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The Taihō Code or Code of Taihō

The establishment of the Taihō Code was one of the first events to include Confucianism as a significant element in the Japanese code of ethics and government. The Code was revised during the Nara period to accommodate certain Japanese traditions and practical necessities of administration. The revised edition was named the Yōrō Code (養老律令, Yōrō-ritsuryō?)[2]. Major work on the Yōrō Code was completed in 718. However, for some elements of the Code, Chinese logic and morals were taken to extremes.ReformsThe Taihō Code contained only two major departures from the Tang model. First, government positions and class status were based on birth, as had always been the Japanese tradition, not talent, as was the Chinese way. Second, the Japanese rejected the Chinese concept of the "Mandate of Heaven," asserting that the Emperor's power comes from his imperial descent, not from his righteousness or fairness as a ruler.This code is said to be inspired on the Code of Yonghui (永徽律令, Yonghui-ritusuryō?), enacted in 651 the Chinese (Emperor Yonghui).Government OrganizationThe Taihō Code established two branches of government: the Department of Worship (神祇官, Jingi-kan?) and the Department of State (太政官, Daijō-kan?). The Jingi-kan was the higher branch, taking precedence over the Daijō-kan and handled all spiritual, religious, or ritualistic matters. The Daijō-kan handled all secular and administrative matters.The Jingi-kan, or Department of Worship, was responsible for annual festivals and official court ceremonies such as coronations, as well as the upkeep of shrines, the discipline of shrine wardens, and the recording and observation of oracles and divinations. It is important to note that the department, though it governed all the Shinto shrines in the country, had no connection with Buddhism.The Daijō-kan, or Department of State, handled all secular matters and was headed by the Great Council of State, which was presided over by the Daijō Daijin (太政大臣, Chancellor). The Ministers of the Left and Right (Sadaijin 左大臣 and Udaijin 右大臣 respectively), Controllers of the Left and Right (Sadaiben 左大弁 and Udaiben 右大弁), four Great Councillors (Dainagon 大納言) and three Minor Councillors (Shōnagon 少納言) made up the Council, and were responsible to the Daijō-daijin. The eight government Ministries were, in turn, responsible to the Controllers and Ministers of the Left and Right.Military OrganizationThe population were required to report for rengular census. This was used fas a precursor or national conscription. Understanding how the popluation was distributed, Emperor Mommu introduced the law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military. These soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, and in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system. It was called gundan-sei (軍団制) by later historians.The Taihō Code classified imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the emperor. Those of 6th rank and below were referred to as "samurai" and dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the name is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, however, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries

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