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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Umashimade with his monobe subdued the central districts




There was, of course, no organized system of schools in this period, but education was not neglected. A university was established in the newly built capital, and there were five family schools or academies for the youth of the separate uji. A school and hospital, founded by Fujiwara Fuyutsugu in 825, received an Imperial endowment. At almost exactly the same time (823) the Bunsho-in was founded by Sugawara. The Sogaku-in was founded in 831 by Arihara Yukihara. In 850 the consort of the emperor Saga built the Gakkwan-in for the Tachibana family; and in 841 the palace of Junna became a school. And there was one quasi-public school, opened in 828, in the Toji monastery south of the capital, which was not limited to any family and was open to commoners.

ENGRAVING: NETSUKE (Hand-carvings in Ivory)





DESCRIBED superficially, the salient distinction between the epochs of the Fujiwara and the Gen-pei was that during the former the administrative power lay in the hands of the Court nobles in Kyoto, whereas, during

the latter, it lay in the hands of the military magnates in the provinces. The processes by which this change was evolved have already been explained in part and will be further elucidated as we advance. Here, however, it is advisable to note that this transfer of authority was, in one sense, a substitution of native civilization for foreign, and, in another, a reversion to the conditions that had existed at the time of the Yamato conquest. It was a substitution of native civilization for foreign, because the exotic culture imported from China and Korea had found its chief field of growth in the capital and had never extended largely to the provinces; and it was a reversion to the conditions existing at the time of the Yamato conquest, because at that time the sword and the sceptre had been one.

The Mononobe and the Otomo families constituted the pillars of the State under the early Emperors. Their respective ancestors were Umashimade no Mikoto and Michi no Omi no Mikoto. The Japanese term monobe (or mononofu) was expressed by Chinese ideographs having the sound, bushi. Thus, though it is not possible to fix the exact date when the expression, bushi, came into general use, it is possible to be sure that the thing itself existed from time immemorial. When the Yamato sovereign undertook his eastward expedition, Umashimade with his monobe subdued the central districts, and Michi no Omi with his otomo and Okume-be consolidated these conquests. Thereafter the monobe were organized into the konoe-fu (palace guards) and the otomo into the emon-fu (gate guards). Not military matters alone, but also criminal jurisdiction, belonged to the functions of these two.

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