Tokyo is the largest city in Japan, with a population of 12,369,000. Tokyo is also Japan's capital. The city is located on the southeastern part of the Honshu Island.
Tokyo consists of 23 city wards, or ku, 26 satellite cities, 5 towns, and 8 villages. Izu and Ogasawara Islands are considered part of Tokyo, as are a handful of small islands located off the south of Japan's main island, Honshu.
Before 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. Edo itself was small fishing village and castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan's de facto power center (Kyoto was still the official capital) in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first Tokugawa shogun) established the bakufu (military government) there. He also set about building canals, rebuilding the town’s castle, and draining the swampy terrain in the nearby area.
The Meiji Restoration of 1868 transformed Edo into Japan’s official capital. The young emperor and capital moved from Kyoto to Edo--now renamed Tokyo ("Eastern Capital").
Tokyo and nearby Yokohama were all but destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. The city was also severely damaged by allied air raids of 1945.
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