Horanomiya (detached palace) (保良宮)

Horanomiya was an Imperial Palace which Emperor Junnin built in Omi Province in Nara period, which was placed as 'Hokukyo' in the system of multi-capital of Heijo-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Nara). It was also called Horakyo or Horarikyu.


In Emperor Shomu's later years, FUJIWARA no Nakamaro gained power backed by Empress Komyo. After Shomu Daijo Tenno (the retired Emperor) died, in 757, he conquered the revolt of TACHIBANA no Naramaro and seized political power.

Nakamaro backed up Prince Oi. In 758, he had Prince Oi accept abdication by Empress Koken and ascend the throne (Emperor Junnin).

On December 13, 759, in the period of retired Empress Koken and Emperor Junnin, construction of Horanomiya was started in Omi Province because it was deeply related to the Fujiwara clan (Nakamaro's grandfather FUJIWARA no Fuhito's posthumous title was Tankaiko [Tankai means Omi], and his father FUJIWARA no Muchimaro was an Omi no kami [governor of Omi Province]) and Nakamaro himself was an Omi no kuni no kami (governor of Omi Province).

Imperial visit and abolished capital

In 761
On March 6, residential lands were provided to shoshi (officials) at Horakyo.

On November 16, sheaves were provided to FUJIWARA no Nakamaro and others to transfer the capital to Hora.

On November 18, Emperor Junnin and retired Empress Koken made an imperial visit to Horanomiya.

On December 3, the Emperor decreed that he would move to Horanomiya for a while to remodel Heijo-kyu Palace and proclaimed `I think we should build Hokukyo,' and as a result, two counties (allegedly Shiga gun and Kurita gun) near the capital were placed as kiken (prefectures near the capital) for a long period, where cho (a tribute) was collected instead yo (a tribute) as in Heijo-kyo. It is considered that he was conscious of 'Taiyuan', the Baito (secondary capital city) of Tang.

In 762
On February 2 (January 1 in old lunar calendar), ceremony of choga (retainers' New Year's greeting to the emperor) was canceled because Horanomiya was incomplete.

On April 16, chitei (an arbor by a pond) was newly built in the southwest of Horanomiya and Kyokusui no Utage (making-poetry party at the stream in a garden) was held.

On May 8, construction of halls and hedge of Horanomiya was shared out to provinces, and it was completed at a dash.

On July 3, Emperor Junnin and retired Empress Koken decided to return to Heijo-kyu Palace due to their bad relationship, and Emperor Junnin entered Chuguin Palace while retired Empress Koken became a priest and entered Hokke-ji Temple. In the previous year, retired Empress Koken fell ill, but recovered due to nursing by YUGE no Dokyo. After Emperor Junnin had criticized the relationship between the two, he had been opposed to the retired emperor.

In 764, KIBI no Makibi who was close to retired Empress Koken emerged around this time. The Rebellion of Fujiwara no Nakamaro (the Rebellion of Emi no Oshikatsu) broke out. The construction was halted because Nakamaro was defeated. It became an abolished capital.


It is a leading theory that it was on the right bank of the Seta-gawa River flowing from the Lake Biwa, stood around the Ishiyama Kokubu site in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. Since the traces of tsukijibei (a mud wall with a roof) and tiles around 760, the era of Heijo-kyo were excavated there, they are considered to be the remains of related facility. The Ishiyama-dera Temple and the Provincial Monastery of the Omi Province (Kokubun-ji Temple) were around there and Omi Kokucho (provincial government office of Omi) was on the opposite side of the Seta-gawa River, so the environment was well-ordered, and in Kokubu 2nd street, there is a stone called 'Heso-ishi' (navel stone) which was allegedly one of the foundation stones of Horanomiya. Besides, remains of a road 18 meters wide in the Sekinotsu site are considered to be related.

There is a theory that Gyokkei-ji Temple (Chokushi, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture) near the Shigaraki no Miya Palace site is the remains. This temple has a legend that Kukai built a hall on the Horanomiya site.

According to a tradition, Suga-jinja Shrine, Sugaura, Nishi-Azai-cho, Ika-gun, north of the Lake Biwa is that hall. Even now, a custom in which people have to be barefoot to visit the holly precincts of the shrine is strictly observed. In addition, this shrine holds 'Emperor Junnin festival' every 50 years, and the upcoming 1250th anniversary is scheduled to be held in 2013.

[Original Japanese]