Echigo Province

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Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Echigo Province highlighted

Echigo Province (越後国 Echigo no kuni?) was an old province in north-central Japan, on the shores of the Sea of Japan.[1] It was sometimes called Esshū (越州?), with Echizen and Etchū Provinces. Echigo and Kōzuke Province were known as the Jōetsu region. Today the area is part of Niigata Prefecture, which also includes the island which was the old Sado Province.


Echigo was established by the division of Koshi Province (越国 or 古志国 Koshi no kuni?) in the end of 7th century with Iwafune and Nutari District. It occupied the northeast part of Niigata Prefecture today and was one of two border provinces with Emishi (the other is Mutsu). Echigo was given four districts of Kubiki, Koshi, Uonuma and Kanbara in 702. When Japan extended the territory a little northward in 708, Dewa District was established under Echigo. But this district transformed to Dewa Province in 712. Temporarily Sado Province had been merged between 743 and 752. Since the division of Sado in 752, the territory of Echigo had never been changed.

Echigo was ruled by Uesugi Kenshin and his heirs during the Sengoku Period; later it became a fief of Ieyasu's Matsudaira relatives.


This province was the northernmost part of the Hokurikudō (北陸道) Circuit. It bordered on Uzen, Iwashiro, Kōzuke, Shinano, and Etchū Provinces.

Historical districts[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Echigo Province at Wikimedia Commons