Osaka is the third largest city in Japan, with a population of around 2.5 million. Since feudal times, Osaka has been the economic center of the Kansai region.
Osaka was once known as Naniwa, and was briefly the capital of Japan. (In ancient times, the capital was moved to a new location with the death of each emperor.)
One of the most famous sights in Osaka is Osaka Castle. The castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century. Hideyoshi was then Japan’s most powerful warlord, and Osaka might have eventually become Japan’s capital.
After Hideyoshi died, however, the warlord Tokugawa Hideyasu (Hideyoshi’s former subordinate) forced Hideyoshi’s son to commit suicide. Ieyasu subsequently founded the Tokugawa shogunate, and moved his headquarters to Edo (later Tokyo). Edo therefore became the de facto center of power in Japan.
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