Japan's Forgotten Capital


This is the first work to deal comprehensively with the historical and physical aspects of the Nagaoka palace and capital, which were constructed in the eighth century at the order of Kanmu Tennō, but abruptly abandoned after only ten years.
New research and the information yielded by decades of excavation made possible this fresh reassessment of conventional theories of the construction and layout of Nagaoka, as well as the life and reign of its founder. It also examines the motivations behind Nagaoka's establishment and abandonment within the context of Kanmu's reign and personal convictions. In broader terms, this volume deals with the process of capital building in late eighth-century Japan, and the links between the Nara and Heian capitals.
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Ellen Van Goethem, Ph.D. (2005) in Oriental Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, is an assistant professor in the Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies at Hosei University. Nagaoka, Japan’s Forgotten Capital is her first book.
"Nagaoka is a supremely well organized and lucid work of scholarship.(...) This excellent book adds much to a critical mass of scholarship that ensures Nagaoka-kyō will remain Japan’s forgotten capital no longer."
MATTHEW STAVROS, University of Sydney in: Japanese Studies, Vol. 29, No.1, May 2009.

"a fascinating examination of a long-neglected area of study, particularly for specialists of the Nara and Heian periods.(...) If you have a curiosity about the Nagaoka capital, Van Goethem's book is a tremendous resource with much to offer."
Yoko Hsueh SHIRAI (University of Southern California), Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 68:2 (2009)
All those interested in ancient Japanese history and archaeology, in particular the rule of the late eighth-century sovereign Kanmu, capital building and relocation, political intrigue, and mokkan (inscribed wooden tablets).
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