Nara is the capital city of Nara Prefecture located in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture. Eight temples and ruins in Nara remain: Tōdai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gangō-ji, Yakushi-ji, Tōshōdai-ji, the Heijō Palace, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, collectively form "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During 710 CE - 784 CE, Nara was the capital of Japan, the Emperor lived there before moving the capital to Kyoto. By the Heian period, a variety of different characters had been used to represent the name Nara: 乃楽, 乃羅, 平, 平城, 名良, 奈良, 奈羅, 常, 那良, 那楽, 那羅, 楢, 諾良, 諾楽, 寧, 寧楽 and 儺羅. A number of theories for the origin of the name Nara have been proposed, some of the better-known ones are listed here; the second theory in the list, by notable folklorist Kunio Yanagita, is most accepted at present. The Nihon Shoki suggests. According to this account, in September in the tenth year of Emperor Sujin, "leading selected soldiers went forward, climbed Nara-yama and put them in order.
Now the imperial forces flattened trees and plants. Therefore the mountain is called Nara-yama." Though the narrative itself is regarded as a folk etymology and few researchers regard it as historical, this is the oldest surviving suggestion, is linguistically similar to the following theory by Yanagita. "Flat land" theory: In his 1936 study of placenames, the author Kunio Yanagita states that "the topographical feature of an area of gentle gradient on the side of a mountain, called taira in eastern Japan and hae in the south of Kyushu, is called naru in the Chūgoku region and Shikoku. This word gives rise to the verb narasu, adverb narashi, adjective narushi." This is supported by entries in a dialect dictionary for nouns referring to flat areas: naru and naro. Yanagita further comments that the way in which the fact that so many of these placenames are written using the character 平, or other characters in which it is an element, demonstrates the validity of this theory. Citing a 1795 document, Inaba-shi from the province of Inaba, the eastern part of modern Tottori, as indicating the reading naruji for the word 平地, Yanagita suggests that naruji would have been used as a common noun there until the modern period.
Of course, the fact that "Nara" was written 平 or 平城 as above is further support for this theory. The idea that Nara is derived from 楢 nara is the next most common opinion; this idea was suggested by Yoshida Togo. This noun for the plant can be seen as early as in Man ` Harima-no-kuni Fudoki; the latter book states the place name Narahara in Harima derives from this nara tree, which might support Yoshida's theory. Note that the name of the nearby city of Kashihara contains a semantically similar morpheme. Nara could be a loan word from Korean nara; this idea was put forward by a linguist Matsuoka Shizuo. Not much about the Old Korean language is known today, the first written attestation of a word ancestral to Modern Korean nara is as late as the 15th century, such as in Yongbieocheonga, Wolinseokbo, or Beophwagyeongeonhae, there is no evidence that proves the word existed as far back as the 7th century; these 15th-century books used narah, an old form of nara in Korean, its older form might be reconstructed *narak.
American linguist Christopher I. Beckwith infers the Korean narak derives from the late Middle Old Chinese 壌, from early *narak, has no connection with Goguryoic and Japanese na. Kusuhara et al. points out this hypothesis cannot account for the fact there are lots of places named Nara and Naro besides this Nara. There is the idea. In some Tungusic languages such as Orok, na means land or the like; some have speculated about a connection between these Tungusic words and Old Japanese nawi, an archaic and somewhat obscure word that appears in the verb phrases nawi furu and nawi yoru. The "Flat land" theory is adopted by Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, various dictionaries for place names, history books on Nara and the like today, it is regarded as the most likely. By decree of an edict on March 11, 708 AD, Empress Genmei ordered the court to relocate to the new capital, Nara. Once known as Heijō or Heijō-kyō, the city was established as Japan’s first permanent capital in 710 CE. Heijō, as the ‘penultimate court’, was abandoned by the order of Emperor Kammu in 784 CE in favor of the temporary site of Nagaoka, Kyoto which retained the status of capital for 1,100 years, until the Meiji Emperor made the final move to Edo
Emperor Shōmu was the 45th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Shōmu's reign spanned the years 724 through 749. Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name is not known, but he was known as Oshi-hiraki Toyosakura-hiko-no-mikoto. Shōmu was Fujiwara no Miyako, a daughter of Fujiwara no Fuhito. Shōmu had six Imperial sons and daughters. Shōmu was still a child at the time of his father's death. 724: In the 9th year of Genshō-tennō's reign, the empress abdicated. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Shōmu is said to have acceded to the throne. January 31, 724: The era name is changed to mark the accession of Emperor Shōmu. 735–737: A major smallpox epidemic raged throughout Japan, incurring adult mortality rates of about 25% to 35%. Shōmu continued to reside in the Hezei Palace. Shōmu is known as the first emperor, his consort Kōmyō was a non-royal Fujiwara commoner. A ritsuryō office was created for the Kogogushiki. While battle maneuvers of the Fujiwara no Hirotsugu Rebellion were still underway, in Tenpyō 12 10th month Emperor Shōmu left the capital at Heijō-kyō and traveled eastward via Horikoshi, Nabari, Ao to Kawaguchi in Ichishi District, Ise Province where he retreated together with his court to a temporary palace.
