History of Kyoto

Kyoto is amazed by its calm shrine, beautiful places of worship, and brilliant gardens.

Once the magnificent capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto remains the Heart of Japan in spite of Tokyo taking on the title as the nation's capital. The history of the city has seen the rise and fall of a few Japanese shogunates and saw the development of a portion of the country's most significant temples and sanctuaries.

The historical backdrop of Kyoto endures today and offers a brief look into the conventional and traditional culture of Japan. It is Tokyo where a significant number of Japan's cultural art started and where they can be experienced today as well. Let's look at the journey of Kyoto from the beginning to becoming the heart of Japan.

Early Beginnings

Archeological proof recommends the existence of humans in modern Kyoto as early as the Paleolithic time, although little is known about these groups of early people. Around the sixth century, the popular Shimogamo Shrine was accepted to be built, one of the oldest Shinto places of worship in Japan.

The seventh century saw the development of the Kamo-jinja sanctuary, the Yasaka-no-to pagoda, and Kyoto's most established sanctuary known as Koryu-Ji. The eighth-century was to a great extent known as the Nara period, a time-frame where Heijō-kyō (as of now Nara) was Japan's capital. Japanese society was based on the village and centered concerning farming and religion that worshipped the spirits known as kami.

In 794, Emperor Kanmu migrated the capital to Heian-kyō, which was later to become known as Kyoto. This started the period that is referred to as the Heian Period, which went on until around the twelfth century.

Kamakura Period (1185 – 1333)

The five-year-long War of Genpei battle between the clans of Minamoto and Taira prompted the end of the Heian Period and the start of the Kamakura Period when the Minamoto won in the skirmish of Dan-no-Ura.

During the Kamakura Period, the Kennin-Ji Zen Buddhist temple was assembled. Today, it remains as one of the Kyoto Gozan, or the five most significant Zen shrines of Kyoto. Additionally, the recreation of the Kozan-Ji temple was observed, which was destroyed multiple times during war or by fire. Other prominent shrines were established during this period, like Tofuku-Ji and Hongan-Ji. The Kamakura Shogunate was defeated around 1333, offering to ascend to the Muromachi Shogunate.

Muromachi Period (1336 – 1573)

It was during this period that the notable Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-Ji, was developed. Hosokawa Katsumoto made the renowned Zen rock garden found at the Ryoan-Ji shrine.

The once separated Northern and Southern courts got rejoined in 1392 after a time of unsteadiness which saw the consistent destruction of Kyoto. Succession dispute, economic distress, and famine prompted the long-term Ōnin Civil War. Unfortunately, a considerable lot of Kyoto's distinguished historical treasures were demolished during the war.

Azuchi – Momoyama Period (1573 – 1603)

In 1573 the Muromachi Shogunate fell when Oda Nobunaga collapsed the Muromachi bakufu and oversaw the entirety of Japan. The Battle of Sekigahara occurred in 1600, a fight that witnessed the deaths of 40,000 men between the powers of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his rivals. After his win, Tokugawa Ieyasu turned into the shogun of Japan. Accordingly, the creation of the Tokugawa Shogunate went on until 1868. This got known as the Edo period.

Edo Period (1603 – 1868)

This period brought about 250 years of stability in Japan, a period without war. Urban areas like Kyoto prospered and saw huge populace increments alongside an expansion in the infrastructure of transportation and production of agriculture.

Japan turned into a closed country in regards to limiting trade severely with the rest of the world alongside removing the outsiders. Christianity was banned, and Japan's own residents were not permitted to travel the country.

Matsuo Bashō turned into the expert of the Haiku verse, and the period offered escalation to proficient sumo wrestling and advanced sushi. Numerous incredible fire incidents additionally took place in the city during this period, including The Great Tenmei Fire, a fire that broke out in the Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1788. A large portion of the city was engulfed in fire, and numerous shrines, temples, and different constructions had to go through a rebuild.

Meiji Period (1868 – 1912)

During the Meiji Period, Japan started its incorporation of Western human civilization progress, and the Emperor moved the magnificent capital from Kyoto to Tokyo. Media transmission lines were built, and trains started running. Style and dress turned out to be more westernized, and Ito Hirobumi turned into Japan's first leader when Japan adopted the government cabinet system.

Kyoto Prefecture was made in 1871, with Kyoto being named as its capital. Lake Biwa Canal is worked alongside the making of the present cherry blossom viewing center popular as Maruyama Park.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Heian-Jingu Shrine was constructed and Jidai-matsuri celebrations were made to respect the establishment and history of Kyoto.

Source: EdrawMind Community

Fun Facts About Kyoto

Kyoto is the largest city in Japan and one of the beautiful places in the world. It is lively, colorful and highlights historical moments. Here are a few facts about Kyoto.

  • Kyoto was the capital city of Japan for more than a thousand years.
  • Kyoto is known as the mother of all shrines.
  • Kyoto is popular as the city of festivals.
  • Kyoto ranks as eighth in the population amongst Japan's cities. It has a 1.5 million population.
  • Kyoto has hardly suffered wars as it was never a part of the war plan by the Americans.

Kyoto is one of the few Japanese urban areas that fortunately succeeded to survive the bombing during World War 2. However, modernization presently takes steps to replace authentic engineering and infrastructure with more current development. Still, however, old customs, culture, and tradition appear to hang on and mix cordially with advancement.

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