Heian (平安)Period (A.D. 794 – A.D. 1192)


Heian-kyo(平安京) was established by Emperor Kanmu(桓武天皇) in 794. It was the first time that Kyoto became the capital city and since then, Kyoto had been  the political and cultural center of the nation in Japan. After the capital was moved to Heian-kyo Capital (Kyoto), Nara was called Nanto.

Emperor Kamu abolished conscription and adopt Kondei(健児)instead. The strong fighter were developed and the famous brave solder named Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (坂上田村麻呂) was were active.

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, he was the first Seii Taishogun (“征夷大将軍” /literally “great general” who subdues the barbarians) in the history of Japan. Since then, Seii Taishogun had been had a very important rule through the history as a top of the solders. For example, Minamoto Yoritomo (源頼朝)Hojo Tokimurne (北条時宗)in Kamakura shogunate, Ashikaga Takauji (足利尊氏)in Muromachi shogunate and Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康)in Tokugawa shogunate were all Seii Taishogun.

In Heian period, the emperor and the aristocracies still had much more authority than Seii Taishogun. The emperor had administered the country and the aristocracies had supported the emperor. However, special aristocracies named Fujiwara Family gradually developed its political strength by being close relatives with the emperor family.

Fujiwara family(藤原家) became Sessho (摂政)who practice politics instead of the emperor. When an emperor was young, a Sessho was placed. In this way, Fujiwara Family govern a country for along time during Heian period.


The Kokufu Bunka (“国風文化”/Japan’s original national culture) flourished in the middle of the Heian period.

Buddhist was no exception to this rule. Originally, Kurai (空海)and Saicho (最澄)who were the members of the Japanese missions to Tang China brought new style Buddhist from Tang China. Kukai established Koyasan Kongobuji temple(高野山金剛峰寺) in Wakayama and Saicho established Hieizan Enryakuji temple (比叡山延暦寺)in Kyoto. They brought strong influence to Japanese original Buddhist born after that.

2016-09-19 | Posted in HeianNo Comments » 

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