One of his generals was left in command of the capital. Shōmu feared Fujiwara supporters in Nara and was hoping to quell potential uprisings in other parts of the country with his presence. After four days travelling through heavy rain and thick mud, the party reached Kawaguchi on Tenpyō 12 11th month, 2nd day A couple of days they learn of Hirotsugu's execution and that the rebellion had been quelled. Despite the good news, Shōmu did not return to Heijō-kyō but stayed in Kawaguchi until Tenpyō 12 11th month, 11th day, he continued his journey east north via Mino Province and back west along the shores of Lake Biwa to Kuni in Yamashiro Province which he reached on Tenpyō 12 12th month, 15th day. Places passed along the way included Akasaka (赤坂頓宮. 1st d.: Dec 23）, Inukami (犬上頓宮. Situated among the hills and near a river north of Nara, Kuni was defensible. In addition, the area was linked with the Minister of the Right, Tachibana no Moroe, while Nara was a center of the Fujiwara clan. On Tenpyō 12 12th month, 15 day Shōmu proclaimed a new capital at Kuni-kyō.
724: Emperor Shōmu rises to throne. 740: In the Imperial court in Nara, Kibi no Makibi and Genbō conspire to discredit Fujiwara no Hirotsugu, Dazai shoni in Kyushu. 740: Hirotsugu rebels in reaction to the growing influence of Genbō and others. 740: Under the command of Ōno no Azumabito, an Imperial army of 17,000 is sent to Kyushu to stop the potential disturbance. 740: Hirotsugu is decisively beaten in battle. 740: The capital is moved to Kuni-kyō 741: The Emperor calls for nationwide establishment of provincial temples. Provincial temples and provincial nunneries were established throughout the country; the more formal name for these "kokubunji" was "konkomyo-shitenno-gokoku no tera". The more formal name for these "bokubunniji" was "hokke-metuzai no tera". 743: The Emperor issues a rescript to build the Daibutsu to be completed and placed in Tōdai-ji, Nara. 743: The law of Perpetual Ownership of Cultivated Lands issued 744: In the spring, the court was moved to Naniwa-kyō which became the new capital.
745: The Emperor declares by himself Shigaraki-kyō the capital 745: The capital returns to Heijō-kyō, construction of the Great Buddha resumes. 749: Shōmu, accompanied by the empress, their children, all the great men and women of the court, went in procession to Todai-ji. The emperor stood before the statue of the Buddha and proclaimed himself to be a slave to the three precious precepts of the Buddhist religion, which are the Buddha, the Buddhist law, the Buddhist church. 749: After a 25-year reign, Emperor Shōmu abdicates in favor of his daughter, Princess Takano, who would become Empress Kōken. After abdication, Shōmu took the tonsure, thus becoming the first retired emperor to become a Buddhist priest. Empress
Smallpox demon or smallpox devil is a demon, believed to be responsible for causing smallpox in medieval Japan. In those days, people tried to appease the smallpox demon by assuaging his anger, or they tried to attack the demon since they had no other effective treatment for smallpox. In Japanese, the word hōsōshin or hōsōgami (疱瘡神 translates to "smallpox god". According to the Shoku Nihongi, smallpox was introduced into Japan in 735 into Fukuoka Prefecture from Korea. In those days, smallpox had been considered to be the result of onryō, a mythological spirit from Japanese folklore, able to return to the physical world in order to seek vengeance. Smallpox-related kamis include Sumiyoshi sanjin In a book published in the Kansei years, there were lines that wrote that smallpox devils were enshrined in families which had smallpox in order to recover from smallpox. Smallpox devils were said to be afraid of red things and of dogs. In Okinawa, they tried to praise and comfort devils with sanshin, an Okinawan musical instrument and lion dances before a patient clad in red clothes.
