Musashi Province

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For other uses, see Musashi (disambiguation).
Map of Japanese provinces with province highlighted

Musashi Province (武蔵国 Musashi no kuni?) was a province of Japan, which today comprises Tokyo Metropolis, most of Saitama Prefecture and part of Kanagawa Prefecture.[1] It was sometimes called Bushū (武州?). The province encompassed Kawasaki and Yokohama. Musashi bordered on Kai, Kōzuke, Sagami, Shimōsa, and Shimotsuke Provinces.

Musashi was the largest province in the Kantō region.

Name[edit]

The name Musashi, recorded in early records as 牟射志 muzasi, has been conjectured to be of Ainu origin.[2] It has no apparent meaning in Japanese, but mun-sar-i or mun-sar-ihi (weed-marsh-POSS)[3] is a hypothetical Ainu form that would mean "marsh/wetland of (i.e. belonging to) weeds/inedible or otherwise useless plants," and Musashi sits in the middle of the Kanto plain.[4]

History[edit]

Musashi had its ancient capital in modern Fuchu, Tokyo and its provincial temple in what is now Kokubunji, Tokyo. By the Sengoku period, the main city was Edo, which became the dominant city of eastern Japan. Edo Castle was the headquarters of Tokugawa Ieyasu[5] before the Battle of Sekigahara and became the dominant city of Japan during the Edo period, being renamed Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration.

Hikawa jinja was designated as the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of the province; [6] and there are many branch shrines.[7]

The former province gave its name to the battleship of the Second World War Musashi.

Timeline of important events in Musashi[edit]

Wadōkaichin monument in Saitama
  • 707 (Keiun 4): Copper was reported to have been found in Musashi province in the region which includes modern day Tokyo.[9]
  • 708 (Keiun 5): The era name was about to be changed to mark the accession of Empress Gemmei; but the choice of Wadō as the new nengō for this new reign became a way to mark the welcome discovery of copper in the Chichibu District of what is now Saitama Prefecture.[9] The Japanese word for copper is (銅); and since this was indigenous copper, the "wa" (the ancient Chinese term for Japan) could be combined with the "dō" (copper) to create a new composite term—"wadō"—meaning "Japanese copper".
  • May 5, 708 (Wadō 1, 11th day of the 4th month): A sample of the newly discovered Musashi copper was presented in Gemmei's Court where it was formally acknowledged as Japanese copper.[9] The Wadō era is famous for the first Japanese coin (和同開珎, wadokaiho or wadokaichin).
  • 1590 (Tenshō 18): Siege of Odawara. Iwatsuki Domain and Oshi Domain founded in Musashi Province.

Historical districts[edit]

Musashi Province had 21 districts, added one after.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric (2005). "Musashi" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 669-671, p. 669, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Alexander Vovin (2009) "Strange words in the Man'yoshū and the Fudoki and the distribution of the Ainu language in the Japanese islands in prehistory"
  3. ^ There are dialectical words of Ainu origin in the Tohoku region where si corresponds to Hokkaido Ainu hi[citation needed]
  4. ^ Vovin, Alexander (2008). "Man'yōshū to Fudoki ni Mirareru Fushigina Kotoba to Jōdai Nihon Retto ni Okeru Ainugo no Bunpu." Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Sentā.
  5. ^ "Map of Bushū Toshima District, Edo". World Digital Library. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 3.; retrieved 2011-08-09
  7. ^ Nussbaum, "Hikawa-jinja" at p. 311, p. 311, at Google Books.
  8. ^ Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 271.
  9. ^ a b c Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 63., p. 63, at Google Books

References[edit]

External links[edit]