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Kyoto(kyō`tō), city (1990 pop. 1,461,140), capital of Kyoto prefecture, S Honshu, Japan, on the Kamo River. Yodo is its port. Kyoto is one of Japan's largest cities and an important cultural and spiritual center. It is a key city in Japan's transportation system, and it is a major center of tourism. Industries, which are mainly traditional, include machines, chemicals, textiles, and food processing. The city is famous for its cloisonné, bronzes, damascene work, porcelain, and lacquer ware, and its renowned silk industry dates from 794. Founded in the 8th cent. as Uda and named Heian-kyo when it became Japan's capital in 794, the city was popularly called Miyako or Kyoto (sometimes Kioto). After 1192 it lost its political power to Tokyo; but since 1868, when the latter became the official capital, Kyoto has often been referred to as Saikyo [western capital]. For centuries it has been the cultural heart of Japan; it contains magnificent art treasures and is the seat of Kyoto Univ., Doshisha Univ. (founded in 1873 as an American mission college), and other higher educational institutions. The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, the Kyoto National Museum, and an excellent concert hall are also there. Rich in historic interest, Kyoto is the site of the tombs of many famous Japanese; the old imperial palace as well as Nijo Castle (former palace of the shoguns), with their fine parks and gardens, are also in the city. In addition, Kyoto is a religious center, noted especially for its ancient Buddhist temples, its Heian shrine (a Shinto holy place), and its 59-ft (18-m) statue (daibutsu) of Buddha.
Kyoto prefecture (1990 pop. 2,602,520), 1,784 sq mi (4,621 sq km), is covered predominantly by the Tamba Mountains, and is centered principally in the region of the city of Kyoto. It had the largest industrial production of any prefecture in Japan until World War II. Other important cities include Uji, Fukuchiyama, and Maizuru.
a prefecture of Japan, located in the central part of the island of Honshu. Part of the important Kansai economic region. Area, 4,600 sq km. Population, 2.2 million (1970). Out of the total gainfully employed population (1 million persons in 1967), 33 percent were employed in manufacturing, 22 percent in trade, 10 percent in the service sphere, and 12 percent in agriculture. The main city and administrative center is Kyoto.
Much of the prefecture’s landscape consists of uplands, with elevations of 500–700 m prevailing.
In the past the prefecture was famous for its well-developed handicrafts and artisan industry that specialized in manufacturing luxury goods. Among the prefecture’s present-day well-developed industries are machine building, including electrical machine building and the production of transport equipment (24.8 percent of the value of the prefecture’s industrial production in 1968), textiles (25.5 percent), food and condiments (12 percent), and chemicals (11 percent). Agricultural production is concentrated mainly in the lowlands in the southern and northern parts of the prefecture. The chief crops are rice (with a planted area of 36,000 hectares and a harvest of 145,000 tons), barley, and wheat. In the south there is fruit growing and tea growing (Uji region). Lumbering and charcoal-making have developed in the central part. The commercial port of Maizuru is in the northern part of the prefecture.
N. A. SMIRNOV
(Japanese, literally “capital city”), a city in Japan, in the central part of the island of Honshu; an important economic center of the nation.
Kyoto is located in the Yamashiro basin, 10 km from Lake Biwa, with which it is connected by a navigable canal. It is the administrative center of the prefecture of Kyoto. Population, 1.4 million (1970). Kyoto is also a transportation junction. It is the center of traditional handicraft production specializing in the making of lacquered and bronze articles, porcelain, goods from natural silk, embroidered items, and religious articles. Manufacturing is an important industry; the main branches are machine building (primarily electrical machine building and the production of farm machinery) and metallurgy (more than 35 percent of the value of the city’s industrial output) and textiles (28 percent). Among the other industries are clothing, food and condiments, and glass and ceramics.
Kyoto is the cultural center of southwestern Japan, with two of the oldest universities, a medical academy, art schools, and an applied arts school. Kyoto has a national museum, a museum of modern art, municipal, commercial, and textile museums, and the Nishijin Museum. There is a botanical garden with an extensive collection of plants. The city is an international tourist center.
Kyoto is one of the ancient capitals of the nation and a historical and religious center. The city was built in the years 792–794 and was called Heian from 794 to 1192. Until 1868 it was officially considered the capital and was the residence of the emperors.
Kyoto’s plan is based on the regular layout of the medieval capital. Numerous medieval structures have survived, including the Toji Temple (eighth to 17th centuries; altar sculptures from the ninth century) and the monasteries of Saihoji (14th century), Tenryuji (14th century), Ryoanji (15th century), Daigoji (ninth to 16th centuries), Daitokuji (14th to 17th centuries), Nanzenji (13th to 17th centuries), and Nishi Honganji (end of the 16th century to beginning of the 17th; paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries) with gardens of moss, sand, and stones and landscape gardens. Some of the other medieval structures are the pavilions of Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion, 14th century, restored in 1953) with a landscape garden and Ginkaku (Silver Pavilion; end of the 15th century) with the Togudo Tea Pavilion (1486) and sand and landscape gardens. There is also the imperial palace complex (restored in 1789 in the style of the ninth century), including the Shishinden ceremonial hall and the Seiryoden apartments with sand gardens; the Nijo Palace (Nijo; 17th century, paintings from the 17th century); and the Katsura palace ensemble (1620’s) with numerous pavilions (including the Syokintei [“Lute Pine”] Tea Pavilion, 17th century) and landscape gardens. Among 20th-century structures are the post office (1954; Kosaka Hideo, architect), the Kyoto Kaikan city cultural center (1950’s; Mayokawa Kunio, architect), and the international conference hall (1963; Otani Sachio, architect). The Phoenix Temple (1052), which is part of the Byodo-in ensemble, is located near Kyoto, in Uji.
REFERENCEPonsonby-Fane, R., and A. Brabazon. Kyoto, the Old Capital of Japan. Kamikato-Kyoto, 1956.
N. A. SMIRNOV