This exhibition wish to expand on a premise through the perspective that ancient Japanese society already contained a thorough “characterless world” and had formed its very own unique culture of written characters.
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. Except for China itself, really the only other culture using Chinese characters continuing into the current day is Japan, which in the beginning began writing in a mixture of Chinese and native characters
However, it cannot be said that the continuing future of the culture of Chinese characters in Japan is secure. In considering the written culture of this century that is 21st it is important to completely 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 instance letters on lacquer lid paper, wooden tablets, and earthenware with ink writings from about the country, and also epigraphs and materials linked to writing as such as implements. And we’ll combine ancient materials that are written China and Korea to recreate the field of writing in ancient Japan. By looking at writing in these ways, we desire to paint an accurate image of ancient society.
1. From the period when writing came to the Japanese Archipelago
- Written materials from China (reproduction regarding the golden seal of “Kan no wa no na no koku ou”, reproduction of inscribed mirror from Keisho 3 from excavations in the Kanbara Jinja burial mound in Shimane Prefecture)
- Expressions in sound and pictures (bronze bell reproduction along with other items)
- Characters written through the second to fourth centuries in the Country of Wa (archeological finds from Oshiro resume help Ruins in Mie Prefecture such as “Hou” (meaning “offering”), “Kou” (meaning “good fortune”) and 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, along with other items)