Important Cultural PropertyObjects excavated from the tomb of priest Doyaku, Nara

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  • Excavated in Iwaya-town, Tennri, Nara Prefecture
  • 2 pieces
  • Epitaph: silver; Cinerary urn: Sue pottery
  • Nara period/Wadou 7(714)
  • Nara National Museum
  • 722(考207)

These articles were discovered from a place commonly known as the Nishiyama ridge slopes situated in the Tohoku piedmont of Nara Basin in 1958. A large Sueki jar was placed on the top of a funerary urn that holds an epitaph plate and bones after cremation and the urn was surrounded by mounted soil mixed with stones called Tsubute. On the back of the reed-shaped silver epitaph plate, a 36-letter epitaph was inscribed using a Tagane (iron tool). According to the inscriptions, the deceased person was a monk of Sai-ji Temple called Doraku (a grandchild of Oonaranokimisotona). It is known that he passed away on February 26, 714. Although nothing about Sai-ji Temple, Doraku, Oonara or Sotona is seen in history books, there are some theories about Sai-ji Temple that indicates it is Sai-ji Temple in Choanjicho, Yamagokoriyama-shi or Sai-ji Temple located near the Sai shine in Oazamiwacho, Sakurai-shi. Oonaranokimi is thought to be a clan that came to Japan to live in the areas between Ichinomotocho and Naracho near where the articles were found and now still worship at Nara Shrine. The funerary urn is a Sueki (Sue ware) with the shape of a pot known as 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 Suemurakoyo in the south of Osaka.