Home Region:  Northeast Asia (East Asia)

Nara Kingdom

D G SC WF PT EQ 2020  jp_nara / JpNara*

Preceding:
[continuity; Kansai - Asuka Period] [continuity]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

General description
The Nara period (710-794CE) begins with the creation of a specially built imperial capital, laid out in a 20sq km grid, modelled on T’ang Chinese capital, Ch’ang-an. [1]
Japan’s geography, provided some insulation from unwanted incursions from the continent, and allowed the court to exert some control over external political relationships. [2] However, during this period Japan was engaged in a vassalage relationship with T’ang China which influenced many aspects of Japanese culture, from city planning to the ‘ideal of imperial rule’. [3] The state used its military prowess to exert control over much of the territory of the archipelago, although the northern and southern extremes remained beyond centralized control. [4]
The Peak Date can be considered to run from 781-794CE which has been idealized as ‘when Japanese rulers most closely approached the ideal reigns of the sage-kings of ancient China.’ [5] Nara period ends with permanent relocation of the capital to Kyoto.
Population and political organization
Imperial rule was direct and legitimised by divine descent. [6] [7]
The government continued to strengthen and centralize its rule with administration and legal reforms inspired by the Chinese ritsuryo system. [1] The complex administration was arranged in offices which came into existence at different times, and were solidified in the code of 701 and the Yoro code of 718 [8]
Population for this period, as estimated by Farris, ranges from roughly 5 to 7 million. [9] [10]

[1]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition]p.24

[2]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.83

[3]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.453

[4]: Batten, Bruce. 1999, "Frontiers and Boundaries of Pre-Modern Japan." Journal of Historical Geography 25(2). pp.167

[5]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online ©Cambridge University Press.pp.1-2

[6]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition]p.25

[7]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.221

[8]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.232-233

[9]: Farris, William Wayne. 2006. Japan’s Medieval Population: Famine, Fertility, and Warfare in a Transformative Age. University of Hawaii Press.p.8

[10]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.89

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
53 S  
Original Name:
Kansai - Nara Period  
Capital:
Nara  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[781 CE ➜ 794 CE]  
Duration:
[710 CE ➜ 794 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
T'ang China  
Succeeding Entity:
Kansai - Heian Period  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
5,400,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Japonic  
Language:
Old Japanese  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Shinto  
Religion Family:
Japanese State Shinto  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Buddhism  
Alternate Religion Family:
Japanese Buddhism  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[100,000 to 250,000] people  
Polity Population:
[5,800,000 to 6,400,000] people 730 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Administrative Level:
5  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Merit Promotion:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
present  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling:
absent  
  Self Bow:
unknown  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
inferred absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
present  
absent  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
inferred absent  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Nara Kingdom (jp_nara) was in:
 (710 CE 793 CE)   Kansai
Home NGA: None

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Kansai - Nara Period

’in 710, the capital was moved to Heijo, better known now as Nara. Nara was modelled on the T’ang Chinese capital, Ch’ang-an. It was a similar rectangular grid pattern, but at 20 sq km was only about a quarter of Ch’ang-an’s area. In less than a hundred years the capital was to move again. Nara proved not to be the hoped-for permanent site. Nevertheless, it represents the high point of the Japanese effort to learn from China. Physically, China’s influence was seen not only in the design of the city but also in grand buildings such as the Todaiji Temple - the largest wooden building in the world - and the huge bronze statue of Buddha it contained. [1]

[1]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition]p.24


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[781 CE ➜ 794 CE]

’In fact, historians, both medieval and modern, of loyalist sympathies regard as the golden age of Japanese history those decades of direct rule by enlightened, "virtuous" emperors - Kammu (781-806) and Saga (809-23), and again Uda and Daigo (887-930). For loyalists, these were the years when Japanese rulers most closely approached the ideal reigns of the sage-kings of ancient China.’ [1]

[1]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.pp.1-2


Duration:
[710 CE ➜ 794 CE]

Beginning with the establishment of a permanent capital at Nara and ending with the capitals permanent relocation to Kyoto (Heian-kyō).


