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This stood at the head of all, in recognition of the divine
origin of the Imperial family. A Japanese work (Nihon Kodaiho
Shakugi) explains the fundamental tenet of the nation's creed thus:
"If a State has its origin in military prowess, which is essentially
human, then by human agencies also a State may be overthrown. To be
secure against such vicissitudes a throne must be based upon
something superior to man's potentialities. Divine authority alone
fulfils that definition, and it is because the throne of Japan had a
superhuman foundation that its existence is perennial. Therefore the
Jingi-kwan stands above all others in the State." In another, book
(Jingi-ryo) we find it stated: "All the deities* of heaven and earth
are worshipped in the Jingi-kwan. On the day of the coronation the
Nakatomi performs service to the deities of heaven and the Imibe
makes offerings of three kinds of sacred articles."

*The eight Kami specially worshipped in the Jingi-kwan were
Taka-mi-musubi, Kammi-musubi, Tamatsume-musubi, Iku-musubi,
Taru-musubi, Omiya no me, Miketsu, and Koto-shiro-nushi.

Thus, though the models for the Daiho system were taken from China,
they were adapted to Japanese customs and traditions, as is proved by
the premier place given to the Jingi-kwan. Worship and religious
ceremonial have always taken precedence of secular business in the
Court of Japan. Not only at the central seat of government did the
year commence with worship, but in the provinces, also, the first
thing recorded by a newly appointed governor was his visit to the
Shinto shrines, and on the opening day of each month he repaired
thither to offer the gohei.* Religious rites, in short, were the
prime function of government, and therefore, whereas the office
charged with these duties ranked low in the Tang system, it was
placed at the head of all in Japan.

*Angular bunches of white paper stripes, representing the cloth
offerings originally tied to branches of the sacred cleyera tree at
festival time.

(2). The Daijo-kwan (called also Dajo-kwari), or Board of Privy
Council. This office ranked next to the Board of Religion and had the
duty of superintending the eight State departments. Its personnel
consisted of the prime minister (daijo-daijin or dajo-daijin), the
minister of the Left (sa-daijiri), and the minister of the Right
(u-daijiri).

(3). The Nakatsukasa-sho, or Central Department of State (literally,
"Intermediate Transacting Department"), which was not an executive
office, its chief duties being to transmit the sovereign's decrees to
the authorities concerned and the memorials of the latter to the
former, as well as to discharge consultative functions.

(4). The Shikibu-sho, or Department of Ceremonies. This office had to
consider and determine the promotion and degradation of officials
according to their competence and character.

(5). The Jibu-sho, or Department of Civil Government, which examined
and determined everything concerning the position of noblemen, and
administered affairs relating to priests, nuns, and members of the
Bambetsu,* that is to say, men of foreign nationality residing in
Japan.

*The reader is already familiar with the terms "Kwobetsu" and
"Shimbetsu." All aliens were classed as Bambetsu.

(6). The Mimbu-sho, or Department of Civil Affairs. An office which
managed affairs relating to the land and the people, to taxes and to
forced services.

(7). The Gyobu-sho, or Department of Justice.

(8). The Okura-sho, or Department of Finance.

(9). The Kunai-sho, or Imperial Household Department.

(10). The Hyobu-sho, or Department of War.

(11). The Danjo-dai, or Office of Censorship, This office had the
duty of correcting civil customs and punishing and conduct on the
part of officials. In the year 799, Kwammu being then on the throne,
a law was enacted for the Danjo-dai. It consisted of eighty-three
articles, and it had the effect of greatly augmenting the powers of
the office. But in the period 810-829, it was found necessary to
organize a special bureau of kebiishi, or executive police, to which
the functions of the Danjo-dai subsequently passed, as did also those
of the Gyobu-sho in great part. These two boards, eight departments,
and one office all had their locations within the palace enclosure,
so that the Imperial Court and the Administration were not
differentiated.

LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY

For administrative purposes the capital was divided into two
sections, the Eastern and the Western, which were controlled by a
Left Metropolitan Office and a Right Metropolitan Office,
respectively. In Naniwa (Osaka) also, which ranked as a city of
special importance, there was an executive office called the
Settsu-shoku--Settsu being the name of the province in which the town
stood--and in Chikuzen province there was the Dazai-fu (Great
Administrative Office), which had charge of foreign relations in
addition to being the seat of the governor-generalship of the whole
island of Kyushu. In spite of its importance as an administrative
post, the Dazai-fu, owing to its distance from the capital, came to
be regarded as a place of exile for high officials who had fallen out
of Imperial favour.

