Taihō Code

The Taihō Code was a group of laws in Japan. It was the law during the 700s c.e., which was the Nara period in Japan.[1] Here, "code" means "set of rules."

The Taihō Code had two kinds of laws. It had ritsu which were laws about crime and how to arrest people. It had ryō, which were laws about how to run the government. For example, the ryō said which areas were provinces and who would run them and what things the governors were and were not allowed to do.[1]

The lawmakers who wrote the Taihō Code copied things from Chinese laws. This was the Tang Dynasty in China. But the Japanese lawmakers wrote the Taihō Code to give more government jobs to Japanese noblemen. This was different from the Tang Dynasty laws, which said anyone from any family could work for the government if they took and passed the right tests.[2]

Modern scholars do not have a copy of the entire Taihō Code, but they think it is about the same as the later Yōrō Code.[1]

If the Taihō Code and the Yōrō Code count as the same thing, then they lasted from 702 c.e. until the start of the Tokugawa period in 1232 c.e.[3]

Taihō Code Media


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Taihō Code".. Britannica. 
  2. David John Lu}publisher=ME Sharpe (1997). Japan: A Documentary History. Vol. 3. ISBN 9781563249068. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  3. Vivian M. Carkeek (February 1, 1926). "The Taiho Code, the First Code of Japan" (PDF). Washington Law Review. University of Washington School of Law. 1 (3). Retrieved November 19, 2020.