Approximately 2000 years ago, wet paddy rice agriculture was introduced into the Tsuyama region. The agrarian life which resulted led to the formation of a community.
The independent tribes in the region were consolidated under the Yamato clan approximately 1500 years ago. This shift toward an unified state is marked by the construction of large tomb mounds, kofun, for the ruling elite.
The centralized state strengthened the imperial authority in the 7th and 8th Centuries. A local government was set up in each province. The capital of Mimasaka province was established at Soja present day Tsuyama in 713 A.D..
Nakayama shrine - originally built in the 8th Century
The transfer of power from the imperial court to the newly ascendant military class and the establishment of a feudal system was seen at the end of the 12th Century.
Battles between competing warlords, each with absolute authority over his own landholdings and subjects, were frequent by the latter half of the 15th Century as this period developed into the age of civil wars. The Mimasaka area that includes Tsuyama did not see any prominent warlords, but tossed about on the waves of wars fought by major warlords.
A Copper bell excavated from a kofun (large tomb mound)
Following decades of civil war, Tokugawa Ieyasu consolidated his position, made himself shogun and established his government in Edo in 1603. He designated Mori Tadamasa as the feudal lord of the Mimasaka province in this same year. Tadamasa laid out the plans for Tsuyama as his castle town. The castle was completed after thirteen years of construction at Tsuruyama : It is believed the name Tsuyama came from its sound. The castle town structure formed at that time is the center of present day Tsuyama City.
Armor used in the 16th century currently stored in the Tsuyama Historical Museum.
At the end of Edo era the late 18th Century, the study of Western science and culture became popular. From the latter part of the Edo era to the beginning of subsequent Meiji era, many prominent scholars of Western learning who came from Tsuyama studied and wrote books in Edo modern Tokyo. They added greatly to the development of learning in Japan. Their enterprising spirit and enthusiasm in learning has been continued by Tsuyama citizens.
After the abolition of Tokugawa shogunate in the late 19th Century, imperial rule was restored and the new Meiji government ordered the destruction of the castle. From that time on, the symbol of this castle town has been the massive stone walls which remain at the castle site. Many people in Tsuyama still dream of reconstructing the castle.
Mitsukuri Genpo (1799 - 1863) - a prominent scholar of Western learning born in Tsuyama
After several reorganizations and changes in regional administration, Tsuyama City became a municipality in 1929. A few annexations followed in 1940's and 1950's, and the basic features of Tsuyama City which one finds now was established.
Bird's-eye view of Edo drawn by Kuwagata Shoshin Keisai (1764 - 1824) in 1809. It is stored at the Tsuyama Historical Museum.
- 津山市 地域づくり推進室
- 〒708-8501岡山県津山市山北520 市役所3階