Fujiwara-kyō was the Imperial capital of Japan for sixteen years, between 694 and 710. It was located in Yamato Province. However, the name Fujiwara-kyō was never used in the Nihon Shoki. During those times it was recorded as Aramashi-kyō; as of 2006, ongoing excavations have revealed construction on the site of Fujiwara-kyō as early as 682, near the end of the reign of Emperor Tenmu. With a brief halt upon Emperor Tenmu's death, construction resumed under Empress Jitō, who moved the capital in 694. Fujiwara-kyō remained the capital for the reigns of Emperor Monmu and Empress Genmei, but in 710 the Imperial court moved to the Heijō Palace in Nara, beginning the Nara period. Fujiwara was Japan's first capital built in a grid pattern on the Chinese model; the palace occupied a plot measuring about 1 km², was surrounded by walls 5 m high. Each of the four walls had three gates; the Daigokuden and other palace buildings were the first palace structures in Japan to have a tile roof in the Chinese style.
The area had been the domain of the Nakatomi clan, who oversaw the observation of Shintō rituals and ceremonies on behalf of the Imperial court. The city burnt down in 711, one year after the move to Nara, was not rebuilt. Archaeological excavations began in 1934, some portions of the palace were reconstructed. Close to 10,000 wooden tablets, known as mokkan, have been inscribed with Chinese characters; this waka, written by the Empress Jitō, describing Fujiwara in the summer, is part of the famous poem anthology, the Hyakunin Isshu: Which translates as Spring has passed, it seems, now summer has arrived. Fujiwara clan Frederic, Louis. "Japan Encyclopedia." Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Exhibition Room of Fujiwara Imperial Site Media related to Fujiwara-kyō at Wikimedia Commons
Empress Genmei known as Empress Genmyō, was the 43rd monarch of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Genmei's reign spanned the years 707 through 715 CE. In the history of Japan, Genmei was the fourth of eight women to take on the role of empress regnant; the three female monarchs before Genmei were Suiko, Kōgyoku/Saimei, Jitō. The four women sovereigns reigning after Genmei were Genshō, Kōken/Shōtoku, Meishō, Go-Sakuramachi. Before her ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, her personal name was Abe-hime. Empress Genmei was the fourth daughter of Emperor Tenji, her mother, Mei-no-Iratsume, was a daughter of Udaijin Soga-no-Kura-no-Yamada-no-Ishikawa-no-Maro. Genmei became the consort of Crown Prince Kusakabe no Miko, the son of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō. After the death of their son Emperor Monmu in 707, she acceded to the throne. At least one account suggests that she accepted the role of empress because Emperor Mommu felt his young son, her grandson, was still too young to withstand the pressures which attend becoming emperor.
July 18, 707: In the 11th year of Mommu-tennō's reign, the emperor died. Shortly thereafter, Empress Genmei is said to have acceded to the throne. 707: Deposits of copper were reported to have been found in Chichibu in Musashi Province in the region which includes modern day Tokyo. The Japanese word for copper is dō. May 5, 708: A sample of the newly discovered Musashi copper from was presented in Genmei's Court where it was formally acknowledged as "Japanese" copper. 708: Fuijwara no Fuhito was named Minister of the Right. Isonokami no Maro was Minister of the Left. 709: There was an uprising against governmental authority in Mutsu Province and in Echigo Province. Troops were promptly dispatched to subdue the revolt. 709: Ambassadors arrived from Silla, bringing an offer of tribute. He visited Fujiwara no Fuhito to prepare the way for further visits. 710: Empress Genmei established her official residence in Nara. In the last years of the Mommu's reign, the extensive preparations for this projected move had begun.
Shortly after the nengō was changed to Wadō, an Imperial Rescript was issued concerning the establishment of a new capital at the Heijō-kyō at Nara in Yamato Province. It had been customary since ancient times for the capital to be moved with the beginning of each new reign. However, Emperor Mommu decided not to move the capital, preferring instead to stay at the Fujiwara Palace, established by Empress Jitō. Empress Genmei's palace was named Nara-no-miya. 711: The Kojiki was published in three volumes. This work presented a history of Japan from a mythological period of god-rulers up through the 28th day of the 1st month of the fifth year of Empress Suiko's reign. Emperor Tenmu failed to bring the work to completion before his death in 686. Empress Genmei, along with other court officials, deserve credit for continuing to patronize and encourage the mammoth project. 712: The Mutsu Province was separated from Dewa Province. 713: Tanba Province was separated from Tango Province. 713: The compilation of Fudoki was begun with the imprimatur of an Imperial decree.
