JpNara*

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Gréine Jordan ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Kansai - Nara Period ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ ♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ 781-794 CE ♥ 'In fact, historians, both medieval and modern, of loyalist sympathies regard as the golden age of Japanese history those decades of direct rule by enlightened, "virtuous" emperors - Kammu (781-806) and Saga (809-23), and again Uda and Daigo (887-930). For loyalists, these were the years when Japanese rulers most closely approached the ideal reigns of the sage-kings of ancient China.' [1]

Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 710-794 CE ♥ Beginning with the establishment of a permanent capital at Nara and ending with the capitals permanent relocation to Kyoto (Heian-kyō).

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ unitary state ♥ 'the official record is anything but uneventful, and for the years after A.D. 550 it is essentially an account of how a few men finally transformed the loosely joined Yamato state into a centralized empire.'[2]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ vassalage ♥ ' In 600, when a Japanese army was confronting Sillan forces in territory at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula claimed by the Japanese court, a Chinese chronicle records the arrival of an embassy from Japan at the Sui court, which was allied with Silla against their common enemy Koguryo. From that time on for more than two centuries the Japanese government, spurred by military and cultural concerns, maintained official relations with the Chinese court, becoming in form a tributary state in the Chinese system of international relations. But by the end of the eighth century much had changed, internally as well as externally. The compilation of the Taiho and Yoro codes at the beginning of the century had put a capstone on the sinitically inspired structure of the statutory regime and rendered less pressing the need for study and observation of the operations of the Chinese government. Several generations of officials had provided a base of experience and learning, and it was no longer as necessary for student-officials to undertake the long journey to the Chinese capital at Ch'ang-an in search of the knowledge, books, and techniques required by the court's governmental machinery. National amour propre and pragmatic diplomatic aims had been served by Chinese recognition of Japan's high status in the Chinese tributary system. If Japan could still benefit greatly from intercourse with China, that was less in the realm of government, where official relations might be most useful, than in economic, cultural, and intellectual matters, which were perhaps more amenable to private routes of exchange. Externally, whatever justification there may have been for Japanese fears of the T'ang armies in Korea after the Japanese defeat in 663, such concerns were presumably much ameliorated in the following decade when the Chinese forces in Korea withdrew north of the Taedong River (at P'yongyang), leaving a unified peninsula under the rule of Silla. [3] 'Japanese geography placed the country in the enviable position of being able to regulate its relations with the adjacent continent largely according to its own internally generated needs and desires. Although the court sometimes convinced itself that invasion by continental forces was imminent, Japanese defenses before the thirteenth century were never tested by anything more formidable than marauding pirates, and, even more important, the country never faced an enemy invasion. The court thus was generally able to determine the pace and depth of its official relations with the outside world unrestricted by the fierce pressures that characterized relations between states on the continent.' [4]

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Kansai - Asuka Period ♥ 538-710 CE
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥ While there are distinctive qualities that identify the Nara period, which begins with the establishment of the new capital at Nara, there was major disruptions at the start of the period and the government continued to strengthen and centralize its rule.
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Kansai - Heian Period ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ T'ang China ♥
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ 5,400,000 ♥ km squared for T'ang China. [5]'the literature and music of Japan during the two centuries between the acceptance of Buddhism in 587 and the abandonment of the Nara capital in 784. These were years of vast and fundamental change in the island kingdom, of cultural forced feeding and vigorous new growth. In particular, they were the years when Japan became fully and for all time a participant in the high civilization of East Asia. Participation meant religious and philosophical orientations, an ideal of imperial rule, legal and administrative structures, techniques and styles of architecture, city planning, sculpture, painting, and music - all derived directly or indirectly from China and shared in one degree or another by the peoples on its periphery.' [6]

♠ Capital ♣ Nara ♥ 'in 710, the capital was moved to Heijo, better known now as Nara. Nara was modelled on the T’ang Chinese capital, Ch’ang-an. It was a similar rectangular grid pattern, but at 20 sq km was only about a quarter of Ch’ang-an’s area. In less than a hundred years the capital was to move again. Nara proved not to be the hoped-for permanent site. Nevertheless, it represents the high point of the Japanese effort to learn from China. Physically, China’s influence was seen not only in the design of the city but also in grand buildings such as the Todaiji Temple - the largest wooden building in the world - and the huge bronze statue of Buddha it contained. [7]

♠ Language ♣ Old Japanese ♥ [8]