They burned incense in order to please smallpox demon. In Okinawa, there was smallpox poetry in Ryuka. There is a collection of smallpox poetry including 105 poems published in 1805. Traditional smallpox folk dances have been observed in present-day Japan, including Ibaraki Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture, for the avoidance of smallpox devils. In European countries the "red treatment" was practiced from the 12th century onwards. Queen Elizabeth I of England was wrapped in a red blanket and placed by a live fire when she fell ill with smallpox in 1562, similar treatments were applied to other European monarchs. In parts of India, China and Latin America, sacrifices were made to appease the gods of smallpox. In medieval Europe and pious living were recommended as one way to guard against sickness. Many Japanese textbooks on dermatology stated that red light was able to weaken the symptoms of smallpox; this was common in China, India and Georgia. In western Africa, the Yoruba god of smallpox, was associated with the color red.
The red treatment was given scientific authority by Finsen, who claimed that the treatment of smallpox patients with red light reduced the severity of scarring, developed rules governing erythrotherapy. It lingered on into the 1930s. Aoki, Naomi. Manabu Ohishi, eds. ビジュアル・ワイド江戸時代館 ヴィジュアル ワイド 江戸時代館. Shogakkan. ISBN 978-4-09-623021-3. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter Ohtsuka Minzokugakukai. 日本民族事典. Kohbundoh. ISBN 978-4-335-57050-6. Kyogoku, Natsuhiko. Katsumi Tada, ed. 妖怪画本 狂歌百物語. Kokushokankohkai. ISBN 978-4-336-05055-7. Kubota, Hiromichi. 日本の神様面白小辞典. PHP editors group. ISBN 978-4-569-70460-9. Sakurai, Tokutaro. 民間信仰事典. Tokyodohshuppan. ISBN 978-4-490-10137-9. Tobe, Tamio. 頼れる神様大辞典. PHP Kenkyusho. ISBN 978-4-569-65829-2. Uyeno, Ken-ichi. 夕映えの甍. Iwanami Shuppan Service. Aoyama, Yoji. 琉球おもしろ読本. Kyodo Shuppan. Hopkins DR; the Greatest Killer:Smallpox in history. University of Chicago. ISBN 978-0-226-35168-1. Published as Princes and Peasants: Smallpox in History, ISBN 0-226-35177-7 Higa. 沖縄大百科事典下. Okinawa Times
Tōdai-ji is a Buddhist temple complex, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Though it was founded in the year 738 CE, Todai-ji was not opened until the year 572 CE, its Great Buddha Hall houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu. The temple serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism; the temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", together with seven other sites including temples and places in the city of Nara. The beginning of building a temple where the Kinshōsen-ji complex sits today can be dated to 728 CE, when Emperor Shōmu established Kinshōsen-ji as an appeasement for Prince Motoi, his first son with his Fujiwara clan consort Kōmyōshi. Prince Motoi died a year after his birth. During the Tenpyō era, Japan suffered from a series of epidemics, it was after experiencing these problems that Emperor Shōmu issued an edict in 741 to promote the construction of provincial temples throughout the nation.
In 743 duing the Tenpyō era the Emperor commissioned the Daibutsu to be built in 743. Tōdai-ji was appointed as the provincial temple of Yamato Province and the head of all the provincial temples. With the alleged coup d'état by Nagaya in 729, a major outbreak of smallpox around 735–737, worsened by several consecutive years of poor crops, followed by a rebellion led by Fujiwara no Hirotsugu in 740, the country was in a chaotic situation. Emperor Shōmu had been forced to move the capital four times, indicating a certain level of instability during this period. According to legend, the monk Gyōki went to Ise Grand Shrine to reconcile Shinto with Buddhism, he spent seven days and nights reciting sutras until the oracle declared Vairocana Buddha compatible with worship of the sun goddess Amaterasu. Under the Ritsuryō system of government in the Nara period, Buddhism was regulated by the state through the Sōgō. During this time, Tōdai-ji served as the central administrative temple for the provincial temples and for the six Buddhist schools in Japan at the time: the Hossō, Kegon, Jōjitsu, Sanron and Kusha.
