Tsukiji (築地) is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, Japan, the site of the Tsukiji fish market. Literally meaning "reclaimed land", it lies near the Sumida River on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay in the 18th century, during the Edo period.
There are also districts named Tsukiji in Kobe and Amagasaki, cities in Hyōgo Prefecture, although neither is as well known as the district in Tokyo.
Tsukiji is built on reclaimed land out of what were once lowland marshes along the Sumida River delta. Throughout the Tokugawa period, earth from the shogunate's extensive moat and canal excavations was systematically used to fill in the marshes along the river, creating new commercial districts and waterfront housing. The land was then named Tsukiji (築地), meaning "constructed land" or "reclaimed land".
The Great Fire of Meireki of 1657 destroyed over two-thirds of Edo's buildings, including Hongan-ji temple in Asakusa, the enormous Kantō headquarters of the Jōdo Shinshū sect.As a result, the temple site was relocated to Tsukiji, where many of the residents of nearby Tsukudajima were instrumental in its reconstruction. A number of other temples were also erected on what is now the outer marketplace. In addition, many private residences for samurai and feudal lords were constructed along the southern edge of Tsukiji.
In 1869, Tsukiji was designated as an approved residential area for foreigners. As the Yokohama foreign settlement, opened in 1859, had already become a center for commercial activities and international trade, Tsukiji grew more as a focus for education, healthcare and Christian mission work. Early classroom and study facilities for Keio University, Rikkyo University, St. Margaret's Junior College, the American School in Japan and St. Luke's International Hospital were all to be found in this district.
The United States legation occupied a site in Tsukiji from 1875 to 1890; it is now occupied by the St. Luke's Garden complex. The American legation had been moved from an old temple in Azabu, by Minister John Bingham, prominent Reconstruction era Ohio congressman and the longest serving American chief of mission to serve in Japan.
Tsukiji was also the location from 1869 of the Imperial Japanese Navy technical training facilities, renamed in 1876 as the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. In 1888, the Naval Academy was relocated from Tsukiji to new, larger facilities at Etajima in Hiroshima Prefecture. The Tsukiji naval buildings next to the Akibashi bridge then became home, until 1923, of the Naval War College, a post-graduate staff college for senior naval officers.
The Great Kantō earthquake on September 1, 1923, and the resultant fires which raged in its aftermath, caused severe damage throughout central Tokyo. A significant portion of the Tsukiji district burned to the ground, and the old Nihonbashi fish market was razed. In the citywide restructuring following the quake, the Nihonbashi fish market was relocated to the Tsukiji district, and after the construction of a modern market facility, reopened in 1935.
Foreign companies with offices:
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