chapter  20
18 Pages

Edo Becomes Tokyo: Japan's Modernisation Begins

THE SHOGUN'S eAPIT AL was dead and Edo lived on in a state of sad survival. Its population fell from 2 million to 600,000. A thousand tsubo of land could be bought for 25 yen. Only a few speculators took advantage of the situation. Many merchants made preparations for moving to Osaka or Nagoya; grass grew in the streets where the daimyo used to live and fields appeared again in Azabu and Meguro; only a few boats were to be seen in the port. Foreigners at the legations complained of not being able to find bread or meat. Small newspapers published extravagant news. Meanwhile, the fighting went on in the north, and Rinnojinomiya left Nikko for Sendai.