This work was intended to describe all provinces, mountains, rivers and plains. It is intended to become a catalog of the plants, trees and mammals of Japan, it intended to contain information about all of the remarkable events which, from ancient times to the present, have happened in the country. 713: The road which traverses Mino Province and Shinano Province was widened to accommodate travelers. After Empress Genmei transferred the seat of her government to Nara, this mountain location remained the capital throughout the succeeding seven reigns. In a sense, the years of the Nara period developed into one of the more significant consequences of her comparatively short reign. Genmei had planned to remain on the throne until her grandson might reach maturity. However, in 715, Genmei did abdicate in favor of Mommu's older sister who became known as Empress Genshō. Genshō was succeeded by her younger brother, who became known as Emperor Shōmu. 715: Genmei resigns as empress in favor of her daughter, who will be known as Empress Genshō.
The Empress reigned for eight years. Although there were seven other reigning empresses, their successors were most selected from amongst the males of the paternal Imperial bloodline, why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and t
Saidai-ji or the "Great Western Temple" is a Buddhist temple, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in the city of Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The temple was established in AD 765 as a counterpart to Tōdai-ji and it is the main temple of the Shingon Risshu sect of Buddhism after the sect's founder, took over administration in 1238. One building, the Aizen-dō, houses a statue of Aizen Myō-ō, while the main image is of Shakyamuni Buddha, erected by Eison in 1249. Saidai-ji stands close to Yamato-Saidaiji Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line. Main Hall - Important Cultural Property, it was rebuilt in 1808. Shiō-dō - It was rebuilt in 1674. Aizen-dō - It was reconstructed in 1762. Etc. Nanto Shichi Daiji, Seven Great Temples of Nanto. Thirteen Buddhist Sites of Yamato For an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture, see the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism. List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan "Saidai-ji Temple Homepage".
Heijō Palace was the imperial residence in the Japanese capital city Heijō-kyō, during most of the Nara period. The palace, which served as the imperial residence and the administrative centre of for most of the Nara period from 710 to 794 AD, was located at the north-central location of the city in accordance with the Chinese models used for the design of the capital; the palace consisted of a large rectangular walled enclosure, which contained several ceremonial and administrative buildings including the government ministries. Inside this enclosure was the separately walled residential compound of the emperor or the Inner Palace. In addition to the emperor's living quarters, the Inner Palace contained the residences of the imperial consorts, as well as certain official and ceremonial buildings more linked to the person of the emperor; the original role of the palace was to manifest the centralised government model adopted by Japan from China in the 7th century—the Daijō-kan and its subsidiary Eight Ministries.
The palace was designed to provide an appropriate setting for the emperor's residence, the conduct of great affairs of state, the accompanying ceremonies. After the capital was moved to Heian, the palace structures were either moved there or suffered several fires and other disasters and disappeared; the site was built over for agriculture that no trace of it remained, however the location was still known. Excavations started in the 1970s and large-scale reconstruction based on contemporary literary sources and excavations starting in the 2000s; the excavated remains of the palace, the surrounding area, was established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 along with a number of other buildings and area, as the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara." One year after Empress Genmei's succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne in Keiun 4, a rescript was issued deciding on the move from Fujiwara-kyo near Asuka towards the northern edge of the Nara basin. In Wadō 3, the new capital was established, but the completion of the palace had to wait further.
The new capital city's name was written Heijō but pronounced Nara at the time. The city, the palace grounds, was based on Chang'an, the capital of China during the Tang dynasty, contemporary to the time when Nara was capital. Chang'an was in turn, like many ancient east Asian cities, based on a complex system of beliefs & laws of geomancy; this dictated the grid system of streets, as well as the necessity for spiritually protective shrines or temples to be placed at particular cardinal directions around the city. The city area measured six kilometres from east to five kilometres from north to south. In accordance with this system, the palace was placed at the northern end, on an extended line from Suzaku Street, the main thoroughfare running north-south straight through the centre of the city; the street ended at the Suzaku Gate, the rest of the palace buildings were placed beyond to the north of this gate. The primary buildings of the palace compound were the Daigoku-den, where governmental affairs were conducted, the Chōdō-in where formal ceremonies were held, the Dairi, the emperor's residence, offices for various administrative agencies.
The Nara period covers 75 years from 710-784 AD. Emperor Shōmu moved the capital to other places such as Kuni-kyo and Shigaraki-kyo in the period between 740-745 AD; the imperial buildings and governmental offices were drastically transformed around this period. In the Nara period, the audience hall was erected in the eastern part, at the south side of the imperial domicile; this is called the latter audience hall. A number of buildings in the imperial domicile and the governmental offices were replaced and renovated several times; this was not due to the repair of the old buildings but due to another reason. When the capital was moved to Heian-kyō, Nara's Imperial Palace was abandoned. Over the ensuing centuries, the ravages of time and the elements destroyed the buildings, until by the beginning of the Kamakura Period in the late 12th century there was nothing left above ground. However, those sections that lay underground were preserved, re-discovered by modern archaeologists. While the site was designated Special Historical Site by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 1952, archaeological efforts headed by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, such as excavations are continuing since 1959.
