Tokyo City

was a municipality in Japan. It existed from May 1, 1889 to July 1, 1943, when it was merged with Tokyo Prefecture to form the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The historical boundaries of Tokyo City are now occupied by the 23 special wards. They form the eastern portion of the mainland part of present-day Tokyo.

Some people still use the name to refer collectively to the 23 special wards. The wards do not share a mayor or a city council, but rather function as separate municipalities under the metropolitan government, that is, Tokyo.


In 1868, the medieval city Edo, seat of the Tokugawa government, was renamed Tokyo, the Eastern Capital. Then, the offices of Tokyo Prefecture (-fu) were opened. The extent of Tokyo Prefecture was initially limited to the former Edo city (15 wards listed below), but rapidly augumented to be comparable with the present Tokyo Metropolis.

In 1878, 15 wards and 6 districts were placed under Tokyo Prefecture. Wards were placed in the former Edo city.

  • Akasaka (赤坂区) (present Minato)
  • Asakusa (浅草区) (present Taitō)
  • Azabu (麻布区) (present Minato)
  • Fukagawa (深川区) (present Kōtō)
  • Hongō (本郷区) (present Bunkyō)
  • Honjo (本所区) (present Sumida)
  • Kanda (神田区) (present Chiyoda)
  • Koishikawa (小石川区) (present Bunkyō)
  • Kōjimachi (麹町区) (present Chiyoda)
  • Kyōbashi (京橋区) (present Chūō)
  • Nihonbashi (日本橋区) (present Chūō)
  • Shiba (芝区) (present Minato)
  • Shitaya (下谷区) (present Taitō)
  • Ushigome (牛込区) (part of present Shinjuku)
  • Yotsuya (四谷区) (part of present Shinjuku)

In 1889, Tokyo City (-shi) was formed with these 15 wards.

In 1932, Tokyo City was augmented with 20 wards from surrounding districts.

From Ebara District:

  • Ebara (荏原区) (present Shinagawa)
  • Kamata (蒲田区) (present Ōta)
  • Meguro (目黒区) (present Meguro)
  • Ōmori (大森区) (present Ōta)
  • Setagaya (世田谷区) (present Setagaya)
  • Shinagawa (品川区) (present Shinagawa)

From Toyotama District:

  • Nakano (中野区) (present Nakano)
  • Shibuya (渋谷区) (present Shibuya)
  • Suginami (杉並区) (present Suginami)
  • Yodobashi (淀橋区) (present Shinjuku)

From Kita-Toshima District:

  • Arakawa (荒川区) (present Arakawa)
  • Itabashi (板橋区) (present Itabashi and Nerima)
  • Ōji (王子区) (present Kita)
  • Takinogawa (滝野川区) (present Kita)
  • Toshima (豊島区) (present Toshima)

From Adachi District:

  • Adachi (足立区) (present Adachi)

From Minami-Katsushika District:

  • Edogawa (江戸川区) (present Edogawa)
  • Jōtō (城東区) (present Kōtō)
  • Katsushika (葛飾区) (present Katsushika)
  • Mukōjima (向島区) (present Sumida)

In 1943, Tokyo City and Tokyo Prefecture were united into Tokyo Metropolis (-to). The previous wards became directly administered by the Metropolis. Tokyo ceased to be the name of a city at that time.

In 1947, Tokyo Metropolis was reformed with the same status as the other prefectures, while retaining its name and subtle speciality. The previous wards were merged into 22. They each received a status comparable to that of a city.

In 1947, Nerima was separated from Itabashi forming the 23rd special ward.


Until 1947, people in Tokyo City had limited local government compared to counterparts in other areas of Japan.

See also


External links

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