The empire was divided into provinces (kuni) of four classes--great,
superior, medium, and inferior,--and each province was subdivided
into districts (kori) of five classes--great, superior, medium,
inferior, and small. The term "province" had existed from remote
antiquity, but it represented at the outset a comparatively small
area, for in the time of the Emperor Keitai (A.D. 507-531), there
were 144 kuni. This number was largely reduced in the sequel of
surveys and re-adjustments of boundaries during the Daika era
(645-650), and after the Daiho reforms (701-704) it stood at
fifty-eight, but subsequently, at an uncertain date, it grew to
sixty-six and remained permanently thus. The kori (district) of the
Daika and Daiho reforms had originally been called agata (literally
"arable land"), and had been subdivided into inaki (granary) and mura
(village). A miyatsuko had administered the affairs of the kuni,
holding the office by hereditary right, and the agata of which there
were about 590, a frequently changing total as well as the inaki and
the mura had been under officials called nushi. But according to the
Daika and Daiho systems, each kuni was placed under a governor
(kokushi), chosen on account of competence and appointed for a term
of four years; each district (kori) was administered by a cho
(chief).

MILITARY INSTITUTIONS

In the capital there were three bodies of guards; namely, the emon-fu
(gate guards); the sa-eji-fu and the u-eji-fu (Left and Right
watches). There was also the sa-ma-ryo and the u-ma-ryo (cavalry of
the Left and of the Right), and the sa-hyogo-ryo and the u-hyogo-ryo
(Left and Right Departments of Supply). These divisions into "left"
and "right," and the precedence given to the left, were derived from
China, but it has to be observed in Japan's case that the metropolis
itself was similarly divided into left and right quarters. Outside
the capital each province had an army corps (gundan), and one-third
of all the able-bodied men (seitei), from the age of twenty to that
of sixty, were required to serve with the colours of an army corps
for a fixed period each year. From these provincial troops drafts
were taken every year for a twelve-month's duty as palace guards
(eji) in the metropolis, and others were detached for three-years'
service as frontier guards (saki-mori) in the provinces lying along
the western sea board.

The army corps differed numerically according to the extent of the
province where they had their headquarters, but for each thousand men
there were one colonel (taiki) and two lieutenant-colonels (shoki);
for every five hundred men, one major (gunki); for every two hundred,
one captain (koi); for every one hundred, a lieutenant (ryosui), and
for every fifty, a sergeant-major (taisei). As for the privates, they
were organized in groups of five (go); ten (kwa), and fifty (tai).
Those who could draw a bow and manage a horse were enrolled in the
cavalry, the rest being infantry. From each tai two specially robust
men were selected as archers, and for each kwa there were six
pack-horses. The equipment of a soldier on campaign included a large
sword (tachi) and a small sword (katana or sashi-zoe) together with a
quiver (yanagui or ebira); but in time of peace these were kept in
store, the daily exercises being confined to the use of the spear,
the catapult (ishi-yumi) and the bow, and to the practice of
horsemanship. When several army corps were massed to the number of
ten thousand or more, their staff consisted of a general (shogun),
two lieutenant-generals (fuku-shogun), two army-inspectors (gunkan),
four secretaries (rokuji), and four sergeants (gunso). If more than
one such force took the field, the whole was commanded by a
general-in-chief.

APPOINTMENT AND PROMOTION

The law provided that appointment to office and promotion should
depend, not upon rank, but upon knowledge and capacity. Youths who
had graduated at the university were divided into three categories:
namely, those of eminent talent (shusai); those having extensive
knowledge of the Chinese classics (meikei), and those advanced in
knowledge (shinshi). Official vacancies were filled from these three
classes in the order here set down, and promotion subsequently
depended on proficiency. But though thus apparently independent of
inherited rank, the law was not so liberal in reality. For admission
to the portals of the university was barred to all except nobles or
the sons and grandsons of literati. Scions of noble families down to
the fifth rank had the right of entry, and scions of nobles of the
sixth, seventh, and eighth ranks were admitted by nomination.

OFFICIAL EMOLUMENT

Remuneration to officials took the form of revenue derived from lands
and houses, but this subject can be treated more intelligently when
we come to speak of the land.

THE PEOPLE

According to the Daiho laws one family constituted a household.



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