This concluding chapter attempts to pull together salient features of the hereditary status and hierarchy that have appeared and reappeared across the preceding chapters. The introduction provided a series of oppositional concepts presented for interpretational purposes; here these oppositions will be useful again for drawing some generalizations. The second half of the chapter sums up the relationship between emperors and aristocrats—for, as we have seen, the emperor is an important focal point for the aristocracy. It reconsiders the idea that the kazoku served as a sort of hanpei (bulwark) for the imperial house.
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