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Nagoya History, Japan

Nagoya’s history is as thriving as its historical past. Looking at this city’s ancient economic foundation, we will understand how this thriving city rose to become one of Japan’s economic city giants.

  Nagoya’s name is historical in itself. It came from the name of a manor called “Nagono” built during the 12th century. This manor began to flourish consistently for 200 years and locals at that time started referring to the booming area with its name. Three influential figures helped shape Nagoya to be known and leave a distinct mark throughout Japan.

Three locals of Nagoya had the vision to have a unified Japan under a single government rule. In 1603, Hideyoshi became successful with this endeavor. He instituted and organized the Tokugawa Shugunate, a powerful sector that ruled Japan for another 250 years.   As Japan came to a unified state, Tokugawa Ieyasu then ordered a castle to be built for his son in Nagoya. He also offered people living at the outer Kiyosu to move near the castle area. This became another factor for the further development of the town.

 The lumber, cotton and ceramics trade industries increased greatly and sustained the town’s economic condition. Thus, it became a thriving small city.    During the Meiji era, Nagoya was highlighted for its expanding transportation routes that allowed easier access for trade exports and rapid industrialization. During World War I, the city became famous for its foundries along with the booming industry exports.   Nagoya continued to make its contributions to the country’s industrial business.

In 1920, there came another milestone in Nagoya, this time in the automotive industry. Toyota entered the business in the 1930’s. Until now, it stands proud as one of the major key players in this industry. It has grown to be a giant automaker company known worldwide.  

The World War II posed a challenge to Nagoya’s stability when it became one of the major target areas for bomb raids particularly because most of its infrastructure manufacturers aimed at producing military goods for the war. Most of the city was destroyed and abandoned by local population for safety.    Hope was once again spurred at the end of the war. The locals focused on rebuilding Nagoya and bringing back its former glory.  

 At present Nagoya stands as one of Japan’s economic backbone and center to popular high-tech and colossal companies like Toyota Motor Corporation, Brother Industries, Suzuki Motor, Honda Motor to name a few.

What’s even admirable about Nagoya is during the 1980’s; it did not succumb to borrowing excessively for public works projects. Instead, they opted to be “ketchi” or cheap Nagoya, which held on to its “pay-as-you-go” thinking. Thus, the city was barely affected by the recession experienced by other Japanese centers.  

 As the economy continued to prosper foreigners began to visit and even settle in Nagoya. Currently the foreign population in Nagoya is thriving along with doors for global business and commerce.


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