Tokyo in History

Historical Events

  • 1635-08-03 The third of the Tokugawa shoguns, Iemitsu, establishes the system of alternate attendance (sankin kotai) by which the feudal daimyō are required to spend one year at Edo Castle in Tokyo and one year back home at their feudal manor, while their families remained in Tokyo as virtual political hostages. (Traditional Japanese Date: June 21, 1635).
  • 1703-02-04 In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-Seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master's death.
  • 1703-12-30 Tokyo hit by Earthquake; about 37,000 die

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1853-07-08 Commodore Matthew C. Perry sails his frigate Susquehanna into Tokyo Bay, opening Japan to Western influence and trade

Commodore of the US Navy Matthew C. Perry
Commodore of the US Navy
Matthew C. Perry
  • 1857-03-21 Earthquake hits Tokyo killing around 107,000 people
  • 1867-04-25 Tokyo opens for foreign trade
  • 1905-05-17 Waseda U of Tokyo defeats LA High School 5-3 in baseball
  • 1908-07-25 Ajinomoto Co. is founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovers a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock is monosodium glutamate (MSG), patents a process for manufacturing it.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1909-08-18 Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees, which President Taft decides to plant near the Potomac River.

27th US President William Howard Taft
27th US President
William Howard Taft
  • 1912-08-05 Japan's first taxicab service begins in Ginza, Tokyo.
  • 1913-12-06 White Sox beat Giants 9-4 in exhibition game in Tokyo
  • 1921-11-04 Japanese Prime Minister Hara Takashi is assassinated in Tokyo.
  • 1923-09-01 7.9 earthquake strikes Tokyo & Yokohama, kills 142,000
  • 1932-05-26 Admiral Makoto Saito forms parliament in Tokyo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1934-11-02 Babe Ruth tours Tokyo, Japan

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • 1936-04-29 1st pro baseball game in Japan is played Nagoya defeats Daitokyo, 8-5
  • 1936-05-21 Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover's severed genitals in her hand. Her story soon becomes one of Japan's most notorious scandals.
  • 1936-07-31 Tokyo Japan is awarded the 1940 Olympics (later cancelled)
  • 1938-09-03 1940 Olympic site changed from Tokyo Japan to Helsinki Finland
  • 1941-10-18 Russian spy Richard Sorge arrested in Tokyo
  • 1942-03-27 Japan forces Java to use "Tokyo time" 1½ hour forward

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942-04-18 James Doolittle bombs Tokyo & other Japanese cities

Aviation Pioneer Jimmy Doolittle
Aviation Pioneer
Jimmy Doolittle
  • 1944-11-24 US bombers based on Saipan begin 1st attack on Tokyo
  • 1945-02-25 US aircraft carriers attack Tokyo

BattleFirebombing of Tokyo

1945-03-09 334 US B-29 Superfortresses attack Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs

  • 1945-03-10 Tokyo in fire after night time B-29 bombings, more than 100,000 people die, mostly civilians.
  • 1945-04-14 American planes bomb Tokyo & damage the Imperial Palace
  • 1945-05-26 US drop fire bombs on Tokyo
  • 1945-06-25 Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo announce fall of Okinawa
  • 1946-04-29 28 former Japanese leaders indicted in Tokyo as war criminals
  • 1946-05-03 International military tribunal in Tokyo begins
  • 1946-05-07 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with around 20 employees.
  • 1946-06-03 International Military Tribunal opens in Tokyo against 28 Japanese war criminals
  • 1947-09-15 Typhoon Kathleen hit Tone River, Saitama and Tokyo area, killing at least 1,930 and injuring 1,750..
  • 1947-09-16 Typhoon Kathleen hits Saitama, Tokyo and Tone River area, killing at least 1,930
  • 1949-10-06 Iva Toguri D'Aquino (Tokyo Rose) sentenced to 10 years & $10,000 fine
  • 1953-06-18 USAF C124 Globemaster crashes near Tokyo killing 129 servicemen
  • 1955-08-07 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, begins selling its first transistor radios in Japan
  • 1956-05-05 World championships of judo are 1st held, in Tokyo
  • 1958-09-08 Paul Anka opens Asian tour in Tokyo
  • 1962-05-03 Express train crashed into wreckage of a commuter train & a freight, killing 163, injuring 400 (Tokyo, Japan)
  • 1964-10-10 18th modern Olympic games opens in Tokyo
  • 1964-10-24 18th Olympic games close at Tokyo, Japan

Film release premierFilm Premier

1965-12-29 "Thunderball", 4th James Bond film starring Sean Connery and Claudine Auger premieres in Tokyo

