Yamato Province (大和国, Yamato no Kuni) was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū.[1] It was also called Washū (和州). Yamato consists of two characters, 大 "great", and 和 "Wa". At first, the name was written with one different character (), but due to its offensive connotation, for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters () (see Names of Japan). The final revision was made in the second year of the Tenpyō-hōji era (c. 758). It is classified as a great province in the Engishiki.

Yamato Province
Province of Japan
7th century–1871

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Yamato Province highlighted
CapitalTakaichi District
• Established
7th century
• Disestablished
Today part ofNara Prefecture

The Yamato Period in the history of Japan refers to the late Kofun Period (c. 250–538) and Asuka Period (538–710). Japanese archaeologists and historians emphasize the fact that during the early Kofun Period the Yamato Kingship was in close contention with other regional powers, such as Kibi Province near present-day Okayama Prefecture. Around the 6th century, the local chieftainship gained national control and established the Imperial court in Yamato Province.

The battleship Yamato, the flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet during World War II, was named after this ancient province.



During the Kofun period (300 to 538) and the Asuka period, many palace capitals were located in Kashihara, Asuka, and Sakurai. Yamato was the first central government of the unified country in the Kofun period.[2] Heijō-kyō capital was placed in Nara City during the Nara period.

In the 14th century, the capital of the Southern Court was established in Yoshino and Anou.



The provincial temple for monks is popularly thought to have been Tōdai-ji, but it may have in fact been a different one in Kashihara. The one for nuns was Hokke-ji.

The primary shinto shrine was Sakurai's Ōmiwa Shrine, but there have been no records stating as such found at the shrine itself. There were no secondary shrines. The sōja (or principal Shinto shrine in the province) was Kokufu Shrine (Takatori, Takaichi, Nara).

Kami of Yamato



Ancient Medieval 1 April 1896 Modern
Sofu (曾布) Sofu no Kami no Kōri Soekami-gun Soekami-gun Nara-shi, Tenri-shi
Sofu no Shimo no Kōri Soejimo-gun Ikoma-gun Yamatokōriyama-shi, Ikoma-shi, Ikoma-gun
Heguri no Kōri Heguri-gun
Hirose no Kōri Hirose-gun Kitakatsuragi-gun Yamatotakada-shi, Kashiba-shi, Katsuragi-shi, Kitakatsuragi-gun
Katsuragi (葛城) Katsuragi no Shimo no Kōri Katsuge-gun
Katsuragi no Kami no Kōri Katsujō-gun Minamikatsuragi-gun Gose-shi
Oshimi no Kōri Oshimi-gun
Uchi no Kōri Uchi-gun Uchi-gun Gojō-shi
Yoshino no Kōri Yoshino-gun Yoshino-gun Gojō-shi, Yoshino-gun
Uda no Kōri Uda-gun Uda-gun Uda-shi, Uda-gun
Shiki (磯城) Shiki no Kami no Kōri Shikijō-gun Shiki-gun Tenri-shi, Kashihara-shi, Sakurai-shi, Shiki-gun
Shiki no Shimo no Kōri Shikige-gun
Toichi no Kōri Toichi-gun
Takaichi no Kōri Takaichi-gun Takaichi-gun Kashihara-shi, Takaichi-gun
Yamabe no Kōri Yamabe-gun Yamabe-gun Tenri-shi, Nara-shi, Yamabe-gun

See also



  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric (2005). "Yamato" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1046, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Henshall, Kenneth (2012). A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-230-34662-8.



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