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ASUKA - NARA PERIOD


645 - 794


 

 


593-622

The near-mythical Shotoku acts as regent to his aunt, the empress Suiko, and completely refashions the government, marking him as perhaps Japan's first statesman.


672

Shotoku dispatches the first official embassy to China.


645

The Asuka Period.

The Taika (Great Change) reform occurs: imperial prince Naka-no-Ôe (the emperor Tenchi) and Nakatomi Kamatari sieze control of the government from the Soga and begin a sweeping reorganization.


667

Emperor Tenchi establishes his court at Otsu (Ômi province).


669

The Kofukuji is founded.


672

A succession dispute follows the death of the Emperor Tenchi. The Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan) mention the use of mounted archers, a possible early model for the future samurai. Prince Oama (Temmu) defeats his brother Prince Otomo for the throne. Emperor Temmu moves the Imperial capital from Otsu back to the Asuka region (Yamato).


686

Emperor Temmu dies.


694

The town of Fujiwara is established and acts as the Imperial capital until 710.


700

During the 700’s the Yamato people gradually expand northward at the expense of the so-called emishi. The need for men willing and able to fight and settle the remote lands they conquered led to the establishment of houses with a military tradition-the roots of the later samurai.


701

The Imperial court compiles the Taiho administrative and penal code.


708

The first copper coins are minted.


710

The Imperial court moves from Fujiwara to Nara (Heijo); the Nara Period begins.


712

The Kojiki is compiled; Emperor Temmu had ordered the preparation of the text partially to support his own Imperial legitimacy.


718

The ‘Yoro’ revision to the Taiho Code is completed.


749

Emperor Shomu dedicates the Todaiji, which houses the ‘Great Buddha’.


766

The Buddhist priest Dokyo attempts to seize the throne but fails by 770.


781

Kammu ascends to the imperial throne.


784

  • The Imperial court is moved from Heijo to Nagaoka.

  • Ôtomo Yakamochi is given the rank Sei to Shôgun, becoming the first to assume that title. His subsequent campaigns in the north are ineffectual.


    788

    The monk Saichô founds the Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei.

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