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Population, Disease, and Land in Early Japan, 645-900

Population, Disease, and Land in Early Japan, 645-900

by William Wayne FarrisWilliam Wayne Farris


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From tax and household registers, law codes, and other primary sources, as well as recent Japanese sources, William Wayne Farris has developed the first systematic, scientific analysis of early Japanese population, including the role of disease in economic development. This work provides a comprehensive study of land clearance, agricultural technology, and rural settlement. The function and nature of ritsuryō institutions are reinterpreted within the revised demographic and economic setting.

Farris’s text is illustrated with maps, population pyramids for five localities, and photographs and translations of portions of tax and household registers, which throw further light on the demography and economy of Japan in the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674690059
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/19/1995
Series: Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series , #24
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

William Wayne Farris is Professor of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Table of Contents

Chronological List of Translated Court Orders



Population and Agriculture before 645

Establishment of the Ritsuryō State

1. Fertility, Mortality, and Life Expectancy in the Early Eighth Century

Population Registration in East Asian History

Census-Taking in the Law Codes

Selection of the Population Data

Appraising the Quality of the Data

Adjusting the Data

Application of Stable Population Analysis

Fertility, Mortality, and Life Expectancy in Early Japan

2. Population Trends and Epidemic Disease

The Nature of the Evidence

The Arrival and Initial Ravages of the Disease

The Epidemic at Its Height

Government Medical Policy and Identification of the Disease

Mortality in the Great Epidemic

Other Epidemics in the Ritsuryō Period

3. Land Clearance

Land Clearance in the Law Codes

Subsequent Legislation

Early Examples of Land Clearance

Early Shōen

Land Clearance in the Early and Middle Heian Period

4. Land Use and Agricultural Technology

Artificially Irrigated Rice Farming

Naturally Irrigated Rice Farming

Dry Fields

Slash-and-Burn Agriculture

The Early Landscape

Land Use and Land Tenure

5. Rural Settlement

Migration in the Law Codes

Government Attempts to Enforce the Codes

Migrants and Their Motives

Rural Settlement Patterns

Settlement Patterns and Local Government







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