Awa Province (Chiba)

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Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Awa Province(Chiba) highlighted

Awa Province (安房国 Awa-no kuni?) was a province of Japan in the area of modern Chiba Prefecture.[1] It lies on the tip of the Boso Peninsula (房総半島), whose name takes its first kanji from the name of Awa Province and its second from Kazusa and Shimōsa Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was Bōshū (房州?) or Anshū (安州?). Awa Province in Shikoku phonetically has the same name, but is written with different kanji (阿波国).

Awa is classified as one of the provinces of the Tōkaidō.[1] Under the Engishiki classification system, Awa was ranked as a "middle country" (中国) and a "far country" (遠国).

Hiroshige ukiyo-e showing harbor in Awa--specifically, the then-village of Kominato

History[edit]

Awa was originally one of four districts of Kazusa Province. It was well-known to the Imperial Court in Nara Period Japan for its bountiful seafoods, and is mentioned in Nara period records as having supplied fish to the Court as early as the reign of the semi-legendary Emperor Keikō. On May 2, 718 the district of Awa was elevated into status to a full province. On December 10, 741 it was merged back into Kazusa, but regained its independent status in 757. The exact location of the capital of the new province is not known, but is believed to have been somewhere within the borders of the modern city of Minamibōsō, Chiba; however, the Kokubun-ji was located in what is now the city of Tateyama, Chiba as is the Ichinomiya (Awa Shrine) of the province.

During the Heian period, the province was divided into numerous shōen controlled by local samurai clans. These clans sided with Minamoto Yoritomo in the Genpei War. The history of the province in the Kamakura period is uncertain, but it came under the control of the Yuki clan and the Uesugi clan in the early Muromachi period. However, by the Sengoku period, the Satomi clan had gained control over much of Awa, Kazusa and Shimōsa provinces. The Satomi sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara, but after being implicated in the political intrigues of Ōkubo Tadachika in 1614, were forced to surrender their domains for Kurayoshi Domain in Hōki Province, Awa became tenryō territory administered by various hatamoto aside from five small domains created at various times in the Edo period (three of which survived to the Meiji Restoration), with an additional two domains created at the start of the Meiji period. The entire province had an assessed revenue of 95,736 koku.

The various domains and tenryo territories were transformed into short-lived prefectures in July 1871 by the abolition of the han system, and the entire territory of Awa Province became part of the new Chiba Prefecture on June 15, 1873.

Historical districts[edit]

Domains in Awa Province[edit]

Domain Daimyo Dates Revenue (koku) Type
Nagao Domain ( 長尾藩?) Honda 1868-1871 40,000 fudai
Tōjō Domain ( 東条藩?) Saigo 1620-1693 10,000 fudai
Hanabusa Domain ( 花房藩?) Nishio 1871-1871 35,000 fudai
Tateyama Domain ( 館山藩?) Nishio 1781-1871 10,000 fudai
Hōjō Domain (北条藩?) Mizuno 1638-1827 15,000 fudai
Funagata Domain ( 船形藩?) Hiraoka 1864-1868 10,000 fudai
Awa-Katsuyama Domain ( 安房勝山藩?) Sakai 1590-1871 12,000 fudai
Awa-Saigusa Domain ( 安房三枝藩?) Saigusa 1638-1639 15,000 fudai

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Awa no Kuni" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 62, p. 62, at Google Books.

References[edit]

External links[edit]