Ōtsu

Ōtsu

大津市
Ōtsu City
Enryaku-ji, Ishiyama-dera Otsu Festival and the tram, Mangetsu-ji Ukimido City view and Lake Biwa
Enryaku-ji, Ishiyama-dera
Otsu Festival and the tram, Mangetsu-ji Ukimido
City view and Lake Biwa
Flag of Ōtsu
Flag
Official seal of Ōtsu
Emblem
Location of Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture
Location of Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture
Ōtsu is located in Japan
Ōtsu
Ōtsu
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 35°1′N 135°51′E / 35°1′N 135°51′E / 35.017; 135.850
Historical population
YearPop.±%
1920 85,759—    
1930 105,585+23.1%
1940 117,697+11.5%
1950 144,626+22.9%
1960 155,114+7.3%
1970 181,164+16.8%
1980 228,982+26.4%
1990 277,290+21.1%
2000 309,793+11.7%
2010 337,634+9.0%
2015 340,972+1.0%
Source: [1]

Ōtsu (大津市, Ōtsu-shi) is the capital city of Shiga Prefecture, Japan.[1] Ōtsu is known as the main port of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. It briefly served as the capital of Japan from 667 to 672 AD during the Asuka period (538 – 710).[2] The city is home to numerous sites of historical importance, notably the temples of Mii-dera, Ishiyama-dera, and Enryaku-ji and the Hiyoshi Taisha shrine. Enryaku-ji is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)".[3] Ōtsu was incorporated as a town on April 1, 1889. In October 1, 1898, Ōtsu-town was officially changed to Ōtsu-city.

As of October 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 341,187 and a population density of 730 persons per km2. The total area is 464.51 km2 (179 sq mi).[4][5]

History

Early history

Ōtsu, meaning "big port", was a center of inland water transportation since ancient times. The city was an important port on Lake Biwa, and a center of trade by water and land to other areas of Japan.[4] Ōtsu was part of Ōmi Province, an old province of Japan until the modern period. The port is referred to in the Man'yōshū as Shiga no Ōwada (志賀の大わだ) and Shigatsu (志賀津).[6] In the years 667 to 672, the Ōmi Ōtsu Palace was founded by Emperor Tenji (626–672).[1] The Jinshin War devastated the Ōmi Ōtsu Palace, and Ōtsu was renamed Furutsu (古津, "old port").[6] A new capital, Heian-kyō, (now Kyoto), was established in the immediate neighborhood in 794, and Ōtsu was revived as an important traffic point and satellite town of the capital. With the establishment of the new capital, the name of the city was restored to "Ōtsu".[7][6]

Edo period

Ōtsu prospered during the Edo period (1603–1868) because of the port on Lake Biwa and for its role as a shukuba, or post town (see also Ōtsu-juku). The city was under direct administration of the Tokugawa shogunate, both for its strategic location and for its role as a center of travel and trade.[4] Two of the Gokaidō, or five routes that connected the capitol at Edo (now Tokyo) with other parts of Japan, converged in Ōtsu: the great Tōkaidō connecting Edo with Kyoto, the Nakasendō connecting Edo with Kyoto via an inland route.[1][4] Additionally, the ancient Hokurikudō, which connected Kyoto to the provinces of northern Honshu, ran through Otsu.[4] The Tokugawa shogunate established several han domains in the Ōtsu area. The Zeze Domain was based in Zeze, a neighboring castle town of Ōtsu-juku, and the smaller Katada Domain occupied the northern area of the present-day city.[8][9]

Modern period

Lake Biwa Canal

The Meiji Restoration of 1868 saw the establishment of a new central government in Tokyo and the abolition of the han system. Numerous prefectures under control of the Meiji government were created, and part of the old province of Ōmi was designated as Ōtsu Prefecture in 1868. Several smaller prefectures were merged into Ōtsu Prefecture in 1871, which became part of present-day Shiga Prefecture on January 1, 1872. Ōtsu, then a town, was named the prefectural capital of Shiga.[10][11]

The Ōtsu incident, a failed assassination attempt on Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Russia (1868 – 1918, later Tsar Nicholas II), occurred on 11 May 1891. Nicholas, returning to Kyoto after a day trip to Lake Biwa, was attacked with a saber by Tsuda Sanzō (1855 – 1891), an escort policeman. Nicholas survived the assassination attempt, but the incident caused national outcry against Tsuda and was seen as a crisis in Japanese-Russian relations.[12][13]

The Lake Biwa Canal (8.7 kilometres (5.4 mi)) was constructed in the 1890s between Ōtsu and Kyoto. The canal, which was later expanded during the Taishō period, played an important role in connecting the cities, facilitating water and passenger transportation, and providing electrical energy to power Japan's first streetcar railroad services. The canal was designated a Historic Site in 1996.[14][15]

Ōtsu was incorporated as a city on October 1, 1898. On March 20, 2006, the town of Shiga (from Shiga District) ceased to exist after merging into Ōtsu.[4]

Other Languages
العربية: أوتسو (شيغا)
azərbaycanca: Otsu
تۆرکجه: اتسو، شیقا
Bân-lâm-gú: Ôtu-chhī
беларуская: Оцу
български: Оцу
català: Ōtsu
čeština: Ócu
chiTumbuka: Ōtsu
Deutsch: Ōtsu
eesti: Ōtsu
español: Ōtsu
Esperanto: Ocu
euskara: Ōtsu
français: Ōtsu
Gaeilge: Ōtsu
galego: Ōtsu
한국어: 오쓰시
hrvatski: Otsu
Bahasa Indonesia: Ōtsu
italiano: Ōtsu
Kiswahili: Otsu, Shiga
Кыргызча: Оцу
lietuvių: Ocu
مازِرونی: اتسو، شیگا
монгол: Оцү
Nederlands: Otsu
日本語: 大津市
polski: Ōtsu
português: Otsu
română: Ōtsu
русский: Оцу
Scots: Ōtsu
Simple English: Ōtsu, Shiga
српски / srpski: Оцу
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ōtsu
suomi: Ōtsu
svenska: Ōtsu
Tagalog: Ōtsu, Shiga
ไทย: โอตสึ
тоҷикӣ: Отсу
Türkçe: Ōtsu
українська: Оцу
Tiếng Việt: Ōtsu
文言: 大津市
Winaray: Ōtsu, Shiga
粵語: 大津
中文: 大津市