Ōsumi Province

Ōsumi Province (大隅国 Ōsumi no Kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the eastern part of Kagoshima Prefecture.[1] It was sometimes called Gūshū (隅州). Ōsumi bordered on Hyūga and Satsuma Provinces.

Osumi's ancient capital was near modern Kokubu. During the Sengoku and Edo periods, Ōsumi was controlled by the Shimazu clan of neighboring Satsuma and did not develop a major administrative center.

The Ōsumi region has developed its own distinct local dialect. Although Ōsumi is part of Kagoshima Prefecture today, this dialect is different from that spoken in the city of Kagoshima. There is a notable cultural pride in traditional poetry written in Ōsumi and Kagoshima dialects.

Japan's first satellite, Ōsumi, was named after the province.

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

Historical record

In the 3rd month of the 6th year of the Wadō era (713), the land of Ōsumi Province was administratively separated from Hyūga Province. In that same year, Empress Genmei's Daijō-kan continued to organize other cadastral changes in the provincial map of the Nara period.[2]

Historical districts

  • Kagoshima Prefecture
    • Aira District (姶良郡) - absorbed Kuwabara and Nishisoo Districts on March 29, 1896
    • Gomu District (馭謨郡) - merged into Kumage District on March 29, 1896
    • Hishikari District (菱刈郡) - merged with Kitaisa District (北伊佐郡) of Satsuma Province to become the 2nd incarnation of Isa District (伊佐郡) on March 29, 1896
    • Kimotsuki District (肝属郡) - absorbed Minamiōsumi District on March 29, 1896
    • Kumage District (熊毛郡) - absorbed Gomu District on March 29, 1896
    • Kuwabara District (桑原郡) - was merged into Aira District (along with Nishisoo District) on March 29, 1896
    • Ōshima District (大島郡)
    • Ōsumi District (大隅郡)
      • Kitaōsumi District (北大隅郡) - merged into Kagoshima District (鹿児島郡) of Satsuma Province (along with Taniyama District (谿山郡) of Satsuma Province) on March 29, 1896
      • Minamiōsumi District (南大隅郡) - merged into Kimotsuki District on March 29, 1896
    • Soo District (囎唹郡)
      • Higashisoo District (東囎唹郡) - merged with Minamimorokata District (南諸県郡) (formerly from Miyazaki Prefecture) to become the 2nd incarnation of Soo District (曽於郡; as of 1972) on March 29, 1896
      • Nishisoo District (西囎唹郡) - was merged into Aira District (along with Kuwabura District) on March 29, 1896


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ōsumi" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 762, p. 762, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 64., p. 64, at Google Books


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon (Nihon Ōdai Ichiran). Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691.

Other websites

Media related to Osumi Province at Wikimedia Commons

Administrative divisions of the Ryukyu Kingdom

The administrative divisions of the Ryukyu Kingdom were a hierarchy composed of districts, magiri, cities, villages, and islands established by the Ryukyu Kingdom throughout the Ryukyu Islands.

Bizen Province

Bizen Province (備前国, Bizen-no kuni) was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called Bishū (備州), with Bitchū and Bingo Provinces. Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces.

Bizen's original center was in the modern city of Okayama. From an early time Bizen was one of Japan's main centers for sword smithing.

Hayato rebellion

The Hayato rebellion (隼人の反乱, Hayato no hanran) (720–721) was a rebellion of the Hayato of southern Kyushu against the Yamato dynasty of Japan during the Nara period. After a year and a half of fighting, the Hayato were defeated, and the Imperial court established its rule over southern Kyushu.

Hyūga Province

Hyūga Province (日向国, Hyūga no kuni) was an old province of Japan on the east coast of Kyūshū, corresponding to the modern Miyazaki Prefecture. It was sometimes called Nisshū (日州) or Kōshū (向州). Hyūga bordered on Bungo, Higo, Ōsumi, and Satsuma Province.

The ancient capital was near Saito.

Itō clan

The Itō clan (伊東氏, Itō-shi) are a Japanese clan that claimed descent from Fujiwara Korekimi (727–789) and Kudō Ietsugu.Itō Suketoki (the son of Kudō Suketsune), was famous for his involvement in the incident involving the Soga brothers. The family became a moderate power both in influence and ability by the latter Sengoku period of Feudal Japan.

