Online ISSN : 2424-2616
Print ISSN : 0018-2478
ISSN-L : 0018-2478
A Fundamental Study of Family Registers from Mino Province preserved in the Shakyojo
Satoshi Ohira
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1985 Volume 94 Issue 10 Pages 1622-1644,1696-


About over 30 detached segments of ancient family registers from Mino 美濃 province (present day Gifu prefecture) remain in the Shosoin Documents 正倉院文書. They have been widely studied in order to elucidate the nature of the Japanese ancient family during the early Nara 奈良 period (early 8th century). The Mino family registers were compiled in 702, the second year of Taiho 大宝 ; but they no longer remain in original form. The Shakyojo 写経所 (the Sutra copying office), a section of the Zoto-daijishi 造東大寺司 (office in charge of building the temple of Todaiji 東大寺), required a great amount of paper in order to record such data as the supply and process of Sutra copying, the amount of paper to be used and the wages to be paid to the employees. To record such things, the backs of great many useless documents were used, which accounts for the Mino registers finding their way into the Shakyojo. The officer in charge of the project of Sutra copying would take a roll of such wastepaper, cut a sheet away, and use the back of it to record something and then join it to a book. In this way official documents like the Mino family registers consequently lost their original form. But the Sutra account books lost their original form, too, due to a number of re-arrangements beginning with Hoida Tadatomo 穂井田忠友 in the Tenpo 天保 era (1830〜1843). So before studying these official documents, these books of the Shakyojo should be restored to their original form. The Mino family registers were carried out according to Sato 里, villages, which formed a Kori 郡, or county. We know of the existence of six rolls of the Mino family registers ; and there are four segments in which we do not know what village and county they should belong to. During the Tenpyo 天平 era (729-749), three big projects of Sutra copying were undertaken. Each project was carried out in a separate building. Therefore when a roll of wastepaper was brought into a certain building, it would be used there exclusively. Guided by this fact, the author researched every segment in order to restore the original forms of the account books using the discarded Mino family registers. The author points out two characteristic tendencies in the re-use of the Mino registers ; (1)each roll was consumed in a specific project, and (2)a roll was disposed of in a very short period of time. After restoring the original order of the segments of each roll of the the Mino family registers, the author offers an opinion as to the name of the village and county of the four unclear segments.

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© 1985 The Historical Society of Japan
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