あ:agriculture

06/28/2018

About Rich farmers and poor farmers in the 8th century

In the 8th century, the disparity between rich farmers and poor farmers became significant. 
 
Some of poor farmers relinquished rice fields allocated by the government and left the places where they were registered.
 
Some others of them escaped from construction sites in Kyoto during their duties. After that some of them became wanderers or servants of local lords.
 
On the other hand, some of rich farmers moved to other places to expand their farming without the government permission.
 
Some others of them became monks or servants of nobles without permission, because they tried to avoid heavy tax burden on farmers.
 
At the end of the 8th century, many farmers defaulted in paying their taxes which they had to pay in special products of their districts such as silk, cloth.
 
The government's forces which consisted of many farmers got weakened.
 
These seriously influenced on the finance and the military power of the government.

06/23/2018

About the Development of new rice-fields in the 8th century

The Imperial Court planned a large-scale-development of new rice-fields in 722.
 
In those days, the population was increasing, so the Court needed more rice-fields to allocate all people who were over 6 years old. In addition, the Court also wanted to increase tax revenue.
 
In 723, the Sanze-Isshin-Law was enacted. The law allowed people to own land for a certain period of time, if they developed new rice-fields. If a person developed both new irrigation facilities and new rice-fields, the person and the person’s children and grandchildren were allowed to own the land.
If a person developed only new rice-fields, the person was allowed to own the rice-fields and when he passed away, his rice-fields were given back to the Court.
 
However, the law was not so effective, because people felt that the period which they could own the rice-fields was too short, because that people didn’t live very long in those days.
 
And then the Konden-Einen-Shizai-Law was enacted in 743. This allowed people to own rice-fields which they developed forever. The original aim of this law was to develop more rice-fields which could be managed by the Court, but the law prompted rich people such as nobles, temples and local lords to expand their private rice-fields. For example, great temples like Todaiji-temple clamed vast plains. The development of temples was supported by local governments and these temples used neighboring farmers and homeless people to build irrigation facilities and for land cultivation.
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