After the death of Sukeie in 1181, Sukechika inherited Kawazu Domain in Izu Province. When his uncle Suketsugu neared death, he made Sukechika the guardian of his son Suketsune, who became the head of the Itō Domain in Izu.In the Muromachi period and the Sengoku period,

Yoshisuke, who was the descendant of Suketsune, inherited Agata Domain in Hyūga Province in 1584

Suketaka (1541–1600), who was the son of Yoshisuke, supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi after the death of Oda Nobunaga; and he was granted land in Kawachi Province. After the Kyushu Campaign in 1587, the lands were merged into Hyuga Province and Obi Domain (50,000 koku)

Sukeyoshi (1588–1636), who was the son of Suketaka, fought at the Battle of Sekigahara. His descendants remaining at Obi until the Meiji Restoration.

A cadet branch of the clan were heads of Okada Domain (10,000 koku) in Bitchū Province from 1615 until 1868The Itō family's most serious rivals in this period were the Shimazu. The Shimazu clan, which had unified Satsuma Province and Ōsumi Province under their control, began to clash with the Itō in 1570. The Itō were finally defeated by the Shimazu in 1578. Yoshisuke, the family head, went to Kyoto by way of Iyo Province, and sought help from Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The family's old lands were restored in 1587, following Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasion of Kyushu and defeat of the Shimazu clan. By the Edo period, the Itō retained their holdings, which came to be known as the Obi Domain.

Count Itō Sukeyuki, the Meiji era admiral, was a descendant of this family.

Kimotsuki Kanetsugu

Kimotsuki Kanetsugu (肝付 兼続, 1511 – December 26, 1566) was the sixteenth head of the Kimotsuki family and the son of Kimotsuki Kaneoki. Kanetsugu was a skilled and smart leader but his domain happened to be next to that of the most powerful clan in Kyūshū, Shimazu clan and Kimotsuki family would be crushed by them.

He killed his uncle Kimotsuki Kaneshu to become the head of the clan after his father, Kaneoki, died.

Kanetsugu believed that maintaining a good relationship with the neighboring Shimazu clan was essential to the clan's survival and had the eldest daughter of Shimazu Tadayoshi as his wife as well as having his sister marry Shimazu Takahisa. On the other hand, he moved to unify Ōsumi Province and captured Takaoka Castle in 1538 to capture the majority of the province. On 1533, he had his son Kimotsuki Yoshikane take over the clan and retired but still held onto most of the actual power.

In 1561, the relationship between his clan and Shimazu collapsed and Kanetsugu allied with Itō clan of Hyūga Province to counter Shimazu. In the same year, he repelled invading Shimazu troops with much success and killed the younger brother of Takahisa, Shimazu Tadamasa. Knowing that there was no turning back, Kanetsugu tried to divorce his wife who was of Shimazu clan, but she did not agree and declined the offer.

In 1562, Kanetsugu and his troops captured Shibushi district to hold the largest domain. In 1566, Shimazu clan massed its army and invaded again capturing Kōyama Castle as well as most of Kimotsuki's domains. The desperate Kanetsugu committed suicide near Shibushi area where he had a small castle to which he had retired.

List of Han

The List of Han or domains in the Tokugawa period (1603 – 1868) was changed from time to time during the Edo period. Han were feudal domains that formed the effective basis of administration in Tokugawa-era Japan. The Han are given according to their domain seat/castle town by modern region (-chihō, roughly comparable to ancient circuits, -dō) and ancient province (kuni/-shū, roughly comparable to modern prefectures, -to/-dō/-fu/-ken). Han usually comprised territories around/near the capital, but were beyond that in many cases disconnected and distributed over several provinces.

The han system was abolished by the Meiji government in 1871 when all remaining -han were transformed into -ken ("prefectures"). In several waves of mergers, splits and territorial transfers – the first major consolidation followed immediately in 1871/72 –, the prefectures were reorganized to encompass contiguous, compact territories, no longer resembling Edo period han, but in many cases territorially identical to provinces which had remained the most important primary geographical subdivision even during feudal times.

