Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sakai is famous for the quality of its Japanese style kitchen knives, which is a major industry in Sakai.
In the Muromachi period Sakai was one of richest cities in Japan. Sakai is located along a coast and the mouth of Yamago-gawa river which connected Yamato region (now Nara Prefecture) to the sea, it was therefore one of connection between the Asian trade and the inland trade. Sakai was an autonomous city run by merchants citizens. In those day it was said Umi Sakai, Riku Imai (tr. "The richest city along the sea is Sakai, inlands Imai."). The famous zen-buddist priest Ikkyu loved to live in Sakai because of its free atmosphere. In the Sengoku period some Christian priests visited Sakai and documented its prosperity. After the coming of Europeans Sakai became a trade center of fire arms and a daimyo Oda Nobunaga was one of their important customers. Nobunaga was so ambitious to try unifying Japan and attempted to take the autonomy privilege from Sakai. Sakai citizens denied his order and made an desperate war against his army. Most of citizens fled out somewhere; Sakai was burned and seized by Nobunaga.
Sen no Rikyu known as the great tea master was originally a merchant of Sakai. Because of the close relationship between Chanoyu and Zen Buddhism like Priest Ikkyu, and of the high prosperity of citizens, Sakai was one of center for tea favorites since the early time.
After the death of Nobunaga, one of his men, Toyotomi Hideyoshi seized the power. Under his reign Sakai became a prosperous city again.
In the Edo period Sakai was still an important trade center but now only inland trade for the sake of Tokugawa Bakufu policy, named Sakoku. Later the end of this era Westerners again landed in Sakai, but it resulted in a tragic accident, since the Japanese citizenry and foreigners were ignorant of each others' ways. French sailors from the Dupleix and Sakai citizens clashed; some French were killed, and subsequently some Japanese who were responsible were sentenced to death by seppuku. This accident is called the Sakai Incident (Sakai-jiken).
In the modern Japan, Sakai is mainly an industrial city with a large port.
Famous People of Sakai
- Sen no Rikyu
- Hideo Nomo(jp. Nomo Hideo) Nomo worked in Shin-nittetsu Sakai and played in its club team before he was scouted by the Kintetsu Buffaloes.
- Official website in Japanese
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