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The Basic Plan Of A Chinese-Style Capital City

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Chapter Summary

This chapter briefly discusses the basic plan of a Chinese-style capital city. In the century between 694 and 794, six capitals based on Chinese models were constructed on the Japanese archipelago: Fujiwara, Nara, Kuni, Naniwa, Nagaoka, and Heian. Their basic form was that of a huge rectangle composed of two main components: a large palace enclosure (kyūjō) and an urban centre (tojō). Kyūto, therefore, were the imperial, political, economic, social, and cultural centres of the ritsuryō state. The layout of Luoyang, the capital of the Chinese Northern Wei dynasty, or Jiangkang, the capital of the Southern Dynasties may also have influenced the basic plan of the Japanese capital cities, although Luoyang and Jiangkang were long destroyed by the time the Fujiwara capital was built in 694.

Keywords: Chinese-style capital city; Fujiwara; Heian; Kuni; Nagaoka; Naniwa; Nara; ritsuryō state



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