General Description

General description
The Nara period (710-794CE) begins with the creation of a specially built imperial capital, laid out in a 20sq km grid, modelled on T’ang Chinese capital, Ch’ang-an.[9]
Japan’s geography, provided some insulation from unwanted incursions from the continent, and allowed the court to exert some control over external political relationships. [10] However, during this period Japan was engaged in a vassalage relationship with T'ang China which influenced many aspects of Japanese culture, from city planning to the ‘ideal of imperial rule’.[11] The state used its military prowess to exert control over much of the territory of the archipelago, although the northern and southern extremes remained beyond centralized control.[12]
The Peak Date can be considered to run from 781-794CE which has been idealized as ‘when Japanese rulers most closely approached the ideal reigns of the sage-kings of ancient China.'[13] Nara period ends with permanent relocation of the capital to Kyoto.
Population and political organization
Imperial rule was direct and legitimised by divine descent. [14][15]
The government continued to strengthen and centralize its rule with administration and legal reforms inspired by the Chinese ritsuryo system.[16] The complex administration was arranged in offices which came into existence at different times, and were solidified in the code of 701 and the Yoro code of 718[17]
Population for this period, as estimated by Farris, ranges from roughly 5 to 7 million. [18][19]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Gréine Jordan ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ ♥ 'This does not mean, however, that ‘Japan’ has always existed as a country or that early inhabitants of the islands thought of themselves as ‘Japanese’. Some authors place the origins of the Japanese state in the third century CE, with the emergence of a ‘tumulus culture’ centered in the Yamato area of west-central Honshu. Others look to the fifth century, when the Yamato polity began to display bureaucratic tendencies, or to the seventh, when it established centralized rule over most of Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. However, the northern and southern extremes of the archipelago remained outside central control throughout much of the pre-modern period. Despite the early establishment of an identifiable state structure, later Japanese history is replete with examples of political fragmentation and multiple sovereignty...The name ‘Japan’ (Nippon) came into use around 700 CE, and it is possible that e´lites throughout the archipelago began to think of themselves as ‘Japanese’ at this time.[20] 'The government in Nara, once it was established, used its army to gain control over more of Japan proper. In the extreme south of Kyushu partially assimilated communities (variously known as the Kumaso or Hayahito) were brought under control. In the north of Honshu, however, the Ainu people held out more strongly. Renowned as fierce fighting men, in 776 they stormed the main government fort at Taga, massacred the garrison, and invaded the settled regions to the south from which they had been expelled.'[21] 'Although the authority of the centralized state was accepted in far-flung parts of Japan, it was in the capital itself that its power could be seen to the best advantage. The attempt to build a city with the proportions of a Chinese capital was an ambitious one in the year 710. In fact Nara never seems to have been as large as its designers planned. For all that it fell short of its Chinese model, the building of the new capital must have helped to promote the unity of the country.'[22] at the beginning of the Nara period some areas of southern Kyushu still lay outside the district system. These were incorporated rather quickly, again as the result of military campaigns. For a time, the frontier zone actually extended beyond Kyushu to the islands in the south. One of these, Tane, was administered as a separate province during the eighth and early ninth centuries. However, during the Heian period the state seems to have lost all control over the southern islands—the southern terminus of Kyushu effectively marked the end to state territory.[23]

♠ Polity Population ♣ [5,800,000-6,400,000]: 700 CE ♥

[5,800,000-6,400,000]: 730 CE. Population estimate by Farris [24]

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [100,000-250,000] ♥ 'Nara with a population of around 200,000 was about three times as large as Fujiwara, indicating that it had become a political, economic, and religious center of a powerful imperium.'[25] However, the population estimate by Chandler for Nara in 750CE is 100,000.[26]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 4 ♥ levels.

4. Capital City (Nara) (palace, monumental structures, market, central government buildings, military fortifications, transport hubs, shrines, temples)

Population:200,000

3. City Population:

for example the previous capital Fujiwara.

2. Town Population:

1. Village (residential) Population:

Population:'A minister of the left or minister of the right was entitled to two thousand households of about forty villages, approximately the number of households in a province the size of Suo or Nagato, and such income was tax exempt.'

♠ Administrative levels ♣ 5 ♥ levels.

