Bitchū Province

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Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Bitchū Province highlighted

Bitchū Province (備中国, Bitchū no kuni) was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture.[1] It was sometimes called Bishū (備州), with Bizen and Bingo Provinces; those three provinces were settled in the late 7th Century, dividing former Kibi Province. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces.

The ancient capital and temples were built around Sōja. For much of the Muromachi Period, the province was dominated by the Hosokawa clan, who resided in Shikoku and allowed the province a degree of independence. By the Sengoku Period, other clans fought over Bitchu, and Oda Nobunaga and Mōri Terumoto were fighting in the province when Oda died, leading to a division of the province. After 1600, the province was divided among a variety of han (fiefs), and included a number of castles. By the time the provinces were reorganized into prefectures, the dominant city was the port, Kurashiki.

Shrines and temples[edit]

Kibitsu jinja was the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of Bitchū. [2]

Historical districts[edit]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Bitchū" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 77, p. 77, at Google Books.
  2. ^ "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 3 Archived 2013-05-17 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-11-20.


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links[edit]

Media related to Bitchu Province at Wikimedia Commons