Shimōsa Province

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Simosa Province)
Shimōsa Province
Province of Japan
7th century–1871

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Shimōsa Province highlighted
CapitalKōnodai (Ichikawa City)
• Established
7th century
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Fusa Province
Chiba Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture
Today part ofChiba Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture (as well as small parts of Saitama Prefecture and Tokyo)

Shimōsa Province (下総国, Shimōsa no Kuni) was a province of Japan in the area of modern Chiba Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture as well as the bordering parts of Saitama Prefecture and Tokyo (the parts that used to be located east of the lower reaches of the old Tone River prior to the river's eastward diversion, i.e. the parts of the former Katsushika District of Shimōsa that have been transferred to North Katsushika District of Saitama Prefecture and Sumida, Kōtō, Edogawa, and Katsushika wards of Tokyo).[1] It lies to the north of the Bōsō Peninsula (房総半島), whose name takes its first kanji from the name of Awa Province and its second from Kazusa and Shimōsa Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was Sōshū (総州) or Hokusō (北総).

Shimōsa is classified as one of the provinces of the Tōkaidō. It was bordered by Kazusa Province to the south, Musashi and Kōzuke Provinces to the west, and Hitachi and Shimotsuke Provinces to the north. Under the Engishiki classification system, Shimōsa was ranked as a "great country" (大国) and a far country (遠国).


Shimōsa was originally part of a larger territory known as Fusa Province (総国, occasionally 捄国, Fusa-no-kuni), which was divided into "upper" and "lower" portions (i.e. Kazusa and Shimōsa) during the reign of Emperor Kōtoku (645–654). It was well-known to the Imperial Court in Nara period Japan for its fertile lands, and is mentioned in Nara period records as having supplied hemp to the Court. Shimōsa was divided into 11 (later 12) counties. The exact location of the capital of Shimōsa is not precisely known, but is believed to have been somewhere within the borders of the modern city of Ichikawa, Chiba, near Kōnodai Station where the ruins of the Kokubun-ji have been located. However, the Ichinomiya of Shimōsa Province is the Katori Jingū in what is now the city of Katori, Chiba, on the opposite coast of the province.

During the Heian period, the province was divided into numerous shōen controlled by local samurai clans, primarily the Chiba clan, which sided with Minamoto no Yoritomo in the Genpei War. During the Kamakura period, much of the province was under the control of the Chiba clan. By the early Muromachi period, the area was a highly contested region highly fragmented by various samurai clans. By the Sengoku period, the Later Hōjō clan held sway following the Battle of Kōnodai (1538) against the Ashikaga clan and the Satomi clan.

Following the installation of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Edo, after the Battle of Odawara, he created eleven han within the borders of Shimōsa to reward his followers, with the remaining area retained as tenryō territory owned directly by the shōgun and administered by various hatamoto. The entire province had an assessed revenue of 681,062 koku. Following the Meiji Restoration, these various domains and tenryō territories were transformed into short-lived prefectures in July 1871 by the abolition of the han system. Most of Shimōsa Province became part of the new Chiba Prefecture on June 15, 1873, with four districts (Yūki, Toyoda, Sashima, Okada) going to the new Ibaraki Prefecture and the portion to the west of the Edogawa River going to the new Saitama Prefecture.

Historical districts[edit]

The area of former Shimōsa Province was organized into twelve districts by the Meiji cadastral reforms: Chiba, Inba, Katori, Kaijō, Shimohabu. Sōsa, Okada, Sashima, Toyoda, Yūki, Sōma and Katsushika.

Edo-period domains in Shimōsa Province[edit]

Hiroshige's View of Kōnodai in Shimōsa-specifically, the then-village of Ichikawa, Chiba
Domain Daimyō Dates Revenue (koku) Type
Koga Domain (古河藩) Doi 1590–1871 80,000 fudai
Sakura Domain (佐倉藩) Hotta 1590–1871 110,000 fudai
Yūki Domain (結城藩) Mizuno 1590–1871 18,000 fudai
Sekiyado Domain (関宿藩) Kuze 1590–1871 43,000 fudai
Oyumi Domain (生実藩) Morikawa 1627–1871 10,000 fudai
Takaoka Domain (高岡藩) Inoue 1640–1871 10,000 fudai
Tako Domain (多胡藩) Matsudaira (Hisamatsu) 1713–1871 10,000 fudai
Omigawa Domain (小見川藩) Uchida 1594–1871 10,000 fudai
Sogano Domain (曾我野藩) Toda 1871–1871 12,000 fudai
Yahagi Domain (矢作藩) Miura 1590–1639 10,000 fudai
Iwatomori Domain (岩富藩) Hōjō 1590–1613 10,000 fudai
Moriya Domain (守谷藩) Toki 1590–1617 10,000 fudai
Yamazaki Domain (下総山崎藩) Okabe 1590–1609 12,000 fudai
Kurihara Domain (栗原藩) Naruse 1600–1638 16,000 fudai
Usui Domain (臼井藩) Sakai 1690–1604 30,000 fudai
Yamakawa Domain (山川藩) Ōta 1635–1638 15,600 fudai
Ōwa Domain (大輪藩) Doi 1658–1677 10,000 fudai



  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
  • Papinot, Edmond. (1910). Historical and Geographic Dictionary of Japan. Tokyo: Librarie Sansaisha. OCLC 77691250

External links[edit]

Media related to Shimosa Province at Wikimedia Commons