Sagami Province

Sagami Province
Sagami Province in 1868.

Sagami Province

Sagami Province (相模国) was an old Province in Japan, situated in what is now Kanagawa Prefecture, established during the Taika Reforms in 645.4

This area is called Sagami in the Kojiki1, but Suruga in the Nihongi2.

Legendary Period

Yamato Takeru travelled through here on his way to subduing the Emishi. Here he encounters a chieftain there who tries to kill him in a grass fire. Takeru mows the grass around him with the sword Kusanagi, lighting a back fire to escape and then kills the chieftain.3

Later Periods

During the Heian Period many large estates (shōen) in this area came under the control of local magnates, and these followers were later important during the formation of the Kamakura Shogunate in 1192 by Minamoto no Yorimoto. The later shogunal government, located at Kamakura flourished as an economic and cultural center.

By the Muromachi Period the capital had been moved to Kyoto leading to Sagami becoming the administrative center for 10 Provinces.

The Sengoku Period saw the Sengoku Daimyō of the Gō-Hōjō Family establish a headquarters in this Province at Odawara.

The province finally fell under the control of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo Period.4

Footnotes

1. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
2. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
3. Littleton. C.S. (1995) “Yamato-takeru: An Arthurian Hero in Japanese Tradition”. Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 54, No.2, pp.259-274.
4. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.

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Sagami Province