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Minister of the Right

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Minister of the Right[1] (右大臣, Udaijin) was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the udaijin in the context of a central administrative body called the Daijō-kan (Council of State). This early Daijō-kan was composed of the three ministers—the daijō-daijin (Chancellor), the sadaijin (Minister of the Left) and the udaijin.[2]

Premodern Japan
Imperial seal of Japan
Part of a series on the politics and
government of Japan during the
Nara and Heian periods

Chancellor / Chief Minister
Daijō-daijin
Minister of the LeftSadaijin
Minister of the RightUdaijin
Minister of the CenterNaidaijin
Major CounselorDainagon
Middle CounselorChūnagon
Minor CounselorShōnagon
Eight Ministries
CenterNakatsukasa-shō  
CeremonialShikibu-shō
Civil AdministrationJibu-shō
Popular AffairsMinbu-shō
WarHyōbu-shō
JusticeGyōbu-shō
TreasuryŌkura-shō
Imperial HouseholdKunai-shō

The udaijin was the Junior Minister of State, overseeing all branches of the Daijō-kan. He would be the deputy of the sadaijin.[3]

The post of udaijin, along with the rest of the Daijō-kan structure, gradually lost power over the 10th and 11th centuries, as the Fujiwara came to dominate politics more and more. The system was essentially powerless by the end of the 12th century, when the Minamoto, a warrior clan and branch of the imperial family, seized control of the country from the court aristocracy (kuge). However, it is not entirely clear whether the Daijō-kan system was formally dismantled prior to the Meiji era.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6
  2. ^ Hall, John Whitney et al. (1993). The Cambridge History of Japan, p. 232.
  3. ^ Shin-meikai-kokugo-jiten, Sanseido Co., Ltd., Tokyo 1974

ReferencesEdit