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The Perfect Site For A New Capital City

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Chapter Summary

Some inhabitants of the Nagaoka capital petitioned the throne to have the value of the house lots reimbursed. Kanmu, however, refused and thus reduced the economic surplus gathered by certain people. So the decision to move to the Heian capital dealt a serious financial blow to the middle class, merchants, and commoners living in Nagaoka. Although the land in the new capital was distributed for free, these people were required to finance the construction of their homes themselves. Thus, by moving to a new capital, Kanmu temporarily weakened the financial power of influential families, and at the same time he strengthened his own imperial prestige and political power. With the move to Uda village, Kanmu was convinced he had found the perfect site for an imperial capital.

Keywords: Heian capital; imperial prestige; Kanmu; Nagaoka capital; political power; Uda village



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