Suruga Province
was an old province
Provinces of Japan
Before the modern prefecture system was established, the land of Japan was divided into tens of kuni , usually known in English as provinces. Each province was divided into gun ....

 in the area that is today the central part of Shizuoka prefecture
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

. It was sometimes called . Suruga bordered on Izu
Izu Province
was a province of Japan in the area of Shizuoka Prefecture. Izu bordered on Sagami and Suruga Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was .The mainland portion of Izu Province, comprising the Izu Peninsula is today the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture and the Izu Islands are now part of...

, Kai
Kai Province
, also known as , is an old province in Japan in the area of Yamanashi Prefecture. It lies in central Honshū, west of Tokyo, in a landlocked mountainous region that includes Mount Fuji along its border with Shizuoka Prefecture....

, Sagami
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

, Shinano
Shinano Province
or is an old province of Japan that is now present day Nagano Prefecture.Shinano bordered on Echigo, Etchū, Hida, Kai, Kōzuke, Mikawa, Mino, Musashi, Suruga, and Tōtōmi Provinces...

, and Tōtōmi
Totomi Province
was a province of Japan in the area of Japan that is today western Shizuoka Prefecture. Tōtōmi bordered on Mikawa, Suruga and Shinano Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was .-History:...

 provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 through Suruga Bay
Suruga Bay
Suruga Bay is a bay on the Pacific coast of Honshū in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is situated north of an imaginary line joining Omaezaki Point and Irōzaki Point at the tip of the Izu Peninsula and surrounded by Honshū to the southwest and west and the Izu Peninsula to the east.-Geology:Suruga...



Suruga was one of the original provinces of Japan established in the Nara period
Nara period
The of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Gemmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō . Except for 5 years , when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kammu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784...

 under the Taihō Code
Taiho Code
The was an administrative reorganization enacted in 701 in Japan, at the end of the Asuka period. It was historically one of the . It was compiled at the direction of Prince Osakabe, Fujiwara no Fuhito and Awata no Mahito...

. The original capital of the province was located in what is now Numazu
Numazu, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 205,636 and a population density of 1,100 persons per km². The total area was 187.11 km².- Geography:...

 , which also had the Kokubun-ji
Provincial temple
Emperor Shōmu of Japan established so-called provincial temples in each province of Japan...

 and the Ichinomiya (Mishima Taisha
Mishima Taisha
The is a Shinto shrine in the city of Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is the ichinomiya of former Izu Province. The main festival of the shrine is held annually on August 16, and features yabusame performances.-Enshrined kami:...

) of the province. Under the Engishiki
-History:In 905 Emperor Daigo ordered the compilation of a new set of laws. Fujiwara no Tokihira began the task, but work stalled when he died four years later in 909. His brother Fujiwara no Tadahira continued the work in 912 eventually completing it in 927...

classification system, Suruga was ranked as a "major country" (上国) , and was governed by a Kuni no miyatsuko
Kuni no miyatsuko
Kuni no miyatsuko were officials in ancient Japan at the time of the Yamato court.They were in charge of provinces , although it is not always very clear what those provinces were...


In a 680 AD cadastral reform, the districts forming Izu Province were administratively separated from Suruga, and the provincial capital was relocated to the right bank of the Abe River
Abe River
The is a river in Shizuoka Prefecture of central Japan. It is long and has a watershed of .The river rises from Akaishi Mountains which stretch over the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, and flows into Suruga Bay in the Pacific Ocean)...

 in what is now Shizuoka City
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...


Records of Suruga during the Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

 are sparse, but during the Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, Suruga was under direct control of the Hōjō clan
Hojo clan
See the late Hōjō clan for the Hōjō clan of the Sengoku Period.The in the history of Japan was a family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken of the Kamakura Shogunate. In practice, the family had actual governmental power, many times dictatorial, rather than Kamakura shoguns, or the...

, and with the development of the Kamakura Shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

 came increased traffic on the Tōkaidō road
Tokaido (road)
The ' was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo period, connecting Edo to Kyoto in Japan. Unlike the inland and less heavily travelled Nakasendō, the Tōkaidō travelled along the sea coast of eastern Honshū, hence the route's name....

  connecting Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

 with Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

. The province came under the control of the Imagawa clan
Imagawa clan
The was a Japanese clan that claimed descent from Emperor Seiwa . It was a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Ashikaga clan.-Origins:Ashikaga Kuniuji, grandson of Ashikaga Yoshiuji, established himself in the 13th century at Imagawa and took its name.Imagawa Norikuni received from his cousin the...

 for much of the Sengoku period
Sengoku period
The or Warring States period in Japanese history was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The name "Sengoku" was adopted by Japanese historians in reference...

