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Orei sanga

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  • Japanese: 御礼参賀 (orei sanga)

Orei sanga were celebratory events called by the Ashikaga shoguns, at which samurai, kuge, monks, and others were obliged to come pay respects to the shogun, and to present him with gifts. Such events took place especially frequently during the reign of Ashikaga Yoshinori (r. 1429-1441), ranging from once every few months to multiple times in a month. At each such orei sanga event, guests were obliged to present the shogun with a sword, and early on, with a horse as well.

These events marked a major shift in the gift-giving practices of the kuge. Prior to this, the presentation or exchange of swords as gifts was largely a samurai practice, but beginning in the early/mid-15th century, it became quite standard for kuge to present swords to the shogun, to the Emperor or Retired Emperor, and to one another.

The first such event seems to have taken place on 1423/3/20. According to the Kanmon Nikki, nn celebration of the accession of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshikazu, courtiers and warriors were requested to appear before the shogun, and to present gifts of horses and swords, "with no one excepted." Numerous courtiers and warriors traveled to the Muromachi palace and did so in a grand audience with the shogun on that date. A number of Buddhist monks and monzeki (Imperial princes serving as temple abbots) did so later that same day, or on a later date.

References

  • Usami Kosumo 宇佐美こすも, “Chūsei kuge nikki ni okeru ‘ken’ ‘tachi’ hyōki” 「中世公家日記における『剣』『太刀』表記」, Nihon rekishi 日本歴史 824 (Jan 2017), 141.
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