Owari Province

Owari Province
Owari Province in 1868.

Owari Province

Owari Province (尾張国) was once a Province of Japan, located in what is now Aichi Prefecture. Created in 646 under the Kokugun System3, it is one of the 15 Provinces traversed by the Tokaido Road.13 This Province is also known as Bishū (尾州).3

Legendary Period

It was apparently the home of Princess Miyazu Hime, the wife of the legendary Yamato Takeru.2

Nara Period

During this period we know the Priest Manzei was made General of Owari, Mikawa and Shinano Provinces.4

Later Periods

The area developed as the early site of the Atsuta Shrine. From the 12th century onwards it came under the domain of shugo (military governor) such as the Hatakeyama Family, Imagawa Family, Shiba Family and Oda Family.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi is known to have come from Owari.

One of Tokugawa Ieyasu‘s sons established a headquarters in Owari at Nagoya Castle.

The area flourished as a major center for rice, cotton, sake and ceramics known as seto ware.

In 1871 Owari was combined with Mikawa Province to form Aichi Prefecture.3


1. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
2. Littleton. C.S. (1995) “Yamato-takeru: An Arthurian Hero in Japanese Tradition”. Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 54, No.2, pp.259-274.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
4. Miller, R. A.. (1981) “The Lost Poetic Sequence of the Priest Manzei”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.36 No.2 pp.133-172

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Owari Province