Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū, Tokyo is unique among the prefectures, providing certain municipal services characteristic of a city, as defined by Japanese law.
Because it is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, Tokyo is the de facto capital of Japan. The name Tokyo literally means eastern capital.
The twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, although each administratively a city in its own right, constitute the area often incorrectly considered to be the "city" of Tokyo and, if they were a city, would collectively be one of the largest cities in the world with a total population of over 8 million people. The total population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million.
The Greater Tokyo Area, centered on Tokyo but also including Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama, is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 35 million people. It has been the world's most populous urban area since between 1965 and 1970, and despite Japan's overall declining population, is still growing.
is a Shinto shrine
located in Chiyoda
. It is dedicated to the kami
(spirits) of soldiers
and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan
. Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities
lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan
, particularly to those killed in wartime. The shrine is a source of considerable controversy. Of the almost 2.5 million enshrined, 1,068 have been convicted of war crimes
by a post World War II
court, including 14 Class-A war criminals
("crime against peace
"). The Yūshūkan
—a shrine-owned history museum—has been accused of revisionism
in its accounts of Japan's actions in World War II
, as well as glorification of Japan's aggressive militaristic past. Visits to the shrine by Japanese Cabinet
members and Prime Ministers
, in particular, have been the cause of protests at home as well as abroad. People's Republic of China
, North Korea
, South Korea
and Republic of China
(Taiwan) have protested against various visits since 1985.
- Aug 30, 1590: Tokugawa Ieyasu enters Edo Castle. (Traditional Japanese date: August 1, 1590)
- Aug 3, 1635: The third of the Tokugawa shoguns, Iemitsu, establishes the system of alternate attendance (sankin kotai) by which the feudal daimyō are required to spend one year at Edo Castle in Tokyo and one year back home at their feudal manor, while their families remained in Tokyo as virtual political hostages. (Traditional Japanese Date: June 21, 1635).
- Aug 18, 1909: Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees, which President Taft decides to plant near the Potomac River.
- Aug 5, 1912: Japan's first taxicab service begins in Ginza, Tokyo.
- Aug 7, 1955: Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, begins selling its first Transistor radios in Japan.
- Aug 30, 1974: Powerful bomb explodes at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries headquarters in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan. 8 killed, 378 injured. Eight left-wing activists are arrested on May 19, 1975 by Japanese authorities.
- Aug 15, 1975: Miki Takeo makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by a sitting prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
- Aug 27, 1993: The Rainbow Bridge, connecting Tokyo's Shibaura and the island of Odaiba, is completed.
Administrative divisions of Tokyo