Important Cultural PropertyCensus Register for Kawanobe Village in Chikuzen Province

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  • 1 hanging scroll
  • Hanging scroll, ink on kouzo paper (reverse side) ink on paper
  • H 27.0, L 64.4; 2 papers
  • Asuka period/Taihou 2(702),reverse side Tenpyou 20(748)
  • Nara National Museum
  • 871(書34)

The family register was made every six years as a basic account book for taxation, the requisition of soldiers and the Handen-Shuju land tenure system, which were implemented on a family basis. This is a fragment of the family register of Kawabe-ri of Shima-gun in Chikuzen Province in Taiho 2 (702), which is one of the oldest family registries now in existence. It was originally handed down in Shosoin or the Imperial Repository.

One name is written on one line. All the names of a family are listed in the order of blood relationship and the total allotments of Kubunden (personal rice-field allotment) is written at the end of each family listed. On the parts on which characters are written and on the seams on the back of the paper, the stamp of the "Seal of Chikuzen Province" is affixed. The characters are written orderly in Rikucho-style calligraphy.

Kawabe-ri of Shima-gun in Chikuzen Province is thought to be around present-day Baba of Shima Town in the Itoshima District of Fukuoka Prefecture on the Itoshima Peninsula commanding the Genkai Sea, in which the public office of the Shima-gun district was located.

On the back of this family register is a fragment of "Senbu-Hokekyo-Kocho" composed in Tenpyo 20 (748), which is because the back of the paper was used at the Shakyôsho sutra-copying office for transcribing a sutra after the retention period of the family register had elapsed.