Why is Ginza called Ginza?
In Japanese History on May 3, 2013 at 1:09 am
Ginza (Silver Guild, more at Silver Mint)
After a fire destroyed the area in 1872, the Meiji government used the opportunity to make Ginza the epitome of modernization. It feels like a western city, not a castle town.
I’m happy to take requests, if you have a Tōkyō place name that you’re curious about. Recently I was asked about Ginza.
I’m going to give a brief explanation of the etymology and then refer you to Ginza’s official English website which has a fantastic page on the history of area.
Ginza is made of two characters:
銀 gin silver
座 za literally “seat,” or in this case it refers to something like a guild or association
In Nihonbashi, there was another guild, 金座 kinza gold guild.
Basically this was the area where the shōgunate minted silver coins.
If you want to know more about the history of the area, please check out Ginza’s official website. They have a fantastic article about the history of the area here.
Ginza – were east met west in a typically Meiji way. I love this print. Just amazing!
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