List of provinces of ancient Japan

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Ancient provinces of Japan
The provinces in 701–702
The provinces from the Kamakura Period until 1868

The following provinces of ancient Japan (令制国 Ryōseikoku?) were in effect from the 7th century until the Meiji Period. The list is based on the Gokishichidō (五畿七道?), which includes short-lived provinces. Provinces located within Hokkaidō are listed last. To date, no official order has been issued abolishing the ancient provinces. Nonetheless, today they are considered obsolete. What follows is a list of the individual provinces along with some details.

The borders of the provinces changed until the end of the Nara Period and during the Meiji Period. From the Heian Period until the Edo Period, the borders remained unchanged.

For the demographic data of provinces during Edo period, see Demographics of Japan before Meiji Restoration.

Goki (五畿 Five Provinces in Capital Region?)[edit]

Kinai (畿内 Capital Region?)[edit]

  • Yamashiro (Jōshū, Sanshū, Yōshū) (山城国 (城州, 山州, 雍州)?)
  • Yamato (Washū) (大和国 (和州)?)
  • Kawachi (Kashū) (河内国 (河州)?)
  • Izumi (Senshū) (和泉国 (泉州)?) - Created in 716 from Kawachi Province as Izumi Gen (和泉監?). Although occupied by Kawachi Province in 740, in 757 the province divided again from Kawachi Province.
  • Settsu (Sesshū) (摂津国 (摂州)?)

Shichido 七道 (Seven Circuits?)[edit]

Tōkaidō (東海道 East Sea Circuit?)[edit]

  • Iga (Ishū) (伊賀国 (伊州)?) - Separated from Ise Province in 680.
  • Ise (Seishū) (伊勢国 (勢州)?)
  • Shima (Shishū) (志摩国 (志州)?) - Separated from Ise Province at the beginning of the 8th century.
  • Owari (Bishū) (尾張国 (尾州)?)
  • Mikawa (Sanshū) (三河国 (三州)?)
  • Tōtōmi (Enshū) (遠江国 (遠州)?)
  • Suruga (Sunshū) (駿河国 (駿州)?)
  • Izu (Zushū) (伊豆国 (豆州)?) - Separated from Suruga Province in 680.
  • Kai (Kōshū) (甲斐国 (甲州)?)
  • Sagami (Sōshū) (相模国 (相州)?)
  • Musashi (Bushū) (武蔵国 (武州)?) - Transferred from Tōsandō to Tōkaidō in 771
  • Awa (Bōshū, Anshū) (安房国 (房州, 安州)?) - Divided from Kazusa Province in 718. Although re-joined to Kazusa Province in 741, Separated from Kazusa Province again in 781.
  • Kazusa (Sōshū) (上総国 (総州)?) - Divided from Fusa Province (総国?) in 7th century.
  • Shimōsa (Sōshū) (下総国 (総州)?) - Divided from Fusa Province in 7th century.
  • Hitachi (Jōshū) (常陸国 (常州)?)

Tōsandō (東山道 East Mountain Circuit?)[edit]

  • Ōmi (Gōshū) (近江国 (江州)?)
  • Mino (Nōshū) (美濃国 (濃州)?)
  • Hida (Hishū) (飛騨国 (飛州)?)
  • Shinano (Shinshū) (信濃国 (信州)?)
  • Kōzuke (Jōshū) (上野国 (上州)?) - Divided from Keno Province (毛野国?) during 4th century.
  • Shimotsuke (Yashū) (下野国 (野州)?) - Divided from Keno Province during 4th century.
  • Dewa (Ushū) (出羽国 (羽州)?) - Broke Dewa District in Echigo Province and create Dewa Province in 712. On October of the same year, Mogami and Okitama Districts in Mutsu Province merged into Dewa Province.
    • Since the 1868 breakup
      • Uzen (Ushū) (羽前国 (羽州)?)
      • Ugo (Ushū) (羽後国 (羽州)?)
  • Mutsu (Ōshū, Rikushū) (陸奥国 (奥州, 陸州)?) - Split off from Hitachi Province in 7th century.
    • 718 for several years
    • Since the 1868 breakup

Hokurikudō (北陸道 North Land Circuit?)[edit]

