Urban landscape of Okazaki in Kyoto

Olimpia Niglio, Noriko Inoue

Abstract

Kyoto has been the capital of Japan from 794 until when the capital has moved in 1868 to Tokyo with the end of Tokugawa Shoguns and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. The loss of the seat of government was a shock to citizens of Kyoto as the city had been the Imperial and Cultural center of the nation for over 1.000 years. The combination of the court and the great temples had enlivened and enriched the life of the city. At the beginning of the founding of the capital, in the Heian period (794-1185) to east of Kyoto, was built a noble and religious place. This area is Okazaki. Here the Emperor Kammu (736-805) had created the city of Heian-kyo (Kyoto) in 794. This area was full of Temples and Shrines. Only in the Edo period (1603-1867) Okazaki area assumed the role of suburban agricultural zone which provided the food production to the urban habitants. But after the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), the role of Okazaki area changes completely. In 1885, Kyoto prefecture started the great public canalization project as the water supply between Kyoto and Otsu of Shiga prefecture. Kyoto prefecture also planed the industrial district construction in Okazaki area. From the late nineteenth century Okazaki area became a symbol of the modernization of Kyoto city. This contribution intends to analyze the urban landscape composed of the different styles of architecture especially constructed after the Meiji period (1868-1912). Tangible and intangible signs remained as modern gardens, significant museums and cultural institutions among the ancient temples provide opportunities to reflect on the important role of suburban area of the historic city. These studies are supported by archival documents and by current measures and policies for landscape conservation by Kyoto Municipality.


Keywords

Kyoto; Okazaki; Urban Landscape; Urban regeneration; Historical Heritage; Modernization

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e-ISSN: 2444-9091 http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/vitruvio