Taika Reform

Taika Reform

The Taika Reforms (大化の改新, Taika no Kaishin?) were a set of doctrines established by Emperor Kōtoku (孝徳天皇 Kōtoku-tennō) in the year 645. They were written shortly after the death of Prince Shōtoku, and the defeat of the Soga clan (蘇我氏 Soga no uji), uniting Japan. Crown Prince Naka no Ōe (who would later reign as Emperor Tenji), Nakatomi no Kamatari, and Emperor Kōtoku jointly embarked on the details of the Reforms. Emperor Kōtoku then took the name "Taika" (大化), or "Great Reform".

The Reform began with land reform, based on Confucian ideas and philosophies from China, but the true aim of the reforms was to bring about greater centralization and to enhance the power of the imperial court, which was also based on the governmental structure of China. Envoys and students were dispatched to China to learn seemingly everything from the Chinese writing system, literature, religion, and architecture, to even dietary habits at this time. Even today, the impact of the reforms can still be seen in Japanese cultural life.

Read more about Taika Reform:  Background

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