State Formation Process in Seventh Century A.D. Japan from a Religious Perspective

Author(s): Tetsuo Hishida

Year: 2015


Religion played an essential role in the state formation process in seventh century Japan. After Buddhism was introduced from Korea in the sixth century, more than 600 Buddhist temples were erected by the middle eighth century. There are some distinctive layouts of temple complexes, and the central authority greatly contributed to temporal change in the layouts. A considerable change took place in the middle seventh century, which marks the beginning of the national policy to adopt Buddhism as a state religion. At the same time, indigenous Shinto rituals also became formalized. Shinto rituals came from the primitive worship for the mountains and springs, but a considerable change in patterns of Shinto rituals occurred in the middle seventh century. New ceremonial goods appeared at the Naniwa Palace in Osaka. Typical Shinto ritual sites from the late seventh to early eighth centuries in local regions were located next to Buddhist temples. Although provincial government offices were maintained by local elites, a set of Buddhist temple and Shinto ritual in a local region suggests that Buddhism and Shintoism were used by the central authority to gain more control over local regions.

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Cite this Record

State Formation Process in Seventh Century A.D. Japan from a Religious Perspective. Tetsuo Hishida. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396019)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;