  • 1966-03-04 Canadian Pacific airliner explodes on landing at Tokyo, 64 die
  • 1966-06-30 Beatles land in Tokyo for a concert tour
  • 1968-12-10 Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.
  • 1974-12-09 Jack Brisco beats Giant Baba in Tokyo, to become NWA wrestling champ
  • 1976-04-26 Pan Am begins non-stop flights NYC-Tokyo
  • 1976-08-16 St Louis Cards beat San Diego Chargers 20-10 in Tokyo (NFL expo)
  • 1977-01-19 US President Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino (Tokyo Rose)
  • 1977-03-03 Ice Pairs Champs at Tokyo won by Irina Rodnina/Alexandr Zaitsev (URS)
  • 1977-03-03 Men's Figure Skating Champions in Tokyo won by Vladimir Kovalev (USSR)
  • 1977-03-03 World Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Tokyo won by Linda Fratianne (USA)
  • 1979-01-30 Varig 707-323C freighter, flown by the same commander as Flight 820, disappears over the Pacific Ocean 30 minutes after taking off from Tokyo.
  • 1979-03-26 Padres & Giants announce plans to play exhibition series in Tokyo but Giant players reject it

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1980-01-16 Paul McCartney jailed in Tokyo for 10 days on marijuana possession

Musician & member of the Beatles Paul McCartney
Musician & member of the Beatles
Paul McCartney
  • 1980-01-25 Paul McCartney is released from Tokyo jail & deported
  • 1983-04-15 Tokyo Disneyland opens
  • 1985-03-08 Ice Dance Championship at Tokyo won by Bestemianova & Bukin (URS)
  • 1985-03-09 Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Tokyo won by Katarina Witt (GDR)
  • 1985-03-10 Ice Pairs Championship at Tokyo won by Elena Valova & O Vasiliev (URS)
  • 1985-03-10 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Tokyo won by Alexandr Fadeev (URS)
  • 1987-07-17 "Les Miserables" opens at Imperial Theatre, Tokyo
  • 1987-10-04 "The Last Emperor" directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring John Lone, Joan Chen and Peter O'Toole premieres at the Tokyo Film Festival (Best Picture 1988)
  • 1988-11-05 Japan beats MLB all stars 2-1 in Tokyo (Game 1 of 7)
  • 1988-11-10 MLB All-Star team beats Japan 3-1 in Tokyo (Game 5 of 7)
  • 1988-11-12 Japan beats MLB All-Star team 5-4 in Tokyo (Game 6 of 7)
  • 1989-10-09 27th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Spain in Tokyo Japan (3-0)
  • 1989-11-29 8th Largest wrestling crowd UFW U-Cosmos (60,000-Tokyo Dome)
  • 1990-02-10 6th Largest wrestling crowd (63,900-Tokyo Dome)
  • 1991-03-21 Largest wrestling crowd in Japan (64,500) at Tokyo Dome
  • 1991-08-23 3rd World Championships in Athletics open at Tokyo, Japan
  • 1991-09-01 3rd World Championships in Athletics close at Tokyo, Japan
  • 1992-01-04 8th= largest wrestling crowd NJPW Starcade (60,000-Tokyo Dome)
  • 1993-01-04 7th largest wrestling crowd (63,500-Tokyo Dome)
  • 1993-08-27 The Rainbow Bridge connecting Tokyo's Shibaura and the island of Odaiba is completed.
  • 1994-01-04 10th largest wrestling crowd (58,000-Tokyo Dome)
  • 1994-03-26 Yuka Sato of Japan wins world figure skating championship in Tokyo
  • 1994-08-03 102.4°F (39.1°C) in Tokyo Japan: record
  • 1995-03-20 Poison Gas released in Tokyo subway 12 killed, 4,700 injured
  • 1995-03-28 World's largest bank-Japan's Mitsubishi Bank & Bank of Tokyo merge
  • 1995-05-16 Japanese police arrest cult leader Shoko Asahara & charged him with Nerve-gas attack on Tokyo's subways two months earlier
  • 1995-09-14 Body Worlds opens in Tokyo, Japan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997-11-01 "Titanic" directed by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is first screened, at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Best Picture 1998)

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Film Director James Cameron
Film Director
James Cameron
Actress Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
  • 1999-07-23 ANA Flight 61 is hijacked in Tokyo, Japan.
  • 1999-09-30 Japan's worst nuclear accident at a uranium reprocessing facility in Tōkai-mura, northeast of Tokyo.
  • 2004-09-30 The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.
  • 2006-12-04 An adult giant squid is caught on video by Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo.
  • 2007-04-16 "Spider-Man 3" directed by Sam Raimi and starring Toby Maguire and Kristen Dunst premieres at the Tokyo Film Festival

Film release premierFilm Premier

2012-06-13 "The Amazing Spider-Man" directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone premieres at the Tokyo Film Festival

