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10/15/2017

About the administrative districts in the 8th century

The whole country was divided into 8 administrative districts, Kinai and seven Do. Kinai was composed of the 5 provinces around Kyoto, such as Yamashiro, Yamato, Kawachi, Izumi and Settsu. The seven Do were Tokai-do, Tosan-do, Hokuriku-do, Sanyo-do, Sanin-do, Nankai-do, Saikai-do.

In addition, each Do was divided into Koku. There were 60 Koku in the nation. Each Koku was composed of Gun.

Each Gun consists of 2 to 20 Ri and each Ri was composed of about 50 Ko. Ko was composed of about 25 members which included not only the family’s members but also servants of the family.

Each Koku was governed by Koku-shi who was an officer of the Imperial Court. The Koku-shi's office was called Koku-fu. Each Gun was governed by Gun-ji who was appointed from local lords in the region. Gun-ji's office was called Gun-ke. Each Ri was governed by Satoosa who was appointed from the leaders of the area.

There were several special administrative organizations to govern especially important areas. The capital was governed at the office called Kyoshiki. Naniwa which was important for transportation and foreign diplomacy was governed by the office called Settushiki. The northern Kyusyu area, which was important for foreign diplomacy and military affairs, was governed by the office called Dazai-fu.

Many officers worked at these offices. These officers were ranked and given jobs depending on their ranking. They received taxes from people allocated by the Imperial Court. The offices were also given land and salary from the Imperial Court. These officers didn't have to pay taxes and were exempted from labor duties.

The justice system had 5 punishments, Chi, Jo, Zu, Ru, Shi. Chi was a whipping and Jo was a beating with a wooden stick. Zu was to be detained and forced to labor. Ru was transportation to an island and Shi was the death penalty. Crimes against the Imperial Court, the Emperor or against one’s own parents of grandparents were considered serious offenses.

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