Introduction In this chapter we examine the evolution of the concepts of tsumi during the period of the formation of kingship in Japan, centering on the fourth and fifth centuries. If, as we remember from the discussion in Chapter 2, the fourth century saw the emergence of a new political movement (the facts of which are rather unclear and the subject of much debate), the fifth century was a period of struggle between the main powerful clans and the triumphant rise to power of the great kings.