Wow. The last few weeks have been really busy for Japanese archaeology news. I follow the archaeology news feed on Archaeology.org, and also the Asahi Shimbun’s “bunka” (culture) news feed, but it’s not super often that I find anything in there of enough interest that I bother to read further, or to repost. But, in the last few weeks, I’ve come across quite a few news articles on Japanese archaeological finds.
The Mainichi Shimbun reported yesterday on the discovery in Nara prefecture of late 6th century remains identified as signs of a manmade pond. Scholars have suggested this may be the so-called “Iware Pond” mentioned in the Man’yôshû (an Imperial poetry anthology) and Nihon Shoki (one of the most ancient histories of Japan). As explained in the Mainichi article, the pond was formed by the artificial damming of a river, and is the oldest one of this kind known to have existed in Japan. The Nihon Shoki also speaks of a structure built on the shore of the pond, associated with Emperor Yômei; remains of such a structure were found at this site as well.
Lots of exciting finds. I look forward to hearing about the next one.