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]

Supracultural Entity:
T'ang China

Succeeding Entity:
Kansai - Heian Period

Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
5,400,000 km2

km squared for T’ang China. [1] ’the literature and music of Japan during the two centuries between the acceptance of Buddhism in 587 and the abandonment of the Nara capital in 784. These were years of vast and fundamental change in the island kingdom, of cultural forced feeding and vigorous new growth. In particular, they were the years when Japan became fully and for all time a participant in the high civilization of East Asia. Participation meant religious and philosophical orientations, an ideal of imperial rule, legal and administrative structures, techniques and styles of architecture, city planning, sculpture, painting, and music - all derived directly or indirectly from China and shared in one degree or another by the peoples on its periphery.’ [2]

[1]: Turchin, Peter, Adams, Jonathan M. and Hall, Thomas D. 2006. "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of World-Systems Research 12 (2). p.222.

[2]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.453


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

While there are distinctive qualities that identify the Nara period, which begins with the establishment of the new capital at Nara, there was major disruptions at the start of the period and the government continued to strengthen and centralize its rule.


Preceding Entity:
Kansai - Asuka Period

(Relationship): While there are distinctive qualities that identify the Nara period, which begins with the establishment of the new capital at Nara, there was major disruptions at the start of the period and the government continued to strengthen and centralize its rule.
(Entity): 538-710 CE


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

’the official record is anything but uneventful, and for the years after A.D. 550 it is essentially an account of how a few men finally transformed the loosely joined Yamato state into a centralized empire.’ [1]

[1]: Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.38


Language

Language:
Old Japanese

[1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.242.


Religion

Religion Family:
Japanese State Shinto

Alternate Religion Genus:
Buddhism

Alternate Religion Family:
Japanese Buddhism

Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[100,000 to 250,000] people

’Nara with a population of around 200,000 was about three times as large as Fujiwara, indicating that it had become a political, economic, and religious center of a powerful imperium.’ [1] However, the population estimate by Chandler for Nara in 750CE is 100,000. [2]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.244

[2]: Chandler, Tertius. 1987. Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census. The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston.


Polity Population:
[5,800,000 to 6,400,000] people
730 CE

[5,800,000-6,400,000]: 730 CE. Population estimate by Farris [1]

[1]: Farris, William Wayne. 2006. Japan’s Medieval Population: Famine, Fertility, and Warfare in a Transformative Age. University of Hawaii Press.p.8


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
4. Capital City (Nara) (palace, monumental structures, market, central government buildings, military fortifications, transport hubs, shrines, temples)
Population:200,000
3. CityPopulation:
for example the previous capital Fujiwara.
2. TownPopulation:
1. Village (residential)Population:
Population:’A minister of the left or minister of the right was entitled to two thousand households of about forty villages, approximately the number of households in a province the size of Suo or Nagato, and such income was tax exempt.’


