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Domains of Yamato Japan

 
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Jaak
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:24 am    Post subject: Domains of Yamato Japan Reply with quote
By the end of 6th century, the upper elite of Japan was concentrated at the Yamato court in Kinai. The participants in the fight for power, like Mononobe, Soga and Nakatomi clans, lived and fought at court - they did not fight from power bases in provinces. The nobles permanently in provinces were petty nobility not powerful chieftains, plus governors sent out from the court without roots in the province

It had not always been the case. The 8th century histories remembered Iwai rebellion, and Iwai seems to have been a governor of Tsukushi. Also the governors and chieftains of Kibi and Izumo are depicted as powerful and wayward figures.

Does it mean that Japan was not "consolidated" or that Yamato court "did not control" Kibi?

The Edo bakufu had to deal with powerful daimyo domains until end of the bakufu. They were entrenched, hereditary rulers with their own retainers whom the bakufu (in case of the more powerful tozama daimyo) could not freely move or attaint - legal authority was claimed, but in practice the Edo bakufu never dared move against Maeda or Shimazu.

Just because Choshu and Satsuma were able to rebel and win in 1867 did not, however, mean that Tokugawa bakufu had no control over these domains back in 1617 - or that Toyotomi could not mobilize Choshu and Satsuma forces in 1592 to invade Korea.

Now, the 8th century Japanese historians were 2 centuries removed from early 6th century conditions, let alone earlier times. 3rd century Chinese envoys were contemporary, though.
They describe the Yamatai empire as containing 20 "countries", incl. Yamatai itself. These included Na.

In 3rd century Na was dependent on Yamatai. Yamatai officials met Chinese envoys in Na, and Na was not engaging in diplomacy in its own name, as had happened in 57.

Yet Na, Tomo and other countries existed.

Are the Japanese histories of early 6th century and earlier consistent with existence of autonomous domains?
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Domains of Yamato Japan Reply with quote
Jaak wrote:
Are the Japanese histories of early 6th century and earlier consistent with existence of autonomous domains?


We don't really have any Japanese histories of the early 6th century and earlier. There is one mentioned as having been destroyed with the destruction of the Soga, but we have no other information on it. In addition, the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki were likely drawing from older extant histories of the time.

That said, they were clearly politically motivated, and the Tenmu dynasty had little need to emphasize any earlier sovereign nations. I've seen attempts to identify connections with items described elsewhere (e.g. searching for "Pimiko" in the text), but the further you go back from the date they were authored, the less reliable they get.

-Josh
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