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update:November 30, 2010


Tochigi holds fossils and earthenware from the Jomon Period that helps us understand what the lives of our ancestors were like.

Figurine from Goto Site (3,000 years ago)

Cylindrical Haniwa from Tsukayama Old Mound (5th century)

In the late 7th century, Tochigi formed what was called the Shimotsuke domain. Du ring that time they built the Shimotsuke-Yakushi temple, making it the Buddhist capitol of the Kanto Region.

In the late 12th century, when the aristocrats lost their power over the shogunate, outbreaks of civil wars would occur between the Genji Clan and the Heishi Clan. Nasuno Yoichi, an archer from Tochigi, became very famous for shooting an arrow in the middle of an opponent’s fan after being taunted by the fact that the Genji would not be able to shoot from such a distance. His accuracy shocked the Heishi Clan, giving the Genji Clan an even stronger image then before.

Nasuno Yoichi (Folding Screen)

Nasuno Yoichi

In the early 15th century Ashikaga University, Japan’s oldest school of higher education, was re-established, holding over 3000 students by the 16th century. Saint Francis Xavier introduced Ashikaga to the world as the best university in Japan.
Ashikaga University

In the early 17th century, Japan was unified by Tokugawa Ieyasu. After his death, Toshogu was built in Nikko on what the shoguns thought of as the holy ground in order to protect and worship him.
Toshogu Shrine (Nikko)

In the late 19th century was the fall of the Edo Shogunate and the creation of prefectures. The Prefectural Hall was built in Tochigi City after the unification of Utsunomiya Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture in 1873. By 1884, however, it was transferred to Utsunomiya.