Sunpu (駿府)

Sunpu was the city in which kokufu (ancient provincial capital) of Suruga Province was located and fuchu (provincial city which consists of local governments as the core of the city) of Suruga Province. It was renamed to Shizuoka in the Meiji Period.


Kokuga (provincial government offices) of Suruga Province was located in the age of ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code) and was the center of Suruga Province.

From the Muromachi Period to the Sengoku Period (period of warring states) (Japan), it was flourished as the castle town of the Imagawa clan. As the Imagawa clan constructed the town of Sunpu by copying Kyoto, there still remain same names of places and towns that are also seen in Kyoto. Many court nobles and men of culture escaped from devastated capital Kyoto and moved to Sunpu. It was called 'Kyo in the east' or 'capital in the east' and Imagawa culture, one of three cultures in the Sengoku Period, was flourished there.

After Yoshimoto IMAGAWA died in war in the battle of Okehazama in 1560, Imagawa clan went into a decline, and then Sunpu was burnt and devastated for a certain time period by invasion by Shingen TAKEDA into Suruga. However, as Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, who spent his childhood in Sunpu as a hostage for the Imagawa clan, decided in 1585 to make Sunpu as his stronghold and made efforts to develop the castle town, Sunpu recovered its vigor. Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, who established the Edo bakufu, lived in Sunpu after his retirement and operated ogosho (bakufu ruled by the retired Shogun). In Sunpu at that time, town blocks called '96 towns in Sunpu' were developed and it became a big city comparable to Kamigata (Kyoto and Osaka area) and Edo.

Although the domain of Sunpu was established and maintained for a certain time period, the domain was abolished after kaieki (sudden dismissal and deprivation of position, privileges and properties) of Tadanaga TOKUGAWA, Suruga Dainagon (chief councilor of state), and Sunpu Jodai (keeper of castle) and Sunpu machibugyo (town magistrate of Sunpu) were posted as a city under direct control of the bakufu.

When Tokaido was developed, Fuchu-juku stage was placed in the castle town of Sunpu as the nineteenth stage from Edo.

Fuchu-juku stage was the biggest city among 53 stages of Tokaido.

After the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) was overthrown, Sunpu was renamed to 'Shizuoka' and the Tokugawa Shogun family was moved to this place and Shizuoka Domain was set up and continued to exist until Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures) in 1871.

By enforcement of municipal organization in 1889, Shizuoka City was formed by merger of one stage and 74 towns in Abe County and 50 towns in Udo County.

[Original Japanese]