平安時代の不動穀 [in Japanese] Fudokoku in the Heian Period [in Japanese]
Access this Article
Search this Article
Movements of fudokoku 不動穀 (rice reserves) are one good indicator of the economy under the ritsuryo state. According to the conventional view, the Tenpyo 天平 era (729-749) has been considered the high of point of the Japanese ancient state based in part on the understanding that fudokoku stores accumulated to an amount equal to the 田租 (the rice tax on publically allocated land) for 30 years to come, or the total rice crop for one year. What has not yet been considered, however, is what led to the decline in the institution. In the present paper, the author first deals with whether the fudokoku stores were indeed really at their peak quantities during the Tenpyo era, and then attempts to show that because fudokoku expenditures were increasing throughout the 9th century, these reserves probably reached a maximum around the end of 8th century. In addition to increasing expenditures during the 9th century, such appropriations as nenryo soshomai 年料租春米 and nenryo betsuno sokoku 年料別納租穀 began to be deducted from the 田租 before it entered the storehouse, resulting in a decline in reserves from both the revenue and expenditure sides of the ledger, to the extent that we notice the fudokoku system in danger of bankruptcy during the Kanpyo 寛平 era (889-898). With a decline of even the storehouses holding fudokoku, the whole system had to be revamped. The present paper begins with the story beginning in the 10th century and the proceeds backwards to trace what happened to fudokoku, in an attempt to clarify one aspect of the process of change within the Japanese ancient state as a whole. A document entitled Etchu-no-Kuni Kanso Nokoku Kotai-ki 越中国官倉納穀交替記, an accounting record of the official storehouse of Etchu province, is a very valuable source material for ascertaining the accumulation of fudokoku over the 160 years from the beginning of the Tenpyo to the end of Kanpyo era. An analysis of this document shows not only exactly how fudokoku was accumulated, but also that the quantity steadily increased, with the exception of two eras of stagnant rice production (Tenpyo and Enryaku 延暦 [782-806]), up until the end of 9th century. However, a period of increased expenditures including huge outlays for building the Heian capital and pacifying the borderpeoples in the north was ushered in. Through a process of fixing the amounts of special appropriations (betsuno 別納) from the rice tax and designating the remainder as fudoso, finally in 964 a new system was instituted. With this new way of appropriating the rice revenues coming in from the provinces, fudokoku was maintained in name only, but it was soon abandoned altogether when during the third decade of 11th century a system of uniform levies on the provinces was established. However, the memory of the time when fudokoku was appropriated according to the whims of the central government lived on until the end of the 14th century in the ceremonial submittal by a newly appointed provincial governor of a formal petition, entitled fudoso kaiken shinsei-ge 不動倉開検申請解, requesting that the fudokoku storehouse be opened for expection.