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Taika (era) facts for kids

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Taika (大化) was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, lit. "year name"). It was the first nengō and the Hakuchi was the second. This period started in August 645 and ended in February 650. During this time, the emperor was Kōtoku-tennō (孝徳天皇).


The system of nengō mirrored the Chinese system of eras (nianhao). The use of nengō marked a new phase in the history of the Imperial court. It became an example of growth in political power.


Timelines of early Japanese nengō and Imperial reign dates
Emperor MommuEmpress JitōEmperor TemmuEmperor KōbunEmperor TenjiEmpress SaimeiEmperor KōtokuKeiunTaihō (era)ShuchōHakuchi (era)Taika (era)Empress GemmeiEmpress Kōgyoku

The system of Japanese era names was not the same as Imperial reign dates.

Events of the Taika era

  • 645 (Taika 1): Empress Kōgyoku abdicated; and her brother received the succession (senso). Soon after, Emperor Kōtoku's new role as monarch was confirmed by ceremonies (sokui).
  • 645 (Taika 1): Kōtoku introduces reforms of government called Taika reform (大化の改新, Taika no kaishin). The ideas and goals of this systemic reform (律令, ritsuryō) were written. For example, Kōtoku divided Japan into eight provinces. Government officials who were ranked in a hierarchy.
  • 646 (Taika 2, 1st day of the 1st month): Kōtoku established a regular calendar for the court, with major audiences scheduled only on certain days. The emperor also ordered the creation of storehouses of goods and arsenals to serve the needs of a national army or militia. The rules of etiquette and customs of the court were established.
  • 649 (Taika 5): A new system of government which was composed of eight ministries and 100 bureaus (hasshō hyakkan).
  • 650 (Taika 6): The daimyo of Nagato Province brought a white pheasant to the court as a gift for the emperor. This white pheasant was then construed as a good omen. The emperor caused the nengō to be changed to Hakuchi (meaning "white pheasant").

Related pages

  • National Diet Library, "The Japanese Calendar" -- historical overview plus illustrative images from library's collection
Taika 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Gregorian 645 646 647 648 649 650
Preceded by:
Era or nengō:
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Kōgyoku period
Imperial reign:
Kōtoku period
Succeeded by:
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