Nagoya, Japan

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A port and industrial city on the Nobi Plain and the Ise Bay, central Japan, Nagoya is the capital of Aichi ken, or prefecture, Chubu region, Honshu island. It is served by the Kiso and Nagara Rivers.


The modern city of Nagoya was built around tomb mounds dating from the Kofun period (third–eighth centuries), and is surrounded by Shinto shrines. The city began as a castle town ordered by the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu (1542–1616) for his son. Built as a defence against Osaka Castle’s rival family, the Toyotomi, the castle replaced the original stronghold, Kiyosu, 8 km west. Affected by flooding, Kiyosu’s inhabitants relocated to Nagoya. With increased industry and prosperity under the leadership of Tokugawa Muneharu (1730), Nagoya became the fourth largest domain after Edo (Tokyo), Osaka and Kyoto. It served as the base of the Owari, the largest branch of the Tokugawa family, until the end of the shogunate era in 1867.

In 1889 Nagoya became a city, and by 1921...

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