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Rise and Fall of the Fujiwara: Part II

 
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:44 am    Post subject: Rise and Fall of the Fujiwara: Part II Reply with quote
Continued from Part I.



Fujiwara no Fuhito had made himself and his family quite important at court. His brothers also appear to be doing not so poorly themselves.

Fuhito passed away in 720. His four sons founded the four main branches of the Fujiwara. Most important to our current study, however, is that of Northern Branch.

Fujiwara no Fusasaki (681-737), son of Fuhito, was the founder of the Northern branch of the Fujiwara. He fathered Fujiwara no Matate (706-764), who was the father of Fujiwara no Uchimaro (756-812), who was, in turn, the father of Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu (775-826). (Based on information from Joan Piggott's interpretation of Morita Tei's "Toward Regency Leadership at Court", in Capital and Countryside in Japan, 300-1180)

Before getting to Fuyutsugu's role, let's talk about the period this is taking place in, and what is happening in the background.

(WARNING: Due to my personal lack of resources on much of this period, I'm relying heavily on Internet research to give a brief timeline of some of the more important events. I ask that people please elaborate, correct, and add as appropriate.)

The Nihongi takes us up to the year 697. As of 694, Jito Tenno had moved the court to the recently built Fujiwara-kyo. It had been the tradition of the court to move regularly, for various reasons. Fujiwara-kyo, however, was the first capital that was planned in the Chinese tradition. It would remain the capital until 710.



Fujiwara no Fusasaki would have moved to the capital at Fujiwara-kyo with his father when he was 13 years old. In 697 he would have witnessed Jito Tenno's abdication in favor of her grandson, Mommu Tenno. Jito-in would pass away 5 years later.

Mommu Tenno passed away himself in 707, having reigned for 10 years. Throughout, Fujiwara no Fuhito appears to have been an important figure, holding a position as Dainagon and marrying his daughter to Mommu Tenno.



Mommu Tenno was succeeded by his mother, Gemmei Tenno. This is likely because his son and heir was only 6 years old at the time of his passing. During her reign, in 710, she would move the capital to Heijo-kyo, in the Nara region. This begins the Nara period. Fujiwara no Fuhito eventually became Udaijin--Minister of the Right. This would be the highest rank he would attain during his life.



Gemmei Tenno resigns in 715 in favor of her daughter, Gensho Tenno. During her reign, in 720, Fujiwara no Fuhito dies. He is succeeded in the role of Udaijin by Prince Nagaya. The Prince and the Fujiwara family appear to enter into a political contest for power in the government. Fuhito's contributions to the legal code of the time are codified in the Yoro Ritsuryo.

Note: 720 is also the year for the completion of the Nihongi.



Gemmei Tenno resigns, and her nephew, Shomu Tenno, comes to the throne in 724. Shomu Tenno is also a grandson of Fujiwara no Fuhito, his mother being Fuhito's daughter, who had been made consort to Mommu Tenno.

Under Shomu Tenno, the position of the capital returns to a state of flux. In 726, construction is begun on a palace in Naniwa, which had been the site of numerous capitals over the yearss. However, in 740 it is moved to Kuni-kyo. In 744 the capital is finally moved to Naniwa, but it then returns to Heijo-kyo in 745.



I'm going to stop here for a moment. I'm not entirely clear on all the reasons for these moves--anyone want to do some digging and see what they can find?


-Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'll do a little reading this morning in Cambridge History and see what it might have to say.
In the meantime, though, I thought the physical existence of a capital at Naniwa has never been proven. Not true? And if true, why-it seems with all the construction in Osaka, they would have turned up something. The other sites seem to be pretty well established.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm not sure about the capital--there was a palace, I believe ("indisputably", my wife says. She visited the site, so I'll look through her pictures).

Here's the pictures she has from the Osaka National Museum and the surrounding area (though I realize that Museums are in no way foolproof):



I believe this is a recreation of the foundation of one of the old palaces.



I believe this is the location of post holes found for the what is believed to have been the 'new' Naniwa palace (so I guess that means the Nara period one).



Here's the museum exhibit on the excavations.

And here's the conjectures on what the palaces may have looked like:





Here's all the pictures in that set:
http://flickr.com/photos/tatsushu/sets/72157600771197254/

The 'Capital' (as in a full city) I've only seen in 「古代の都を復元する」--and that's just an outline overlaid on top of Osaka.

