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Prince Naka no Ôe in Tenji 6

 
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Prince Naka no Ôe in Tenji 6 Reply with quote
I was about to add something to our wiki page for the year 667, and I noticed that even though the nengo is listed as Tenji 6, the event listed cites "Prince Naka no Ôe", and not Emperor Tenji, which is what Naka no Ôe would be called once he was on the throne.

His article on the S-A Wiki says his reign began in 668, which seems strange if 668 is the seventh year of [the reign/nengo of] Tenji. Wikipedia, which I would normally never rely upon, but am peeking at just for comparison, says 661, which would at least line up with the beginning of the reign/era name.

So, what's doing? Did the nengo change before Naka no Ôe took the throne? Was the period from 661-668, after Saimei's death, an interregnum? Or is it simply that the S-A Wiki has some mistakes?

(PS Reading a book right now called "Beyond the Great Wave," which is all about the history of landscape prints in Japan. Yes, it's an art history book, but it's also got lots of great cultural history and such too. I'd recommend it. Might, if I ever get around to it, write a proper review.)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm not looking at any sources right now, but you may want to check the kanji for the reign and the Emperor. Remember, until Meiji, the era name and the emperor's reign name were not the same thing--they were completely not connected.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
On the fly and with no sources, but I know that Tenji actually ruled for quite some time before officially taking the throne. Perhaps the 元号 was retroactively shifted by the compilers of the Nihon Shoki? Will get back to you when I have my books in front of me.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Domer - I was thrown off by that at first, in fact, since I know that usually the nengo and the emperor's name don't line up. But, at that time, they did.

If you look at NengoCalc, you'll see Saimei, Tenji, Kôbun, Temmu listed. I'm not sure if these are real "gengô" or if the gengô system was simply discontinued for this period, but those are indeed the era names that appear in nengocalc. It's not like in other periods, where the Emperor might be Higashiyama, but the era name is Genroku.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
While this isn't my area of expertise, weren't era names discontinued from about 650 to 700 (with I believe one year in there that actually had one)? Maybe Nengocalc is just using the name of the Emperor for convenience since otherwise there'd be nothing to plug in.

As to 661/668 for when he took over, maybe there's just a debate as to when it actually happened, and Nengocalc goes with the 661 date (again, for convenience). I have him as ostensibly taking over in 661, but there was a regency from 661-668, so maybe it wasn't 'official' until 668 and he kept the title of prince until his official coronation.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is the subject of the next calendar thread, but as was said above, after the first two nengo, from the reign of Saimei 斉明 (654), nengo were not used for a while, just reign years. BUT reign years did not change during the year. So, Saimei died in the 7th month of the 7th year (661) of her reign, but the Nihon Shoki lists the start of the next year (662) as 元年春正月, so Tenji 1. Tenji 6 is 667. Looking at the Nihon Shoki, it seems they moved to Omi that year.
(I think the reign starting in 668 was my careless mistake. Sorry!)


May I have a quiz question?
The recent Taisho, Showa, and Heisei like the ancient reign years are based on the emperor's reigns. We call them nengo, but should they really be called reign years instead?

Anyway, thanks for the publicity.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
(I think the reign starting in 668 was my careless mistake. Sorry!)


I think the reign did 'officially' start in 668, though. Can a reign start during a regency, or before an official coronation?


Bethetsu wrote:
May I have a quiz question?


Sure, I'm feeling generous this weekend Laughing

Bethetsu wrote:
The recent Taisho, Showa, and Heisei like the ancient reign years are based on the emperor's reigns. We call them nengo, but should they really be called reign years instead?


I'd say no, since you say that reign years don't change during a year. 1912 is both Meiji 45 and Taisho 1, so it wouldn't be a reign year but a nengo under that definition.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:


I think the reign did 'officially' start in 668, though. Can a reign start during a regency, or before an official coronation?

Apparently so:[7th year of Emperor Tenji (668) 1.3] spring, 7Y 1M 3D. The crown prince was enthroned. <other mansuscripts give the date as the 6th (丁卯) year, 3rd month> ( Nihon Shiki, though the parts in brackets are a later gloss.)
《天皇七年(六六八)正月戊子【三】》◆七年春正月丙戌朔戊子。皇太子即天皇位。〈或本云。六年歳次丁卯三月、即位。〉

即位is an enthronement ceremony
即位:旧制で、天皇践祚(せんそ)の後、即位の大礼を行うこと。しょくい。(Kojien)践祚 is succession right after a death. So the year count starts after the succession 践祚, not the enthronement. And I guess that is why in Tenji 6 they could still call him "Prince Naka no Ôe". The Nihon Shoki calls him 皇太子 in an entry in 6.1.
Therefore obviously the reign could start well before the enthronement.
I would doubt the reign would start during a regency, though, as the regent is regent for the person who is reigning.

Tatsunoshi wrote:

Bethetsu:The recent Taisho, Showa, and Heisei like the ancient reign years are based on the emperor's reigns. We call them nengo, but should they really be called reign years instead

I'd say no, since you say that reign years don't change during a year. 1912 is both Meiji 45 and Taisho 1, so it wouldn't be a reign year but a nengo under that definition.

