Shimotsuke Province

province of Japan. Corresponding to what later became Tochigi Prefecture.

Shimotsuke Province (下野国, Shimotsuke-no kuni) is an old province of Japan in the area of Tochigi Prefecture on the island of Honshū.[1] It was sometimes called Yashū (野州) or Shimotsuke-shū (下野州).

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Shimotsuke Province highlighted

The ancient capital city of the province was near Tochigi.

Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb and shrine is at Nikkō, in Shimotsuke.[2]


Waterfall in Shimotsuke Province, woodblock print by Hiroshige, 1853

In the Nara period, Shimotsuke was part of Keno Province. This was changed in the reforms of the Taihō Code in 701.[3]

Parts of Shimotsuke were held by a several daimyo during the Sengoku period.



In the Meiji period, the provinces of Japan were converted into prefectures. Maps of Japan and Shimotsuke Province were reformed in the 1870s.[8]

Shrines and Temples


Futarasan jinja was the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of Shimotsuke. [9]



  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Shimotsuke" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 862.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 410.
  3. Tsunoda, Ryūsaku. (1951). Japan in the Chinese Dynastic Histories: Later Han through Ming dynasties, p. 18 n25.
  4. Titsingh, p. 187.
  5. Papinot, Edmund. (2003). "Inaba", Nobiliare du Japon, p. 15; Papinot, Jacques. (1906). Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie du Japon.
  6. Papinot, "Itakura", pp. 16-17.
  7. Papinot, "Ōkubo", p. 46.
  8. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780.
  9. "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 2 Archived 2013-05-17 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-1-17.

Other websites


  Media related to Shimotsuke Province at Wikimedia Commons