If we accept the recorded tradition, it would appear that already as early as the 4th and 5th centuries Emperors Ojin and Ingyo had residences in the Asuka region. In the earlier half of the 6th century, residences of Emperors Kenzo and Senka were built here, but it was not until after the building of Empress Suiko's Toyura-no-miya at the end of the 6th century that imperial residences came to be built in the Asuka region in fairly regular sequence, While these "palaces" (miya, a word also used to designate buildings or shrines of a ritual significance) were from the first built to serve chiefly as residences for one or another ruler, they also had the function of providing a place for the exercise of certain political, administrative and ceremonial activities. Palaces were moved with each change of emperor, and sometimes were moved two or three times during one and the same reign.
As the framework of the nation-state began to assume a more ordered form, palace construction came to include, in imitation of the Chinese practice, a large number of administrative offices in addition to the emperor's residence itself. Finally, there came to be built up around the palace an urbanized zone (kyo) subdivided by streets,
Asuka breezes that once curled back the palace maidens' sleeves Seeing now the court so far. they blow quite purposelessly
|TAKAMATSUZUKA KOFUN |THE ASUKA TEMPLES |ASUKA AND THE MAN'YOSHU|
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