April 12, 2012

Kii Kamiya

In chapter 22 of Serpent of Time, Ryô ends up at Kii Kamiya station, which Gendô's map identifies only as Kamiya.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The "Kii" dates to the abolition of the provinces and the consolidation of the prefectures (from 72 to 47) in 1871 and 1888.

The large number of provinces during the Edo Period was a deliberate divide-and-conquer strategy by the Tokugawa regime. Badly-behaving governors risked having their domains whittled down and given to their rivals.

Kii Province (紀伊国) was largely replaced by Wakayama Prefecture. The "Ki/i" (紀伊) name lives on in the Kii Peninsula, Kinokuniya Bookstore, and as a prefix attached to dozens of other geographical and place names.

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