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Encyclopedia > Taika

The Taika Reforms (大化の改新 Taika no Kaishin?) were a set of doctrines established by Emperor Kōtoku in the year 646. They were written shortly after the death of Prince Shōtoku, and the defeat of the Soga clan, which united Japan. Crown Prince Naka no Ōe (who would later reign as Emperor Tenji), Nakatomi no Kamatari, and Emperor Kōtoku jointly embarked on the details of the Reforms. Emperor Kōtoku then took the name "Taika" (大化), or "Great Reform". Image File history File links Wiki_letter_w. ... Emperor Kōtoku (孝徳天皇 Kōtoku Tennō) (596? - November 24, 654)[1] was the 36th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. ... Events Byzantines reconquer Alexandria from the Muslims. ... Sculpture of Prince Shotoku in Asuka Dera, Asuka, Nara Prince Shōtoku (聖徳太子 574-622) was a regent and a politician of the Imperial Court in Japan. ... The Soga clan was one of the most powerful clans in Yamato Japan. ... Emperor Tenji (From Ogura Hyakunin Isshu) Tomb of Emperor Tenji, Kyoto Emperor Tenji (天智天皇 Tenji Tennō) (626-672), also known as Prince Naka no ÅŒe (中大兄皇子, Naka no ÅŒe no ÅŒji) and Emperor Tenchi, was the 38th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. ... Fujiwara no Kamatari (藤原鎌足, 614–669 A.D.) was the founder of the Fujiwara clan in Japan. ...


The Reform began with land reform, based on Confucian ideas and philosophies from China, but the true aim of the reforms was to bring about greater centralization and to enhance the power of the imperial court, which was also based on the governmental structure of China. Envoys and students were dispatched to China to learn seemingly everything from the Chinese writing system, literature, religion, and architecture, to even dietary habits at this time. Even today, the impact of the reforms can still be seen in Japanese cultural life. Confucianism (儒家 Pinyin: rújiā The School of the Scholars), sometimes translated as the School of Literati, is an East Asian ethical, religious and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of Confucius. ... Yin Yang symbol and Ba gua paved in a clearing outside of Nanning City, Guangxi province, China. ... The Chinese written language consists of a writing system stretching back nearly 4000 years. ... // [edit] Classical texts Main article: Chinese classic texts China has a wealth of classical literature, both poetry and prose, dating from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BCE) and including the Classics attributed to Confucius. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... After several waves of immigration from the continent and nearby Pacific islands (see History of Japan), followed by a heavy importation of culture from China, the inhabitants of Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world under the Tokugawa shogunate until the arrival of the The...

Contents

Background

After the regency of Shōtoku Taishi ended, the Soga clan, from which Shōtoku's ancestry was derived, took hegemony of the Yamato court. The clan were opposed to Shotōku's son Yamashiro Ōe and killed him in 643. Under the reign of Empress Kōgyoku, the Soga clan head, Soga no Iruka, was virtually an almighty leader of the court. Those who were against Soga's dictatorship included the emperor's brother Karu, the emperor's son Naka no Ōe, along with his friend Nakatomi no Kamatari, and his son-in-law Soga no Ishikawamaro (Iruka's cousin). They ended Iruka's regime by a coup d'etat in 645 (Isshi Incident). As Kōgyoku renounced her throne, Karu ascended to be Emperor Kōtoku. The new emperor, together with the Imperial Prince Naka no Ōe, issued a series of reform measures that culminated in the Taika Reform Edicts in 646. At this time, two scholars, Takamuko no Kuromaro and priest Min (who had both accompanied Ono no Imoko in travels to Sui Dynasty China, where they stayed for more than a decade), were assigned to the position of kuni no hakushi (国博士; National doctor). They were likely to take a major part in compiling these edicts which in essence founded the Japanese imperial system and government. The ruler, according to these edicts, was no longer a clan leader, but Emperor (in Japanese, Tennō), who ruled by the Decree of Heaven and exercised absolute authority. Empress Kōgyoku (皇極天皇 Kōgyoku Tennō), also Empress Saimei (斉明天皇 Saimei Tennō) (594–August 24, 661[1]) was the 35th and 37th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. ... Emperor Kōtoku (孝徳天皇 Kōtoku Tennō) (596? - November 24, 654)[1] was the 36th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. ... The tomb of Soga no Irukas head in Asuka-mura, Nara Prefecture. ... Events Byzantines reconquer Alexandria from the Muslims. ... Takamuko no Kuromaro no Genri (高向玄理)(d. ... Ono no Imoko (Japanese: 小野 妹子; ? - ?) was a male Japanese politican in the reign of Empress Suiko. ... For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ...


Prior to the accession of Emperor Kōtoku, Japan was divided among many clans and warlords. These reforms were needed to bring all of these recently conquered and united people and lands under the control of the Emperor. In essence, they established the basics of the feudal system, under which lords could hold power within their lands, and could still exercise hereditary rights to land and titles, but under which all land ultimately belonged to the Emperor, and all loyalties were to the Emperor above all other lords and masters. To set an example to other nobles, the Crown Prince surrendered his own private estates to the public domain (the Emperor's control). For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ... For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ... For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ...


The Reform Edicts severely curtailed the independence of regional officials and constituted the imperial court as a place of appeal and complaint for the people. In addition, the last edicts attempted to end certain social practices, in order to bring Japanese society more in line with Chinese social practices. Japan, however, was still largely a Neolithic culture; it would take centuries for the conceptual ideal of the Chinese-style emperor to take root. An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ...


Summary of the Four Articles of the Reforms

  • Article I abolished private ownership of land & workers, deriving from "namesake", succession, or other means of appropriation.
  • Article II established a central capital metropolitan region, called the Kinai (畿内), or Inner Provinces. A capital city was to be built there, and governors would be appointed.
  • Article III established population registers, as well as the redistribution of rice-cultivating land equitably. It also provided for the appointment of rural village heads.
  • Article IV abolished the old forms of taxes, and established a new system.

References

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

See also

  • Shoen - the form of Japanese fiefdom that developed after the Taika Reforms.

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