'The government was run by a system of offices ranging from those closest to the emperor to others at more distant places and at lower levels. These offices had histories of their own, coming into existence at different times with different names and functions. Here we shall survey merely the ones that were probably named and defined in the Taiho administrative code of 701 and the Yoro code of 718.[27]
'Down through the administrative structure - from the heads of offices around the emperor to those in charge of local offices in distant regions - ran a hierarchy of office titles and ranks. Heads of the highest offices held the title of director (kami) who had assistants (suke), secretaries (jo), and clerks (sakan). (These four office titles were written with different characters but pronounced in the same way when held by officials serving in different ministries and agencies.) According to the Yoro adminstrative code of 718, the number of officials in the two councils and eight ministries totaled 331. If lower-ranking officials are added, the total was 6,487. Ranks provided a more precise indication of status than titles did, for officeholders with the same title had different ranks yielding different stipends and perquisites. The Taiho code set aside four imperial ranks (hon) for princes and near relatives of the emperor and thirty court ranks (kurai) for persons lower in the aristocratic order. The son or grandson of a nobleman holding the highest imperial rank was automatically awarded a junior fifth rank lower grade court rank when he reached the age of twenty-one. Special treatment for anyone with a fifth rank or above - apart from the rights that their sons had to a high rank when they turned twenty-one, irrespective of ability - is revealed by the generous stipends and retainers they received'[28] 'The structure of the imperial court was a complex affair. The following chart depicts the basic outline, but each division and ministry contained a hierarchy of officials. Some divisions also included subdivisions. Despite the formality of this structure, the operation and functionality of any particular ministry fluctuated depending on the particular time period. There were also aristocratic families who came to dominate a particular court function through the use of heredity.' [29]
5.Emperor
'At the apex of the structure was the emperor, whose will was expressed in decrees (mikotonori) and edicts (semmyo). Important decisions, such as those pertaining to appointments and promotions of high-ranking officials, were recommended at meetings of the Council of State but were carried out only with imperial approval. The two codes placed no limitations on imperial authority, thus giving the emperor, legally at least, despotic control. [30]
4[a]. Council of Kami Affairs
'Under the emperor were two councils that had equal standing: the Council of State, generally overseeing secular affairs, and the Council of Kami Affairs, running affairs in the area of kami worship. Although the two councils were organizationally at the same level, the Council of State's highest minister (the chancellor) held a higher rank than did the highest official of the Council of Kami Affairs. But the chancellor also had some responsibilities that lay outside the bounds of secular administration: He served as the emperor's guide and teacher and was given the task of harmonizing movements of the world with Chinese principles of yin and yang.' [31]
4[b]. Council of State
'Under the emperor were two councils that had equal standing: the Council of State, generally overseeing secular affairs, and the Council of Kami Affairs, running affairs in the area of kami worship. Although the two councils were organizationally at the same level, the Council of State's highest minister (the chancellor) held a higher rank than did the highest official of the Council of Kami Affairs. [32]
4[b].1. Chancellor
the chancellor also had some responsibilities that lay outside the bounds of secular administration: He served as the emperor's guide and teacher and was given the task of harmonizing movements of the world with Chinese principles of yin and yang.' [33]
3[a] Minister of the Left
3.1[a] Central affairs
’The Ministry of Central Affairs (the Nakatsukasa-sho) ranked above all other ministries and was the main link between the emperor and the Council of State. Its minister gave advice on numerous court matters, supervised the court chamberlains, and drafted imperial edicts. Under him were ten secretariats, including the Secretariat for the Empress's Household (Chugushiki).’ [34]
3.2[a] The Ministry of Personnel
'The Ministry of Personnel(Shikibu-sho) supervised personnel affairs. Within it were two important bureaus: one for higher learning (Daigaku-ryo) and another for nobles who held a court rank but occupied no office (Sammi-ryo).’ [35]
3.3[a] Civil affairs
‘The Ministry of Civil Affairs (Jibu-sho) had two important bureaus: one for Buddhist priests and nuns and aliens (Gemba-ryo) and another for court music (Gagaku-ryo).’ [36]
3.4.[a] Popular affairs
‘The Ministry of Popular Affairs (Mimbu-sho) was responsible for administering household registers, taxes, irrigation, paddy fields, and the budget.’ [37]
3[b] Minister of the Right
3[b].1 The Ministry of War
‘The Ministry of War (Hyobu-sho) took care of personnel matters pertaining to soldiers and other military affairs.’ [38]
3[b].2 The Ministry of Justice
‘The Ministry of Justice (Gyobu-sho) handled legal affairs.’ [39]
3[b].3 Treasury
‘The Ministry of the Treasury (Okura-sho) dealt with state property, weights and measures, prices, and related matters.’ [40]
3[b].4 Imperial household
‘The Ministry of the Imperial Household (Kunai-sho) managed food, clothing, and personnel problems of the imperial household. Inside each ministry were several, often several tens of, administrative organs of three types: secretariats (shiki), bureaus (ryo), and offices (tsukasa)’ [41]
2.Four senior counselors
'Below the chancellor, the minister of the left, and the minister of the right were four senior counselors. [42]
1 Council of State's three departments
‘Under these six men were the heads of three administrative offices, referred to as the Council of State's three departments: the Department of Junior Counselors (Shonagonkan), the Department of the Controller of the Left (Sabenkan), and the Department of the Controller of the Right (Ubenkan). The first included three junior counselors authorized to serve as custodians of the imperial and Council of State seals, and the last two were responsible for transmitting imperial orders (senji), distributing orders issued by the Council of State (kampu), and handling communications between the council and its eight ministries.’ [43]
1.1 the Department of Junior Counselors (Shonagonkan)
1.2 the Department of the Controller of the Left (Sabenkan)
1.3 the Department of the Controller of the Right (Ubenkan)

___Other offices___

‘Outside the ministerial structure were a number of important boards and administrative units’[44]

Censors

‘the Board of Censors (Danjodai) that was engaged in exposing the illegal activities of officials and upholding standards of correct bureaucratic behaviour.’ [45]

Guard units

‘there were the headquarters of the various guard units, beginning with the five that guarded the imperial palace: the gate guards (emon-fu), the left guards (saeji-fu), the right guards (neji-fu), the left military guards (sahyoe-fu), and the right military guards (uhyoe-fu). The central government had, in addition, a right and left bureau of cavalry and a right and left bureau of armories. Other offices outside the eight ministries included two that were responsible for the left and right sectors of the capital.’ [46]

Capital section Dazaifu

‘ Organs of government outside the capital included, first of all, the Dazai headquarters (Dazai-fu) located near the harbor of Na in Kyushu from which the nine provinces of Kyushu, as well as the islands of Iki and Tsushima, were administered. Each of the country's sixty or more provinces 16 was headed by a governor who usually had under him ten or more districts headed by district supervisors. Each district contained between two and twenty villages (sato) made up of fifty households each. A governor was appointed for a six-year term, but the district supervisors, usually selected from the local gentry, had no fixed term of office. The Taiho administrative code contained no

articles dealing with village heads, but it is assumed that they were influential farmers.’ [47]

♠ Religious levels ♣ ♥ levels.