Actress Emma Stone
Emma Stone
  • 2012-06-29 15,000 Japanese anti-nuclear protesters blockade the Japanese Prime Minister's office in Tokyo
  • 2012-08-31 Apple loses its patent dispute with Samsung in Tokyo, Japan
  • 2015-11-05 Japan's 1st officially recognized same-sex couple union - Koyuki Higashi and Hiroko Matsuhara in Tokyo
  • 2016-07-31 Yuriko Koike is the first woman to be elected Tokyo Governor

Famous Birthdays

  • 1861-02-13 Uchimura Kanzo, religious writer (How I Became a Christian), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1884-12-30 Hideki Tojo, Japanese Prime Minister during WW II (1941-44), born in Tokyo (d. 1948)
  • 1894-12-19 Yoshida Isoya, architect (modern sukiya style), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1905-01-01 Kamatari Fujiwara, actor (d. 1985), born in Tokyo, Japan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1910-03-23 Akira Kurosawa, director (7 Samurai, Ran), born in Tokyo Japan, (d. 1998)

Film director, screenwriter Akira Kurosawa
Film director, screenwriter
Akira Kurosawa
  • 1912-03-04 John Garfield, actor (Air Force, Destination: Tokyo, Juarez), born in NYC, New York
  • 1913-04-12 Keiko Fukuda, martial artist, born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2013)
  • 1915-08-11 Kunio Toda, Japanese composer, born in Tokyo (d. 2003)
  • 1916-07-01 Olivia de Havilland, actress (the Adventures of Robin Hood), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1916-07-04 Tokyo Rose, [Iva Toguri D'Aquino], propagandist (WW II)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1917-10-22 Joan Fontaine, British-American actress (Gunga Din, Ivanhoe, Rebecca), born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2013)

Actress Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine
  • 1919-06-05 Akeo Watanabe, conductor (Nippon Phil Orch 1956-68), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1921-01-18 Yoichiro Nambu, Japanese-born American Physicist (Nobel Prize 2008), born in Tokyo (d. 2015)
  • 1921-03-30 Kan Ishii, Japanese composer, born in Tokyo (d. 2009)
  • 1922-05-24 Sadao Bekku, Japanese classical and film composer (Matango), born in Tokyo (d. 2012)
  • 1923-03-27 Shūsaku Endō, writer ("Silence"), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1924-03-07 Kobo Abe, playwright (Woman, the Dunes), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1930-10-08 Toru Takemitsu, composer (Ki No Kyoko), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1932-09-30 Shintaro Ishihara, Japanese author and politician (Governor of Tokyo)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1933-02-18 Yoko Ono Lennon, [Mrs John Lennon], singer and artist, born in Tokyo, Japan

Artist & Musician Yoko Ono
Artist & Musician
Yoko Ono
  • 1936-05-28 Maki Ishii, Japanese composer, born in Tokyo (d. 2003)
  • 1938-07-12 Eiko Ishioka, Costume Designer (Academy Award, Bram Stoker’s Dracula), born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2012)
  • 1938-12-16 Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress and director (The Emigrants, Persona), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1941-01-05 Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese filmmaker (Spirited Away), born in Tokyo
  • 1941-06-02 Oda Mayumi, resident artist (Green Gulch Zen Center), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1947-01-18 Takeshi Kitano, actor (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, Fireworks), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1950-02-04 Pamela Franklin, actress (Satan's School for Girls), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1954-09-18 Takao Doi, astronaut (STS 87), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1958-08-27 Yoshinori Mizumaki, PGA golfer (1994 Byron Nelson-2nd), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1965-02-01 Brandon Lee, actor (Showdown in Little Tokyo), born in Oakland, California (d. 1993)
  • 1967-11-06 Shuzo Matsuoka, tennis star (1995 USTA/Binghampton), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1969-08-13 Midori Ito, ice skater (Oly-silver-92), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1972-10-11 Kyoko Ina, figure skater (1993 North Atlantic Sr champ), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1975-07-05 Ai Sugiyama, tennis star, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1980-05-06 Kasumi Takahashi, Australian rhythmic gymnast (Oly-96), born in Tokyo, Japan

Famous Weddings

  • 2005-11-15 Emperor Akihito's daughter Princess Sayako (36) weds Yoshiki Kuroda (40) at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan
  • 2005-12-03 "The Last Samurai" actor Ken Watanabe (46) weds actress Kaho Minami (41) in Tokyo

Famous Deaths

  • 1944-11-07 Richard Sorge & Ozaki, spies, hanged in Tokyo
  • 1966-07-12 D T Suzuki, Zen Buddhism scholar, dies in Tokyo Japan at 96
  • 1970-12-06 Thomas S Power, USAF-gen (Raid on Tokyo-March 1945), dies at 65
  • 1973-11-23 Sessue Hayakawa, actor (Tokyo Joe), dies of cerebral thrombosis at 83
  • 1991-11-23 Ken Uehara, actor (Honolulu-Tokyo), dies of heart failure at 82
  • 2006-09-26 Iva Toguri D'Aquino, alleged Tokyo Rose (b. 1916)