Letters dating from this time show that all six Buddhist schools had offices at Tōdai-ji, complete with administrators and their own library. Japanese Buddhism during this time still maintained the lineage of the Vinaya and all licensed monks were required to take their ordination under the Vinaya at Tōdai-ji. In 754 CE, ordination was given by Ganjin, who arrived in Japan after traveling over 12 years and six attempts of crossing the sea from China, to Empress Kōken, former Emperor Shōmu and others. Buddhist monks, including Kūkai and Saichō received their ordination here as well. During Kūkai's administration of the Sōgō, additional ordination ceremonies were added to Tōdai-ji, including the ordination of the Bodhisattva Precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra and the esoteric Precepts, or Samaya, from Kukai's own newly established Shingon school of Buddhism. Kūkai added an Abhiseka Hall to use for initiating monks of the six Nara schools into the esoteric teachings. By 829 CE; as the center of power in Japanese Buddhism shifted away from Nara to Mount Hiei and the Tendai sect, when the capital of Japan moved to Kamakura, Tōdai-ji's role in maintaining authority declined.
In generations, the Vinaya lineage died out, despite repeated attempts to revive it. In 743, Emperor Shōmu issued a law stating that the people should become directly involved with the establishment of new Buddhist temples throughout Japan; the Emperor believed that such piety would inspire Buddha to protect his country from further disaster. Gyōki, with his pupils, traveled the provinces asking for donations. According to records kept by Tōdai-ji, more than 2,600,000 people in total helped construct the Great Buddha and its Hall; the 16m high statue was built through eight castings over three years, the head and neck being cast together as a separate element. The making of the statue was started first in Shigaraki. After enduring multiple fires and earthquakes, the construction was resumed in Nara in 745, the Buddha was completed in 751. A year in 752, the eye-opening ceremony was held with an attendance of 10,000 monks and 4,000 dancers to celebrate the completion of the Buddha; the Indian priest Bodhisena performed the eye-opening for Emperor Shōmu.
The project nearly bankrupted Japan's economy, consuming a great amount of the bronze available at the time. 48 lacquered cinnabar pillars, 1.5 m in diameter and 30 m long, support the blue tiled roof of the Daibutsu-den. Maps that include some of the original structures of Todai-ji are rare, though some still exist today; some of these structures include, the two pagodas, the library, lecture hall and the monk's quarters located behind the main hall. Todai-ji functioned not only as a place of worship and Buddhist practice, but as a place of higher learning and study. Much of what contemporaries now know about the original layout of the temple comes from the writings of monks who lived and studied there; the original complex contained two 100 m pagodas, making them some of the tallest structures at the time. They were located on one on the western and one on the eastern side; the pagodas themselves were surrounded by a walled courtyard with four gates. These were destroyed by an
Kokubun-ji were Buddhist temples established in each of the provinces of Japan by Emperor Shōmu during the Nara period. Shōmu decreed both a kokubun-ji for monks and a kokubunni-ji for nuns to be established in each province. Tōdai-ji, the provincial temple of Yamato Province, served as the head of all kokubun-ji, Hokke-ji held that duty for the kokubunni-ji; the words kokubun-ji and kokubunni-ji gave rise to many place names still in use today, including: Kokubunji, Kagawa Kokubunji, Tokyo Kokubunji, Tochigi Glossary of Japanese Buddhism Ichinomiya Fuchū
Fujiwara no Muchimaro
Fujiwara no Muchimaro was a Japanese courtier and politician of the early-Nara period. The eldest son of Fujiwara no Fuhito, he founded the Nanke branch of the Fujiwara clan. Muchimaro's mother was daughter of Soga no Murajiko, he married a granddaughter of Abe no Miushi, with whom he had two sons Fujiwara no Toyonari and Fujiwara no Nakamaro. Among his daughters was consort of Emperor Shōmu. Muchimaro became the head of Ministry of Civil Services in 718; when Fuhito, Muchimaro's father, died in 720, Prince Nagaya was at the highest rank in the state government. Prince Nagaya was grandson of Emperor Tenmu, but not a son of Fujiwara family, therefore was seen as a threat by Muchimaro and his three brothers. After removing Prince Nagaya in 729, Muchimaro rose to Counselor. In 734, he was promoted to Udaijin or "Minister of the Right". In 737, he died of smallpox the following day. Father: Fujiwara no Fuhito Mother: Soga no Shōshi, daughter of Soga no Murajiko. Main Wife: Sada-hime, grand-daughter of Abe no Miushi.
1st son: Fujiwara no Toyonari 2nd son: Fujiwara no Nakamaro Wife: name unknown, daughter of Ki no Maro. 3rd son: Fujiwara no Otomaro Wife:, daughter of. 4th son: Fujiwara no Kosemaro Wife: name unknown Daughter:, consort of Emperor Shōmu. Fujiwara no Nakamaro 735–737 Japanese smallpox epidemic Hall, John Whitney; the Cambridge History of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth.. Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word