Bizen ( Japanese 備 前 国 , Bizen no kuni ) was one of the historical provinces of Japan on the side of the island of Honshū facing the Seto Inland Sea . It was in the southeastern part of what is now Okayama Prefecture . Bizen bordered the provinces of Mimasaka , Harima and Bitchu .
The province emerged in the second half of the 7th century by splitting the old province of Kibi ( 吉 備 国 ) into the provinces of Bizen ("Front Kibi"), Bitchū ("Middle Kibi") and Bingo ("Rear Kibi") ). These were collectively referred to as Bishū ( 備 州 , "Kibi province (s)"). The characters of Bizen were also read as Kibi no michi no kuchi in the early days . In 713 the province of Mimasaka was separated from Bizen.
Bizen's provincial capital ( kokufu ) was probably in the Kokufu-Ichiba district of the Naka-ku district of Okayama . From the earliest times, Bizen was one of the most important centers of Japanese swordsmithing. In the Muromachi period , Bizen was ruled by the Akamatsu clan from Mimasaka province. In the Sengoku period , the Urakami clan had become dominant and settled in Okayama. They were later even by the Ukida Klan replaced and Ukida Hideie was one of the five regents who Toyotomi Hideyoshi appointed for his son. After Kobayakawa Hideaki helped Tokugawa Ieyasu win the Battle of Sekigahara against Ukita and others, he got Ukita's lands in Bizen and Mimasaka.
In the Edo period , Bizen passed through many hands before the modern prefectural system was introduced and the provinces replaced.