Sites & cities that bear the name of Osaka


Today in : Japan
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Naniwa-tsu, 大坂, 大阪市, Osumi

Description : Osaka (Japanese: 大阪市, Hepburn: Ōsaka-shi; commonly just 大阪, Ōsaka) is a designated city in the Kansai region of Honshu in Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second-largest metropolitan area in Japan and the 10th largest urban area in the world with more than 19 million inhabitants. Osaka was traditionally considered Japan's economic hub. By the Kofun period (300–538) it had developed into an important regional port, and in the 7th and 8th centuries, it served briefly as the imperial capital. Osaka continued to flourish during the Edo period (1603–1867) and became known as a center of Japanese culture. Following the Meiji Restoration, Osaka greatly expanded in size and underwent rapid industrialization. In 1889, Osaka was officially established as a municipality. In the Jōmon period (7,000 BCE), Ōsaka was mostly submerged by the Seto Inland Sea, and the small Uemachi-daichi plateau (12 km long and 2.5 km wide), located in the southern part of the city called Uehonmachi, was a peninsula. The Uehonmachi area consisted of a peninsula with an inland sea (Seto Inland Sea) in the east. It is considered one of the first places where inhabitants of Japan settled, both for the favorable geological conditions, rich in fresh water and lush vegetation, and because it was in a position difficult to attack from a military point of view. The earliest evidence of settlements in the Ōsaka area are the ruins of Morinomiya ruins (森ノ宮遺跡, Morinomiya iseki) which is located in the central Chūō-ku district. Buried Human skeletons and a kaizuka (a mound containing remains), were found and shell mounds, sea oysters, interesting archaeological discoveries from the Jomon period. In addition to the remains of consumed food, there were arrow heads, stone tools, fishing hooks and crockery with remains from rice processing. It is estimated that the ruins contain 2,000-year-old debris between the Jōmon and Yayoi period. The findings of the archeological sites are exhibited in an adjacent building. In the years between the end of the Jōmon period and the beginning of the Yayoi period, the sediments that were deposited north of the Uemachi-daichi peninsula / plateau transformed the sea that stretched to the east into a lagoon which was called Kawachi. During the Yayoi period (300 BCE-250 CE), permanent habitation on the plains grew as rice farming became popular. At the beginning of the third century CE the grand shrine of Sumiyoshi-taisha was inaugurated near the harbor, commissioned by consort Empress Jingū. This Shinto shrine structure survived historical events, which inaugurated a new style in the construction of Shinto shrines, called Sumiyoshi-zukuri. The maritime panorama enjoyed from the temple gardens inspired several artists, and nowadays the representations of that type of landscape are called Sumiyoshi drawings. Towards the end of the Yayoi period the Uemachi-daichi plateau-peninsula expanded further, transforming the Kawachi Lagoon (河内湖) into a lake connected to the mouth of the Yodo River, which had widened to the south.

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