniwa-Nagara no Toyosaki Palace), 645–654 during the reign of Emperor Kōtoku;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Itabuki Palace), 655–655 during the reign of Kōtoku;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Kawahara Palace or Kawahara-no-miya), 655–655;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Okamoto Palace or Nochi no Asuka-Okamoto-no-miya), 656–660 during the reign of Emperor Saimei;
  • Asakura, Fukuoka (Asakura no Tachibana no Hironiwa Palace or Asakure no Tachibana no Hironiwa-no-miya), 660–661;
  • Osaka, (Naniwa-Nagara no Toyosaki'' Palace (ja)), 661–667;
  • Ōtsu, Shiga (Ōmi Ōtsu Palace or Ōmi Ōtsu-no-miya), 667–672 during the reign of Emperor Tenji and the reign of Emperor Kōbun;
  • Asuka, Yamato (Kiyomihara Palace or Kiomihara-no-miya), 672–694 during the reign of Emperor Tenmu and in the reign of Empress Jitō;
  • Fujiwara-kyō (Fujiwara Palace), 694–710 during the reign of Emperor Monmu.
Nara period
  • Heijō-kyō (Heijō Palace), 710–740 during the reigns of Empress Genmei Empress Genshō, and Emperor Shōmu;
  • Kuni-kyō (Kuni Palace), 740–744 during the reign of Shomu;
  • Naniwa-kyō (Naniwa Palace (ja)), 744;
  • Naniwa-kyō, Shigaraki Palace, 744–745;
  • Heijō-kyō (Heijō Palace), 745–784;
  • Nagaoka-kyō (Nagaoka Palace), 784–794 during the reign of Emperor Kanmu.
You will notice, that the Japan of old seemed to have been far more enlightened than the Japan of now.

As late as 740AD, it had an Empress on the throne as its leader... a woman... not a man.
Heian period
  • Heian-kyō (Heian Palace), 794–1180 during the reign of Kammu and others;
  • Fukuhara Palace, 1180 during the reign of Emperor Antoku.
Medieval Japan and Early Modern period
  • Heian-kyō/now Kyōto (Heian Palace), 1180–1868.
In between the Heian period, along with the Emperor, there was the warlord Shogun ruler.

The Shogun was the actual de facto leader of the country, with the Emperor only provided with puppet-like control.

The Shogun and Emperor did not live in the same area.

Shogun Residence
  • Kamakura (1192-1333);
  • Kyoto (Muromachi district, 1336-1573);
  • Edo (1603-1868).
Modern Japan
  • Tōkyō (Kōkyo), 1868–present.
Okay... that's far too much information. Just remember... Tokyo is pronounced via two syllables.

Kanpai,
Andrew Joseph
PS:Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash

No comments:

Post a Comment