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January 2018


About expanding the territory in the 8th century

As the national governmental system was established, the Imperial Court gained stable political power. Therefore, they started to make an effort to expand the territory.
In the 8th century, the Court began to subdue the northern part of the main island of Japan’s archipelago where native people called Emishi lived.
Along the Japan sea side, Dewa-no-Kuni was established and Akita castle was built, while on the Pacific Ocean side, Mutsu-no-Kuni was established and Taga castle was built. Each castle was used as a political center and a military base against the Emishi.   


About economy in the 8th century

The Court prompted expansion farmland by ordering the creation of iron farming tools and improving the irrigation system.
In addition, mining gold and copper was started. Moreover, the technology of sericulture, raising silkwarms, and weaving luxury cloth was spread by the government experts.
These were useful for increasing productivity and government's tax revenue.


About administrative districts "Koku-fu" in the 8th century

In those days, the whole country was divided into about 60 Koku.
The central city in each Koku was called the Koku-fu, where many buildings for politics, ceremonies, offices and officer’s houses were built.
Each Koku-fu became a political and economic center in the region.
In addition, in the middle of the 8th century, Kokubunji-temple which was a branch of Todaiji-temple was built near each Koku-fu, and then it became a cultural center as well.


About roads in the 8th century

In those days, the whole country was divided into the 8 administrative districts. One of these was called Kinai which was around Kyoto.

The other 7 districts were called Do, such as Tokai-do, Sanyo-do. Government roads from the capital to the 7 districts were maintained and station offices were built every 16 kilometers on these roads.

The offices kept horses for use by government messengers, who could also use these offices as hotels. In each district, roads connecting to local stations were built. These roads created transportation network.

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