chapter  4
16 Pages

Vaudeville Acts

When Tokugawa Ieyasu entered Tokyo, then known as Edo, in 1590, the place was composed of a fortress and some desolate communities. In twenty years it was transformed into such a lively city that a shipwrecked former governor of the Philippines, Don Rodrigo de Vivero, praised its city planning and wrote that although in exterior appearance houses in Spain were more beautiful, the interiors of the Japanese houses were superior in beauty.46 Edo then had a population of about 150,000, and in the following hundred years the population grew to more than one million, surpassing London (870,000), Paris (540,000), Vienna (250,000), Moscow (also 250,000) and Berlin (170,000). From the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century, Edo was the largest city in the world outside China.