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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Other Basic Texts
Ryōnoshūge
A thirty-volume corpus of annotations on the Yōrōryō, compiled by Koremuneno Naomoto. The present version is fifty volumes, and thirty-four of them are still extant. Among these thirty-four volumes, volumes 1, 20, and 35 have different styles and contents, and are called the Yishitsu ("extraneous") ryōnoshūge. The Ryōnoshūge is said to have been completed in the latter half of the ninth century. The annotations included in this book are mostly in the question and answer form written by legal scholars of early Heian period. However, the Koki, an annotation of the Taihōryō completed during the Nara period (ca. 738), is also included as part of the Ryōnoshūge. Because of this, it is possible that we can get an understanding—even if it is only fragmentary—of the content of the Taihōryō. The Ryōnoshūge is therefore a great treasure trove for research concerning ancient history. The most persuasive theory as to why this book was written is that the official compilation of the time, the Ryōnogige, was largely unsatisfactory and further explanation of the annotations it contained were sought. However, the real motivations behind the compilation of the Ryōnshūge remain unknown. This book was used not only by myōbōka (the lawyers of the Heian period), but also by public officials of the Kamakura period who believed it should be consulted as a record of ancient customs to inform actual matters of government policy. The annotations of Jingiryō were included in volume 7, together with the Sōniryō (lit. "laws governing monks and nuns"); as such, the Ryōnoshūge is also held to be an indispensable book for understanding the rules of the Jingiryō. It is included in the Shinchū kōgaku sōsho, vol. 2 (1931, Naigai Shoseki), the Shintei zōho kokushi taikei, popular edition (Yoshikawa Kōbunkan), among others. See also Ryōnogige

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