Important Cultural PropertyBurial Epitaph for Priest Doyaku

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  • Silver
  • H 13.7, W 2.2
  • Nara period/Wado 7(715)
  • Nara National Museum
  • 722(考207)

 These articles were discovered from a place commonly known as the Nishiyama ridge slopes situated in the east-northern foothill of Nara Basin in Showa 33 (1958). A large Sue pottary jar was placed on the top of a cinerary urn that holds a burial epitaph and ashes and the urn was surrounded by mounted soil mixed with small stones. The burial epitaph is a silver reed-shaped plate. 36 letters of the epitaph was curved deeply by chisel (tagane). According to this, the deceased person was a priest of Saidera Temple, Doyaku, who was a grandchild of Onara no Kimisotona. It is known that he passed away on February 26, Wado 7 (714). Although nothing about Saidera Temple, Doyaku, Onara or Sotona is seen in history books, there are some theories about Saidera Temple (佐井寺) that indicates it is Saidera Temple (佐比寺, 西寺) in Choanji Town, Yamato-Koriyama City or Saidera Temple (狭井寺) located near the Sai shine in Omiwa Town, Sakurai City. Onara no Kimi is thought to be a clan that came to Japan to live in the areas between Ichinomoto Town and Nara Town (楢町) near where the articles were found and now still worship at Nara Shrine (樽神社). The cinerary urn is a Sue pottery with the shape of a pot (yakko), which is unique to the Nara period and has handles on both sides. The entire surface is colored in bright red, but the color remains inside in particular. It was fired in Suemura pottery ruins of kilns in the south of Osaka Prefecture.