Nejime Shigenaga

Nejime Shigenaga (禰寝 重長, 1536 – 1580) was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period through Azuchi-Momoyama period. The son of Nejime Kiyotoshi, Shigenaga was a retainer of the Kimotsuki clan, and the 16th generation head of his family. He joined Kimotsuki Kanetsugu in the fight against the Shimazu in Ōsumi Province. However, following the Kimotsuki clan's defeat, Shigenaga saw that the family's position was untenable, so he independently concluded a peace agreement with Shimazu Yoshihisa. This incurred the wrath of Kimotsuki Kanesuke, who attacked him; however, the Shimazu were able to save Shigenaga from death. Later, Shigenaga became a retainer under Shimazu Yoshihisa, and assisted the Shimazu clan in issues of trade. Shigenaga is said to be the first person who encouraged the cultivation of mandarin oranges in Japan.

Shigenaga was the ancestor of Komatsu Tatewaki, the famous Bakumatsu-era senior councilor of Satsuma han.

Ohsumi (satellite)

Ōsumi (or Ohsumi) is the name of the first Japanese satellite put into orbit, named after the Ōsumi Province in the southern islands of Japan. It was launched on February 11, 1970 at 04:25 UTC with a Lambda 4S-5 rocket from Uchinoura Space Center by Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science, University of Tokyo, now part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Japan became the fourth nation after the USSR, United States and France to release an artificial satellite into successful orbit on its own.


Satsuma may refer to:

Satsuma (fruit), a citrus fruit

Satsuma (gastropod), a genus of land snails

Satsuma Province

Satsuma Province (薩摩国, Satsuma-no Kuni) was an old province of Japan that is now the western half of Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū. Its abbreviation is Sasshū (薩州).

Shimazu Estate

The Shimazu Estate (島津荘, Shimazu no shō) was a shōen (estate or manor) in southern Kyushu of Japan. It was the largest shōen of medieval Japan. The Shimazu clan was named after this estate as the clan succeeded the position of jitō (land steward).

Shimazu Yoshihisa

Shimazu Yoshihisa (島津義久, February 9, 1533 – March 5, 1611) was a daimyō of Satsuma Province and the eldest son of Shimazu Takahisa. His mother was a daughter of Iriki'in Shigesato (入来院重聡), Sesshō (雪窓). Shimazu Yoshihiro and Shimazu Toshihisa are his brothers. He is said to have been born in Izaku Castle in 1535.His childhood name was Torajumaru (虎寿丸) but he went by the name of Matasaburō (又三郎). On his coming-of-age (genpuku), he took the name of Tadayoshi(忠良) but after receiving a kanji from the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiteru, changed to Yoshitatsu (義辰). He later changed his name to Yoshihisa. He married his own aunt and after her death, married his relative, a daughter of Tanegashima Tokitaka.

In 1566, he succeeded his father as the head of Shimazu clan, becoming the clan's sixteenth leader. Working together with his brothers Yoshihiro, Toshihisa, and Shimazu Iehisa, he launched a campaign to unify Kyūshū. Starting in 1572 with the win against Itō clan at the battle of Kizaki, Yoshihisa would win victory after victory.

In 1578, he defeated the Ōtomo clan at the battle of Mimigawa, in 1583 against Ryūzōji clan, and on 1584 against the Aso clan. By the middle of the 1580s, the Shimazu clan controlled most of Kyūshū with the exception of Ōtomo's domain and a unification was not far into the future.

However, in 1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched a campaign to pacify Kyūshū with an overwhelming force of over 200,000, at least five times the number under Yoshihisa's troops, and Shimazu troop was driven back to Satsuma province where they were forced to surrender. Most of domains they had conquered were divided by Hideyoshi and the Shimazu clan managed to retain only Satsuma Province and Ōsumi Province. Yoshihisa shaved his head to surrender showing that he would become a Buddhist monk if his life was spared. His name as a monk was Ryūhaku (龍伯) but it is unclear whether he retired to have Yoshihiro rule. As a retainer under Hideyoshi, his younger brother Yoshihiro controlled troops, but it is believed that Yoshihisa still managed day-to-day affairs in the domain. Yoshihisa did not have a son to succeed him, so he had Yoshihiro's son, Shimazu Tadatsune marry the third daughter Kameju (亀寿) and adopted him as the successor.

