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Traditional regions of Japan

Gokishichidō (五畿七道, literally, five provinces and seven circuits) was the name for ancient regions of Japan starting in the Asuka period.[1] Imperial government of Japan was divided into large regions made up of several provinces.

Regions[change | change source]

The Gokishichidō counted the five provinces in the Kinai (畿内) or capital area as one region.[2] In addition, there were seven "circuits" (, ) in an organizational system which was imported from China in the 7th century. Each of the "circuits" or do was a region which had several provinces within it.

Over centuries, the government functions of the Gokishichido became less important. However, the traditional seven circuits (七道, Shichidō) remained cultural markers.

Core[change | change source]

Under the Gokishichido system, the central provinces were considered to be a core region. These lands are called the Kansai region[3] or Kinki[4] or Kinai.[5] The five provinces included:

Circuits[change | change source]

Under the Gokishichido system, there were seven roads which connected the imperial capital with all of the provincial capitals. The land around each of the roads was called by the same name as the road, including

Related pages[change | change source]

Traditional regions in the context of modern prefectures.
Kinai Tōkaidō Tōsandō Hokurikudō
San'indō San'yōdō Nankaidō Saikaidō

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). Goki-shichidō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 255.
  2. Gokishichidō is a compound word made up of Goki (五畿, "five provinces in the capital region") plus Shichidō (七道, seven circuits)
  3. Nussbaum, "Kansai," p. 477; excerpt, "Region between Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto without well-defined borders (as opposed to the term Kinki").
  4. Nussbaum, "Kinki," p. 522.
  5. Nussbaum, "Kinai," at 521; excerpt, "This region is still called Kinai, though its area now corresponds only vaguely to the provinces it once encompassed."
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Gilman, Daniel Coit and Harry Thurston. (1907). "Japan," in The New International Encyclopædia, Vol. 11, p. 132.
  7. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 66 n2
  8. Titsingh, pp. 65-66 n3.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Titsingh, p. 65 n3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Titsingh, p. 57 n1.