Administrative Level:
5

levels.
’The government was run by a system of offices ranging from those closest to the emperor to others at more distant places and at lower levels. These offices had histories of their own, coming into existence at different times with different names and functions. Here we shall survey merely the ones that were probably named and defined in the Taiho administrative code of 701 and the Yoro code of 718. [1]
’Down through the administrative structure - from the heads of offices around the emperor to those in charge of local offices in distant regions - ran a hierarchy of office titles and ranks. Heads of the highest offices held the title of director (kami) who had assistants (suke), secretaries (jo), and clerks (sakan). (These four office titles were written with different characters but pronounced in the same way when held by officials serving in different ministries and agencies.) According to the Yoro adminstrative code of 718, the number of officials in the two councils and eight ministries totaled 331. If lower-ranking officials are added, the total was 6,487. Ranks provided a more precise indication of status than titles did, for officeholders with the same title had different ranks yielding different stipends and perquisites. The Taiho code set aside four imperial ranks (hon) for princes and near relatives of the emperor and thirty court ranks (kurai) for persons lower in the aristocratic order. The son or grandson of a nobleman holding the highest imperial rank was automatically awarded a junior fifth rank lower grade court rank when he reached the age of twenty-one. Special treatment for anyone with a fifth rank or above - apart from the rights that their sons had to a high rank when they turned twenty-one, irrespective of ability - is revealed by the generous stipends and retainers they received’ [2] ’The structure of the imperial court was a complex affair. The following chart depicts the basic outline, but each division and ministry contained a hierarchy of officials. Some divisions also included subdivisions. Despite the formality of this structure, the operation and functionality of any particular ministry fluctuated depending on the particular time period. There were also aristocratic families who came to dominate a particular court function through the use of heredity.’ [3]
5.Emperor ’At the apex of the structure was the emperor, whose will was expressed in decrees (mikotonori) and edicts (semmyo). Important decisions, such as those pertaining to appointments and promotions of high-ranking officials, were recommended at meetings of the Council of State but were carried out only with imperial approval. The two codes placed no limitations on imperial authority, thus giving the emperor, legally at least, despotic control. [1]
4[a]. Council of Kami Affairs’Under the emperor were two councils that had equal standing: the Council of State, generally overseeing secular affairs, and the Council of Kami Affairs, running affairs in the area of kami worship. Although the two councils were organizationally at the same level, the Council of State’s highest minister (the chancellor) held a higher rank than did the highest official of the Council of Kami Affairs. But the chancellor also had some responsibilities that lay outside the bounds of secular administration: He served as the emperor’s guide and teacher and was given the task of harmonizing movements of the world with Chinese principles of yin and yang.’ [4]
4[b]. Council of State’Under the emperor were two councils that had equal standing: the Council of State, generally overseeing secular affairs, and the Council of Kami Affairs, running affairs in the area of kami worship. Although the two councils were organizationally at the same level, the Council of State’s highest minister (the chancellor) held a higher rank than did the highest official of the Council of Kami Affairs. [4]
4[b].1. Chancellorthe chancellor also had some responsibilities that lay outside the bounds of secular administration: He served as the emperor’s guide and teacher and was given the task of harmonizing movements of the world with Chinese principles of yin and yang.’ [4]
3[a] Minister of the Left3.1[a] Central affairs’The Ministry of Central Affairs (the Nakatsukasa-sho) ranked above all other ministries and was the main link between the emperor and the Council of State. Its minister gave advice on numerous court matters, supervised the court chamberlains, and drafted imperial edicts. Under him were ten secretariats, including the Secretariat for the Empress’s Household (Chugushiki).’ [5]
3.2[a] The Ministry of Personnel’The Ministry of Personnel(Shikibu-sho) supervised personnel affairs. Within it were two important bureaus: one for higher learning (Daigaku-ryo) and another for nobles who held a court rank but occupied no office (Sammi-ryo).’ [5]
3.3[a] Civil affairs‘The Ministry of Civil Affairs (Jibu-sho) had two important bureaus: one for Buddhist priests and nuns and aliens (Gemba-ryo) and another for court music (Gagaku-ryo).’ [5]
3.4.[a] Popular affairs‘The Ministry of Popular Affairs (Mimbu-sho) was responsible for administering household registers, taxes, irrigation, paddy fields, and the budget.’ [5]
3[b] Minister of the Right 3[b].1 The Ministry of War‘The Ministry of War (Hyobu-sho) took care of personnel matters pertaining to soldiers and other military affairs.’ [5]
3[b].2 The Ministry of Justice‘The Ministry of Justice (Gyobu-sho) handled legal affairs.’ [5]
3[b].3 Treasury‘The Ministry of the Treasury (Okura-sho) dealt with state property, weights and measures, prices, and related matters.’ [5]
3[b].4 Imperial household‘The Ministry of the Imperial Household (Kunai-sho) managed food, clothing, and personnel problems of the imperial household. Inside each ministry were several, often several tens of, administrative organs of three types: secretariats (shiki), bureaus (ryo), and offices (tsukasa)’ [5]
2.Four senior counselors’Below the chancellor, the minister of the left, and the minister of the right were four senior counselors. [6]
1 Council of State’s three departments‘Under these six men were the heads of three administrative offices, referred to as the Council of State’s three departments: the Department of Junior Counselors (Shonagonkan), the Department of the Controller of the Left (Sabenkan), and the Department of the Controller of the Right (Ubenkan). The first included three junior counselors authorized to serve as custodians of the imperial and Council of State seals, and the last two were responsible for transmitting imperial orders (senji), distributing orders issued by the Council of State (kampu), and handling communications between the council and its eight ministries.’ [5]
1.1 the Department of Junior Counselors (Shonagonkan)
1.2 the Department of the Controller of the Left (Sabenkan)
1.3 the Department of the Controller of the Right (Ubenkan)
___Other offices___
‘Outside the ministerial structure were a number of important boards and administrative units’ [5]
Censors
‘the Board of Censors (Danjodai) that was engaged in exposing the illegal activities of officials and upholding standards of correct bureaucratic behaviour.’ [5]
Guard units
‘there were the headquarters of the various guard units, beginning with the five that guarded the imperial palace: the gate guards (emon-fu), the left guards (saeji-fu), the right guards (neji-fu), the left military guards (sahyoe-fu), and the right military guards (uhyoe-fu). The central government had, in addition, a right and left bureau of cavalry and a right and left bureau of armories. Other offices outside the eight ministries included two that were responsible for the left and right sectors of the capital.’ [7]
Capital section Dazaifu
‘ Organs of government outside the capital included, first of all, the Dazai headquarters (Dazai-fu) located near the harbor of Na in Kyushu from which the nine provinces of Kyushu, as well as the islands of Iki and Tsushima, were administered. Each of the country’s sixty or more provinces 16 was headed by a governor who usually had under him ten or more districts headed by district supervisors. Each district contained between two and twenty villages (sato) made up of fifty households each. A governor was appointed for a six-year term, but the district supervisors, usually selected from the local gentry, had no fixed term of office. The Taiho administrative code contained no
articles dealing with village heads, but it is assumed that they were influential farmers.’ [7]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.232-233

