Urawa, Saitama

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was a city in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, until it merged into the city of Saitama together with two other cities, Omiya and Yono, on May 1, 2001. In 2003, the former area of Urawa became Urawa-ku, Midori-ku, Minami-ku, and Sakura-ku, which are wards of the city of Saitama. The city hall and the prefectural government building are located in Urawa-ku.


In the Edo period, the area that became Urawa flourished as a posting station of the Nakasendō, a highway connecting Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. But it was not as big a town as Iwatsuki, which was the only castle town in the area of the modern-day city of Saitama.In 1869, the Prefectural Government of Urawa Prefecture was set up, and the Government's Office was located in Urawa. In 1871, Iwatsuki, Urawa, and Oshi Prefectures merged to form Saitama Prefecture, and Urawa became the capital of this new Prefecture.

The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake heavily damaged Tokyo and many nearby cities. Although Urawa is not far from Tokyo, it suffered less damage than to Tokyo, Yokohama, and other cities in Kantō region, so many intellectuals, especially painters, moved to Urawa, and this old posting station started to change into a modern city.Several neighboring villages then merged into Urawa, and in 1934, the town became a city.The city existed up until the 2001 merger with Ōmiya and Yono to form Saitama. At that time the city had a population of 488,000.

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