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INDIGO in Odawara

Welcome to Odawara

1590. Sanada, a small daimyo (local lord) taunts Odawara’s
Lord Hojo to attack Nagurumi Fort in modern-day Gunma Prefecture.

Texts courtesy of Hike Hakone Hachiri

Sanada knows that this action by Hojo breaks edicts by Osaka-based Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who now rules all of Japan except Hojo’s territories around Kanto (modern-day greater Tokyo area) and the Izu Peninsula.

It’s the excuse Toyotomi has been waiting for, and he launches
the full force of the nation’s military might against Odawara.

The force, the size of which has never been seen in Japan
before, surrounds Odawara on all sides, including a naval
force in Sagami Bay on Odawara’s Pacific Coast to the south.

Odawara Castle is well fortified, and has previously fended off separate attacks by neighbouring warlords Takeda and Uesugi.

But this time the numbers are overwhelming.

Hojo eventually surrenders and commits ritual seppuku, concluding the five generation Hojo rule of the area.

Hojo’s territories falling into Toyotomi’s hands also completes the unification of Japan under one ruler for the first time in centuries, ending the Warring States Period.

Toyotomi bestows Hojo’s captured territories to one of his greatest generals, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

These territories include the small fishing village of Edo. Tokugawa concedes his homeland around Sunpu (modern-day Shizuoka) to Toyotomi and moves his base eastwards to Edo.

This is part of Toyotomi’s plan, as Tokugawa is becoming very powerful in his own right, so having him further from the Osaka capital is a safety move.

The Tokaido Highway (litterally Eastern Sea Route) is developed to link Edo and Sunpu with Kyoto and Osaka, bases of the Emporer
and Toyotomi respectively.

Tensions continue to rise between Edo and Osaka, and a quarter century later Tokugawa knocks over Osaka Castle to establish Edo
as the new captial, and hence the Edo Period.

Edo is now called Tokyo.

Only 35 minutes from Tokyo central station by shinkansen bullet train!

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Beautiful Odawara

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