[2]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.236

[3]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.89

[4]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.233

[5]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.234

[6]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.233-234

[7]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.235


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

’It must be emphasized that this army changed over time... It relied more and more on the specialists and warrior elites from the Kanto and less and less on the conscripted infantry’ [1]

[1]: Kuehn, John T. 2014. A Military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century. ABC-CLIO.p.18


Professional Priesthood:
present

’the authorities took a different tack, deciding that all male disciples over the age of sixty-one and all female disciples over fifty-five, could become certified priests or nuns if they really respected Buddhist teachings.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.250


Professional Military Officer:
present

’officered by mounted warriors of military families and augmented with special mounted and foot "professionals."’ [1]

[1]: Kuehn, John T. 2014. A Military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century. ABC-CLIO.p.18


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Merit Promotion:
present

’the ‘cap rank’ system introduced earlier by Prince Sho¯toku was in theory based, as in China, on merit not birth. However, in practice, and particularly during the Nara period, both rank and position in the Japanese bureaucracy quickly became determined by inherited family status rather than by individual merit’ [1]

[1]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition]p.25


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

[1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.233-237


Examination System:
present

’While examinations in China theoretically gave everyone a chance to rise in society, in Japan the university was virtually closed to all but the sons of courtiers. This was because a young man had to hold court rank before he could be appointed to an official post. In effect, all but the very dullest aristocratic sons were assured of bureaucratic office without having to make an effort at the university, though promotion within the bureaucracy depended on diligence and scholarly attainmentsin most cases. [1] ’the examination-based meritocracy of China’s bureaucratic world was not too palatable to the Japanese. This is ironic in view of the prominence of examinations in present-day Japan, but understandable from the perspective of an established elite wishing to safeguard control and stability.’ [2]

[1]: Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.57

[2]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition]p.25


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

professional lawyers were not present until the Meiji Restoration. [1]

[1]: Hood, David 1997. ‘Exclusivity and the Japanese Bar: Ethics or Self-Interest?’. Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal (Pacific Rim Law & Policy Association) 6 (1).p.201.


’If he were both the chief administrator and the chief judge, he was in a position to judge whether he himself had committed a crime and, if so, what his punishment would be.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.237


Formal Legal Code:
present

’The law codes, too, show significant modification, such as the leniency of punishments in morally tolerant Japan relative to those in China’ [1] ’the ritsuryo (penal and administrative law) system, were closelyintertwined with economic and social change in the Nara period (710to 784).’ [2]

[1]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition]

[2]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.415


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

’Such exchange took place at two state-run markets (the Eastern and the Western) in the capital, which were centers of a vast commercial network that included markets, ports, and stations in neighboring provinces... Each province had its own market, located near the provincial headquarters, that was linked with a number of local trading posts.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.434


Irrigation System:
present

’the production of rice required drainage and irrigation systems that could not be built or maintained by individuals operating independently. Later land laws were certainly affected by ah ancient practice of having irrigation systems managed by the community as a whole. Although state ownership of water was not written into law, its existence and nature can be deduced from extant historical sources.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.416


Food Storage Site:
present

’As a result of increasing their income from loans, various provinces were able to store up a considerable amount of rice paid as land tax (denso).’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.446


Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

drinking water was provided from wells, rivers etc.


