Suruga-no-kuni : The Short Summary Of Suruga Province
Suruga-no-kuni was an administrative district in classic Japan. The area
of Suruga Province was located on the central part of Shizuoka Prefecture
. There was Kai Province (Yamanashi Prefecture) in the north, Izu Province
in the east, Totomi Province
in the west, and there was the Pacific Ocean lying in the south. Suruga-no-kuni
belonged to Tokai-do region, and it was counted as a upper grade and middle
distant country. The provincial government and the Kokubunji Temple of
Suruga might be in at Shizuoka city in Shizuoka prefecture. And Fujisan
Hongu Sengentaisya Shrine also in Fujinomiya city was registered as Ichinomiya
(the first shrine) of Suruga Province. First Izu-no-kuni east side of it
belonged to Suruga at Taika Reform in 645. In 680, Izu was registered as
a province, and the area belonged to Suruga was confirmed.
Late Heian Period
, there were many private estates owned by nobles in Kyoto, large temples
and shrines in Suruga Province, then many officers came from Kyoto and
managed the estates, finally most of them settled in and became powerful
local clans. Nobuyoshi Takeda at Kai Province was appointed as the military
governor of Suruga Province before the Battle Of Fujigawa River in 1180.
However, the position was taken over the head family of Hojo Clan in Kamakura
through Kamakura Period
. Suruga was very important region on the way from Kamakura to Kyoto. By the way, tea plantation started at Abegawa area by Enni a priest of Kenjinji Temple at Kamakura of Rinzai Sect of Buddhism in Kamakura Period.
In 1338, Norikkuni Imagawa was appointed the military governor of Suruga
Province by his achievement in the Battles at Genko and Kenmu in the Period of the Northern and the Southern Dynasties
, and the Imagawa Clan succeeded the position through most of Muromachi Period
. Suruga Province was the forefront to press samurai in Kamakura and east
Japan. While the conflicts between Muromachi Bakufu
and the government in Kamakura became aggressive, the Imagawa Clan fought
at several battles to surpress rebels in east, the Revolt of Zenshu Uesugi
in 1416 and Eikyo War 1439 were the famous achievement of the clan. During
under controlling of Yoshomoto Imagawa, Surga Proince was flourished, many
nobles and artists came to visit the province, and it was called 'the capital
in east' and 'Kyoto in east'. However, Yoshimoto was killed at the Battle
Of Okehazama by Nobunaga Oda
, the most popular sengoku busho
in Japan at Owari Province in 1560. After lost the battle, the power of
the Imagawa Clan decreased. In 1569, Shingen Takeda at Kai invaded to Suruga
and he conquered it. Moreover, in 1582, Ieyasu Tokugawa
gained the power to control Suruga after Nobunaga and he ruined the Takeda Clan. In 1590, Ieyasu moved to Edo
), then Kazuuji Nakamura and his son Kazutada a vassal of Hideyoshi Toyotomi
moved to Suruga. In 1600, Ieyasu won the Battle of Sekigahara and gained
the power to control Japan. He took back Suruga Province under his control.
Ieyasu Tokugawa lived in Suruga Province to administrate Japan as the retired
and still de facto Shogun until he died in 1616. Suruga Province was strategically
very important region to protect Edo. In addition, there were 12 post towns
on Tokaido road in the province, therefore many tourists and merchants
past these towns and spent much money there so Suruga Province was flourished
through Edo Period
, a specially famous town to cross Ooigawa River was crowded with thousands
people to wait for the fine days to cross it. Edo Bakufu gained very large
area to control directly with those strategic and economical reasons. And
Kojima Clan was set in east Suruga and Tanaka Clan was set in west to protect.
After Meiji Restoration, the classical districts were rebuilt, Suruga merged with Izu and Totomi to be Shizuoka prefecture in 1871.
Suruga Province is now famous for Ieyasu Tokugawa, Mt. Fuj and tea leaves.
Blue represents Tokai-do and No.30 in the map below is Suruga-no-kuni