After Hideyoshi made decision on Yoshihisa's domain, Yoshihisa was invited by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Fushimi Castle. It is said that after asked repeatedly by Ieyasu and his retainers on how he almost unified Kyūshū, Yoshihisa finally relented and said "My three younger brothers led by Yoshihiro as well as retainers like Niiro Tadamoto fought so well united under the same goal, I never had a chance to show bravery in a battle. I only had to wait in the Kagoshima Castle for news brought by messengers of their victories." After Yoshihisa left, Ieyasu told his retainers that "(Yoshihisa had, as) a general let retainers under him work to the best of their abilities. This is how a great general should be."

He died of an illness in 1611. His posthumous name was 貫明存忠庵主. He was buried at what had once been the site of Fukushoji in Kagoshima and there is still a tombstone along with all other leaders of the clan. There are also monuments built in his memory at Kokubun city, Ima Kumano Kannonji (今熊野観音寺) in Kyoto, and Koyasan. There is no portrait of Yoshihisa remaining but in Taiheiji at Kawauchi, Kagoshima, there is a bronze figure of Yoshihisa of the surrender against Hideyoshi that was made after he died.

His knowledge of culture is not widely known but he had Hosokawa Yusai teach him classic literatures and Kampaku Konoe Wakihisa who was skilled in waka and renga was said to have frequented Yoshihisa's house.

Siege of Oguchi Castle

The Siege of Oguchi Castle was fought in the year of 1569 when forces of the Shimazu clan besieged the Hishikari clan's castle of Oguchi in Ōsumi Province. The siege was successful and the castle fell to the Shimazu.

Tane Province

Tane Province (多禰国, Tane-no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area of Kagoshima Prefecture.

Tango Province

Tango Province (丹後国, Tango no Kuni) was an old province in the area that is today northern Kyoto Prefecture facing the Sea of Japan. Together with Tanba Province, Tango was sometimes called Tanshū (丹州). Tango bordered on Tajima, Tanba, and Wakasa provinces.

At various times both Maizuru and Miyazu were the capital and chief town of the province.

Tōma Jūchin

Tōma Pekumi Jūchin (当間 親雲上 重陳, 4 February 1591 – 16 May 1676) was a Japanese samurai of Satsuma Domain during Edo period, later became a bureaucrat of Ryukyu Kingdom.Tōma Jūchin was born to a Japanese clan, Ijichi-shi (伊地知氏) of Ōsumi Province, and was given the name Ijichi Tarōuemon (伊地知 太郎右衛門). He was a descendant Hatakeyama Shigetada.

In his early years, he was appointed as Yamato yokome (大和横目, "supervisor of Japan") and sent to Ryukyu. Later, he became a bureaucrat of Ryukyu in 1634, started to wear Ryukyuan clothes, and started to use Japanese style name (大和名, Yamatona) "Tōma Jūchin" and Chinese style name (唐名, Karana) "Hei Keishō" (平 啓祥).After Satsuma's invasion of Ryukyu in 1609, Ryukyu were getting poorer and poorer. Ryukyu had to borrowed money from Satsuma, but the debt was getting heavier and heavier and Ryukyu was unable to pay off it. Tōma Jūchin established government monopoly system of muscovado and turmeric in 1645, which alleviated the intense economic difficulties faced by the kingdom successfully. He also minted Hatome-sen (鳩目銭, "pigeon-eye coins") in 1656.

Wadō (era)

Wadō (和銅) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, "year name") after Keiun and before Reiki. This period spanned the years from January 708 through September 715. The reigning monarch was Empress Genmei.


Ōsumi can stand for:

Ōsumi Province, a former province of Japan

Ōsumi Peninsula

Ōsumi Islands, an archipelago at the northern end of the Ryukyu Islands

Ōsumi (satellite), the first Japanese satellite

Ōsumi class LST, a class of Japanese amphibious transport dock

Pre-Taihō Code


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