Transport Infrastructure

[1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.250


’the location of Nara, surrounded by hilly terrain to the north, east, and west, did not allow easy access to the port of Naniwa, which had assumed increasing importance with the emergence of a centralized state in the eighth century.’ [1]

[1]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.455


records of elaborate state sponsored canal systems dating back to at least the 7th century ’The Nihon shoki explains that a new canal had to be dug for the two hundred boats that were used for transporting rocks to the foot of the mountain where the palace’s stone walls were being constructed.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.203


Bridge:
present

[1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.250


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

’The government gave special attention to the development of copper mining, establishing several offices of the mint (jusenshi) in western Japan where the copper mines were located.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.435


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

’it was during the age of Nara that Chinese writing led to the appearance of the first real books produced in Japan, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles of 712 and 720. These were followed shortly afterwards by the first poetry anthologies, the Kaifuso (Fond Recollections of Poetry) of 751 and the Manyo¯shu¯ (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) of 759. Some documents were even printed - another Chinese influence. [1]

[1]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition].p.24-25


Script:
present

The earliest known written Japanese texts date to the eight century. Although the spoken languages have no relationship Chinese characters were borrowed to enable Japanese to be written ‘Over time the Japanese writing system developed into a complex use of Chinese characters along with two different phonetic scripts to represent the sounds of spoken Japanese. The two phonetic scripts—hiragana and katakana—represented the same sounds but were used in different contexts reflecting, among other things, class and gender.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.242.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

[1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.242.


Nonwritten Record:
unknown

’it was during the age of Nara that Chinese writing led to the appearance of the first real books produced in Japan, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles of 712 and 720. These were followed shortly afterwards by the first poetry anthologies, the Kaifuso (Fond Recollections of Poetry) of 751 and the Manyo¯shu¯ (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) of 759. Some documents were even printed - another Chinese influence. [1]

[1]: Henshall, Kenneth .2012. A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. [Third Edition].p.24-25



Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

’Moreover, Japanese envoys were then less interested in territorial and military matters than in such cultural activity as acquiring Buddhist and Confucian texts, gathering information on Chinese science and art, and becoming familiar with T’ang methods of political and social control. They seem to have been especially fascinated with Chinese techniques and ideas that would reinforce the foundations of a Nara state headed by an emperor whose authority was both secular and religious.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.227



Religious Literature:
present

‘Inouye Kaoru observed that Doji, a Buddhist priest who went to China in 702 and returned in 718, brought back a copy of the recent translation that the compilers of the Nihon shoki had seen.« Historians are therefore in general agreement that the Nihon shoki item concerning the introduction of Buddhism contains additions and embellishments made by later editors. And yet it cannot be denied that King Songmyong of Paekche actually sent Buddhist images and texts to the Yamato king around the middle of the sixth century and that this was an important event in the early history of Japanese Buddhism.’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.372


Practical Literature:
present

’immigrant scholars who introduced the best that continental civilization could offer in written form...Chinese works on government’ [1]

[1]: Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.55


Philosophy:
present

’Educated Japanese of the Nara period did not emulate the Chinese in writing philosophical works’ but there were original Chinese works in circulation ’immigrant scholars who introduced the best that continental civilization could offer in written form: the Buddhist sacred scriptures; Chinese works on government, history, and philosophy’ [1]

[1]: Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.55


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

’household registers’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.232


History:
present

There is a long tradition of historical recording in Japan. Japan’s oldest extant text is Kojiki (Record of ancient matters) written in 712CE although it deals with what today would be considered mythological themes it was treated as a historic text. [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.243.


Fiction:
absent

One of the world’s oldest extant novels was written in Japan c.1000 in the Heian period.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.249.


Calendar:
present

The Chinese calender was known and studied in Japan from the 6th century ’Written records were now used to carry out government functions; Buddhism was enthusiastically embraced; and Chinese technology stimulated such diverse fields as calendar making...Missions from Japan to China no longer sought only luxury goods, or even Chinese recognition of a Japanese ruler’s authority, but sophisticated forms of learning as well.’ [1] but does not appear to have been officially adopted until the Chinese Hsuan-ming calendar that was brought by an embassy in 859 and remained the official calendar of Japan, with growing inaccuracy, from 862 to 1684.’ [2]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.316

[2]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.91.


