Musashi Province

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Map of Japanese provinces with province highlighted

Musashi Province (武蔵国, Musashi no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area of Tokyo Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture and of Kanagawa Prefecture on the island of Honshū.[1] It was sometimes called Bushū (武州).

The province had borders with Kai, Kōzuke, Sagami, Shimōsa, and Shimotsuke Provinces.

The ancient capital city of the province was near Fuchu. By the Sengoku period, the main city was Edo.

History[change | change source]

View of Musashi Province, woodblock print by Hokusai, 1830

In the Edo period, the Tōkaidō road was the main route between the Imperial capital at Kyoto and the main city of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The road passed through Musashi.[2]

In the Meiji period, the provinces of Japan were converted into prefectures. The maps of Japan and Musashi Province were reformed in the 1870s.[3]

The Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Musashi was named after the province.

The height of Tokyo Sky Tree is 634 m (2,080 ft).[4] The figures 6 (mu), 3 (sa), 4 (shi) stand for "Musashi", which is an old name for the area where the Tokyo Sky Tree stands.[5]

Timeline of important events in Musashi[change | change source]

  • July 18, 707 (Keiun 4, 15th day of the 6th month): Empress Genmei is enthroned at the age of 48.[6]
  • 707 (Keiun 4): Copper was reported to have been found in Musashi province in the region which includes modern day Tokyo.[7]
  • 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, Saitama|Chichibu District of what is now Saitama Prefecture.[7] 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.[7] The Wadō era is famous for the first Japanese coin (和同開珎, wadokaiho or wadokaichin).
  • 1590 (Tenshō 18): Siege of Odawara (1590)|Siege of Odawara. Iwatsuki Domain and Oshi Domain founded in Musashi Province.

Shrines and Temples[change | change source]

Hikawa jinja was the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of the province; [8] and there are many branch shrines.[9]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Musashi" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 669-671.
  2. Nussbaum, "Tōkaidō" at p. 973.
  3. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780.
  4. "What 'Lost Decade'?" New York Times. Jaunuary 7, 2012; retrieved 2012-4-26.
  5. Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), "A new famous Tokyo spot linking information and the soul of Japan to the next generation"; retrieved 2012-4-26.
  6. Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 271.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 63., p. 63, at Google Books
  8. "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 1 Archived 2013-05-17 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-1-26.
  9. Nussbaum, "Hikawa-jinja" at p. 311.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Musashi Province at Wikimedia Commons