Nagoya - Encyclopedia

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NAGOYA, the capital of the province of Owari, Japan,. on the great trunk railway of Japan, 235 m. from Tokyo and 94 m. from Kioto. Pop. (1903) 284,82 9. It is the fifth of the chief cities in Japan. It lies near the head of the shallow Isenumi Bay, about 30 m. from the port of Yokkaichi, with which it communicates by light-draught steamers and by rail. The castle of Nagoya, erected in 1610, never suffered in war, but in modern times became a military depot; the interior contains much splendid decoration. The central keep of the citadel is a remarkable structure, covering close upon half an acre, but rapidly diminishing in each of its five storeys till the top room is only about 12 yds. square. Gabled roofs and hanging rafters break the almost pyramidal outline; and a pair of gold-plated dolphins 8 ft. high form a striking finial. Both were removed in 1872, and one of them was at the Vienna Exhibition in 1873; but they have been restored to their proper site. The religious buildings of Nagoya include a very fine Buddhist temple, Higashi Hongwanji. Nagoya is well known as one of the great seats of the pottery trade; 132 m. distant are the potteries of Seto, where the first glazed pottery made in Japan was produced by Kato Shirozaemon, after a visit to China in 1229. From Kato's time Seto continued, during several centuries, to be the chief centre of ceramic production in Japan, the manufacture of porcelain being added to that of pottery in the 1 9 th century. All the products of the flourishing industry now carried on there and at other places in the province are transported to Nagoya, for sale there or for export. Cotton mills have been established, and an extensive business is carried on in the embroidery of handkerchiefs. Another of its celebrated manufactures is arimatsushibori, or textile fabrics (silk or cotton), dyed so as to show spots in relief from which the colour radiates. It is further distinguished as the birthplace of cloisonné enamelling in Japan, all work of that nature before 1838 - when a new departure was made by Kaji Tsunekichi - having been for purposes of subordinate decoration. Quantities of cloisonné enamels are now produced in the town.

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