Information / Money

Precious Metal:
present

’The coins were legally valued at more than the worth of their metallic content.’ [1]

[1]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.164



Indigenous Coin:
present

The first minting occurred in 708 CE with silver and copper coins. [1] . "By the late seventh century, a few silver coins were issued, but they did not have a large circulation." The minting of 708 CE was modeled on the Tang currency. [2] "Copper cash was known as Wado-kaichin, and four were the equivalent of a silver coin." [2] Gold coins minted in 760 CE, one gold coin worth 100 copper mon. [2] "In 765, further minting of copper coins only was instituted at Nara." [2] "...the twelve imperial coins (kocho junisen) of Nara times, and from late Heian’ [3] ’In the quest for recognition as a civilized society by the seemingly advanced countries of the adjacent continent, Japanese leaders followed the example of Korea and China in minting the government’s own coinage, despite the apparent absence of a vigorous domestic commerce in need of money currency. The leaders also probably hoped thereby not only to encourage and facilitate such commerce as existed, but perhaps as well to reap the profits that currency manipulation made possible. The first minting was the well-known Wado kaiho coin of 708, which was produced just seven years after the adoption of theTaiho code of 701. Eleven new coins followed in the next two and a half centuries (until 958), eight of them during the Heian years. Minting at various places but mainly in copper producing regions like Suo and Nagato, they were mostly made of brass, but some were silver, and there was one gold coin, the Kaiki shoho coin of 760." [4]

[1]: Brown, D., 1993.The Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 2.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 435.

[2]: (Higham 2009, 84) Higham, Charles. 2009. Encylopedia of Ancient Asian Civilizations. Infobase Publishing.

[3]: Yamamura, Kozo (ed). 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 3. Cambridge Histories Online Cambridge University Press [sixth edition].p.408

[4]: Shively, Donald H. and McCullough, William H. 2008. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 2: Heian Japan. Cambridge Histories Online Cambridge University Press.p.164


Foreign Coin:
present

The minting of 708 CE was modeled on the Tang currency "which has been found in Japan in reasonable quantities, suggesting its use before the local discovery of copper and establishment of a mint for issuing local silver and copper currency." [1]

[1]: (Higham 2009, 84) Higham, Charles. 2009. Encylopedia of Ancient Asian Civilizations. Infobase Publishing.


Article:
present

fish, rice, iron, bronze


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

although lacking buildings solely dedicated to post activities there was ’a system of post stations, barriers, and guards’ [1]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p198


General Postal Service:
absent

Courier:
absent

although there were messengers [1] they appear not to be professionalized until the early medieval period. [2]

[1]: Brown, Delmer M. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan Volume 1: Ancient Japan. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press.p.43

[2]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.328.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

’Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade.’ [1] ’Up to the beginning of the feudal era, three forms of fortifications were built, according to archaeologists. The grid-pattern city form was inspired by Chinese planning precedents, and included gates or walled enclosures. Mountain fortresses appear to be an indigenous form, and were typical of remote areas. Plateaus or plains often utilized the palisade, a semi-permanent defense. Typical defenses included a rampart, a ditch, and a palisade. Grid-pattern cities were surrounded by walls that served as a demarcation point rather than as true protection, and eventually such barriers disappeared. Remains of mountain fortresses found in northern Kyushu were a more effective means of protection, and may have belonged to ancient kingdoms that ruled parts of Japan in early times. Palisades were often constructed in the northeastern areas of the main island of Honshu. Although excavations have revealed only partial remains of such structures, they are significant since they offer prototypes for medieval fortifications.’ [1] "Unlike the walled towns of China and Korea, fortified places in Japan tended to be isolated military outposts. These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows." [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.173.

[2]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

"These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows." [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

"These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows." [1] "Up to the beginning of the feudal era, three forms of fortifications were built, according to archaeologists. The grid-pattern city form was inspired by Chinese planning precedents, and included gates or walled enclosures." [2]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.173.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

’Mountain fortresses appear to be an indigenous form, and were typical of remote areas’ [1] "Unlike the walled towns of China and Korea, fortified places in Japan tended to be isolated military outposts. These yamashiro (mountain castles) were hilltop fortresses consisting only of wooden stockades, gates and towers, joined to one another across valleys and peaks to form a complex defensive arrangement. With no stone or mudbrick walls to batter down, these castles were almost always overcome by infantry assault, often supported by arson attacks launched by fire arrows." [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.173.

