Takayama Prefecture 高山県

I came across some interesting Hida history today when talking with my school's librarian. This year is the 140th anniversary of the formation of Gifu-ken, which happened in August 1876 or Meiji 明治 as part of the Meiji restoration.

Prior to the Meiji restoration, Japan was a collection of hundreds of kingdoms. At that time, Hida was its own kingdom 飛騨国. In 1868 (Keioi 慶応), the Hida Kingdom was renamed to Hida-ken 飛騨県. Though, it didn't last long. It was Hida-ken in May, and then 1 month later it was renamed to Takayama-ken 高山県. From 1868 to 1871 (明治), Takayama was its own prefecture! :D

Only 3 years, though. In 1871, it was absorbed by nearby Nagano territories to form Chikuma-ken 筑摩県. Chikuma-ken was basically a gigantic, bloated Nagano. In August 1876, Hida (and Nakatsugawa) broke away from Chikuma-ken, and joined together with the rest of Mino 美濃 to create what we know of today as Gifu-ken 岐阜県.

And then in 1880, the first official map of Gifu-ken was published. Apparently that map is still available to see today in the Gifu Prefectural Library.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting. Also, it's really weird to think that despite of all the ancient history in Japan, Wisconsin (1848) is actually older than Gifu-ken (1876), on paper anyways.