Nara Period

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A period in Japanese history, 710-794 AD, named after the new capital of Nara (or Heijo as it was then known), to which the court moved from Fujiwara. The capital was established there to secure greater centralized power. The palace buildings - the dairi (the Imperial living quarters), buildings for ritual, and governmental buildings for administrative business - were arranged in a plan imitating that of the T'ang capital of Ch'ang-an. No palace building is in existence now; but the lecture hall (Kodo) of the Toshodai Temple in Nara, believed to have originally been the Chosu-den (for court officials' important ceremonies) of the Heijo Palace, is suggestive of palace architecture of the time.