Shinano Province

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Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Shinano Province highlighted.

Shinano Province (信濃国, Shinano no kuni) or Shinshū (信州) is an old province of Japan that is now Nagano Prefecture.[1]

Shinano bordered on Echigo, Etchū, Hida, Kai, Kōzuke, Mikawa, Mino, Musashi, Suruga, and Tōtōmi Provinces. The ancient capital was located near modern-day Matsumoto, which became an important city of the province.

The World War II–era Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano was named after this old province.

Historical record[edit]

In 713, the road that traverses Mino and Shinano provinces was widened to accommodate increasing numbers of travelers through the Kiso District of modern Nagano Prefecture.[2]

In the Sengoku period, Shinano Province was often split among fiefs and castle towns developed, including Komoro, Ina, and Ueda. Shinano was one of the major centers of Takeda Shingen's power during his wars with Uesugi Kenshin and others.

Suwa taisha was designated as the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) for the province.[3]

In 1871, during the Meiji period, with the abolition of the han system and the establishment of prefectures (Haihan Chiken) after the Meiji Restoration, Shinano Province was administratively separated in 1871 into Nagano and Chikuma prefectures. These two tentative governmental and territorial units were reconfigured together again in 1876. This became the modern prefecture of Nagano, which remains substantially unchanged from that time.

Historical districts[edit]

Shinano Province contained the following districts:

See also[edit]



  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128.
  • Hiroaki Sato (2008). Japanese women poets: an anthology. M.E. Sharpe, Inc.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon (Nihon Ōdai Ichiran). Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691.

External links[edit]