[2]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Modern Fortification:
absent

no evidence of these type of fortifications, but no source explicitly saying they were absent


present in the preceding and succeeding periods.





Complex Fortification:
present

castles



Military use of Metals

[1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.169.


From Early Yayoi. [1] ’By the Yayoi Period (50-250 CE) iron tools became more plentiful, as is evidenced by advances in woodworking technologies. By the last century of the Yayoi, iron-working technologies spread quickly across the central region of Japan from west to east. Over the course of the next several hundred years, iron completely replaced stone as the mineral of choice. Iron swords, armor, and arrowheads came to occupy prominent places in the tombs of the Kofun period. From that time onward, iron and its alloy with carbon, steel, were Japan’s pre-eminent proto-industrial metals.’ [2]

[1]: (Okazaki 1993, 279) Okazaki Takashi. Japan and the continent in the Jomon and Yayoi periods. Janet Goodwin trans. Delmer M Brown. ed. 1993. The Cambridge History of Japan. Volume 1. Ancient Japan. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: David G Wittner. 2008. Technology and the Culture of Progress in Meiji Japan. Routledge. Abingdon. p.24


Bronze present but use in warfare likely minor role.


they possessed bronze and did use it in daily life but its use in military contexts in this period is unclear.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

"unlike the crossbows that were used as anti-personnel weapons, there does not appear to be any record of trebuchet use in Japan, simply because the siege situation did not demand it." [1] ‘it is not until 1468[CE] that we find an unambiguous reference to the use of traction trebuchets in Japan.’ [2]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: Turnbull, Stephen. 2012. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Vol. 43. Osprey Publishing.p.23.


Sling Siege Engine:
unknown

Could find no reference to support the presence of siege engines.


absent, although they had been present in the much earlier Yayoi period (c.300BCE-300CE). [1]

[1]: Friday, Karl F. 2004. Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan. Psychology Press.p.68.


although single piece bows were used in earlier times, and could technically have been used, the composite bow had been standard military equipment since the 9th century CE.


Could not find any evidence of use


Handheld Firearm:
absent

not in widespread use until 1543 CE [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.163-64.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

before use of gunpowder in Japan


crossbows long used in China were used up to the 11th CE century in Japan. [1] "As no Japanese oyumi (siege crossbow) has survived, it is impossible to know exactly what one looked like or how it was operated. Certain records make tantalising reference to them being different from Chinese varieties, although this may just be an expression of national pride. It is, however, well substantiated that, in contrast to the predominant Chinese practice, the Japanese crossbows were used for throwing stones as much as for firing arrows." [2]

[1]: Friday, Karl F. 2004. Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan. Psychology Press.p.76.

[2]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Composite Bow:
present

the composite bow had been standard military equipment since the 9th century CE but was most likely used before then. From the Kamakura period, bows were constructed in layers utilizing bamboo slats for added strength and flexibility. The core of the bow was made of stiff wood and was combined with laminated pieces of bamboo.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.153-54.


Could not find any evidence of use


Handheld weapons

Kanabou (金棒) is noted as being a club weapon in use: ’Sort of iron club used by warriors in ancient times, and a favorite weapon of some monk-warriors (Heisou) in the Heian and Kamakura periods’ [1]

[1]: Louis Frederick, Japan Encyclopedia, translated by Kathe Roth, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 202, p. 466


‘The curved-profile Japanese sword originated in approximately the eighth century [CE], coinciding with the earliest steel production in Japan and the emergence of the first professional military figures.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.157.


‘Spears (yari) have a long history in Japan, as the two earliest extant Japanese histories, the Kojiki (712 C.E.) and the Nihon shoki (720 C.E.) recount that the Japanese islands emerged from drops created when the gods Izanami and Izanagi used a jeweled spear to stir the cosmic brine mixture that constituted the universe. [1] ‘The yari is also sometimes called a lance to underscore that in Japan spears were not thrown as in other military traditions where these arms served as projectile weapons.’ [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.162.

[2]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.163.


