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Nara

This barrow is regarded as the grave of ‘Soga-no-Imoko’,who exerted authority over ancient Japan as a maternal relative of the emperor of the day. The excavation research has made clear that it was built at the beginning of the 7th century, making use of the materials of the nearby smaller ancient mounds. The big stone structure in the picture is a horizontal stone chamber originally covered with earth, however it has been...

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Buddhism introduced into Japan in the middle of the 6th century had gradually taken root involving a fierce argument till the beginning of the 7th century. ‘Asuka-daibutsu’ in the picture was created in those corresponding days named the ‘Asuka period’, featuring a typical Asuka-style figure with almond-shaped eyes. Though partly destroyed by fire two times in the Middle Ages, the image still sheds its original...

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What impressed the visitors most in this temple is ‘Nobori-ro’ roofed stairway with 399 steps running from ‘Nio-mon’ entrance gate to ‘Hondo’ main building. ‘Nobori-ro’in the picture below is an unusual structure among many Japanese Buddhist temples. Whilst, ‘Hondo’ above, designated as a national treasure, was originally built in the 8th century and present edifice was...

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‘Sakafune-ishi’ remains are found around the hill located in the west of ‘Asuka-itabuki-no-miya’, where the ancient Imperial Palace of the Emperor Kogyoku once stood in the 7th century. The granite stone in the picture above with the dimensions of 5.5m long, 2.3m wide and 1.0m thick, that is situated at the hilltop, is thought to have been larger than now because many traces of the chisel in the Middle Ages are...

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The Soga family, maternal relative of the Imperial Family of the day, exceeded then Emperor in political power in the 7th century. The Emperor Tenji stood together with ‘Nakatomi-no-Kamatari’, the founder of the Fujiwara family, against ‘Soga-no-Emishi’ and his son ‘Iruka’. On the very day of the ceremony to receive the formal greetings from the government envoys of three countries in the Korean...

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‘Muroji’ temple was built by the Imperial edit in the last part of the Nara period in the 8th century. This is a typical mountain temple with various kinds of religious buildings on the route from the foot to the breast of Mt. Muro. The five-storied pagoda in the picture is a symbol of the temple and is the second oldest one after that of Horyuji temple, as well as the smallest among the open-air pagodas designated as a...

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