Toba (an area in Rakugai [Outskirts of Kyoto]) (鳥羽 (洛外))

Toba refers to a name of an area which was called Tobago, Toba no sho (Toba manor) and so on that once belonged to Kii County, Yamashiro Province located in the outskirts of Kyoto. In the present-day, although it is in Kyoto City, Toba is divided into Kamitoba which belongs to Minami Ward (Kyoto City), and Shimotoba which belongs to Fushimi Ward.

It was located in the wetlands where the Kamo-gawa River (The Yodo-gawa River System) and the Katsura-gawa River (The Yodo-gawa River System) merged, and at that time, the Kamo-gawa River ran through the east of Toba, and in the south, it was adjacent to the Ogura-ike Pond. "Wamyo Ruijusho" (Kango-Japanese Dictionary) includes the Japanese reading of a Chinese character as '止波' or '度波' (both pronounced as 'toba'). After the transfer of national capital to the city of Heian-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto), Toba no Tsukurimichi (Toba New Road) was constructed by extending Suzaku-oji Street directly from the south of Rajo-mon Gate, and the road connected to the Yodo-gawa River System at Toba. For this reason, Toba Port was built in the bank of Toba. The place name 'Toba' appeared in 'The Jogan-ji Temple Inventory of Rice Fields' (a section of "The Jogan-ji Temple Inventory") (important cultural property owned by Ninna-ji Temple) which was made in 872. Also, it was considered that the water of Shinsen-en Temple inside Heian-kyo was drawn from Toba. In the early Heian period, Imperial Prince Kaya and FUJIWARA no Tokihira built Betsugyo (villa) in Toba.

In 1086, the Retired Emperor Shirakawa built an Imperial villa, Toba-dono Palace (also known as Jonangu), by enlarging and remodeling the villa, which was presented to him by FUJIWARA no Suetsuna, by the Ogura-ike Pond. It was a large villa comprised of three buildings of gosho (Imperial Palace), a garden overlooking the Ogura-ike Pond, and mi-do Hall (enshrinement hall), but it was not completed during the lifetime of the Retired Emperor Shirakawa, and it was completed during the period of his grandson, the Retired Emperor Toba, who inherited the villa. Until it fell into ruin due to the civil wars in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), the Toba-dono Palace held political significance as a base for the successive generations of Chiten no kimi (the retired emperor in power). Anrakuju-in Temple is its vestige.

Since Tobain (Toba-dono) and its surrounding area was ruled by the Saionji family, who served as chief officers of mikuriya (manors of the retired emperors) and Kanto moshitsugi (court-appointed liaison with the bakufu) for generation, it served as the financial and political basis of the cloister government by Chiten no kimi in the Kamakura period. The manor in Toba, called Toba no sho, was owned by the Saionji family as their shoryo (territory) until the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States) (Japan) as described in "Kankenki" (The house diary of the Saionji family) which shows the manor was ruled by the Saionji family during the Onin War in Bunmei era (1469 to 1486), and in "Odachi Joko Nikki" (The Diary of Joko ODACHI) written by Hisauji ODACHI, who was a bureaucrat of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), which contains a memorandum regarding the dispute over the boundaries between the Saionji family's Toba no sho and the Koga family's Koga no sho (manor), and so on. In addition, Toba was a base to transport supplies from provinces to Kyoto through the Yodo-gawa River, where toimaru (specialized wholesale merchants) and shashaku (shipping agent using carts) were active in the Muromachi period (described in "Teikin Orai" [Collection of letters used for family education] and so on), and historical documents of Kyoto daikan (the regional officer of Kyoto) of the Edo bakufu also wrote about Toba.

In the Bunmei Era of the late Muromachi period, some examples appeared that the northern side of Toba was called 'Kamitoba' ('Umaryo denchi baiken' [a farmer's note for selling land of the horse office of the Right] in "To-ji Hyakugo Monjo" [100 case documents, of the To-ji Temple]) and the southern side 'Shimotoba' (in "Saneto Koki" [the record of Lord Saneto]).
In the Edo period, Toba appeared in documents completely as individual villages by 'Kamitoba-mura Village' and 'Shimotoba-mura Village.'
It also became a battleground for the Battle of Toba-Fushimi which was the beginning of the Boshin War. After the introduction of Municipal Government Act in 1889, the two villages took its course individually as Kamitoba Village and Shimotoba Village of Kyoto Prefecture; Kamitoba Village was incorporated into Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto City (at the time) partially in 1978, then the rest in 1931, while Shimotoba Village, along with Fushimi City, was incorporated into the newly established Fushimi Ward in 1931. Furthermore, the southern Shimogyo Ward including the former Kamitoba Village was separated to be established Minami Ward in 1955.

[Original Japanese]