Musashi Province (武蔵国, 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 Bushū (武州). The province encompassed Kawasaki and Yokohama. Musashi bordered on Kai, Kōzuke, Sagami, Shimōsa, and Shimotsuke Provinces.

Map of Japanese provinces with province highlighted

Musashi was the largest province in the Kantō region.



Musashi had its ancient capital in modern Fuchū, 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[2] 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; [3] and there are many branch shrines.[4]

The former province gave its name to the battleship Musashi of the Second World War.

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.[5]
  • July 18, 707 (Keiun 4, 15th day of the 6th month): Empress Genmei is enthroned at the age of 48.[6]
Wadōkaichin monument in Saitama
  • 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 Genmei; 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 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 Genmei'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. 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. ^ "Map of Bushū Toshima District, Edo". World Digital Library. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 3.; retrieved 2011-08-09
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Hikawa-jinja" at p. 311, p. 311, at Google Books.
  5. ^ Hall, John; Jansen, Marius; Kanai, Madoka; Twitchett, Denis. The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 1: Ancient Japan (1st ed.).
  6. ^ Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 271.
  7. ^ a b c Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 63., p. 63, at Google Books