Yamato Province

Yamato Province
Yamato Province.

Yamato Province

Yamato Province (大和国) was an old Province of Japan, located in what is now Nara Prefecture.12


During its inception, when the Kokugen System came into effect, it stayed as the centre of government and culture from the 4th century until 784. It then moved to Yamashiro Province and the city of Nagaokakyō.1

Legendary Period

The Jinnō Shōtōki relates during the reign of Emperor Sujin he summoned the kami Ishikoridome and a descendant of Amatsumara to the village of Uda in this province to fashion a new Sacred Mirror and Sword.

The originals were then entrusted to Toyosukiiribime who built a sacred enclosure in Kasanui in Yamato to worship them in.4

Kofun Period

It is likely the Haji Clan came from Izumo to Yamato during the 5th century as the Yamato Court arose here. Legends say they came directly, but archaeological evidence shows they slowly emmigrated leaving settlements in Mimasaka and Harima Province.3 The Abe Clan was also based here.1

Heian Period

By the time of the Heian period the province came under control of the Kōfukuji, Tōdaiji and other great temples.1

Kamakura and Muromachi Period

During the Kamakura and Muromachi period it is known that Shugo (Provincial Contables) were not appointed here by the shogunate and so this area remained under the control of Kōfukuji. Due to this, Samurai forces here expanded under the temple’s influence.

In 1576 Oda Nobunaga finally appointed a shugo to this province.1

Edo Period

After the start of the Edo Period, the Province was divided into 7 domains with the city of Nara administered by a shogunal commissioner (Bugyō).1


1. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
2. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
3. Borgen, R. (1975) “The Origins of the Sugawara. A History of the Haji Family”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.30 No.4 pp.405-422
4. Varley, H.P (1980) “A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa.” New York: Columbia University Press.

Former Provinces of Japan
KinaiIzumi * Kawachi * Settsu * Yamashiro * Yamato
TōsandōDewa * Hida * Kōzuke * Mino * Mutsu * Omi * Shimotsuke * Shinano
HokurikudōEchigo * Echizen * Etchū * Kaga * Koshi * Wakasa
San’indōHōki * Inaba * Izumo * Tajima * Tamba * Tango
TōkaidōIse * Kai * Kazusa * Mikawa * Owari * Sagami * Shimōsa * Suruga * Tōtōmi
NankaidōAwa * Iyo * Kii * Sanuki * Tosa
San’yōdōAki * Harima * Mimasaka
SaikaidaōBungo * Chikuzen * Hizen * Hyūga * Iki * Tsushima
Pre-Taihō CodeKibi

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