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Encyclopedia > Code of Taiho

The Code of Taihō (大宝律令 Taihō-ritsuryō?) was an administrative reorganization enacted in 702, at the beginning of Japan's Taihō era, the end of Asuka Period. The Code was historically one of the Ritsuryo's (律令). Like many other Japanese developments of the time, it was largely adapted from the governmental system of the concurrent Chinese T'ang dynasty. This was one of the first events to establish Confucianism as a significant element in the Japanese code of ethics and government. The Code was revised in 718 (Nara Period) to accommodate Japanese traditions and practical necessities of administration. The revised edition was named Yōrō-ritsuryō (養老律令) ; however, for some elements of the Code, Chinese logic and morals were taken to extremes. // Births April 20 - Jafar Sadiq, Muslim scholar (d. ... Taihō (大宝, lit. ... The Asuka period (Japanese: 飛鳥時代, Asuka-jidai) is the period in Japanese history occurring from AD 538–710. ... Ritsuryo (律令) is the historical law system based on the philosophies of Confucianism and Chinese Legalism in Japan. ... Also the name of a rock band. ... Sage Confucius——孔子 Confucianist temple Thian Hock Keng in Singapore Confucianism (Chinese: å„’å­¦, Pinyin Rúxué‚, lit. ... Events Pelayo established the Kingdom of Asturias in the Iberian peninsula (modern day Portugal and Spain). ... The Nara period (Japanese: 奈良時代, Nara-jidai) of the History of Japan covers the years from about AD 710 to 794. ...

The Code contained only two major departures from the T'ang model. First, government positions and class status was based on birth, as had always been the Japanese tradition, not talent, as was the Chinese way. Second, the Japanese rejected the Chinese concept of the "Mandate of Heaven," asserting that the Emperor's power comes from his imperial descent, not from his righteousness or fairness as a ruler. The Mandate of Heaven was a doctrine. ... His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan The Emperor of Japan (天皇 tennō) is a constitutionally-recognized symbol of the Japanese nation and the unity of its people. ...

Governmental Organization

The Code established two branches of government: the Jingi-kan (Department of Worship) and the Dajō-kan (Department of State). The Jingi-kan was the higher branch, taking precedence over the Dajō-kan and handling all spiritual, religious, or ritual matters. The Dajō-kan handled all secular, administrative matters.

The Jingi-kan, or Department of Worship, was responsible for annual festivals and official Court ceremonies such as coronations, as well as the upkeep of shrines, the discipline of shrine wardens, and the recording and observation of oracles and divinations. It is important to note that the department, though it governed all the Shinto shrines in the country, had no connection with Buddhism. A formal state (and normally religious) ceremony at which a person is announced and installed as King or Queen. ... Jinja may be Jinja (Uganda), a city in Uganda close to the source of the Nile River Jinja (shrine), a shrine for the Shinto religion in Japan This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A torii at Itsukushima Shrine Shinto (Kanji: 神道 Shintō) (sometimes called Shintoism) is a native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... Japanese Buddhist priest c. ...

The Dajō-kan, or Department of State, handled all secular matters and was headed by the Great Council of State, which was presided over by the Dajō-daijin (Chancellor). The Ministers of the Left and Right (Sadaijin and Udaijin respectively), Controllers of the Left and Right (Sadaiben and Udaiben), four Great Councillors (Dainagon) and three Minor Councillors (Shōnagon) made up the Council, and were responsible to the Dajō-daijin. The eight government Ministries were, in turn, responsible to the Controllers and Ministers of the Left and Right. Dajō Daijin or Chancellor of the Realm (太政大臣) was the head of the Dajō-kan, or Department of State in Heian Japan. ...

Provincial Organization & Administration

The country was divided into provinces called kuni, and the central government appointed administrative governors called kami to each province. The provinces were further divided into districts called gun or kōri, which were administered by locally appointed officials called gunshi. These local officials were primarily responsible for keeping the peace, collecting taxes, recruiting labor for the corveé, and for keeping registers of population and land allotment. Within the districts' further subdivisions, local organization varied greatly, but often resembled the arrangement of a township of fifty or so homes led by a headman. Before the modern prefecture system was established, the land of Japan was divided into tens of Kuni (国, Countries). ... Corvée, or corvée labor, is a term used in feudal societies. ...

The number of provinces was not fixed, however. As new land became developed, new provinces came into being. At the time of the Code's enactment, there were sixty-six provinces comprising 592 districts.


  • Sansom, George (1958). 'A History of Japan to 1334'. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.



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