What is "Bando Bushi Zukan"?

図鑑について.png
"Bando Bushi", the rise of the Japanese warrior, Fujiwara no Hidesato.

" Bando Bushi" is known as the rise of Japanese warrior. They had set up a territory in "Bando area", which is the Kanto area today, in the aristocratic era of Heian. In the wilderness of Bando, Taira no Masakado, who formed the strongest bushi corps and dreamed of Bando's independence from the glittering city of Kyoto where there was the Imperial court, is known to everyone as he appears in textbooks often. However, the establishment of the other bushi legends are hardly known to anyone other than history fans.

The association of  "栃木の武将『藤原秀郷』をヒーローにする会" focuses on Bando Bushi in the northern Kanto region, including Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Gunma prefectures, which are ranked lower in the prefectural brand rankings. We aim to foster "regional love = civic pride" by introducing not only the historical facts but also legends such as folk tales, and re-recognizing the existence of value rooted in each region. We aim that everyone's passion who can work with us will lead to regional revitalization in Kita-Kantou (North of Kanto area) and the improvement for branding in Japan.

 

As the first chapter of this site, we would like to introduce the forgotten hero "Fujiwara no Hidesato" from Tochigi prefecture, where we live, and his clan lives.

Miyamoto Co., Ltd. CEO Makoto Miyamoto

坂東武士図鑑とは

-Site contents-

For those of you might not know about Fujiwara no Hidesato. This page will lead you to the answer to know "who is Hidesato?". 

Four out of thirteen people, including Hiki Yoshikazu, who is going to appear in the 2022 NHK Taiga drama "Kamakuradono no Jusan-nin", were "Fujiwara Hokke" with the same lineage as Fujiwara no Hidesato !?

Introducing some stories about Tochigi bushi who supported Minamoto no Yoritomo in the Kamakura period, which is not revealed in the NHK Taiga drama "The 13 Lords of the Kamakura"! Professor Takumasa Mizuno, the author of the novel "Fujiwara no Hidesato", explains the connections between Kamakura era and bushi in Tochigi. 

There are so many Japanese historical figures named "Fujiwara", which make it hard to memorise all the name! But to know "Fujiwara no Hidesato", it is essential to know the Japanese history. Introducing a chronological table about Fujiwara clan that we have made it easy to understand! (This contents is only in Japnese.)

There were many descendants of "Fujiwara no Hidesato" in Tochigi prefecture! Introducing Tochigi bushi with cities and towns!

​Check here for our latest events!

The secretariat of our association writes a report about the event!

The editor-in-chief of this site is not good at history. She writes about Fujiwara no Hidesato with her perspective. 

60 Bando Bushi/samurai characters are all here. A unique pictorial page where you can find not only the characters but also the historical fact about each of them.

An archive page that collects articles and news about our activities.

Analyzing Tochigi's busho/samurai "Fujiwara no Hidesato" from historical facts and legends! This is a lecture given by Mr. Takashi Yamamoto, a curator of the Tochigi Prefectural Museum.

We are looking for new members! It is okay if you are not good at Japanese history! Let's convey the great history of Tochigi Prefecture together!

Who is "Bando Bushi/Samurai" ?

Who are they?

"Bando Bushi" is the first Japanese warrior formed in Kanto region(east Japan).

"Bando" is the name of an area that refers to the Kanto area today, which has 1 metropolitan area and 6 prefectures, from ancient times to the Middle Ages and early modern times.

In the Heian period, when the national power became stable and peaceful, the military conscription by the imperial court was abolished. Only the army = Kondei protected the local security. However, in rural areas, some small battles occurred frequently, and security around the area deteriorated gradually. The imperial court again formed an army, but the scale was too small to rule, so the local lords of manor organized clan and territories to stabilize security. It is the beginning of how they formed a new force as "Bushi(武士)". After that, Bushi became stronger, and became the center of the Japanese society. Among them, "Bando" is the eastern end of the rule of the Yamato-Chotei (the Imperial Court in the Japanese Yamato period). Especially the present Kita-Kantou is an important area that confronts Ezo (Tohoku now) across the border. There were many conflicts in trade negotiations against Ezo as they were rich in supplies. That is where and when "Bando Bushi", particularly brave Bushi were born.

 

* It is also called "Kanto Bushi" in general.

* Bushi(武士) is not the same as Samurai(侍).

 

Etymology of Bando

"坂" means a slope that descends from a mountain pass, and is a pass when entering the Kanto Plain from Saigoku (western area of Japan).

There are three ways to get in and out of the Kanto Plain, which is surrounded by mountains on the west side, which are Ashigara Pass, the Kobotoke Pass, and the Usui Pass. You go down the slope from the pass to the east (東). This is how it was called "Bando" in the sense of east (東) of "Slope (坂)".

【Bandou 8 countries' Map】

坂東_旧地図

① Sagami Province (Sagami)  (Kanagawa Prefecture)

② Musashi Province (Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa)

③ Awa Province (Southern Chiba)

④ Kazusa, Kazusa (Chiba)

⑤ Shimousa (Northern Chiba, southern Ibaraki)

⑥ Hitachi Province (Hitachi,Ibaraki)

⑦ Kozuke Province (Gunma)

⑧ Shimotsuke Province (Tochigi)

Later, it is also referred to as "Kan Hasshu," "Kanto Hasshu," "Hasshu," etc.

 

Also ... the etymology of Kanto

"Kanto" means "the eastern part of the centre of ancient Japan". Originally people called "Kanto" for those three major gates: Fuwa no Seki ("Seki" means gate) on the Tosan-do, Suzuka Seki on the Tokai-do, and Arachi Seki on the Hokuriku-do. It was said to be the beginning of the name "Kanto", and it had the same meaning as "East country". However, as the area of the central country expanded to the east, the area to the east of the present Chubu region was referred to as "Kanto". In this case, "Kanto" means east of Ashigara no Seki, Kobotoke no Seki, and Usui no Seki. It is a synonym of "Bando" in the sense of a slope descending from the pass.

 

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