That is my opinion, too. Very Happy In particular, for the modern emperors the first year 元年 starts with the succession, while in ancient times it was the year after the succession.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Can a reign start during a regency, or before an official coronation?


Absolutely. I can't think of any specific examples among Japanese Emperors, but I am sure there are numerous cases of Emperors taking power before being formally crowned/enthroned.

Some kings of Ryukyu went as long as 5-10 years before being officially "invested" by the Chinese.

Quote:
We call them nengo, but should they really be called reign years instead?


I think they should be called whatever it is the Japanese call them.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:

I would doubt the reign would start during a regency, though, as the regent is regent for the person who is reigning.


I'm not so sure about that. It seems that the reign starts at the death or abdication of the previous monarch. Thus we have the Nihon Shoki starting the Tenji years just after the death of Saimei. It might have reflected his attempts to allow for the proper Confucian mourning procedures, or there might be something else going on--I notice that Empress Dowager Hashibito dies shortly before Tenji is elevated, as well, and it makes me wonder what role she played, politically.

Regardless, the nengo for these years appear to come out of the Nihon Shoki, and I suspect those are numbered because they didn't want to have breaks in between Saimei and Tenji and so we have the first year of Tenji right after Saimei's death.

Remember, they wouldn't have used "Tenji 1" until after his death, as I believe that was a posthumous regnal name, and not used during his life, correct?

-Josh
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
Absolutely. I can't think of any specific examples among Japanese Emperors, but I am sure there are numerous cases of Emperors taking power before being formally crowned/enthroned.


The J-wiki article for shousei (称制), which describes the case when a successor to the throne takes the reins of the administration after the death of the previous ruler and before any official accession ceremony, gives the examples of Emperor Tenji and Empress Jitou.

According to the same article, some say this applies to Empress Jingu, Iitoyo Ao no Himemiko (飯豊青皇女), and Empress Genmei, as well.

I am sure Ooms covers this in more detail. I will check his book when I go home.

Wiki mentions scholarly uncertainty as to why Tenji did not immediately become emperor. One theory is that he had had an affair with Hashihito, apparently his younger sister by the same mother, which had created a political barrier to the throne. Others posit that she was simply an intermediary "throne warmer" before Tenji's time came (thus suggesting she was in cahoots with Tenji?).

The Nihon Shoki adopts "etsunen kaigen" (越年改元), which refers to the calendrical procedure of using only one gengou (元号) per calendar year out of deference to the previous ruler (which derives from Confucian mourning ideals). The first year of Tenji is therefore 662, even though he took the reins the same day that Saimei passed away.

As Josh hinted at, this seems to be an expediency taken by the Nihon Shoki compilers.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
Bethetsu:
I would doubt the reign would start during a regency, though, as the regent is regent for the person who is reigning.

I'm not so sure about that. It seems that the reign starts at the death or abdication of the previous monarch. Thus we have the Nihon Shoki starting the Tenji years just after the death of Saimei.
By a regent I meant someone ruling for someone else, like Shotoku. I would not call Tenji a regent after the death of Saimei, so there is no problem to have the year after her death a year 1.
JLBadgley wrote:
It might have reflected his attempts to allow for the proper Confucian mourning procedures, or there might be something else going on-
Regardless, the nengo for these years appear to come out of the Nihon Shoki, and I suspect those are numbered because they didn't want to have breaks in between Saimei and Tenji and so we have the first year of Tenji right after Saimei's death.

Remember, they wouldn't have used "Tenji 1" until after his death, as I believe that was a posthumous regnal name, and not used during his life, correct?
Since this was already a record-keeping era, not only would the Nihon Shoki not want a break, the contemporary administration would want a way to number years. So if the Shoki gives 662 as Year 1, 668 as year 7, and 671 as year 10, I would assume that was the contemporary numbering. Why would the Shoki change it? What would they have changed it from? By the way, the Shoki itself just says "七年" --the headings never have "X's N年"--Tenji , etc. are additions of later editors, but of course are standard by now.

Starting Year 1 of a reign the year after the death of a ruler long predates Confucius. It is used by the Spring and Autumn Annals.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
No, what I was wondering was if there was another regent who was never named as "emperor" or "empress"--but I don't know enough about the personalities of the day. It would seem odd, though, because they have other unsavory items in there (e.g. Temmu usurping from Tenji's son), and Tenji seems pretty active in the administration, according to the text, leading me to think it was really something else. I was not calling Tenji a regent, though.

We likely have mokkan from this period, but what would the mokkan or other similar contemporary items say, when dated? Just start a new book, and keep it running until the monarch dies? "Modern Era 1"? So how do we know what was being done at this time outside of histories written after the fact? Or would they have been more likely to just use the year cycles, and then name them after the fact?

What would they make of the fact that we call it "Heisei 23"... would that be perfectly normal, or would they see it as weird to use the name of the emperor before he has died?

Or should we move this discussion back to the Time and Date thread? Wink


-Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It seems there are many theories and no clear answer for that.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
What would they make of the fact that we call it "Heisei 23"... would that be perfectly normal, or would they see it as weird to use the name of the emperor before he has died?