From what I can tell, it looks like there may have been a 'palace' at Naniwa since about 645. What that consisted of is probably debatable. If there was a 'capital' in the Nara period it was only occupied briefly--according to what I've seen it may have only been occupied for a single year. If that was the case, I have to wonder just how 'finished' the capital was and why it was abandoned so quickly.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nags,

I think I remember seeing CG renditions of the palace in a mook on 古代日本 that I know that you have but I don't. Wink Do you have it with you back in MN? If so, what does it say on the subject?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great photos, Josh-thanks for posting them.

I didn't find much on the capital moves yesterday, so I'll try again today.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the frequent capital relocations have something to do with astrological issues? Nagaeyari, you've got to have some sources on this. I think Sansom mentions it, but I don't have my book on hand. I did a search for 古都の移転 but at first glance most of the stuff I found was irrelevant.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm currently looking at 「CG日本史シリーズ2:古代日本」. Since I'm dealing with an all-Japanese source, please forgive any mistakes.

Two Naniwa "capitals":

Naniwa-no-miya 難波宮 was the "capital" from 652-655, towards the end of Koutoku's 孝徳天皇 reign. Naniwa-kyo 難波京, however, was the short-lived capital from 744-745. If you look at a map, it sits conspicuously far from the other capitals that stretch from north to south: Heian-kyo, Nagaoka-kyo, Kuni-kyo, Heijo-kyo, and Fujiwara-kyo.

Koutoku moved the capital to Naniwa and it was here that the assassination of Iruka (Isshi no Hen 乙巳の変) took place. In 652, Koutoku had Naniwa no Nagara no Toyosaki no Miya 難波長柄豊碕宮 built. After Koutoku died, Saimei (the previous Kougyoku) succeeded to the throne and moved the capital to Asuka.

According to the Japanese Wikipedia article on 難波長柄豊崎宮, some ruins have actually been found. The following quote is taken from a website that can be found in the external links section of the same jwiki article.

Quote:
ここで、難波宮発掘の歴史について少し触れておきます。

■先に奈良時代の難波宮(後期難波宮)の所在地を支持する重要な資料が発見されていました。公営アパートの建築による調査。山根徳太郎氏による地道な発掘作業により、難波宮の全貌は少しずつ解明されてきました。

●1954年 第1次発掘開始。
●1955年 第4次発掘で奈良時代の瓦(蓮華文丸瓦と重圏文丸瓦)が地下2メートルの同じ層位から並んで出土。
●1957年 第6次発掘で柱痕列の発見。後期難波宮内裏をかこむ回廊の一部。

●1958年 第8次発掘で、奈良時代の遺構にかさなって、一時代古い火災にあった柱列のあと。
▼『日本書記』に天武天皇の朱鳥元年(686年)正月14日の条に「酉時、難波の大蔵省失火し、宮室悉く焼く」とありますが、これが発掘された火災にあった柱列の年代と一致(^^) こうして火事で全焼した前期難波宮の存在が確かなものとなっていきます。

●1961年 第13次発掘で後期「大極殿」の発見/1964年に国の史跡に指定。
●1987年 「大蔵」跡の発見
●1972年 前期「八画殿」の発見
●1993年 前期「朱雀門」の発見

■難波宮建立の当時、上町台地の最北端の大阪城のあるところは、この地方の神がまつられている神聖な地域であったために手をつけなかったのであろうと考えられています。


While J-Wiki says that 難波京's existence has never been proven, there is a picture of a roof tile supposedly belonging to the mystery capital on page 333 of 日本の歴史3:奈良の都 by Aoki Kazuo 青木和夫.


Last edited by nagaeyari on Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ashigaru wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the frequent capital relocations have something to do with astrological issues? Nagaeyari, you've got to have some sources on this. I think Sansom mentions it, but I don't have my book on hand. I did a search for 古都の移転 but at first glance most of the stuff I found was irrelevant.


I checked some books quickly, but did not find anything. I know that capitals were moved for the following reasons: flooding, deaths, overpopulation, strength of the Buddhist temples, etc...

Much of the court decisions of early Japan were based on divination, geomancy, and the like. Kidder supposes that kofun placement was also decided based on superstitions of directions. Kitora Kofun has astrological maps "painted" on the inside walls.

Therefore, even though I can't find anything concrete to prove what you're suggesting, it is completely believable.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nagaeyari, are you certain about the Soga no Iruka incident?

The Nihongi (and everything else I've seen) puts Iruka's death at 645. The earliest date I've seen for moving into the Naniwa-no-miya is 645, but usually following the death of Soga no Iruka (this would make sense, as it was when Kogyoku Tenno stepped down in favor of her son, Kotoku Tenno).

