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About Gujo city

Last up date
October 30, 2009


Gujo City is located in the middle of Gifu Prefecture and is a centralpoint for the whole of Japan. To the east, Gujo City borders Gero City; to the north are Takayama City; to the west are Seki City, and Oono City (Fukui Prefecture); to the south are Mino City, Seki City. There is a large difference in altitude between the highest and lowest points in the city. The lowest point, Minami Town's Konno district is 110m above sea level while the peak of Choshigamine in Shirotori Town is 1810m above sea level. From Takasu Town in the Dainichi Mountain Range, the source of the Nagara River, to the wide stretching highlands, Gujo is surrounded by nature's grand riches. Add to these assets the finest of Japan's rivers, the Nagara River. From the Nagara to the Wara and Itoshiro Rivers, the area includes 24 rivers. The entire region flows with fresh, clean water.


Prehistoric Background

The oldest antique stoneware calls "Yuzetsu sento ki" (pointed stoneware) which had found and collected in Gujo area These was using as the head of spears from the Paleolithic period to the beginning of the Jomon period.The ruins distributed few in the first term. Then in middle term it distributed explosively. But there was sharp decrease in the latter term. It's said the ruins distribution is related with the clime of the era. The remains of the Yayoi period are few. However we can suppose two incoming rotes from that distribution. One went up the Nagara river, from Owari area (actually Nagoya, Aichi pref.). And the other went up the Maze and the Wara river of Hida water system.

The Era of Tombs

Clusters of tombs have been found at all the main tributary intersections of the Nagara River in the Gujo district. As these places represent strategic points of defense and transportation, it is believed they are the tombs of those stationed here. The oldest six of these tombs date back to the middle of the sixth century.

Hakusan Faith

It is said that in the first year of the Yoro period, Yoro 1 (717 AD), Taicho, a priest from Echizen Kingdom (now north-eastern Fukui Prefecture), cleared land and constructed roads from the three directions of Mino, Echizen and Kaga Kingdoms. In Yoro 6 (722 AD), Taicho established Hakusan Chugu Nagataki Temple in what is now Shirotori's Nagataki region. Later, in Tencho 9 (832 AD), Nagataki Temple became the base of the Hakusan faith in the region known as Tokai.

The Establishment of Gujo

In Tempio 19 (747 Ad), there were 20 towns under the domain of Nara Daian Temple in what is estimated to be the region of present day Shirotori Ooshima. There is an article in the 7th volume of the 'Montokujitsuroku', dated 855 AD, where Gujo Gun claims its four areas of independence (Gunjo, Agu, Wara and Kurihara) from neighboring Mugi Gun. Later, in approximately the 12th century, in a redistribution of power, the villages of Yoshida, Kera and Yamada were established.

Middle Ages(Kamakura, Muromachi and the provincial war period)

As the power of the 'To' clan rose and fell, the region of Gujo changed. Within Gujo, the clan reigned and worked to establish a stable government but the clan itself was operating under the protection of the nearby Mino Kingdom. All of the first eight leaders of the To clan excelled at poetry but it is the ninth leader, Tsuneyori Tono, who is remembered for having been called upon to teach secret poetry techniques to the famous Renga poet, Sougi.

The Edo Period

Yoshitaka Endo took power in Gujo and developed the economy of the region. Throughout the subsequent changes of leadership from Endo, Inoue, Kanamori and Aoyama, Wara Village was taken under the auspices of the Emperor and was no longer under the control of Gujo. It estimated that in about the 17th century the well-known Gujo Odori (Gujo Dance) was started. A recently produced movie called 'Gujo Ikki' (The Gujo Rebellion) centers around events occurring between 1754 and 1758.

Present Day

During the Meiji period, existing boundaries were changed and in Meiji 7 Gujo Gun (Gujo Shire) consisted of 11 towns and 88 villages. In Meiji 12 the management of Gujo Gun was moved to Tonomachi in Hachiman Town. In Meiji 30 the Gun was further streamlined and became one town and 16 villages. After the war, in Showa 29, the region was again re-organised to become Hachiman Town, Shirotori Town, Takasu Village, Yamato Village, Okumyogata Village, Wara Village and Minami Village. In Showa 60, Yamato Village officially became Yamato Town. As of March 1st, 2004, the villages and towns of Gujo Gun amalgamated to become Gujo City.

Area(square measure)

Total area - 1030.75 km2 (approximately 10% of Gifu Prefecture)

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