_ Buddhist _

_ Shinto_


♠ Military levels ♣ ♥ levels.


Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ present ♥ 'officered by mounted warriors of military families and augmented with special mounted and foot "professionals."' [48]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ present ♥ 'It must be emphasized that this army changed over time... It relied more and more on the specialists and warrior elites from the Kanto and less and less on the conscripted infantry' [49]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ 'the authorities took a different tack, deciding that all male disciples over the age of sixty-one and all female disciples over fifty-five, could become certified priests or nuns if they really respected Buddhist teachings.' [50]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ present ♥ [51]

♠ Examination system ♣ present ♥ 'While examinations in China theoretically gave everyone a chance to rise in society, in Japan the university was virtually closed to all but the sons of courtiers. This was because a young man had to hold court rank before he could be appointed to an official post. In effect, all but the very dullest aristocratic sons were assured of bureaucratic office without having to make an effort at the university, though promotion within the bureaucracy depended on diligence and scholarly attainments in most cases.[52]'the examination-based meritocracy of China’s bureaucratic world was not too palatable to the Japanese. This is ironic in view of the prominence of examinations in present-day Japan, but understandable from the perspective of an established elite wishing to safeguard control and stability.'[53]

♠ Merit promotion ♣ present ♥ 'the ‘cap rank’ system introduced earlier by Prince Sho¯toku was in theory based, as in China, on merit not birth. However, in practice, and particularly during the Nara period, both rank and position in the Japanese bureaucracy quickly became determined by inherited family status rather than by individual merit'[54]

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ ♥

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ present ♥ 'The law codes, too, show significant modification, such as the leniency of punishments in morally tolerant Japan relative to those in China' [55] 'the ritsuryo (penal and administrative law) system, were closely intertwined with economic and social change in the Nara period (710 to 784).' [56]

♠ Judges ♣ present ♥ 'If he were both the chief administrator and the chief judge, he was in a position to judge whether he himself had committed a crime and, if so, what his punishment would be.' [57]

♠ Courts ♣ ♥

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ absent ♥professional lawyers were not present until the Meiji Restoration. [58]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present♥ 'the production of rice required drainage and irrigation systems that could not be built or maintained by individuals operating independently. Later land laws were certainly affected by ah ancient practice of having irrigation systems managed by the community as a whole. Although state ownership of water was not written into law, its existence and nature can be deduced from extant historical sources.' [59]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ absent ♥ drinking water was provided from wells, rivers etc.
♠ markets ♣ present ♥ 'Such exchange took place at two state-run markets (the Eastern and the Western) in the capital, which were centers of a vast commercial network that included markets, ports, and stations in neighboring provinces... Each province had its own market, located near the provincial headquarters, that was linked with a number of local trading posts.'[60]
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ 'As a result of increasing their income from loans, various provinces were able to store up a considerable amount of rice paid as land tax (denso).' [61]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ [62]
♠ Bridges ♣ present ♥ [63]
♠ Canals ♣ present ♥ records of elaborate state sponsored canal systems dating back to at least the 7th century 'The Nihon shoki explains that a new canal had to be dug for the two hundred boats that were used for transporting rocks to the foot of the mountain where the palace's stone walls were being constructed.' [64]
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ 'the location of Nara, surrounded by hilly terrain to the north, east, and west, did not allow easy access to the port of Naniwa, which had assumed increasing importance with the emergence of a centralized state in the eighth century.' [65]

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ 'The government gave special attention to the development of copper mining, establishing several offices of the mint (jusenshi) in western Japan where the copper mines were located.' [66]

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ 'it was during the age of Nara that Chinese writing led to the appearance of the first real books produced in Japan, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles of 712 and 720. These were followed shortly afterwards by the first poetry anthologies, the Kaifuso (Fond Recollections of Poetry) of 751 and the Manyo¯shu¯ (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) of 759. Some documents were even printed - another Chinese influence. [67]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ The earliest known written Japanese texts date to the eight century. Although the spoken languages have no relationship Chinese characters were borrowed to enable Japanese to be written ‘Over time the Japanese writing system developed into a complex use of Chinese characters along with two different phonetic scripts to represent the sounds of spoken Japanese. The two phonetic scripts—hiragana and katakana—represented the same sounds but were used in different contexts reflecting, among other things, class and gender.’[68]
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ present ♥ [69]

