Important Cultural PropertyObjects excavated from the tomb of priest Dōyaku, Nara Prefecture

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  • 佐井寺僧道薬墓出土品
  • Excavated in Iwaya Town, Tennri City, Nara Prefecture
  • 2 pieces
  • Epitaph: silver Cinerary urn: sue pottery
  • Nara period/Wadō 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 east-northern foothill of Nara Basin in Shōwa 33 (1958). A large sue pottery 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 were curved deeply by a chisel. According to this, the deceased person was a priest of Saidera Temple Dōyaku (d. 714), who was a grandchild of Ōnara no Kimisotona (dates unknown). It is known that he passed away on the twenty sixth day of the second month of Wadō 7 (714). Although nothing about Saidera Temple, Dōyaku, Ōnara and 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 Chōanji Town, Yamato-Kōriyama City or Saidera Temple (狭井寺) located near the Saijinja Shine in Ōmiwa Town, Sakurai City. Ōnara no Kimi is thought to be a clan that came to Japan to live in the areas between Ichinomoto Town and Nara Town near where the articles were found and now still worship at Narajinja Shrine. The cinerary urn is a Sue pottery with the shape of a pot, which is unique to the Nara period (710–794) 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 Ōsaka Prefecture.