Ocho Period (王朝時代)

The Ocho period (Dynastic period) is a Japanese historical period.

It is most often used to refer to the Nara and Heian periods. The term is used to contrast the period with the age of samurai government following the Kamakura period, and the name derives from the fact that political power was held by an imperial dynasty headed by an emperor. It was often used as a historical term before the war but is no longer used today because it does not reflect the actual state of affairs due to the fact the Imperial Court existed and possessed a certain degree of influence even after the Kamakura period.

When used to define a period of cultural history, it is also used to refer particularly to period of nationalistic culture of the Heian period which prospered mainly within the Imperial Court. In this case, the term refers to the period between the mid-Heian period (during and after the 10th century) and the Taira clan's administrative period, or before the Insei period (period of cloistered imperial rule). The term describes the characteristic of aristocratic culture centered on the Fujiwara clan.

After World War II, a theory known as the dynastic state theory was developed, and according to this theory, the political system of the regime that held power in the tenth and eleventh centuries was different from that of the Ritsuryo regime (a political system based on the philosophies of Confucianism and Chinese Legalism). However, the term "Dynastic period" is used to describe a period of Japanese history that also includes the Ritsuryo regime, so it is necessary to keep in mind that the concept of "dynasty" was different for each national regime.