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Shimotsuke Province facts for kids

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Provinces of Japan-Shimotsuke
Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Shimotsuke Province highlighted

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. It was sometimes called Yashū (野州) or Shimotsuke-shū (下野州).

The ancient capital city of the province was near Tochigi.

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


Hiroshige Shimotsuke Nikko
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.

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


  • 1150 (Kyūan 6, 12th month): Minamoto-no Yoshikane, the head of the Ashikaga clan, was established in Shimotsuke Province.
  • 1627 (Kan'ei 4): Inaba Masanari took control of Mōka Domain in Shimotsuke.
  • 1672 (Kanbun 12): Itakura Shigenori was given the fief of Kasuyama Domain in Shimotsuke.
  • 1725 (Kyōhō 10): A cadet branch of the Ōkubo clan was established in Karasuyama Domain in Shimotsuke, where they stayed until the Meiji Restoration.

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

Shrines and Temples

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

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