Musashi Province
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Musashi Province
Map of Japanese provinces with province highlighted

Musashi Province (, 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 Bush? (). The province encompassed Kawasaki and Yokohama. Musashi bordered on Kai, K?zuke, Sagami, Shim?sa, and Shimotsuke Provinces.

Musashi was the largest province in the Kant? region.


The name Musashi, recorded in early records as 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," with Musashi in the middle of the Kant? Plain.[4]


Musashi had its ancient capital in modern Fuch?, 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

  • 534 (Ankan 1, 12th month): The Yamato court sends a military force to appoint Omi as the governor of Musashi Province, his rival, Wogi was executed by the court. Omi presented four districts of Musashi Province to the court as royal estates.[8]
  • July 18, 707 (Keiun 4, 15th day of the 6th month): Empress Genmei is enthroned at the age of 48.[9]
Wad?kaichin monument in Saitama
  • 707 (Keiun 4): Copper was reported to have been found in Musashi province in the region which includes modern day Tokyo.[10]
  • 708 (Keiun 5): The era name was about to be changed to mark the accession of Empress Gemmei; but the choice of Wad? as the new neng? for this new reign became a way to mark the welcome discovery of copper in the Chichibu District of what is now Saitama Prefecture.[10] The Japanese word for copper is d? (?); and since this was indigenous copper, the "wa" (the ancient Chinese term for Japan) could be combined with the "d?" (copper) to create a new composite term--"wad?"--meaning "Japanese copper".
  • May 5, 708 (Wad? 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.[10] The Wad? era is famous for the first Japanese coin (?, wadokaiho or wadokaichin).
  • 1590 (Tensh? 18): Siege of Odawara. Iwatsuki Domain and Oshi Domain founded in Musashi Province.

Historical districts

Musashi Province had 21 districts and then added one later.

See also


  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'yosh? and the Fudoki and the distribution of the Ainu language in the Japanese islands in prehistory" Archived 2013-04-13 at
  3. ^ There are dialectical words of Ainu origin in the Tohoku region where si corresponds to Hokkaido Ainu hi[]
  4. ^ Vovin, Alexander (2008). "Man'y?sh? to Fudoki ni Mirareru Fushigina Kotoba to J?dai Nihon Retto ni Okeru Ainugo no Bunpu". Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenky? Sent?.
  5. ^ "Map of Bush? Toshima District, Edo". World Digital Library. Retrieved 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. ^ Hall, John; Jansen, Marius; Kanai, Madoka; Twitchett, Denis. The Cambridge History of Japan. Volume 1: Ancient Japan (1st ed.).
  9. ^ Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukansh?, p. 271.
  10. ^ a b c Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 63., p. 63, at Google Books


External links

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