Ah, here we are: (N. Kotoku XXV.13) "Winter, 12th month, 9th day. The Emperor removed the capital to Toyosaki in Nagara at Naniha. Old people, remarking upon this to one another, said:--"The movement of rats towards Naniha from spring until summer was an omen of the removal of the capital."

Before that, the following palaces were supposed to be in the Osaka area:

Ojin Tenno - Ohosumi-no-miya
Nintoku Tenno - Takatsu-no-miya
Kimmei Tenno - Hafuritsu-no-miya

Ah, according to this, the palace took 8 years to build, so that would accord with about 652/653 as the date of completion.

Naniwa also appears numerous times as a fairly busy port from whence foreign embassies seem to have come and gone.

Regarding portents, the quote from the Nihongi, above shows a portent, but it is only interpreted after the fact. I think there was usually some event that triggered a capital move, but I don't know that astrological portents were the main motivator--though they may have been later justifications.

Geomantic requirements were followed for the layout of a capital. Off the top of my wife's head:

Sloping from north to south
Mountains on 3 sides
'Feature' to the northeast (usually mountain or hill)
(I think there was a requirement for a river coming in going northeast to southwest, but I can't quite recall and my wife wants me to stop pestering her.)

One of the early thoughts I've seen on the move of the capital was due to pollution of the previous site due to death. I don't know if that is actually borne out anywhere, or just an assumption based on Shinto practice.

Another thing that strikes me is that, until Fujiwara-kyo, it was the court that moved, but I don't know if they had a new palace built each time or just moved into an existing abode.

Regarding the existence of the Naniwa capital--I'm pretty sure that there were imperial palaces there. Whether all of the ones mentioned were there, or whether or not there was ever a capital 'city', per se, is hard to know.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Adding to the picture extravaganza, there are two institutions from the Nara period that were closely tied to the Fujiwara that are still active today: Kofukuji and Kasuga Taisha. While they have been rebuilt over the years, I believe that they may help give us further insights into the events and life of the Nara period:



669 - Kofukuji built by Kagami no Okimi, consort to Nakatomi no Kamatari, to pray for Kamatari's recovery from illness. Originally built at a family estate in Yamashina Suehara (modern Kyoto pref.) and initially known as Yamashina-dera. Housed a Shaka triad commissioned by Kamatari on his defeat of the Soga in 645. Moved shortly after its construction to Umayasaka in Nara, and then to its present location when Nara (Heijo-kyo) became the capital in 710. As a powerful Fujiwara institution, it would later exert considerable control over the Kasuga shrine, which became independent in the Meiji period. Today, Kofukuji is one of the head temples of the Hosso sect. However, since this sect was transmitted to Japan (and Kofukuji in general) by Gembo (d. 746), who received them during his studies in China from 716-735, it must have been converted at some later date.



714 - Chukon-do built (construction had started in 710). Restored in 1811, though undergoing restoration again to be completed in 2010.



721 - Hokuendo built by Gemmei Tenno and Gensho Tenno for the anniversary of the death of Fujiwara no Fuhito. Reconstructed in 1210 (current building dates from this time).



725 - the Goju-no-to was built (restored in 1426). Second highest pagoda in Japan.

726 - Tokon-do built by order of Shommu Tenno for the recovery of Gensho Tenno. Rebuilt in 1415.



768 - Kasuga Taisha built to protect Heijo-kyo in the east. It enshrines Takemikazuchi no Mikoto, from Kashima Jingu; Fushinushi no Mikoto, from Katori Jingu; and Amenokoyane no Mikoto. The impetus appears to have been the Minister of the Left, Fujiwara no Nagate (714-771), one of the sons of Fujiwara no Fusasaki (so a brother to Fujiwara no Matate).
I could swear I had a better picture....



813 - Nan'endo constructed in 813 by Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu. Rebuilt in 1789. (I know it is outside of the Nara period... consider this 'foreshadowing'...)

During the Nara period it was one of the "Four Great Temples". Note the faded colors--in all liklihood, these colors would have been bright and vibrant during the Nara and Heian periods. Today, many temples have let their colors fade to the more somber dark wood and white (which I've always assumed had to do with the influence of Zen, wabi-sabi, and the shoin-zukuri style in general).

Kofukuji Information:
http://www.kohfukuji.com/complex.html

Kasuga Information:
http://www.kasugataisha.or.jp/
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Fantastic thread. Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
Nagaeyari, are you certain about the Soga no Iruka incident?