, and the Imagawa made efforts to introduce the customs and rituals of the kuge
The was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo...

aristocracy to their capital. After Imagawa Yoshimoto
Imagawa Yoshimoto
was one of the leading daimyo in the Sengoku period Japan. Based in Suruga Province, he was one of the three daimyo that dominated the Tōkaidō region. He was one of the dominant daimyo in Japan for a time, until his death in 1560....

 was defeated by Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 at the Battle of Okehazama
Battle of Okehazama
The took place in June 1560. In this battle, Oda Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto and established himself as one of the front-running warlords in the Sengoku period.-Background:...

, the province taken by Takeda Shingen
Takeda Shingen
, of Kai Province, was a preeminent daimyo in feudal Japan with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period.-Name:Shingen was called "Tarō" or "Katsuchiyo" during his childhood...

 of Kai, and in turn by Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

 from Mikawa
Mikawa Province
is an old province in the area that today forms the eastern half of Aichi Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Mikawa bordered on Owari, Mino, Shinano, and Tōtōmi Provinces....

 and Tōtōmi.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 forced the Tokugawa to exchange their domains for the provinces of the Kantō region
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

, and reassigned Sumpu Castle to one of his retainers, Nakamura Kazuichi. However, after the defeat of the Toyotomi at the Battle of Sekigahara
Battle of Sekigahara
The , popularly known as the , was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 which cleared the path to the Shogunate for Tokugawa Ieyasu...

, Tokugawa Ieyasu recovered his former domains, and made Sumpu Castle his home after he formally retired from the position of Shōgun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...


During the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

, Suruga prospered due to its location on the Tōkaidō, and numerous post towns developed. The Tokugawa Shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the and the , was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which is now called Tokyo, after the name was...

 forbid the construction of bridges on the major rivers of Suruga Province (such as the Ōi River
Oi River
The is a river in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.-Geography:The Ōi River flows from the Akaishi Mountains, the branch of the Japanese Southern Alps which form the border between Shizuoka, Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures. These mountains, with peaks ranging from 2000–3000 meters, are characterized by...

) for defensive purposes, which further led to town development on the major river crossings.

At the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Suruga Province was divided among several Domains:
Domain Daimyo Revenue (koku
The is a Japanese unit of volume, equal to ten cubic shaku. In this definition, 3.5937 koku equal one cubic metre, i.e. 1 koku is approximately 278.3 litres. The koku was originally defined as a quantity of rice, historically defined as enough rice to feed one person for one year...

Numazu Domain
Numazu Domain
' was a Japanese feudal domain of the Edo period, located in Suruga Province. Numazu was a Fudai domain. It was centered on what is now the city of Numazu, Shizuoka.-History:...

Mizuno 50,000 fudai
Tanaka Domain
Tanaka Domain
' was a tozama Japanese feudal domain of the Edo period, located in Suruga Province, centered on what is now Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture...

Honda 40,000 fudai
Ojima Domain
Ojima Domain
was a Japanese feudal domain of the Edo period, located in Suruga Province. Ojima was a Fudai domain. It was centered on what is now the Ojima district of Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka.-History:...

Matsudaira (Takiwaki) 10,000 fudai

During this period, the major urban center of Sumpu remained a tenryō territory, administered directly the Shōgun by the Sumpu jōdai.

After the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

 of 1868, the last Tokugawa Shōgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
was the 15th and last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He was part of a movement which aimed to reform the aging shogunate, but was ultimately unsuccessful...

 returned to Suruga to rule the short-lived Shizuoka Domain until the abolition of the han system
Abolition of the han system
The was an act, in 1871, of the new Meiji government of the Empire of Japan to replace the traditional feudal domain system and to introduce centralized government authority . This process marked the culmination of the Meiji Restoration in that all daimyo were required to return their authority...

 in 1871. Suruga was subsequently merged with the neighboring provinces of Tōtōmi and Izu (less the Izu Islands
Izu Islands
The are a group of volcanic islands stretching south and east from the Izu Peninsula of Honshū, Japan. Administratively, they form two towns and six villages; all part of Tokyo. The largest is Izu Ōshima, usually called simply Ōshima....

) to form modern Shizuoka Prefecture
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

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