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Changing the Calendar Royal Political Theology and the Suppression of the Tachibana Naramaro Conspiracy of 757

Ross Bender
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Vol. 37, No. 2 (2010), pp. 223-245
Published by: Nanzan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41038700
Page Count: 23
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Changing the Calendar Royal Political Theology and the Suppression of the Tachibana Naramaro Conspiracy of 757
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Abstract

In the aftermath of the suppression of the Tachibana Naramaro conspiracy of 757, the Empress Koken ("Kōken/Shōtoku Tennō") issued two edicts articulating the royal political theology of the time. The first edict was a senmyō, inscribed in the Shoku Nihongi in Old Japanese; the second was a choku in Chinese. A miraculous omen, the apparition of a silkworm cocoon with a message woven into its surface, was interpreted as the occasion for a change in the calendrical era name, or nengō. This article argues that the imperial edicts express a coherent ideology combining ideas from a cultic matrix in which may be discerned proto-Shinto, Buddhist, and Confucian elements.

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