Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting


Two capitals in the east and the west have appeared in Japan since 16th Century

In Japan, the capital refers to the place where the emperor lives. Now it is Tokyo both in name and in practice, but this was not the case in the early modern period. The emperor was in Kyoto, but the political and economic center moved to Edo (the old name of Tokyo). It can be said that Japan had two capitals with different characteristics during this period.

This is because the Western Army Toyomi, based in Osaka Castle, was defeated at the Sekihara Battle by the Eastern Army Tokugawa that in turn placed the political center in Edo Castle in 1600.

Naturally, the later history changed with the result of this war. If the result had been the opposite, it is no doubt that the capital is still Kyoto or Osaka.

Because I live in the west, I wish the capital were there. But, on the other hand, if the Western Army had won, Tokyo would probably never have been developed as seen today. Japan should have become a more centralized country.

Culture is often be formed by competition. The situation of Japan in the present where east and west are well-balanced may have been rather good as a whole. Both professional baseball and traditional Japanese storytelling are competing in the east and the west.

A folding screen of Sekigahara Battle housed in Gyoda Municipal Folk Museum. Not exhibited.

Gifu Sekigahara Battlefield Memorial Museum


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