Taihō (era)

Japanese era from 701 to 704

Taihō (大宝) was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, lit. "year name") after a late 7th century interruption in the sequence of nengō after Shuchō and before Keiun. This period started in March 701 and ended in May 704.[1] The reigning emperor was Mommu-tennō (文武天皇).[2]



The system of nengō mirrored the Chinese system of eras (nianhao).[3] The use of nengō marked a new phase in the history of the Imperial court. It became an example of growth in political power.[4]

Taihō was adopted to mark the discovery of gold in Tsushima.[5]


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 Taihō era

  • 701 (Taihō 1): Plans for mission to the Tang court was approved.[6]
  • 702 (Taihō 2): The Taihō Code or "Code of Taihō" (大宝律令, Taihō-ritsuryō) or Taihōryō reorganized Japan's government.[7] It completed the Taika Reforms.[8]
  • 701 (Taihō 2): A mission to the Tang court was led by Awata no Mahito (粟田真人). The diplomats travelled by ship.[6] This was called the "embassy of Taihō" because it was begun during this era.[9]


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Taihō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 924.
  2. Nussbaum, "Mommu Tennō," p. 655; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 60-63; Brown, Delmer. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 270-271; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 137-140.
  3. Nussbaum, "Taika" at p. 924.
  4. Bialock, David T. (2007). Eccentric Spaces, Hidden Histories: Narrative, Ritual, and Royal Authority from the Chronicles of Japan to the Tale of the Heike, pp. 56-57.
  5. Bender, Ross. (2009). "The Suppresion of the Tachibana Naramaro Conspiracy," Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 37/2:225; compare mirrored full-text Archived 2012-02-12 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-10-23.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fogel, Joshua A. (2009). Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time, pp. 102-107; publisher's blurb[permanent dead link];
  7. Nussbaum, "Taihō ritsuryō" at p. 924.
  8. Asakawa, Kan'ichi. (1903). The Early Institutional Life of Japan, p. 13; Nussbaum, "Taika no kaishin" at p. 924.
  9. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Sovereign and Subject, p. 244.

Other websites


Taihō 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Gregorian 701 702 703 704
Preceded by:
Era or nengō:
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Jitō period
Imperial reign:
Mommu period
Succeeded by: