Ōmi Province

province of Japan

Ōmi Province (近江国, Ōmi no kuni) is an old province of Japan in the area of Shiga Prefecture on the island of Honshū.[1] It was also known as Gōshū (江州).

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Omi Province highlighted

The ancient capital city of the province was near Ōtsu.[2]

Lake Biwa in Ōmi is Japan's largest lake.[3]


This ukiyo-e by Hiroshige illustrates the sailboats at Yahashi, one of the Eight Views of Ōmi, circa 1834

In the Kamakura period, Hōjō Tokimasa was made daimyo of Ōmi in 1200 (Shōji 2).[4]

In the Sengoku Period, the northern part of the province was the fief of Ishida Mitsunari. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Ōmi was controlled by the Ii clan who built the castle and town of Hikone.

In the Edo period, the Tōkaidō road was the main route between the Imperial capital at Kyoto and the main city of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The road passed through Ōmi.[5]

Eight of the 69 Stations of the Nakasendō were in Ōmi.

In the Meiji period, the provinces of Japan were converted into prefectures. The maps of Japan and Ōmi Province were reformed in the 1870s.[6]

Shrines and Temples


Takebe taisha was the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of Ōmi. [7]

Enryaku-ji is one of the most important Buddhist centers. The monastery is on Mount Hiei (Hieizan).[8]



  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ōmi" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 750.
  2. Nussbaum, "Ōtsu" at p. 765.
  3. Nussbaum, "Biwa-ko" at p. 78.
  4. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 224.
  5. Nussbaum, "Tōkaidō" at p. 973.
  6. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780.
  7. "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 2 Archived 2013-05-17 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-1-16.
  8. Nussbaum, "Hiei-zan" at p. 308.

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