Online ISSN : 2424-2616
Print ISSN : 0018-2478
ISSN-L : 0018-2478
A Study of the Paddy Privately Managed by Ato-no-Otari (安都雄足) : One Form of Agricultural Management in the 8th century
Masashi Oguchi
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1987 Volume 96 Issue 6 Pages 1010-1040,1103-


Among the Ishiyama Shihai Monjo 石山紙背文書 (discarded legal documents and personal correspondence, on the backs of which were recorded diary entries and budgetary notes) located in the Shosoin 正倉院, a considerable number of items concerning eiden 営田 (paddy land management and control) in the 8th century can be found. In the past, the land holdings dealt with in these documents have been examined and interpreted as if they were part of Shoen 庄園 (landed proprietorships) held by the Todaiji 東大寺 temple. However, judging from the particular form in which these have been recorded and preserved, as well as the content of the documents themselves, it is possible to reach the conclusion that the lands involved were not under the control of Todaiji. Rather, they were in the private hands of a low ranking official, by the name of Ato-no-Otari (安都雄足). Although the eiden activities which are recorded in these documents occurred in the Tenpyou Houji (天平宝寺) Period, they provide a unique challenge, in that they require the historian to view them at two different levels : first, as delineating the relationship between Otari and the persons who managed his lands, and second, as describing the relationship between these managers and the cultivators of the lands. In examining the role of Otari himself, it is important to realize that the positions he held within the Ritsuryo 律令 system (1.Echizen-no-kuni shisho 越前国史生, a low ranking official in the Echizen Province, and 2.Zo-todaijishi sakan 造東大寺司主典, an official of fourth level rank in the bureau placed in charge of the construction and maintenace of the temple) were of considerable importance in the formation of the relationships that existed between the persons involved in the management of Otari's lands. Otari's official positions were intimately connected to the procurement and distribution of goods and services during this particular time in history, and he linked effectively his official functions with his private eiden activities. For example, concerning the relationship between Otari and his managers, the records show that Otari rationalized the means by which he paid and received income from these individuals, reducing the available means to coined money and shomai 春米 (hulled rice). Moreover, Otari had become acquainted with his managers through his position in the official bureaucracy. It is therefore evident that Otari's eiden activities, at the superstructural level, took place largely within the context of the Ritsuryo system institutional framework. On the other hand, when one examines the specific management forms found at the manager-cultivator level, one finds that the manager promoted local persons of prominence, and also developed procedures of direct management, land leasing (chinso 賃租), and seed rice lending (suiko 出挙), a variety of management methods not found in Todaiji-held shoen at this time. Otari also allowed his managers to avail themselves of these institutions in the earning of their own incomes, a practice which can be seen as a predecessor of the riso-fumyo 里倉負名 system (a percentage / unit of the yearly land tax yield taken in by the manager of an estate). These practices, too, differed from those found in the Todaiji-held shoen, which still preferred to depend solely on kokushi (provincial governers 国司) and gunji (local magistrates 郡司), as provided for in the Ritsuryo system tax collecting structure (a system of indirect control exercised through local leaders 在地首長制). Therefore, at the substructural level, one sees cases where economic relationships are not determined by the Ritsuryo system's mechanisms for the distribution of goods and services. These practices, however, extended only as far as being within the grasp of local persons of prominence. One must emphasize that they did not fall under the direct control of local society. In these documents, we see a clear manifestation of a situation peculiar to the 8th

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© 1987 The Historical Society of Japan
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