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By William M. Tsutsui

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A better half to eastern History presents an authoritative evaluation of present debates and methods in the research of Japan’s history.
• Composed of 30 chapters written through a world staff of scholars
• Combines conventional views with the latest scholarly concerns
• supplementations a chronological survey with particular thematic analyses
• offers stimulating interventions into person controversies

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Early Heian, 794–887 The first period, early Heian, is deemed to cover roughly the first 100 years of Heian, the ‘‘capital for ten thousand reigns,’’ and focusing on the reigns of Kammu to Uda. It is seen often as an extension of the Nara period, and with good reason since Emperor Kammu lived in the three capitals of the day: enthroned in Nara, he erected a new capital at Nagaoka to which he moved, before once again constructing a larger capital at Heian and moving once again. Kammu, the most vigorous of Heian emperors, had endeavored to breathe life back into the Tang-style administrative system that had developed in Nara times, but he was besieged by problems: the undue THE HEIAN PERIOD 35 influence of Buddhist clergy in political affairs; recalcitrant and difficult-to-subdue Ezo in the northeast; the malfunctioning of provincial tax extraction methods, which resulted in large numbers of absconding peasants; and the murder of Fujiwara no Tanetsugu and subsequent deaths of several of Kammu’s relatives which threw a decided unease over Nagaoka.

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