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ present ♥ 'household registers'[70]
♠ Calendar ♣ present ♥ The Chinese calender was known and studied in Japan from the 6th century 'Written records were now used to carry out government functions; Buddhism was enthusiastically embraced; and Chinese technology stimulated such diverse fields as calendar making...Missions from Japan to China no longer sought only luxury goods, or even Chinese recognition of a Japanese ruler's authority, but sophisticated forms of learning as well.' [71] but does not appear to have been officially adopted until the Chinese Hsuan-ming calendar that was brought by an embassy in 859 and remained the official calendar of Japan, with growing inaccuracy, from 862 to 1684.'[72]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ present ♥ 'Immigrant artisans had their counterpart in the immigrant scholars who introduced the best that continental civilization could offer in written form: the Buddhist sacred scriptures' [73]
♠ Religious literature ♣ present ♥ ‘Inouye Kaoru observed that Doji, a Buddhist priest who went to China in 702 and returned in 718, brought back a copy of the recent translation that the compilers of the Nihon shoki had seen.« Historians are therefore in general agreement that the Nihon shoki item concerning the introduction of Buddhism contains additions and embellishments made by later editors. And yet it cannot be denied that King Songmyong of Paekche actually sent Buddhist images and texts to the Yamato king around the middle of the sixth century and that this was an important event in the early history of Japanese Buddhism.’ [74]
♠ Practical literature ♣ present ♥ 'immigrant scholars who introduced the best that continental civilization could offer in written form...Chinese works on government'[75]
♠ History ♣ present ♥ There is a long tradition of historical recording in Japan. Japan’s oldest extant text is Kojiki (Record of ancient matters) written in 712CE although it deals with what today would be considered mythological themes it was treated as a historic text.[76]
♠ Philosophy ♣ present ♥ 'Educated Japanese of the Nara period did not emulate the Chinese in writing philosophical works' but there were original Chinese works in circulation 'immigrant scholars who introduced the best that continental civilization could offer in written form: the Buddhist sacred scriptures; Chinese works on government, history, and philosophy'[77]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ present ♥ 'Moreover, Japanese envoys were then less interested in territorial and military matters than in such cultural activity as acquiring Buddhist and Confucian texts, gathering information on Chinese science and art, and becoming familiar with T'ang methods of political and social control. They seem to have been especially fascinated with Chinese techniques and ideas that would reinforce the foundations of a Nara state headed by an emperor whose authority was both secular and religious.'[78]
♠ Fiction ♣ absent ♥ One of the world’s oldest extant novels was written in Japan c.1000 in the Heian period.’[79]


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ fish, rice, iron, bronze
♠ Tokens ♣ unknown ♥ no data.
♠ Precious metals ♣ present ♥ 'The coins were legally valued at more than the worth of their metallic content.' [80]
♠ Foreign coins ♣ inferred present ♥ The minting of 708 CE was modeled on the Tang currency "which has been found in Japan in reasonable quantities, suggesting its use before the local discovery of copper and establishment of a mint for issuing local silver and copper currency."[81]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present ♥ The first minting occurred in 708 CE with silver and copper coins. [82]. "By the late seventh century, a few silver coins were issued, but they did not have a large circulation." The minting of 708 CE was modeled on the Tang currency.[83] "Copper cash was known as Wado-kaichin, and four were the equivalent of a silver coin."[84] Gold coins minted in 760 CE, one gold coin worth 100 copper mon.[85] "In 765, further minting of copper coins only was instituted at Nara."[86] "...the twelve imperial coins (kocho junisen) of Nara times, and from late Heian'[87] 'In the quest for recognition as a civilized society by the seemingly advanced countries of the adjacent continent, Japanese leaders followed the example of Korea and China in minting the government's own coinage, despite the apparent absence of a vigorous domestic commerce in need of money currency. The leaders also probably hoped thereby not only to encourage and facilitate such commerce as existed, but perhaps as well to reap the profits that currency manipulation made possible. The first minting was the well-known Wado kaiho coin of 708, which was produced just seven years after the adoption of theTaiho code of 701. Eleven new coins followed in the next two and a half centuries (until 958), eight of them during the Heian years. Minting at various places but mainly in copper producing regions like Suo and Nagato, they were mostly made of brass, but some were silver, and there was one gold coin, the Kaiki shoho coin of 760." [88]
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥ 'The Fukui domain was the first to issue paper currency, doing so in 1661, and other domains followed this practice.’[89]

