Census register for Kawabe village in Chikuzen Province; Record of the office for copying sutras

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Census register for Kawabe village in Chikuzen Province; Record of the office for copying sutras

History / Nara

Asuka period, 8th century/Taihō 2; Tenpyō 20, 702, 748

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

H 27.0, L 64.4; 2 papers

1幅

Formerly kept in Shōsō-in repository, Nara

重要文化財

The census register was compiled once in six years for purpose of taxing labor, recruiting of soldiers, and the distribution of agricultural plots in the Asuka period. This is a segment of the census register of Kawabe village of Shima county in Chikuzen province (today’s Fukuoka prefecture), which was compiled in 702 and is one of the oldest extant census registers in Japan.
One line is used for the registration of one person, and the order of the names is based on blood relationship. At the end of the section of each household, the total area of allotted agricultural field is recorded. The seal of the Chikuzen province is stamped over the written letters and parts where sheets join. The letter-style is similar to the Riku-chō style, and characters were written neatly.
Kawabe village of Shima county in Chikuzen province is thought to have been located on the Itoshima peninsula. It may have been the area of today’s Baba at Shima-chō of Itoshima county in Fukuoka prefecture. The reverse side of this register sheet is a segment of the Sembu Hoke-kyō Kōchō

Masterpieces of Nara National Museum. Nara National Museum, 1993, pp.84-85, no.63.

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