Ancient Japan Reform Changes in Asuka and Nara Periods

The Yamato state underwent significant changes and reforms during the Asuka era. Most of these reforms were a reflection of China’s social and political organization. They were mostly meant to strengthen and legitimize the imperial family’s rule (Batten 214). However, the reforms had a far more reaching effect apart from strengthening the imperial family. They also created a good system. Although some people argue that these changes were ineffective, I think they rather led to the creation of a more efficient and refined system. As such, I will support this argument/stand from facts drawn from class reading and other sources.
Ritsuryo is basically a historical system in Japan founded on Chinese legalism and Confucianism philosophies (de Bary 22). Ritsuryō-sei is a term often used to refer to the system (political) in accordance with the Ritsuryo. Another significant term often used in this period or analysis is the kyaku, which refers to the Ritsuryo amendments whereas enactments were termed as Shiki. Most of Japan’s reforms commenced during the Asuka period and extended into the Nara period. The capital of Japan was moved to Asuka in this period (538-710). Asuka was located on plains and it bordered Nara. This period is mostly known and remembered for its vital social, political and artistic transformations. These transformations had their roots in the Kofun era. The Yamato nation changed considerably during this era, adopting social and political systems from China. Their primary goal was to make the imperial family stronger and legitimate.
Shotoku Taishi in 603 implemented a Confucian organization made up of 12 court ranks. Subsequently, he established the seventeen article constitution in 604, which explicitly highlighted the rights and duties of government ministers, people, and the ruler. Taika reform preceded these transformations. The Taika reform took place between 645 to 649 and led to the creation of the Ritsuryo.&nbsp. &nbsp.