Odawara city / The Short Summary Of Odawara-shi
Odawara City is a center city of the western Kanagawa Prefecture
. Mt. Hakone stands west of the city, so Odawara has been the gateway city
of Kanto Region since ancient ages.
Pre-historic Ages, Odawara was on the western border between Jomon Cuture and Yayoi Culture or the culture having brought from the Korean Peninsula. Then Nakazato Remains at Odawara was famous for coexistance of Jomon people and Yayoi people, so they lived together at Nakazato. Moreover it was a very large coexisting community.
Odawara was registered in Ashigara-gun (Ashigara county) in Sagami-no-kuni
in the Ritsuryo code after the Taika Reform in 645. At that time, Odawara
was called Koyurugi.
The city appeared on the main stage of the Japanese History in the Sengoku
Periode (the Warring States Period). In 1495, Soun Hojo (the founder of
Go-Hojo Clan) seized the Odawarajo Castle
in western Kanagawa Prefecture from the Omori Clan with fraud. After Soun
moved to Odawara, he developed his influence through the area of Kanagawa
Prefecture actively and aggressively, and his clan had ruled it almost
100 years. So Odawara flourished as the castle town of the Odwara-jo Castle,
and the Go-Hojo Clan ruled most of Kanto Region. Moreover Odawara was one
of the Ninja town in the Sengoku Period, so the Fuma Clan who were a famous
Ninja Clan in Kanto Region, served the Go-Hojo Clan to develop their power
together for its five generation, from Soun Hojo to Ujinao. In 1590, Hideyoshi
Toyotomi who was the was the Kanpaku Dajo-daijin (the supreme minister
and chancellor) won the Siege of Odawara, the Hojo Clan ruined. And the
Fuma Clan or the Fuma Ninja served the Tokugawa Clans at Edo. It was famous
story that Kotaro Fuma the powerful leader of the Fuma Ninja built Yoshiwara
town at Edo by appointment of Ieyasu Tokugawa.
During Edo Period, Odawara was of course the castle town of the Odawara-jo Castle, and also it was most flourished post town in Tokai-do fifty-three post towns. The lords owning the Odawara-jo Castle were given some important roles to protect Edo. Odawara was the western barrier of Edo, so the Edo Bakufu chose reliable daimyos in hereditary vassalage to the Tokugawa. In addition, Kayama at the outskirt of Odawara is famous where Sontoku Ninomiya was born in.
Now Odawara City is very famous tourist city in western Kangawa Prefecture and the gateway to Mt. Hakone and the Izu Peninsula, so millions of visitors come every year.