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ absent ♥ although there were messengers [90] they appear not to be professionalized until the early medieval period. [91]
♠ Postal stations ♣ present ♥ although lacking buildings solely dedicated to post activities there was 'a system of post stations, barriers, and guards' [92]
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Gréine Jordan ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred present ♥ Bronze present but use in warfare likely minor role.
♠ Bronze ♣ inferred present ♥ they possessed bronze and did use it in daily life but its use in military contexts in this period is unclear.
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ From Early Yayoi.[93] 'By the Yayoi Period (50-250 CE) iron tools became more plentiful, as is evidenced by advances in woodworking technologies. By the last century of the Yayoi, iron-working technologies spread quickly across the central region of Japan from west to east. Over the course of the next several hundred years, iron completely replaced stone as the mineral of choice. Iron swords, armor, and arrowheads came to occupy prominent places in the tombs of the Kofun period. From that time onward, iron and its alloy with carbon, steel, were Japan's pre-eminent proto-industrial metals.' [94]
♠ Steel ♣ present ♥ [95]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Could not find any evidence of use
♠ Atlatl ♣ inferred absent ♥ Could not find any evidence of use
♠ Slings ♣ absent ♥ absent, although they had been present in the much earlier Yayoi period (c.300BCE-300CE).[96]
♠ Self bow ♣ suspected unknown ♥ although single piece bows were used in earlier times, and could technically have been used, the composite bow had been standard military equipment since the 9th century CE.
♠ Composite bow ♣ present ♥ the composite bow had been standard military equipment since the 9th century CE but was most likely used before then. From the Kamakura period, bows were constructed in layers utilizing bamboo slats for added strength and flexibility. The core of the bow was made of stiff wood and was combined with laminated pieces of bamboo.’[97]
♠ Crossbow ♣ present ♥ crossbows long used in China were used up to the 11th CE century in Japan.[98] "As no Japanese oyumi (siege crossbow) has survived, it is impossible to know exactly what one looked like or how it was operated. Certain records make tantalising reference to them being different from Chinese varieties, although this may just be an expression of national pride. It is, however, well substantiated that, in contrast to the predominant Chinese practice, the Japanese crossbows were used for throwing stones as much as for firing arrows." [99]
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥ "unlike the crossbows that were used as anti-personnel weapons, there does not appear to be any record of trebuchet use in Japan, simply because the siege situation did not demand it."[100] ‘it is not until 1468[CE] that we find an unambiguous reference to the use of traction trebuchets in Japan.’[101]
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Could find no reference to support the presence of siege engines.
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥ before use of gunpowder in Japan
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥ not in widespread use until 1543 CE [102]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ inferred present ♥ Kanabou (金棒) is noted as being a club weapon in use: 'Sort of iron club used by warriors in ancient times, and a favorite weapon of some monk-warriors (Heisou) in the Heian and Kamakura periods' [103]
♠ Battle axes ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Daggers ♣ suspected unknown ♥ daggers were used in non-military contexts but I couldn’t find a specific reference to daggers in a military context.
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ ‘The curved-profile Japanese sword originated in approximately the eighth century [CE], coinciding with the earliest steel production in Japan and the emergence of the first professional military figures.' [104]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ ‘Spears (yari) have a long history in Japan, as the two earliest extant Japanese histories, the Kojiki (712 C.E.) and the Nihon shoki (720 C.E.) recount that the Japanese islands emerged from drops created when the gods Izanami and Izanagi used a jeweled spear to stir the cosmic brine mixture that constituted the universe.[105] ‘The yari is also sometimes called a lance to underscore that in Japan spears were not thrown as in other military traditions where these arms served as projectile weapons.’[106]
♠ Polearms ♣ present ♥ ‘First used by the early Kamakura period, the naginata is closest to a European glaive in form, with an elongated shaft, and a single-edged blade curved more than that of a Kamakura-period Japanese tachi. Most likely, the naginata was based upon similar weapons introduced from China by 300 C.E. which have been unearthed in graves.'[107]

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ suspected unknown ♥ I could find no evidence of dogs - but no sources saying that they were not used either
♠ Donkeys ♣ suspected unknown ♥ I could not find references to Donkeys being used - this does seem odd so I would triple check
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ Horses from the 8th [CE] century cavalry played an often vital part in Japanese . The importance place about cavalry shifted throughout time falling in and out of popularity but always remaining present.[108] ‘Horsemanshipwas central to bushi identity, distinguishing the professional warrior from those who served him - and fought beside him, on foot. As we have seen, the horse was one of the two tools that defined the “way of bow and horse,” which defined the samurai. [109]
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥ I could find no evidence of camels - but no sources saying that they were not used either (although I think this is a very safe bet)
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥ I could find no evidence of elephants - but no sources saying that they were not used either (although I think this is a very safe bet)

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ present ♥ 'Japanese armorers did not confine themselves to metal, and instead incorporated lighter and ore malleable materials such as leather and silk (or other fibers) along with iron or steel parts.' [110]
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ 'Shields were commonly used in nearly all military contexts in Japan, beginning with prehistory. Chinese dynastic histories include descriptions that indicate shields were in use by the third century in Japan...From the Nara period to the early medieval period, military shields were standing wooden barriers about eye-level in height and roughly the width of human shoulders... They were attached to poles, or feet, which were hinged so that the support could be collapsed and stored or transported flat. Approximately one and a half meters tall and less than half a meter wide, mostly such shields were made of several planks joined vertically. Although shields could withstand more force if each was made from a single board, this was the exception rather than the rule. Protective substances such as lacquer could also prolong the life of such standing shields.' [111]
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ From the 5th century a rounder form of helmet called mabizachi-tsuke kabuto ('visor-attached helmet'), with a 'baseball cap' flat visor, was also worn with the tanko. this was an important style, modeled after the helmets of the Korean and Chinese warriors encountered on the continent. Such helmets were made en suite with the later lamellar armours, but examples have been found in the same tombs as tanko. most had a cup-shaped crest holder supported by a bronze tube, presumably for some sort of plume. [112]
♠ Breastplates ♣ inferred present ♥ Japanese breastplates (Do) started being manufactered in the 4th century CE.[113]
♠ Limb protection ♣ present ♥ 'the last pieces of armour were for the forearms and shins. very few have survived unscathed, but enough have to give us some ideas as to their construction. there were generally two types: those formed like tubes, of one or two semi-circular plates and those made of splints. usually attached to the forearm guards were flat metal plates or a lamellar deffence fo rthe back of the hand. [114] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together."[115] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together."[116]
♠ Chainmail ♣ inferred absent ♥ Before the time of 'definite' knowledge "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century."[117]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ present ♥ 'the keiko wrapped around the wearer's body and was fastened up the front with ties. At first there were two types, both made up of 'steps' of scales laced horizontally together into boards; one kind was held together with leather straps running down the outside of the steps, and the other with a more conventional under-over lacing of braided cord or leather... the popularity of scale armour began to predominate in the 6th and 7th centuries. ' [118] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together."[119] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together."[120]
♠ Laminar armor ♣ present ♥ 'The advantages of armor composed of lames, covered with lacquer, and using a combination of materials contributed to the widespread use of this type of armor construction in Japan from the late Heian period until the middle of the 14th century.' [121] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together."[122] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together."[123]
♠ Plate armor ♣ [absent; present] ♥ "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together."[124] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together."[125]