Or should we move this discussion back to the Time and Date thread? Wink

That would be a good idea, but perhaps not yet. I am still trying to finish up the current thread on the relation with western years. I plan to start a thread on nengo and reign years after a break, so maybe we can look at those questions then.

shikisoku wrote:
It seems there are many theories and no clear answer for that.

What is "that"? We have talked about many things on this thread
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, the oldest mokkan (木簡; wooden tablet) that I am familiar with is from 648 and written in man'yougana (this pushed back the original assumed date for the establishment of man'yougana by several decades). It was discovered at the Naniwa no miya (難波宮) site. It has the characters for the tsuchinoesaru (戊申年) year. For perspective, the Taika Reforms spearheaded by the future Emperor Tenji were 646.

We also find a mokkan discovered at the Sanjou Kunotsubo site (三条九ノ坪遺跡) bearing a date suggesting 652. This corresponds to Hakuchi 3 (白雉三年), but the mokkan does not bear that nengou. Rather, it has "三 壬子年■", from which the date 652 can be derived (ask Bethetsu about this...The year in which "three" and "Mizunoene" overlap corresponds to 652, but I can't give a sound explanation, since I am not enrolled in her calendar class Just Kidding )

Additionally, mokkan with 大宝 (Taihou) 元年 (701) have also been found in Kyushu.

There is also additional evidence suggesting contemporaneous use of nengou during the second half of the 8th century -- with an imperial connection to boot.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
But nengou != gengou, as I understand it--even before Tenji, Koutoku had created nengou, but then it fell out of use before being used again. As far as I know, early nengou didn't ever reflect the posthumous name of the emperor (which would seem to be impossible to know until after his or her death; or at least inauspicious to use). When we see the nengou in use, they are reflecting edicts proclaimed by the emperor that the nengou has changed and a new era has begun.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
Well, the oldest mokkan (木簡; wooden tablet) that I am familiar with is from 648 and written in man'yougana (this pushed back the original assumed date for the establishment of man'yougana by several decades). It was discovered at the Naniwa no miya (難波宮) site. It has the characters for the tsuchinoesaru (戊申年) year. For perspective, the Taika Reforms spearheaded by the future Emperor Tenji were 646.

We also find a mokkan discovered at the Sanjou Kunotsubo site (三条九ノ坪遺跡) bearing a date suggesting 652. This corresponds to Hakuchi 3 (白雉三年), but the mokkan does not bear that nengou. Rather, it has "三 壬子年■", from which the date 652 can be derived

I found a website with a database of the mokkan.

http://www.nabunken.jp/Open/mokkan/mokkan1.html
I found 21 mokkan listed as 7th century. They all have cyclical dates. It is interesting that the 652 one you mentioned is the only one that has a number for the year as well. However, many of the others have unreadable characters before the cyclic year, so they may have had year numbers originally.

What were the manyogana for the 648 one? The database gave the content for it as
・「□」○『稲稲』○戊申年□□□\○□□□□□□〔連ヵ〕・『/〈〉/佐□□十六 □∥○支□乃□』
and I don't know what it would be.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
My apologies -- I pulled those references together too quickly before bed it looks like. I will edit my post.

The Naniwa no miya site revealed several mokkan, one of which was the boshin (戊申年; 648) mokkan (oldest extant mokkan) and the other being the one written in man'yougana: 皮留久佐乃皮斯米之刀斯 "Harukusa (春草) no hajime no toshi" (oldest example of man'yougana).

Both are dated to the mid-7th-century.

Bethetsu, would you explain the reasoning behind " 壬子年"? I was under the impression that "壬子年" alone could be understood as 652 (J-wiki backs this up).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
I was under the impression that "壬子年" alone could be understood as 652 (J-wiki backs this up).


It can-I'm thinking the 'three' is just referring to the third year of the era, and helps place it in the proper actual year (652 and not, say, 712) of the Sexegenary cycle (it might be the only mizunoe ne year that fell in the third year of a reign in the general time period of the mokkan).

But there's probably some incredibly involved and obtuse other reason involved Laughing .
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:

Bethetsu, would you explain the reasoning behind " 壬子年"? I was under the impression that "壬子年" alone could be understood as 652 (J-wiki backs this up).

OK.
壬子年 is the cyclic year for 652. But you get a 壬子 every 60 years, so 352 and 1912 are also 壬子. However, this stick was found at an archeological site, and probably, based on the Nihon Shoki, history of scripts, architecturals remains, etc., they would presume that anything found at that stratum was mid 7th century unless it was clearly out of place. The only 7th-century 壬子 year is 652, so 壬子 by itself is enough to presume this mokkan is 652.
However, since we have also the number 3, let's use it. According to the Nihon Shoki, Hakuchi started in 650, so 652 is the third year of Hakuchi, and that fits. The previous 壬子 year, 592, was the fifth year of 崇峻, and the next, 712, was the 5th year of Wadô, so this backs up this mokkan's being 652.

From a quick look at the data base, from Taihô, on, specifying the nengo becomes common.
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