Kanagawa : The Short Summary Of Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa Prefecture has the secondary largest population in Japan. The
largest population is in of course Tokyo
, the next is in Kanagawa Prefecture, it is over 90 million people. Yokohama,
Kawasaki, Yokosuka, Kamakura
and Hakone are famous cities belonging to Kanagawa Prefecture.
The name of Kanagawa Prefecture named after the post town Kanagawa inEdo period
, so it had a Bugyosho (a policestaion), it was called Kanagawa Bugyosho.
Kanagawa prefecture, so to say , named after it.
Kanagawa is located on the south of Tokyo, and it is surrounded by seas,
such as Sagami Bay in the south and Tokyo Bay in the east. Across the Tokyo
Bay, there is the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture
. And the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture, there stands Tanzawa Mountains.
Moreover, the Tokai-do road was there along the oceanfront of Kanagawa
Prefecture, therefore Tokai-do Shikansen runs in the Kanagawa. So Kanagawa
Prefecture has been on the way to the East from Kyoto since ancient Japan
by sea. Therefore it was called To (east) kai (sea) do (road), it was the
east sea road. Now billions of people pass through Kanagawa Prefecture
to Tokyo from the western Japan and also thousands of ships come Yokohama
Bay every year. So Kanagawa has been the great highway connecting east
and west Japan since the ancient ages. Therefore some cities have developed
as post towns such as Hakone, Odawara
and Kamakura since the early historic ages.
Kanagawa prefecture was registered in 1871, before that it was called Sagami-no-kuni
(Sagami Province) and the southern part of Musashi-no-kuni
(Musashi Province). Sagami-no-kuni
was the gate way to the east Japan.
In 716, Sagami Province was registered.
In 1063, Yoriyoshi Minamoto build Iwashimizu-Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura,
so the shrine was the god of samurai worriers, the Minamoto Clan
worshipped it in Kyoto for a long time. It is the famous shrine, Tsurugaoka
Hachimangu Shrine. In 1192, Yoritomo
was appointed as the Shogun and founded Kamakura Bakufu
(the Kamakura Shogunate) in Kamakura. Kamakura was the center of the samurai
society in Japan, and this was the first sumurai government to control
throughout Japan and this is the first time that Kanagawa Prefecture appeared
on the main stage of the history of Japan. Kamakura Bakufu ended in 1333.
When Muromachi Period
started, Muromachi Bakufu
established Kamakura-fu (a regional office of the Muromachi Bakufu)to
rule the eight provinces in Kanto Region. The director of the office was
Kamakura Kubo (Kamakura shogun), but Kanto Kanrei (the chief counselors
of the Kamakura shogun) seized the power to control the region in real.
This relation between them caused some conflicts in Kanto Region. The Battle
of Kyotoku happened, so the Kamakura Kubo Shigeuji Ashikaga assassinated
Kanto Kanrei Noritada Uesugi. It was the beginning of the Sengoku Period
in Kanto Region. 1495, Soun Hojo (the founder of Go-Hojo Clan
) seized the Odawara Castle
in western Kanagawa Prefecture. After Soun moved to Odawara, he developed
his influence through the area of Kanagawa Prefecture actively and aggressively,
and his clan had ruled it almost 100 years. In 1590, Hideyoshi Toyotomi
who was the was the Kanpaku Dajo-daijin (the supreme minister and chancellor)
won the Siege of Odawara, the Hojo Clan ruined, and Ieyasu Tokugawa
moved to Kanto, and he ruled the region at Edo Castle
Since Ieyasu Tokugawa
held the power to control Japan and founded Edo Bakufu (Edo Shogunate)
(Tokyo) in 1603, the most parts of Kanagawa Prefecture were directly controlled
by Edo Bakufu (Tokugawa Clan
), and the rest of it belonged to the small lords who had hired by the
Bakufu directly, because Kanagawa was very important area to keep Edo Bakufu
stably in Edo Period. The Hakone Barrier was built on Tokai-do road in
1619 to protect Edo, and Tomei-do Light House was built in 1648 at Uraga
port in Kanagawa Prefecture to help the shipping. Finally, the United States
Fleet commanded by Matthew PERRY came to Japan, and he ordered to open
Japan to the west in 1853, and Yokohama port opened in 1859. This caused
to break down the Edo Bakufu. However, this was the beginning of the development
of Yokohama and Kanagawa Prefecture.
After Meiji Restoration, the classical districts were rebuilt, and a new
administrative district 'Kanagawa' was created in1871. Now, there are thousnds
of landmarks, as to say, kanagawa Prefecture is the landmark itself. Kamakura
has many National Treasures and Important Cultural Propertyies, Odawara
has the Odawar Castle, Hakone has some hot springs and Lake Ashinoko.
Why don't you visit Kanagawa Prefecture!
Kanagawa Prefecture by the google map
No.15 in the map below is Kanagawa Prefecture.