PERFORMATIVE LOCI OF THE IMPERIAL EDICTS IN NARA JAPAN, 749-70



ORAL TRADITION 24/1 (2009): 249-268



The Japanese Empress Koken/Shotoku (r. 749-70) governed not merely from a static setting, a throne in the palace at Nara, but by delivering her edicts in a wide variety of performative loci: in Buddhist temples, mansions of the nobility, and temporary palaces during royal progresses around the realm. This paper analyzes the texts, settings, and audiences of edicts, arguing that eighth-century Japan is an important venue for the study of transitions from orality to literacy.



Oral Tradition Master Index