Online ISSN : 2424-2616
Print ISSN : 0018-2478
ISSN-L : 0018-2478
Reporting to the Emperor in Ancient Japan
Tei Morita
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1985 Volume 94 Issue 9 Pages 1450-1474,1548-


In this paper the author attempts to study the method and historical development of reporting to the Emperor under the ritsuryo-system (the ancient Japanese law system). Details about ronso and soji, the important formal ways of reporting to the Emperor provided for in the "Kushiki-ryo" (the formalities law), have already been explained quite adequately by former studies, but the way of reporting not provided for in the "Kushiki-ryo" has been studied very little. According to the author's view, the way of reporting not provided for in the "Kushiki-ryo" had already appeared in the 8th century. Ministers of the Dajokan (the ancient cabinet) asked the Emperor to see reports presented from various bureaus and thereby gained the Emperor's decision almost every day. This method continued until the early 10th century. The author explains this method in detail and especially refers to problems related to form called Dajokan-pu (the cabinet's order). In the 9th century the way of reporting not provided for in the "Kushiki-ryo" became very dignified, and it was called Kanso. In the middle of the Heian era Kanso was performed with complex ceremonies, and finally Kanso was applied only to the case of the Zuryo's (provincial governor's) personal affairs. But so much stress was laid on the Zuryo's personal affairs, that Kanso was regarded as a very important execution. Consequently, the execution of Kanso became more and more rare ; and ordinary items came to be reported to the Emperor by a simplified Kanso, a much different form from the original Kanso.

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© 1985 The Historical Society of Japan
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