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  • Japanese: 上方 (kamigata)

Kamigata is a name used to refer to the Kansai region, especially the cities of Kyoto and Osaka, The term is used especially when discussing Edo period popular culture, e.g. Kamigata kabuki, or Kamigata publishing, and when comparing the culture of that region to the culture of Edo.

The region was a major historical, cultural, economic, and religious center, boasting not only the cities of Kyoto and Osaka, but also over 120 post towns, roughly 40 castle towns, and numerous monzenmachi (towns centered around major shrines or temples), port towns, and provincial market towns.[1]

Kamigata Urban Culture

  • Kabuki
  • Bunraku and other theatre
  • Publishing
  • Poetry circles and fan clubs


  1. Moriya, Katsuhisa. Ronald Toby (trans.) "Urban Networks and Information Networks." in Chie Nakane and Shinzaburô Ôishi (eds.) Tokugawa Japan: The Social and Economic Antecedents of Modern Japan. University of Tokyo Press, 1990. p104.