‘First used by the early Kamakura period, the naginata is closest to a European glaive in form, with an elongated shaft, and a single-edged blade curved more than that of a Kamakura-period Japanese tachi. Most likely, the naginata was based upon similar weapons introduced from China by 300 C.E. which have been unearthed in graves.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.161.


daggers were used in non-military contexts but I couldn’t find a specific reference to daggers in a military context.



Animals used in warfare

Horses from the 8th [CE] century cavalry played an often vital part in Japanese . The importance place about cavalry shifted throughout time falling in and out of popularity but always remaining present. [1] ‘Horsemanshipwas central to bushi identity, distinguishing the professional warrior from those who served him - and fought beside him, on foot. As we have seen, the horse was one of the two tools that defined the “way of bow and horse,” which defined the samurai. [2]

[1]: Hall, John Whitney (ed.). 1991.The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. P.55

[2]: Friday, Karl F. 2004. Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan. Psychology Press.p.96.


I could find no evidence of elephants - but no sources saying that they were not used either (although I think this is a very safe bet)


I could not find references to Donkeys being used - this does seem odd so I would triple check


I could find no evidence of dogs - but no sources saying that they were not used either


I could find no evidence of camels - but no sources saying that they were not used either (although I think this is a very safe bet)


Armor

’Shields were commonly used in nearly all military contexts in Japan, beginning with prehistory. Chinese dynastic histories include descriptions that indicate shields were in use by the third century in Japan...From the Nara period to the early medieval period, military shields were standing wooden barriers about eye-level in height and roughly the width of human shoulders... They were attached to poles, or feet, which were hinged so that the support could be collapsed and stored or transported flat. Approximately one and a half meters tall and less than half a meter wide, mostly such shields were made of several planks joined vertically. Although shields could withstand more force if each was made from a single board, this was the exception rather than the rule. Protective substances such as lacquer could also prolong the life of such standing shields.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.172.


Scaled Armor:
present

’the keiko wrapped around the wearer’s body and was fastened up the front with ties. At first there were two types, both made up of ’steps’ of scales laced horizontally together into boards; one kind was held together with leather straps running down the outside of the steps, and the other with a more conventional under-over lacing of braided cord or leather... the popularity of scale armour began to predominate in the 6th and 7th centuries. ’ [1] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [2] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [2]

[1]: Bryant, Anthony J. 1991. Early Samurai: 200-1500 AD. Vol. 35. Osprey Publishing.p.46.

[2]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


"The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [1] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.

"The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [1] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Limb Protection:
present

’the last pieces of armour were for the forearms and shins. very few have survived unscathed, but enough have to give us some ideas as to their construction. there were generally two types: those formed like tubes, of one or two semi-circular plates and those made of splints. usually attached to the forearm guards were flat metal plates or a lamellar deffence fo rthe back of the hand. [1] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [2] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [2]

[1]: Bryant, Anthony J. 1991. Early Samurai: 200-1500 AD. Vol. 35. Osprey Publishing.p.45.

[2]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Leather Cloth:
present

’Japanese armorers did not confine themselves to metal, and instead incorporated lighter and ore malleable materials such as leather and silk (or other fibers) along with iron or steel parts.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.169.


Laminar Armor:
present

’The advantages of armor composed of lames, covered with lacquer, and using a combination of materials contributed to the widespread use of this type of armor construction in Japan from the late Heian period until the middle of the 14th century.’ [1] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [2] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.170

[2]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


From the 5th century a rounder form of helmet called mabizachi-tsuke kabuto (’visor-attached helmet’), with a ’baseball cap’ flat visor, was also worn with the tanko. this was an important style, modeled after the helmets of the Korean and Chinese warriors encountered on the continent. Such helmets were made en suite with the later lamellar armours, but examples have been found in the same tombs as tanko. most had a cup-shaped crest holder supported by a bronze tube, presumably for some sort of plume. [1]

[1]: Bryant, Anthony J. 1991. Early Samurai: 200-1500 AD. Vol. 35. Osprey Publishing.p.45.


Before the time of ’definite’ knowledge "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Breastplate:
present

Japanese breastplates (Do) started being manufactered in the 4th century CE. [1]

[1]: Farris, W. W., 1998. Sacred texts and buried treasures: issues in the historical archaeology of ancient Japan.University of Hawaii Press,P.75


Naval technology
Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
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- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions