REKIHAKU 20th Anniversary Exhibition Ancient Japanese writing symbols From the Golden Stamp to Documents through the Shoso-in

  • To spell out the process of how Japan, which had no written language, received written characters from China and exactly how it had been feasible for Japan to develop its system that is own of while under the strong influence of ancient Korea. At the start of the 8th century, that foreign influence planted the seed for Japanese works such as Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, Man’yoshu plus the “world of documents from the Shoso-in”. Documents from the Shoso-in are indispensable, basic research materials for the study of ancient history that is japanese. However, they’ve been only displayed to the public on special occasions. You can find few examples in the wide world of a collection that is huge of writings preserved in good shape. This is the reason we are dealing with the task of reproducing in detail that is finest about 800 of the Shoso-in documents as you of the main project in the main collection. About 250 scrolls have already been produced. Within the main exhibition we will display a group of enlarged reproductions.
  • It is believed that in ancient Japan, written characters played a big social role as a guitar resume con of government so when things that held mystical power to an extent that was not seen in later eras. Using specific examples from the standpoint of “writing, people, and locations”, we wish to illustrate the unique world of written characters – the ecology of written characters – of ancient Japan, which differs from China, where in actuality the characters originated.
  • This exhibition want to expand on a premise through the perspective that ancient society that is japanese contained a thorough “characterless world” and had formed a unique unique culture of written characters.

  • Due to the discovery of enormous amounts of archeological materials with written characters in the last few years, the specific situation regarding the ancient written culture common to both Japan and Korea has, in particular, become extremely clear. The year of the exhibition is 2002 (Heisei 14), per year which should be commemorated for the achievement of good progress within the relationship that is close Japan and South Korea. Fortunately, as a result of full cooperation from various Korean organizations, we’ve been able to borrow some of Korea’s major ancient written materials. Here is the public that is first exhibition of ancient written materials found in Korea to be displayed in Japan. We desire to compare them to materials that are japanese.
  • Writing (kanji characters) originating from China and spread throughout East Asia, where it long reigned as an international writing system. However, in Vietnam and Korea today, writing is principally in indigenous scripts. Apart from China itself, the sole other culture using Chinese characters continuing into the day that is present Japan, which early on began writing in a mixture of Chinese and native characters

    However, it cannot be said that the ongoing future of the culture of Chinese characters in Japan is secure. In considering the written culture of this century that is 21st it’s important to totally reconsider what writing was in ancient society.

    Therefore, this exhibition centers on reproductions of about 100 scrolls for the Shoso-in documents, artifacts from archeological digs such as for example letters on lacquer lid paper, wooden tablets, and earthenware with ink writings from around the country, as well as epigraphs and materials related to writing as a result as implements. And we will combine ancient materials that are written China and Korea to recreate the field of writing in ancient Japan. By looking at writing within these ways, we aspire to paint an picture that is accurate of society.

    Exhibited Items

    1. Through the period when writing stumbled on the Japanese Archipelago

    1. Written materials from China (reproduction associated with the golden seal of “Kan no wa no na no koku ou”, reproduction of inscribed mirror from Keisho 3 from excavations during the Kanbara Jinja burial mound in Shimane Prefecture)
    2. Expressions in sound and pictures (bronze bell reproduction along with other items)
    3. Characters written from the second to fourth centuries in the united states of Wa (archeological finds from Oshiro Ruins in Mie Prefecture such as for instance “Hou” (meaning “offering”), “Kou” (meaning “good fortune”) as well as other items)

    2. Written culture in ancient Korea

    (reproductions of an inscribed curved long sword (kanto tachi) with single dragon pattern,Josan-Sanjo wooden tablet, Gan’ouchi Pond wooden tablet, Geinichi-Reisuiri monument, and other items)