Learning from Shōen: The Ōbe Estate Project
by Janet R. Goodwin
Talk given at the Dec. 8-9, 2010 Conference
Using documents dated from the mid-twelfth through the sixteenth centuries, a group of scholars based at USC in the Project for Premodern Japan Studies is examining the socioeconomic and political history of Ōbe Estate (Ōbe no shō), an agricultural estate established in Harima Province in the late Heian Period as a holding of the great Nara monastery, Tōdaiji. This talk presents an overview of findings to date concerning some of those documents and from archaeological investigations, focusing on how a case study of an individual estate can contribute to a greater understanding of broader historical currents during the Heian and Kamakura periods.