  • Wakasa (Jakushū) (若狭国 (若州)?)
  • Echizen (Esshū) (越前国 (越州)?) - Broke off from Koshi Province (越国?) during the end of 7th century.
  • Kaga (Kashū) (加賀国 (加州)?) - Divided from Echizen Province in 823.
  • Noto (Nōshū) (能登国 (能州)?) - Divided from Echizen Province in 718. Although occupied by Etchu Province in 741, Divided from Etchu Province in 757.
  • Etchū (Esshū) (越中国 (越州)?) - Broke off from Koshi Province during the end of 7th century.
  • Echigo (Esshū) (越後国 (越州)?) - Broke off from Koshi Province during the end of 7th century.
  • Sado (Sashū, Toshū) (佐渡国 (佐州, 渡州)?) - Although occupied by Echigo in 743, Divided from Echigo in 752.

San'indō (山陰道 Shade Mountain Circuit?)[edit]

  • Tamba (Tanshū) (丹波国 (丹州)?)
  • Tango (Tanshū) (丹後国 (丹州)?) - Divided from Tamba in 713.
  • Tajima (Tanshū) (但馬国 (但州)?)
  • Inaba (Inshū) (因幡国 (因州)?)
  • Hōki (Hakushū) (伯耆国 (伯州)?)
  • Izumo (Unshū) (出雲国 (雲州)?)
  • Iwami (Sekishū) (石見国 (石州)?)
  • Oki (Onshū, Inshū) (隠岐国 (隠州)?)

San'yōdō (山陽道 Shine Mountain Circuit?)[edit]

  • Harima (Banshū) (播磨国 (播州)?)
  • Mimasaka (Sakushū) (美作国 (作州)?) - Divided from Bizen Province in 713.
  • Bizen (Bishū) (備前国 (備州)?) - Broke off from Kibi (吉備国?) during the 2nd half of 7th century.
  • Bitchū (Bishū) (備中国 (備州)?) - Broke off from Kibi Province during the 2nd half of 7th century.
  • Bingo (Bishū) (備後国 (備州)?) - Broke off from Kibi Province during the 2nd half of 7th century.
  • Aki (Geishū) (安芸国 (芸州)?)
  • Suō (Bōshū) (周防国 (防州)?)
  • Nagato (Chōshū) (長門国 (長州)?)

Nankaidō (南海道 South Sea Circuit?)[edit]

  • Kii (Kishū) (紀伊国 (紀州)?)
  • Awaji (Tanshū) (淡路国 (淡州)?)
  • Awa (Ashū) (阿波国 (阿州)?)
  • Sanuki (Sanshū) (讃岐国 (讃州)?)
  • Iyo (Yoshū) (伊予国 (予州)?)
  • Tosa (Doshū) (土佐国 (土州)?)

Saikaidō (西海道 West Sea Circuit?)[edit]

  • Buzen (Hōshū) (豊前国 (豊州)?) - Broke off from Toyo Province (豊国?) at the end of 7th century.
  • Bungo (Hōshū) (豊後国 (豊州)?) - Broke off from Toyo Province at the end of 7th century.
  • Chikuzen (Chikushū) (筑前国 (筑州)?) - Broke off from Tsukushi Province (筑紫国?) until the end of 7th century.
  • Chikugo (Chikushū) (筑後国 (筑州)?) - Broke off from Tsukushi Province until the end of 7th century.
  • Hizen (Hishū) (肥前国 (肥州)?) - Broke off from Hi Province (火国?) until the end of 7th century.
  • Higo (Hishū) (肥後国 (肥州)?) - Broke off from Hi Province until the end of 7th century.
  • Hyūga (Nisshū, Kōshū) (日向国 (日州, 向州)?) - Renamed Kumaso Province (熊曾国?) during 4th to 7th century.
  • Ōsumi (Gūshū) (大隈国 (隈州)?) - Divided from Hyūga Province in 713.
  • Satsuma (Sasshū) (薩摩国 (薩州)?) - Divided from Hyūga Province in 702.
  • Iki (Isshū) (壱岐国 (壱州)?) - Officially Iki no Shima (壱岐嶋?).
  • Tsushima (Taishū) (対馬国 (対州)?) - Officially Tsushima no Shima (対馬嶋?).

Hachidō 八道 (Eight Circuits?)[edit]

Hokkaidō (北海道 North Sea Circuit?)[edit]

Renamed Ezo Region to Hokkaidō, and created 11 provinces. (1869-1882)

Related links[edit]

External links[edit]