This chapter examines the liturgical ceremonies of the new state assembled by Tenmu and Jitō. The Law Codes stipulated a yearly round of ritual events, most of them to secure the ripening of crops and a bountiful harvest. The format for the principal celebrations required that four times a year, hundreds of representatives from designated local shrines assemble at the capital, a number that grew to two and three thousand early in the eighth century. These shrine officiants returned home with oblations for their local kami (spirits or gods). Ultimately, these regular celebratory reunions implemented the reality of a dynamic centralized rulership and spread consciousness of it throughout the land by word of mouth.
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