The Metropolises and the Prosperities within — Tokyo and Beijing in the 18th Century
August 14, 2018- October 7, 2018 Time: 9:00—17:00 (closed on Mondays) Venue: Room A, B1


Section One


The construction of Beijing and Edo


The building of Beijing initiated in 1267 during the Yuan dynasty when the city was called Dadu and known as Khanbaliq by the Mongols. It was stretched in scale a century later over the Ming and Qing periods. In 1420, Emperor Zhudi, the third ruler of the Ming dynasty, moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing, and officially designated Beijing as the new imperial capital of the Ming Empire. In 1644, when the Ming Empire collapsed to its end, Beijing subsequently became the capital of the Great Qing Empire under the administration of the Shuntian Prefecture. The Qing emperors followed the traditions of urban planning outlined in the Ming, hence the general layout of the city remained unchanged. 


The name of Edo was allegedly taken from the Japanese word for estuary, the geographic name of Edo can be traced in historical documents recorded during the Kamakura period (1185~1333). As the earliest settlers in the area, the Edo clan claimed ownership of the land in the 12th century, and the location was later known as Edo. The Edo clan lost its power by the end of Muromachi period (1336~1573) and the ownership of the region was taken over by the famous general Ōta Dōkan (1432~1486), a military tactician, who was considered as the founder of the castle of Edo. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was granted lands in the Kanto area. With the advantages of vast landscapes and good water transportation systems, Ieyasu built his stronghold here and constructed his new castle as secure as it could be. In 1603, Ieyasu was awarded the title of Sei-i Taishōgun (Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force Against the Barbarians), and had Edo developed into a political center of Japan. The second Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, Hidetada, succeeded the power from his father Ieyasu and started building the internal stone walls as the core center of the castle of Edo. Streets and blocks within the walls were therewith improved and perfected.


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