History of Nagoya


The city's name was historically written as (both read as Nagoya). One possible etymology for the city's name is the adjective nagoyaka, meaning 'peaceful'.

The name Ch?ky? is also used (ch? (middle) + ky? (capital)), since it is the main city of the central Ch?bu region. Various things are named after Ch?ky?, for example the Ch?ky? Industrial Area, Ch?ky? Metropolitan Area, Ch?ky? Television Broadcasting, Chukyo University and the Chukyo Racecourse.


(The Japanese names in this section are written with the family name first. For example, in the name Oda Nobunaga, the family name is Oda.)

Oda Nobunaga and his proteges Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu were powerful warlords based in the Nagoya area who gradually succeeded in unifying Japan.

In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital of Owari province from Kiyosu around seven kilometers to a more strategic location in present-day Nagoya.

Tokugawa period

Nagoya Castle, a new, large castle, was constructed partly from materials taken from Kiyosu Castle During the construction, the entire town of around 60,000 people, including the temples and shrines, moved from Kiyosu to the new, planned town around Nagoya Castle. Around the same time not far away, the ancient Atsuta Shrine was designated as a way station called Miya (the Shrine) on the important T?kaid?, a road that linked the two capitals of Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). A town thus developed around the temple to support travelers. The combination of these two castle and shrine towns forms what we now call Nagoya.


Through the following years Nagoya became an industrial hub for the surrounding region. Its economic sphere included the famous pottery towns Tokoname, Tajimi and Seto, as well as Okazaki, one of the only places where gunpowder was produced under the shogunate. Other industries in the area included cotton and complex