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Circuit (political division) facts for kids

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A circuit (道 ; Chinese: dào; Japanese: ) was an historical political division of T'ang China and Japan and Korea. In Korean, the same word (; do) is translated as "province".

China

Emperor Taizong divided China into parts which were called "circuits".

The organization of government and geography in T'ang China were merged in provinces (tao ) which were ten natural regions. In part, Tang history is about the changing balance between the provinces and a strong central government.

Japan

During the pre-modern era, Japan was divided into a central region and seven provincial regions or "circuits", including

  • Hokurikudō (北陸道 , literally, "North Land Circuit"), 7 provinces (kuni)
  • Nankaidō (南海道 , literally, "South Sea Circuit"), 6 provinces
  • Saikaidō (西海道 , literally, "West Sea Circuit"), 8 provinces
  • San'indō (山陰道 , literally, "Mountain-north Circuit"), 8 provinces
  • San'yōdō (山陽道 , literally, "Mountain-south Circuit"), 8 provinces
  • Tōkaidō (東海道 , literally, "East Sea Circuit"), 15 provinces
  • Tōsandō (東山道 , literally, "East Mountain Circuit"), 13 provinces

In the mid-19th century, the northern island of Ezo was settled, and renamed Hokkaidō (北海道 , literally, "North Mountain Circuit").

Hokkaido did not develop as a "circuit" in the traditional way. It became a prefecture. It had a name which was different from the other prefectures because of the suffix -dō.

Korea

After the late-10th century, the province (do) was the main subdivision of Korea.

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