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ ♥


Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ present ♥ 'Mountain fortresses appear to be an indigenous form, and were typical of remote areas' [126] "Unlike the walled towns of China and Korea, fortified places in Japan tended to be isolated military outposts. These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows."[127]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ present ♥ 'Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade.' [128]'Up to the beginning of the feudal era, three forms of fortifications were built, according to archaeologists. The grid-pattern city form was inspired by Chinese planning precedents, and included gates or walled enclosures. Mountain fortresses appear to be an indigenous form, and were typical of remote areas. Plateaus or plains often utilized the palisade, a semi-permanent defense. Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade. Grid-pattern cities were surrounded by walls that served as a demarcation point rather than as true protection, and eventually such barriers disappeared. Remains of mountain fortresses found in northern Kyushu were a more effective means of protection, and may have belonged to ancient kingdoms that ruled parts of Japan in early times. Palisades were often constructed in the northeastern areas of the main island of Honshu. Although excavations have revealed only partial remains of such structures, they are significant since they offer prototypes for medieval fortifications.' [129] "Unlike the walled towns of China and Korea, fortified places in Japan tended to be isolated military outposts. These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows."[130]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ 'Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade.' [131]'Up to the beginning of the feudal era, three forms of fortifications were built, according to archaeologists. The grid-pattern city form was inspired by Chinese planning precedents, and included gates or walled enclosures. Mountain fortresses appear to be an indigenous form, and were typical of remote areas. Plateaus or plains often utilized the palisade, a semi-permanent defense. Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade. Grid-pattern cities were surrounded by walls that served as a demarcation point rather than as true protection, and eventually such barriers disappeared. Remains of mountain fortresses found in northern Kyushu were a more effective means of protection, and may have belonged to ancient kingdoms that ruled parts of Japan in early times. Palisades were often constructed in the northeastern areas of the main island of Honshu. Although excavations have revealed only partial remains of such structures, they are significant since they offer prototypes for medieval fortifications.' [132]
♠ Ditch ♣ present ♥ 'Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade.' [133]'Up to the beginning of the feudal era, three forms of fortifications were built, according to archaeologists. The grid-pattern city form was inspired by Chinese planning precedents, and included gates or walled enclosures. Mountain fortresses appear to be an indigenous form, and were typical of remote areas. Plateaus or plains often utilized the palisade, a semi-permanent defense. Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade. Grid-pattern cities were surrounded by walls that served as a demarcation point rather than as true protection, and eventually such barriers disappeared. Remains of mountain fortresses found in northern Kyushu were a more effective means of protection, and may have belonged to ancient kingdoms that ruled parts of Japan in early times. Palisades were often constructed in the northeastern areas of the main island of Honshu. Although excavations have revealed only partial remains of such structures, they are significant since they offer prototypes for medieval fortifications.' [134]
♠ Moat ♣ present ♥ present in the preceding and succeeding periods.
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ absent ♥ "These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows."[135]
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ absent ♥ "These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows."[136] "Up to the beginning of the feudal era, three forms of fortifications were built, according to archaeologists. The grid-pattern city form was inspired by Chinese planning precedents, and included gates or walled enclosures."[137]
♠ Fortified camps ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ present ♥ castles
♠ Long walls ♣ suspected unknown ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥ no evidence of these type of fortifications, but no source explicitly saying they were absent

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ The Taiho code set aside four imperial ranks (hon) for princes and near relatives of the emperor and thirty court ranks (kurai) for persons lower in the aristocratic order. The son or grandson of a nobleman holding the highest imperial rank was automatically awarded a junior fifth rank lower grade court rank when he reached the age of twenty-one. Special treatment for anyone with a fifth rank or above - apart from the rights that their sons had to a high rank when they turned twenty-one, irrespective of ability - is revealed by the generous stipends and retainers they received'[138] 'The structure of the imperial court was a complex affair. The following chart depicts the basic outline, but each division and ministry contained a hierarchy of officials. Some divisions also included subdivisions. Despite the formality of this structure, the operation and functionality of any particular ministry fluctuated depending on the particular time period. There were also aristocratic families who came to dominate a particular court function through the use of heredity.' [139] '(KB: copied from variables on administrative levels

Religion and Normative Ideology

We are interested here in any systems of thought and behavior that can influence people's actions, which we term a Normative Ideology. Normative ideologies are thought-systems concerned with the correct behavior of people, governments/leaders, and other groups (and particularly the relationships between these groups).

Mainly, this will be a religious or ritual system. As usual, when we mention Religious or Ritual System our focus is on the 'official cult', defined the same way as in the Rituals section:

With the official cult we refer to the set of collective religious practices that are most closely associated with legitimation of the power structure (including elites, if any).

