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Taihō (era)

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Taihō (大宝?) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō,?, lit. "year name") after a late 7th century interruption in the sequence of nengō after Shuchō and before Keiun. This period started in March 701 and ended in May 704.[1] The reigning emperor was Mommu-tennō (文武天皇?).[2]


The system of nengō mirrored the Chinese system of eras (nianhao).[3] The use of nengō marked a new phase in the history of the Imperial court. It became an example of growth in political power.[4]

Taihō was adopted to mark the discovery of gold in Tsushima.[5]


Timelines of early Japanese nengō and Imperial reign dates

ImageSize = width:600 height:200 PlotArea = width:460 height:109 left:80 bottom:71 AlignBars = justify

Colors =

 id:nengo value:rgb(0.85,0.85,1) legend:Nengō
 id:reign value:rgb(0.95,0.95,0) legend:Reigns

 id:black value:black
 id:canvas value:gray(0.98)

BackgroundColors = canvas:canvas

Period = from:644 till:708 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:645 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:645

BarData =

 bar:nengo text:
 bar:reign text:

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 align:center textcolor:black fontsize:S mark:(line,black) width:25 shift:(0,-5)
 bar:nengo color:nengo
 from:645.8 till:650.2 text:"Taika" shift:(1,3)
 from:650.2 till:654.12 text:"Hakuchi" shift:(11,0)
 from:686.6 till:686.9 text:Shuchō
 from:701.3 till:704.5 text:"Taihō" shift:(4,3)
 from:704.5 till:708 text:"Keiun" shift:(9,0)
 bar:reign color:reign
 from:645 till:654 text:Kōtoku
 from:654 till:661 text:Saimei
 from:661 till:671 text:Tenji
 from:671 till:672 text:Kōbun
 from:672 till:686 text:Temmu
 from:686 till:697 text:Jitō
 from:697 till:707 text:Mommu

TextData =

 pos:(10,120) text:"Kōgyoku"
 pos:(542,120) text:"Gemmei"

Legend = orientation:horizontal position:bottom


The system of Japanese era names was not the same as Imperial reign dates.

Events of the Taihō era

  • 701 (Taihō 1): Plans for mission to the Tang court was approved.[6]
  • 702 (Taihō 2): The Taihō Code or "Code of Taihō" (大宝律令 Taihō-ritsuryō?) or Taihōryō reorganized Japan's government.[7] It completed the Taika Reforms.[8]
  • 701 (Taihō 2): A mission to the Tang court was led by Awata no Mahito (粟田真人?). The diplomats travelled by ship.[6] This was called the "embassy of Taihō" because it was begun during this era.[9]

Related pages


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Taihō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 924.
  2. Nussbaum, "Mommu Tennō," p. 655; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 60-63; Brown, Delmer. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 270-271; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 137-140.
  3. Nussbaum, "Taika" at p. 924.
  4. Bialock, David T. (2007). Eccentric Spaces, Hidden Histories: Narrative, Ritual, and Royal Authority from the Chronicles of Japan to the Tale of the Heike, pp. 56-57.
  5. Bender, Ross. (2009). "The Suppresion of the Tachibana Naramaro Conspiracy," Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 37/2:225; compare mirrored full-text; retrieved 2012-10-23.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fogel, Joshua A. (2009). Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time, pp. 102-107; publisher's blurb;
  7. Nussbaum, "Taihō ritsuryō" at p. 924.
  8. Asakawa, Kan'ichi. (1903). The Early Institutional Life of Japan, p. 13; Nussbaum, "Taika no kaishin" at p. 924.
  9. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Sovereign and Subject, p. 244.

Other websites

Taihō 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Gregorian 701 702 703 704
Preceded by:
Era or nengō:
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Jitō period
Imperial reign:
Mommu period
Succeeded by:

Template:Japanese era name