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Heijō Palace – Mokkan announcing Empress Shōtoku’s death uncovered

16 Jan

A mokkan (木簡; wooden tablet) bearing the inscription “天皇崩給” (“The Emperor has passed away”) was uncovered at the ruins of the eastern government offices (東方官衙地区) at the Heijō Palace (平城宮) site (Nara city), where the Efu (衛府; an office that handled palace security and acted as an imperial escort) is believed to have been stationed. Experts believe the “emperor” in question is Empress Shōtoku (称徳天皇; 718-770), known for her relationship with Priest Dōkyō (道鏡). This is the first mokkan recovered that bears the title “emperor” (天皇).

The bottom of the mokkan is missing, and the remainder measures 6.3 centimeters long. The back reads “eighth month of the [ . . . ] year (年八月).

Empress Shōtoku is recorded as having passed away in the eighth month of the first year of Hōki (宝亀), or 770. Additional mokkan bearing the Hōki era name were also uncovered from the same area, lending credit to the view that the mokkan in question refers undoubtedly to Empress Shōtoku.

天皇記す初の木簡 – 称徳天皇?が崩御/平城宮跡
2010年12月4日 奈良新聞
「天皇崩給」と書かれた木簡(奈良文化財研究所提供)
天皇の警護を担当した役所、衛府があったとされる奈良市の平城宮跡東方官衙(かんが=役所)地区で、「天皇崩給(ほうじたまう)」と書かれた木簡が奈良文化財研究所の調査で見つかった。僧道鏡の重用で知られる女帝、称徳天皇(718~770年)を指すとみられる。平城宮跡で「天皇」木簡の出土は初めて。
木簡は途中で切断されており、長さ6.3センチ。表に「天皇崩給」、裏に「年八月」の文字が読める。
称徳天皇の崩御は宝亀元(770)年8月で、同じ穴から「宝亀」年号の木簡も見つかっていることから、同研究所は「称徳天皇とみて間違いない」として…

http://www.nara-np.co.jp/20101204102107.html

Article retrieved 2010/12/17

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Posted by on January 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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