Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kyōto Prefecture (京都府; Kyōto-fu) is part of the Kinki region on Honshu island, Japan. The capital is the city of Kyoto. The existence of the city of Kyoto is so important and dominant that "Kyoto" is almost never used to mean the Kyoto Prefecture. Likewise, the area outside the boundary of Kyoto city is rarely considered the part of Kyoto Prefecture except by those who live there.
For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was the Imperial capital of Japan. The history of the city itself can be traced back as far as the 6th century. In 544 CE, the Aoi Matsuri was held in Kyoto to pray for good harvest and good weather.
Kyoto did not start out as the capital of Japan. For example, in 741, the capital was moved to a place called Kuni-kyo, between Nara and Kyoto. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaoka-kyo. In 794, the capital was moved to Heian-kyo, and this was the beginning of the current-day Kyoto city. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in the city of Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.
Although in 1192 real political power shifted to Kamakura, where a samurai clan established the shogunate, Kyoto still remained as the imperial capital because the powerless emperors and their court continued to be seated in the city. Imperial rule was briefly restored in 1333, but another samurai clan established a new shogunate in Kyoto three years later.
In 1467, a great civil war, which is called the "Onin no Ran," took place inside Kyoto, and most of the town was burned down. Japan plunged into the age of warring feudal lords. A new strong man established the shogunate at Edo, or today's Tokyo, in 1603.
Due to the revolutionary situation, imperial rule was restored again in 1868. Emperor Mutsuhito, who was now the absolute sovereign, went to stay in Tokyo next year. The imperial court never returned to Kyoto.
Although many Japanese major cities were heavily bombed by US bombers during WWII, the old capital was protected from devastating bombing. After the war, the U.S. 6th Army was headquartered in Kyoto during the occupation.
Kyoto is located almost in the center of Japan. It covers an area of 4612.71 kmē, which is 1.2% of Japan. Kyoto is 31st by size. To the North, Kyoto faces the Sea of Japan and Fukui Prefecture. To the South, it faces Osaka Prefecture and Nara Prefecture. To the East, it faces Mie Prefecture and Siga Prefecture. To the West, it faces Hyogo Prefecture. Kyoto is separated in the middle by the Tanba Mountains. This makes the climate of Kyoto very different in the north and south.
Mergers and changes of municipalities
The Towns of Mineyama , Omiya , Amino , Tango , Yasaka and Kumihama were merged to form the City of Kyotango. As a result of the merger, Naka, Takeno and Kumano Districts disappeared, reducing the number of districts from 12 to 9.
Merger: Tamba, Mizuho and Wachi (11 October 2005)
Kyoto city is largely dependent on tourism. While northern Kyoto on the Tango Peninsula has fishing and water transportation, and midland Kyoto has agriculture and forestry.
It is commonly said that to be a Kyoto citizen, one has to live for 10 generations and this is not a joke.
The city of Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist spots in Japan, and many people from far and wide visit there. Along with Nara, Kyoto is a favorite location for the graduation trip of Elementary and Junior High schools.
Some of the festivals held in Kyoto are Aoi Matsuri from 544, Gion Matsuri from 869, Ine Matsuri from the Edo-era, Daimonji Gozan Okuribi from 1662, and Jidai Matsuri from 1895. Every shrine and temple holds some sort of event, and many of them are open for public viewing.
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