Chigasaki | Japan

Chigasaki (茅ヶ崎市 Chigasaki-shi) is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

As of July 2016, the city has an estimated population of 239,874, and a population density of 6,719.2 persons per km2. The total area is 35.71 km2.

The area around Chigasaki has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area was largely pasture and farmland well into the Edo period. The Tōkaidō connecting Edo with Kyoto passed through what is now Chigasaki, but without a post station. A large part of the area was the tenryō territory in Sagami Province controlled directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate through the Edo period, though other parts were administered by small clans including the Ōoka clan, which is renowned for its descendant Ōoka Tadasuke.

After the start of the Meiji period, the Tōkaidō Main Line railway connected Chigasaki Station with Tokyo and Osaka in 1898, which spurred the development of the area. Chigasaki village in Kōza District, Kanagawa Prefecture became Chigasaki town in 1908. In 1921, the Sagami Line railway connected Chigasaki with Hashimoto to the north. Chigasaki became a city on October 1, 1947.

On April 1, 2003, the population of Chigasaki exceeded 200,000 and it became a special city with increased local autonomy.

On October 24, 2014, Chigasaki agreed with Honolulu to establish the sister city relationship.

The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period (around 400 BCE). About 3,000 years ago, Mount Hakone produced a volcanic explosion which resulted in Lake Ashi on the western area of the prefecture.

It is believed[by whom?] that the Yamato dynasty ruled this area from the 5th century onwards. In the ancient era, its plains were very sparsely inhabited.

In medieval Japan, Kanagawa was part of the provinces of Sagami and Musashi. Kamakura in central Sagami was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

During the Edo period, the western part of Sagami Province was governed by the daimyō of Odawara Castle, while the eastern part was directly governed by the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (modern-day Tokyo).

Commodore Matthew Perry landed in Kanagawa in 1853 and 1854 and signed the Convention of Kanagawa to force open Japanese ports to the United States. Yokohama, the largest deep-water port in Tokyo Bay, was opened to foreign traders in 1859 after several more years of foreign pressure, and eventually developed into the largest trading port in Japan. Nearby Yokosuka, closer to the mouth of Tokyo Bay, developed as a naval port and now serves as headquarters for the U.S. 7th Fleet and the fleet operations of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. After the Meiji period, many foreigners lived in Yokohama City, and visited Hakone. The Meiji government developed the first railways in Japan, from Shinbashi (in Tokyo) to Yokohama in 1872.

The heartland of feudal power during the Kamakura period and again in the Edo period, Kantō became the center of modern development. Within the Greater Tokyo Area and especially the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area, Kantō houses not only Japan's seat of government but also the nation's largest group of universities and cultural institutions, the greatest population, and a large industrial zone. Although most of the Kantō plain is used for residential, commercial, or industrial construction, it is still farmed. Rice is the principal crop, although the zone around Tokyo and Yokohama has been landscaped to grow garden produce for the metropolitan market.

A watershed moment of Japan's modern history took place in the late Taisho period: the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. The quake, which claimed more than 100,000 lives and ravaged the Tokyo and Yokohama areas, occurred at a time when Japan was still reeling from the economic recession in reaction to the high-flying years during World War I.

Operation Coronet, part of Operation Downfall, the proposed Allied invasion of Japan during World War II, was scheduled to land at the Kantō plain. Most of the United States military bases on the island of Honshū are situated on the Kantō plain. These include Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, and Camp Zama.

The name Kantō literally means "East of the Barrier". The name Kantō is nowadays generally considered to mean the region east (東) of the Hakone checkpoint (関所). An antonym of Kantō, "West of the Barrier" means Kansai region, which lies western Honshu and was the center of feudal Japan.

After the Great Kantō earthquake many people in Kantō started creating art with different varieties of colors. They made art of earthquake and small towns to symbolize the small towns destroyed in the quake.

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