Tokyo was initially constructed in 1457; the city then, was known as Edo.
The Tokugawa shōgunate was established in 1603 with Edo as its seat of government as it was the de-facto capital.
The emperor’s residence, and formal capital, remained in Kyōto as the it was the actual capital of Japan until that time.
In September of 1868, when the shōgunate came to an end, Emperor Meiji ordered Edo to be renamed Tokyo,” meaning “Eastern Capital”.
The new name was meant to emphasize Tokyo’s status as the new capital of Japan, both temporally and spiritually.
Tokyo has been generally accepted as the sole capital of Japan since 1869, when the Emperor took up permanent residence there.
However, the capital was never legally “transferred” to Tokyo, leading some to question whether Kyōto may still be the capital, or a co-capital.
The Great Kanto earthquake struck Tokyo in 1923, killing approximately 70,000 people; a massive reconstruction plan was drawn up, but was too expensive to carry out except in part.
Despite this, the city grew until the beginning of World War II.
During the war, Tokyo was heavily bombed, much of the city was burned to the ground, and its population in 1945 was only half that of 1940.
Following the war, Tokyo was under military occupation and governed by the allied forces.
General Douglas MacArthur established the occupation headquarters in what is now the Dai-Ichi Seimei building overlooking the Imperial Palace.
The American presence in Tokyo made it an important command and logistics center during the Korean War.
Tokyo still hosts a number of U.S. military bases, including Yokota Air Base.
During the 1950s and mid-1960s, Japan experienced what is widely described as the “bubble economy”, which transformed the nation from wartime devastation to the world’s second-largest economy by 1966.
During this period, Japanese government policy placed priority on the development of infrastructure and manufacturing industries over social welfare.
As a result, Japan came to dominate a range of industries including steel, ship-building, automobiles, semiconductors, and consumer electronics.
Tokyo’s re-emergence from wartime trauma was complete at the 1964 Summer Olympics, which publicized the city on an international stage and brought global attention to the “bubble economy”.
Beginning in the 1970s, Japanese cities experienced a massive wave of expansion as laborers began migrating from rural areas, and Tokyo was one of the most dramatic examples.
As it grew steadily into the economic bubble of the late 1980s, Tokyo became one of the most dynamic cities on Earth.
Complete with a tremendous range of social and economic activities, myriad restaurants and clubs, a major financial district, tremendous industrial strength, a wealth of shops, and world-class entertainment opportunities.
The construction boom of the bubble years was one of the greatest in world history, leading Tokyo to have an enormously more modern capital stock of buildings than similar metropolises such as London and New York City.
Although the recession following the bursting of the “bubble economy” in the early 1990s hurt the city, Tokyo remains the predominant economic center of East Asia, rivaled only by Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a museum of the history of Tokyo, established in 1993.
The Edo Tokyo Museum is located close to Ryōgoku Kokugikan.
It was designed by Kiyonori Kikutake.
The distinctive elevated shape of the museum building is modelled after an old storehouse in the kurazukuri style.
The Museum is housed in an unique looking building located in the Ryogoku district.
The museum’s permanent exhibition vividly illustrates the past of Tokyo through its exhibits and covers many features of the capital from the Edo Period to relatively recent decades.
The main features of the permanent exhibitions are the life-size replica of the Nihonbashi, which was the bridge leading into Edo.
Also, the Nakamuraza theatre; scale models of town; and buildings from the Edo, Meiji and Shōwa periods.
In an interactive and fun way, visitors are able to experience and learn about various aspects of early Tokyo.
For example, the old ways of life, Edo Period architecture, cultural heritage, political climate, commercial situation and more.
Through numerous models of towns, figurines and life-sized figures, the Museum makes it interesting to find out about how towns were constructed in the past.
The museum also offers many good picture taking opportunities, for example, with vehicles and items which were previously used.
There is a theater in the museum, at which performances are held on weekends.
Programs vary from Rakugo which is like storytelling, to Koto a 13-stringed Japanese Zither performance.
An amazing and; even more interesting Museum, not to be missed.
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Caught a couple of music videos, on music channel at night to chill. They include night performances like Episode-0 by Gackt, for Vocaloid and Aoi Teshima with Sayonara no Natsu, the theme song from “Must Watch” movie by Studio Ghibli – Kokuriko
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