Hyogo no tsu

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  • Other Names: 大輪田泊 (Oowada no tomari), 和田(Wada no tomari)
  • Japanese: 兵庫津 (Hyougo no tsu)

Hyôgo no tsu was a major medieval and early modern port city in Settsu province on the Inland Sea, a short distance west of Osaka. The harbor dates back to the Heian period, and lends its name today to the surrounding prefecture of Hyôgo. The port-city was renamed Kobe in the modern era.

One of the five harbors (go-tomari or go-haku) built by Gyôki in the Nara period, Hyôgo no tsu, originally known as Owada no tomari, was protected from rough waves and winds by Wada-no-misaki. The harbor was expanded by Taira no Kiyomori in 1180 in order to be able to accommodate Song Dynasty Chinese vessels, but was destroyed soon afterwards in the Genpei War. It was soon rebuilt, however, and came to be known as Hyôgo no tsu from the Kamakura period onward.

In the Muromachi period, Hyôgo was the chief departure point for tally trade ships bound for China.

In the late 16th to early 17th century, the port was controlled by Toyotomi Hideyori, but following the fall of the Toyotomi clan in the 1615 Siege of Osaka, it became part of the territory of Amagasaki han.[1] During the Edo period, Hyôgo was not only a major shipping and trading port, but also a significant stop for daimyô on their sankin kôtai journeys, and for foreign missions such as the Korean, Ryukyuan, and Dutch embassies to Edo.

The port, now renamed Kobe, was opened to Western trade in 1868, following the Harris Treaty of 1858.


  1. Chôsen tsûshinshi to Okayama, Okayama Prefectural Museum (2007), 56.