Ancient Miyakozuka pyramid tomb likely built for powerful local clan member. ASUKA, Nara Prefecture--Recent excavation work at the Miyakozuka Tomb, an ancient stepped-pyramid burial mound, suggests the construction is of a much higher quality than previously thought, reinforcing the belief it was built for a member of the local ruling clan, researchers said.
Famed Kiyomizudera temple pagoda gets fresh coat of historically correct paint. KYOTO--Using traditional "ni" red paint, the ancient capital’s Kiyomizudera temple has nearly wrapped up a 17-month restoration project of its 17th-century, three-story pagoda.
The refurbishment of the 30-meter-tall structure, a national important property, started in September 2013 as part of a wider restoration effort at the temple in the city's Higashiyama Ward--the first in the Heisei Era (1989-present). Workers recently removed the scaffolding surrounding the pagoda to reveal its vibrant vermillion color to tourists. Built in 1632, the tower last underwent a major refurbishment in 1986.
At the time, the original vermillion hue and richly colored ornamental patterns were restored. The traditional paint, after nearly three decades of weathering, eventually required restoration, according to the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education. Nine of the temple’s historic structures are being refurbished, including its Main Hall, a national treasure known for its large veranda overlooking the city. Bronze mirror linked to Himiko found in China for 1st time. A bronze mirror found in China resembles those associated with Japan’s third-century shaman queen Himiko, providing perhaps the first solid evidence that she was given the mirrors by a Chinese emperor.
Wang Chenyi, a Chinese researcher from Henan province, recently reported in a local archaeological journal that he bought the bronze mirror from a farmer at an antiques market in the ancient capital of Luoyang around 2009. The mirror is similar in design to Sankakubuchi Shinjukyo (triangular-rimmed deity-and-beast mirrors) widely discovered in Japan. They are believed to have been produced around the third century. The mirror in China measures 18.3 centimeter in diameter and is 0.5 cm thick, relatively small compared with mirrors that have been unearthed in Japan. Ancient Jomon clay ear ornaments discovered in western Japan. Masterpieces depicting gods of wind, thunder reproduced as Nishijin tapestries. Excavation discovers elaborate foundation to 1,300-year-old Yakushiji pagoda. Rare exhibition to show hidden treasures of Kyoto temples, shrines.
KYOTO--An ancient statue of Buddha, a painting of a dragon and other sacred treasures usually hidden from the public will be shown at 18 temples and shrines in Kyoto Prefecture this spring.
The Kyoto Heritage Preservation Association announced on Jan. 22 that the special exhibition of Kyoto’s hidden cultural properties will be held from April 29 to May 10. Taimaji temple in Kyoto’s Yamashina Ward will allow viewing of a seated statue of Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), also called Yamashina Buddha, from May 1 to 6.
Historic centuries-old inn along old Tokaido road to close its doors next month. TOYOKAWA, Aichi Prefecture--After more than three centuries of welcoming wayfarers, a traditional inn here that has been celebrated in haiku and ukiyo-e art of the Edo Period (1603-1867) will finally close to guests on March 15.
"We have managed to remain open until now because we have been supported by many people," said Kazuhiro Aoki, 75, the 19th-generation owner of the Ohashiya inn. Fabled 'dragonfly' spear on show at Shizuoka museum. MISHIMA, Shizuoka Prefecture--A legendary spear from a bygone era when warlords waged battles across Japan went on display Jan. 9 at the Sano Art Museum here for the first time in 11 years.
Old iron forge that eyes heritage status takes steps toward opening to public. KITA-KYUSHU--A historic iron mill may be opened to the public soon as part of a campaign to have it registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“We are thinking about cooperating with plans (by local authorities) to allow ordinary people to snap photos inside the facility and tour the plant aboard buses,” said Hirofumi Funakoshi, head of the general-affairs department at Yawata Steel Works. As the iron mill, which dates back to the Meiji Era (1868-1912), is still operating, the public cannot enter at will for safety and security reasons. When visitors are allowed, they are also usually banned from taking photos inside the plant, which used to be a state-owned business. But on June 15 reporters were allowed to tour the plant’s old main office, the repairing facility and the old smithy, all in Kita-Kyushu, by the operator, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. They were also allowed to check out a pump house in Nakama, which is also in Fukuoka Prefecture. Site used to plan Pearl Harbor attack to be torn down. KANOYA, Kagoshima Prefecture--A building here that is believed to have been used by the Imperial Japanese Navy to plan the attack on Pearl Harbor is set to be demolished as early as this summer.
Constructed in 1936, the four-story structure is now used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force at Kanoya Air Base. Tokyu Plaza’s farewell photo exhibit shows changing Shibuya over past 50 years. Colorful trams can be seen running on crisscrossed tracks in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward as streamers hang from lofty advertising balloons and a boxy new shopping complex opens its doors in the year just after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
“You know, I have to think that not much has changed here,” says Ayano Fujita, 30, after carefully looking at the photos and diorama depicting the scene described above. Japan's oldest basil pollen found in Nara ruins may have been 'medicine' from China. By KAZUTO TSUKAMOTO/ Staff Writer SAKURAI, Nara Prefecture--Basil pollen from the time of the legendary shaman queen Himiko has been discovered at the site that might once have been her home.
Tokyo printing firm to digitize 55 historic globes for viewing online. Globes dating as far back as the 11th century will be digitally copied by a Tokyo-based printing company so that they can be viewed on computers and other digital devices in 3-D. Dai Nippon Printing Co. will digitally copy 55 of the historic terrestrial and celestial globes in the National Library of France’s collection so that people can view them on screen. Tag: old Japan. If you’re anything like us, you love old stuff from Japan. The temples, shrines, centuries-old festivals, and museums are some of our favorite things to check out when we have free time. There’s just something absolutely captivating about all the relics of the past that live on in Japan–but they’re just not quite as good as time travel! Come on, scientists, we want to hang out with Nobunaga! Well, while we’re waiting for Doc Brown to get back with the DeLorean, we can still at least look at old photos of Japan.
Though you might think there aren’t many–after all, it wasn’t like the samurai were running around with smartphones, snapping selfies–it turns out that there may be quite a few more than we realized!