The provinces throughout Japan were known as ryōseikoku, or administrative districts under the ritsuryōsei. The ritsuryōsei was a system based on the ritsuryō, a legal structure in East Asia having its roots in Chinese philosophy, particularly Confucianism and Legalism. This system of governance was characterized by the consolidation of powers in a central authority. The Muromachi bakufu served as the central authority in Japan from 1336 to 1573. The phenomenon of gekokujō by which retainers usurped their provincial lords, and provincial lords usurped the central authorities of the bakufu, led to the eventual demise of this system of governance.
Provinces includes three subsections:
- A searchable index of the provinces,
- Province maps with links to the province profiles, and
- Maps displaying the progression of the domains of clans over time.