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Chapter Summary

Because of his humble birth as a son of a minor prince and a woman from an immigrant kinship group, Kanmu?s accession to the throne was quite unexpected. However, his extraction deeply affected his rule, most notably his decision to transfer the capital from Nara to Nagaoka. The decision to abandon the Nara capital and to move to the Nagaoka capital was not a flight from certain political and religious factions, as is commonly accepted; rather, it was a conscious, well-considered choice. By constructing a new capital in Nagaoka village, Kanmu stressed the ascendancy of a new imperial lineage, as attested by the ceremony to the Lord on High he twice observed in Katano. This point of view explains why the move to the Nagaoka capital had to take place in Enryaku 3 (784), only six months after the official announcement of the intention to construct a new capital.

Keywords: immigrant kinship group; Kanmu; Nagaoka capital; Nara capital

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