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The Ritual Space in the Heian Palace during the Heian Period: A Study on the Ritual Book Jogan Gishiki
the Heian Period
the Heian Palace
Several ritual books were edited during the Heian Period (794-1192) in Japan. Most of the rituals were mainly performed in imperial palace, the Heian Palace. The Jogan Gichiki (The Rituals in the Jogan Era), which is one of the ritual books, is thought be written in the 9th century, and is important because of describing the court rituals at that time. Court rituals should be an important research theme for architectural history, because they are related to palace architecture directly. However, there is no enough quantity of research on them. Therefore, this paper analyzes the procedures of the rituals in The Rituals in Jogan Era. It also clarifies that the Heian Palace had two types of the rituals according to how the participants moved in the ritual space; 1) the moving emphasized the north-south axis, 2) the east-west axis dominated. It clearly indicates that the former type was applied in order to show the supremacy of emperor, and that the latter was employed to demonstrate the intimacy between emperor and high-ranking officers. In addition, the Heian Palace placed more importance on east part of the ritual space because even the type 1 assigned the eastern space to higher-ranking officers. Furthermore, the description in publication of the rituals of the type 1 in two ritual books edited after the 9th century reduced, it means that the type 2 gained importance. There must be some reasons why there were two types of the rituals and why the type 1 disappeared by degrees after the 9th century. On the one hand, Japanese learned from the Chinese ritual system in court, especially the type 1. Consequently, it seems that the type 1 was eliminated when emperor started losing political power after the 9th century.
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