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Yodo-juku

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  • Japanese: 宿 (Yodo juku)

Yodo-juku was the 55th post-station of the Tôkaidô highway, the second on an extension linking Kyoto with Osaka. Closely associated with Yodo castle, it was located near the confluence of the Kizugawa, Ujigawa, and Katsuragawa rivers, to the south of Fushimi. The post-town was home to some 2800 people at its peak, and over 830 buildings, of which sixteen were hatago inns. There was no honjin.

History

Yodo (at that time known as Yodo-tsu 与等津) served as a notable river port in the Heian period, serving the imperial capital of Heian-kyô prior to the development of the port of Fushimi and the associated Fushimi castle. In the Kamakura period, it came to be a center of fishing and of the selling of salted fish; numerous toiya warehouses associated with the salted fish business popped up. Because of its location at the confluence of three rivers, this area was always a major hub of travel and trade.

In the late 1580s, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built a castle now known as "old Yodo castle" (ko-Yodo-jô) which he then had demolished in 1591 following the death of his heir Tsurumatsu. A new Yodo castle was built in 1623 to 1625 under the orders of Tokugawa Hidetada. Continuing its role as a center of trade and travel, the combined castle-town/post-town of Yodo became the base of some 500 "Yodo-bune" boats, the seat of the lord of Yodo han, and home to some sixteen inns.

The town saw serious fighting in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in 1868. In the modern period, a nearby pond was gradually drained by the Japanese government for land reclamation, with the project finally being completed in 1941; this is today the site of the Kyoto Racecourse (Kyoto keibajô).

Preceded by:
Fushimi-juku
Stations of the Tôkaidô Succeeded by:
Hirakata-juku

References

  • Kusaba Kayoko 草葉加代子, Kyôkaidô to Yodogawa shûun 京街道と淀川舟運. Osaka: Daikoro (2019), 48.
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