The Suzaku Gate and East Palace Garden have been restored and opened to the public in 1998. The Takenaka Corporation was responsible for the reconstruction. Heijō Palace was the main event site of Commemorative events of the 1300th anniversary of Nara Heijō-kyō Capital in 2010, the First Daigokuden was restored for the occasion. In commemorative events of the 1300th anniversary, a variety of seasonal events were held throughout Nara Prefecture; the main entrance to the capital through the Suzaku Avenue was the Rajō Gate. The main avenue was 75 metres wide and extended north for 3.7 kilometres up to the Suzaku Gate. The name "Suzaku" derives from the Chinese name for the legendary bird which acted as a southern guardian; the palace was surrounded by great earthen walls and had twelve gates, with the Suzaku Gate as largest gate and the main entrance. The southern open spaces was part of the avenue, the Nijō-ōji 37 metres wide was extending in the east-west direction in front of the gate; the gate measured 25 metres in width and 10 metres with 22 metres in height.
Built on a platform, the gate was a two-storied structure, conspicuously l
Kōfuku-ji is a Buddhist temple, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in the city of Nara, Japan. The temple is the national headquarters of the Hossō school and is one of the eight cats that lived a fire Kōfuku-ji has its origin as a temple, established in 669 by Kagami-no-Ōkimi, the wife of Fujiwara no Kamatari, wishing for her husband’s recovery from illness, its original site was in Yamashiro Province. In 672, the temple was moved to Fujiwara-kyō, the first planned Japanese capital to copy the orthogonal grid pattern of Chang'an. In 710 the temple was dismantled for the second time and moved to its present location, on the east side of the newly constructed capital, Heijō-kyō, today's Nara. Kōfuku-ji was the Fujiwara's tutelary temple, enjoyed prosperity for as long as the family did; the temple was not only an important center for the Buddhist religion, but retained influence over the imperial government, by "aggressive means" in some cases. When many of the Nanto Shichi Daiji such as Tōdai-ji -declined after the move of capital to Heian-kyō, Kōfuku-ji kept its significance because of its connection to the Fujiwara.
The temple was damaged and destroyed by civil wars and fires many times, was rebuilt as many times as well, although some of the important buildings, such as one of the three golden halls, the Nandaimon, Chūmon and the corridor were never reconstructed and are missing today. The rebuilding of the Central Golden Hall was completed in 2018; the following are some of the temple's treasures of note. East Golden Hall, 1425, one of the former three golden halls Central Golden Hall, 2018, the former temporary Central Golden Hall building now serves as the temporary Lecture Hall Five-storied pagoda, 1426 Three-storied pagoda, 1185-1274 North Octagonal Hall, 1210 South Octagonal Hall, 1741, Site No.9 of Saigoku 33 Pilgrimage Bath House, 1394-1427 The Devas of the Eight Classes, including dry-lacquer Ashura The Ten Great Disciples Thousand-armed Kannon Amoghapāśa attributed to Kōkei, is housed in Nan'endō Showing the original layout of the temple, with the Three-storied pagoda, Nan'en-dō, Ōyūya superimposed.
Of the buildings marked, only these three together with the Five-storied pagoda, Tōkon-dō and Hoku'en-dō remain. Nanto Shichi Daiji, Seven Great Temples of Nanto. List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan For an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture, see the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism. Siege of Nara John Bowring, Richard; the religious traditions of Japan. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-521-85119-X. Noma, Seiroku; the Arts of Japan: Ancient and medieval. Kodansha International. Pp. 84–85. ISBN 4-7700-2977-2. Kōfuku-ji web site Kōfuku-ji web site Kohfukuji Temple, from The Official Nara Travel Guide Nara Prefecture page on Kōfuku-ji UNESCO Exhibition of artifacts from Kofukuji reviewed in The Japan Times
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara encompasses eight places in the old capital Nara in Nara Prefecture, Japan. Five are Buddhist temples, one is a Shinto shrine, one is a Palace and one a primeval forest; the properties include 26 buildings designated by the Japanese Government as National Treasures as well as 53 designated as Important Cultural Properties. All compounds have been recognized as Historic Sites; the Nara Palace Site was designated as Special Historic Site and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest as Special Natural Monument. Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest overlap with Nara Park, a park designated as one of the "Places of Scenic Beauty" by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology. UNESCO listed the site as World Heritage in 1998; the table lists information about each of the 8 listed properties of the World Heritage Site listing for the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara: Name: in English and Japanese Type: Purpose of the site.
The list includes one Shinto shrine, one palace and one primeval forest. Period: time period of significance of construction Location: the site's location and by geographic coordinates Description: brief description of the site List of World Heritage Sites in Japan Tourism in Japan Nara's World Heritage, from The Official Nara Travel Guide