Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Sanuki Province highlighted

Sanuki Province (讃岐国, Sanuki-no kuni) was a province of Japan in the area of northeastern Shikoku.[1] Sanuki bordered on Awa to the south, and Iyo to the west. Its abbreviated form name was Sanshū (讃州). In terms of the Gokishichidō system, Sanuki was one of the provinces of the Nankaidō circuit. Under the Engishiki classification system, Sanuki was ranked as one of the "upper countries" (上国) in terms of importance, and one of the "middle countries" (中国) in terms of distance from the capital. The provincial capital was located in what is now the city of Sakaide, but its exact location was only identified in 2012. The ichinomiya of the province is the Tamura jinja located on the city of Takamatsu.[2]

Hiroshige ukiyo-e "Sanuki" in "Sixty-eight Views of the Provinces" (諸国六十八景)


In the Kojiki and other ancient texts, this area was called Iyorihiko (飯依比古), but was also called "Sanuki" under various spellings. Sanuki Province was formed by the Ritsuryo reforms. The Shiwaku Islands in the Seto Inland Sea were initially considered part of the province, but Shōdoshima and the Naoshima Islands were not transferred from Bizen Province until the Edo Period. In the Heian period, Sanuki was famous for its associations with the Buddhist monk Kūkai as both his birthplace and the place of his early upbringing. Later, the famed poet Sugawara no Michizane served as governor of the province from 886 to 890 AD. At the end of the Heian period, the Heike clan, which controlled maritime routes on the Seto Inland Sea, has Yashima as one of their main strongholds, but were defeated by Minamoto no Yoshitsune at the Battle of Yashima. In the Muromachi period, the area came under the control of the Hosokawa clan, who were appointed as shugo by the Ashikaga shogunate. However, in the Sengoku period, the Hosokawa were eclipsed by the Miyoshi clan. The Miyoshi were in turn invaded by Chōsokabe clan from Tosa Province and the Chōsokabe were in turn defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The province was awarded by Hideyoshi to his general Ikoma Chikamasa, who made Takamatsu Castle his stronghold.

In the Edo period, Sanuki was divided into five areas; three han, tenryō territory under direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate and a part of Tsuyama Domain whose headquarters was on Honshū.[3]

Bakumatsu period domains
Name Clan Type kokudaka
Takamatsu Domain Matsudaira clan Shinpan 120,000 koku
Marugame Domain Kyōgoku clan Tozama 50,000 koku
Tadotsu Domain Kyōgoku clan Tozama 10,000 koku

Per the early Meiji period Kyudaka kyuryo Torishirabe-chō (旧高旧領取調帳), an official government assessment of the nation’s resources, the province had 395 villages with a total kokudaka of 293,628 koku. Sanuki Province consisted of the following districts:

Districts of Sanuki Province
District kokudaka villages Domain Currently
Ōchi (大内郡) 14,642 koku 34 villages Takamatsu Dissolved, now Higashikagawa
Sangawa (寒川郡) 21,919 koku 27 villages Takamatsu Dissolved; now mostly Sanuki, small area of Higashikagawa
Shōdo (小豆郡) 9,037 koku 8 villages Tenryō, Tsuyama Dissolved; now Shōdoshima
Miki (三木郡) 17,491 koku 20 villages Takamatsu now mostly Miki, small area of Takamatsu, Sanuki
Yamada (山田郡) 46,790 koku 106 villages Takamatsu Dissolved; now Takamatsu
Kagawa (香川郡) 40,353 koku 49 villages Takamatsu Dissolved; now Takamatsu
Aya (阿野郡) 31,576 koku 36 villages Takamatsu now Takamatsu, Sakaide, Ayagawa, Mannō
Utari (鵜足郡) 29,034 koku 30 villages Takamatsu, Marugame now Marugame, Sakaide, Tadotsu and Mannō
Naka (那珂郡) 28,630 koku 46 villages Tenryō, Takamatsu, Marugame now Marugame,Sakaide,Zentsūji, Tadotsu, Kotohira, Mannō
Tado (多度郡) 17,314 koku 24 villages Marugame, Tadotsu now Zentsūji, Tadotsu
Mino (三野郡) 30,106 koku 37 villages Marugame, Tadotsu now Mitoyo, Zentsūji
Toyota (豊田郡) 20,655 koku 46 villages Marugame now Mitoyo, Zentsūji

Following the abolition of the han system, Sanuki Province became Kagawa Prefecture in 1872. However, the following year Kagawa was merged with Tokushima Prefecture and the island of Awaji to form Myōdō Prefecture (名東県). It was separated again on September 5, 1875, but on August 21, 1876 was merged with Ehime Prefecture. It was separated again on December 3, 1888.


See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Sanuki" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 988, p. 988, at Google Books.
  2. ^ "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya", p. 3.; retrieved 2011-08-09
  3. ^ Nakayama, Yoshiaki (2015). 江戸三百藩大全 全藩藩主変遷表付. Kosaido Publishing. ISBN 978-4331802946.(in Japanese)


Media related to Sanuki Province at Wikimedia Commons