However, Normative Ideologies are not restricted to religious/ritual systems. They include other thought systems, such as philosophy or anything that prescribes a particular pattern of behaviour. An example is classical Greek philosophy, such as the works of Plato and Aristotle, who were concerned with correct or moral behaviour and whose thoughts influenced the actual practice of several societies (the empire of Alexander the Great, notably).

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥ The name of the research assistant or associate who coded the data. If more than one RA made a substantial contribution, list all.

Deification of Rulers

(‘gods’ is a shorthand for ‘supernatural agents’)

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ inferred present ♥ "A solar kami, Amaterasu (the Sun Goddess), was adopted as the imperial ancestor and promoted to the highest seat in the kami pantheon." [140]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ present ♥ “Like other provincial (or clan federation) priest-kings, the emperor came to be regarded as a kami incarnate. Perhaps the most significant of the rituals stressing this concept was held at the Daijosai, conducted upon the emperor's accession to the throne. In this ceremony, the emperor communed with Takamimusubi and other kami by sharing with them a meal prepared from rice grown in consecrated fields. (Later, the Sun Goddess replaced Takamimusubi as the central figure in this rite.)” [141]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

These codes refer to acts undertaken without direct compulsion from or out of adherence to a religious system (religious aspects of prosociality are coded below)

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ present ♥ "The primordial Shinto ethos seems to have been essentially egalitarian." [142] Buddhism is also fundamentally egalitarian: every human being has a potential to achieve what Buddha achieved, regardless of class or ethnicity [143].

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ absent ♥ "A solar kami, Amaterasu (the Sun Goddess), was adopted as the imperial ancestor and promoted to the highest seat in the kami pantheon." [144] "Like other provincial (or clan federation) priest-kings, the emperor came to be regarded as a kami incarnate. Perhaps the most significant of the rituals stressing this concept was held at the Daijosai, conducted upon the emperor's accession to the throne. In this ceremony, the emperor communed with Takamimusubi and other kami by sharing with them a meal prepared from rice grown in consecrated fields. (Later, the Sun Goddess replaced Takamimusubi as the central figure in this rite.)" [145]
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ present ♥ "The primordial Shinto ethos seems to have been essentially egalitarian." [146] Buddhism is also fundamentally egalitarian: every human being has a potential to achieve what Buddha achieved, regardless of class or ethnicity [147].

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ present ♥ In the syncretic Shinto-Buddhist ideology that prevailed for many centuries in Japan, moral values mostly came from Buddhism: “Shinto was retained in the Japanese belief structure, even though it never developed the metaphysical worldview or system of ethics that characterize world religions. Perhaps this was because of its close connection with Japanese Buddhism, which had enough metaphysics and ethics to serve both.” [148] According to Buddhism: “The twofold benefit of living a morally good life is linked to a twofold motivation: ‘Protecting oneself, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself ’ - just as each acrobat in a balancing act protects his partner by concentrating on himself, and protects himself by concentrating on his partner (see SN 47:19). If we take care of our own spiritual development, we render a service to others; and if we develop love towards others, we thereby also help ourselves. Accordingly, it is explicitly stated, someone who pursues the path of salvation only for his or her own benefit is to be censured, while the one who follows the path for one’s own benefit and for the benefit of others is to be commended (see AN 7:64).” [149] “Three segments of the Noble Eightfold Path (3 - 5) are traditionally subsumed under the principle of morality (śīla): ‘right speech’ (3), ‘right action’ (4) and ‘right livelihood’ (5). [...] ‘Right action’ is explained as abstaining from harming and killing sentient beings - including animals (!), and further as abstaining from ‘taking what is not given’ and from sexual misconduct, which means avoiding sexual relations with women who are still under the protection of their families, or with those who are married, betrothed, or celibate for religious reasons. From monks and nuns complete sexual abstention is demanded. ‘Right livelihood’ means abstaining from those sources of income which involve harming other beings: trading in weapons for instance, or trading in living beings, meat, intoxicants or poison; also included is the avoidance of fraud and avarice.” [150]

♠ production of public goods ♣ present ♥ In the syncretic Shinto-Buddhist ideology that prevailed for many centuries in Japan, moral values mostly came from Buddhism: “Shinto was retained in the Japanese belief structure, even though it never developed the metaphysical worldview or system of ethics that characterize world religions. Perhaps this was because of its close connection with Japanese Buddhism, which had enough metaphysics and ethics to serve both.” [151] According to Buddhism: “Leading a moral life is seen as having a wider social dimension as well. Establishing public parks, constructing bridges, digging wells and providing a residence for the homeless (see SN 1:1:47; similarly Jat 31) - all these are commended.” [152]

References

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  2. Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.38
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  4. Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.83
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  8. Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.242.
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  10. Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.83
  11. Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.453
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  21. Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.46
  22. Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.47
  23. Batten, Bruce. 1999. "Frontiers and Boundaries of Pre-Modern Japan." Journal of Historical Geography 25(2). p.171
  24. Farris, William Wayne. 2006. Japan's Medieval Population: Famine, Fertility, and Warfare in a Transformative Age. University of Hawaii Press.p.8
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  26. Chandler, Tertius. 1987. Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census. The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston.
  27. Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.232-233
  28. Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.236
  29. Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.89
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