The quote: 譲位によって即位した孝徳天皇が都を難波に移し、ここで大化の改新が起こる。After the abdication of Kougyoku, and the subsequent enthronement of Kotoku, the capital was moved to Naniwa, where the Iruka incident went down. However, keep reading down my post:

Quote:
The Nihongi (and everything else I've seen) puts Iruka's death at 645. The earliest date I've seen for moving into the Naniwa-no-miya is 645, but usually following the death of Soga no Iruka (this would make sense, as it was when Kogyoku Tenno stepped down in favor of her son, Kotoku Tenno).


Oh boy. I don't know how this all happened, but I've been seeing 650 dates as 640 dates. There's a chart that shows Naniwa-no-miya from 652-655, and I was thinking, "hey, that's 3 years before 645. The Iruka Incident would take place here, then." Oops.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
The quote: 譲位によって即位した孝徳天皇が都を難波に移し、ここで大化の改新が起こる。After the abdication of Kougyoku, and the subsequent enthronement of Kotoku, the capital was moved to Naniwa, where the Iruka incident went down.


So not the "Iruka" incident, but where the Taika reforms were actually enacted (which was a fairly direct result of the Iruka incident).

Do we have Naniwa pretty much covered at this point? At least as far as we are going to get until they dig up more evidence one way or another?

-Josh
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wow, I've been to all of these places - did you take the Nara 8 hour bus tour or something? That's how I was able to squeeze them all in.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Quick Nara Quiz Reply with quote
I may have found some more, interesting documents on the Nara period, but as I check them out (in my not-so-copious spare time right now) I figured I'd run a few questions at people:

1. I mentioned earlier the 'Four Great Temples' of the Nara period. What were they?

2. What institution today holds the largest array of items from the time of Shommu Tenno and Komyo Tenno?

-Josh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm currently trying to work out some of the history behind the rebellion of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu around 740. It appears that the death of the 'four brothers' of the Fujiwara family, all in 737 by illness, apparently, left a power vacuum. Their children were thus sucked into it, and one in particular--a son of Fujiwara no Umakai--would become labeled as a rebel and killed in 740.

Here is the article I'm working my way through:

http://nels.nii.ac.jp/els/110004678595.pdf;jsessionid=EA8960BD70634BEF222EA18EE253C494?id=ART0007409938&type=pdf&lang=en&host=cinii&order_no=&ppv_type=0&lang_sw=&no=1214620432&cp=

But I have limited time and I admit the kanbun sections boggle me (I have a hard enough time when the author decides to use 'academic' words rather than just saying something). So, with that and limited time, it may take a while for me to get through this.

In the meantime, I encourage people to post what they can about the Nara period, and take us up to 794. What can people tell us about this period and what happened?

-Josh

PS: Kitsuno--isn't this what everyone goes to see in Nara?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Nara Quiz Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:

1. I mentioned earlier the 'Four Great Temples' of the Nara period. What were they?

2. What institution today holds the largest array of items from the time of Shommu Tenno and Komyo Tenno?

-Josh


Temples! Finally, something I know a little about.

The Four Great Temples at first aren't what you would expect-they were Asukadera, Yakushiji, Daianji, and Kawadera. Kawadera's place in the list was later superceded by Kofukuji, and I think Daianji by Todaiji. Like a lot of 'numbered' Japanese lists, the contents seem to change depending on the time period and who is doing the writing.

Shosho-in (at Todai-ji), which every fall holds a public exhibition of a small selection of its artifacts for two weeks. It was established after the death of Shommu Tenno. Besides the regular type of artifacts such as statuary, bowls, clothes, and household furnishings, it also has about 12,000 documents which have survived and have been the subject of many a Japanese book. Nag's buddy William Wayne Farris wrote an interesting article on the classification of these along with some of the information they contained in Monumenta Nipponica last year (the '4' volume, I think). As I recall, besides the documents attached to artifacts, most of them seemed to be from the Office Of Sutra Transcription and the Office For Construction Of Ishiyamadera. I found it instructive that many of these documents survived simply because paper was considered valuable and was hardly ever thrown away (so the other side or unused portions could be used).[/b]
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Pertaining to Hirotsugu's rebellion, Farris' "Heavenly Warriors" has a great section on this.

I'm currently reading and taking notes on the rebellion in 日本の歴史3:奈良の都. Since there's a lot of court vocab that I've never had to deal with before in Japanese, it will take me a bit.

Here's the J-Wiki article: here.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What's the major hang-up--the ranks (I figure probably not those, since they are pretty straightforward) or the titles (which kill me).

If it is the titles, I may have a few resources at home. There is also a chart out there of the various titles under the ritsuryo system--I think the one I remember seeing was put online by the Imperial Household Agency. The main problem I have with it, though, is trying to figure out how to transliterate it into romaji (how many ways can you write 'no-kami', after all?).


-Josh
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