Quiz of January
What happened on the 3rd day of the 1st month in the 7th year of Emperor Tenji (668)?
(February 23 by the solar calendar)
Asuka Mizuochi Site
Courtesy of Asuka Village Board of Education
Emperor Tenji was enthroned on the 3rd day of the 1st month in the 7th year of Emperor Tenji's reign (February 23, 668 by the solar calendar).
Together with Nakatomi-no Kamatari, Prince Naka-no Oe (later Emperor Tenji) killed Soga-no Iruka who was practically in power, at Asuka Itabuki Palace (Murder in the Year of Isshi). That was the beginning of the Taika Reforms. After Emperor Tenji passed away, his son, Prince Otomo and his younger brother, Prince Oama, waged the biggest civil war in the ancient Japan, the Jinshin War in 672.
Supposed Site of Asuka Itabuki Palace
Credit：Courtesy of Asuka Village Board of Education
Access to the Supposed Site of Asuka Itabuki Palace:
From Kashihara-jingu-mae or Asuka Station (Kintetsu Railway), take an Asuka Excursion Bus and get off at Oka Tenrikyo-mae, then walk 5 minutes.
In Asuka Village, there are many historic sites and ruins related to Emperor Tenji, such as the Supposed Site of Asuka Itabuki Palace and Asuka Mizuochi Site.
What happened on the 11th day of the 1st month in the 1st year of Wado (708)?
(February 11 by the solar calendar)
Wado-kaichin (left: silver; right: copper)
Courtesy of Bank of Japan's Currency Museum
Copper nuggets ("wado" in Japanese) found in Chichibu in Musashi were offered to the imperial court. To mark this incident, a new era named "Wado" started on the 11th day of the 1st month. (February 11, 708 by the solar calendar).
Copper nuggets called "Nigi Akagane" (its Chinese characters are the same as those of "Wado") from Chichibu in Musashi (present day Kurotani, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture) were offered to the imperial court. To mark this event, the era name was changed to "Wado". It is said that the Wado-kaichin coins were modeled after Kai Yuan Tong Bao coins of Tang (China).
Left: Wado-kaichin Right: Kai Yuan Tong Bao
Credit：Courtesy of Bank of Japan's Currency Museum
The Nara Palace Site Museum displays Wado-kaichin and other forms of currency from the Nara Period.
Access to the Nara Palace Site Museum:
From JR/Kintetsu Nara Station, take a bus (Nara Kotsu) and get off at Nijo-cho, then walk about 3 minutes.
Or, from Saidaiji Station (Kintetsu Railway), walk about 15 minutes.
What happened on the 21st day of the 1st month in the 17th year of Tempyo (745)?
(March 2 by the solar calendar)
Seated Statue of Gyoki Bosatsu
Courtesy of Kiko-ji Temple
On the 21st day of the 1st month in the 17th year of Tempyo (March 2, 745 by the solar calendar), Gyoki was ordained Daisojo (highest Buddhist priesthood rank) by Emperor Shomu.
Gyoki is a Buddhist priest from the Nara Period who spread the teaching of Buddhism to ordinary people and also devoted himself to social work. He was highly esteemed and called by the honorific title "Gyoki Bosatsu".
Together with Emperor Shomu, he was one of the leaders in the project to construct the Daibutsu (Great Buddha statue of Todai-ji Temple). He was ordained Daisojo, the highest rank of the Buddhist priest order, in 745.
South gate and main hall of Kiko-ji Temple
Credit：Courtesy of Kiko-ji Temple
Tradition says that the Daibutsu-den (the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple) was modelled after the main hall of Kiko-ji Temple, so the main hall is also called "Daibutsu-den of Trials".
Access to Kiko-ji Temple:
A 10 minute walk from Amagatsuji Station, or a 20 minute walk from Saidaiji Station (both Kintetsu Railway)
Access by bus:
From Kintetsu Nara Station, take a bus for Akahadayama or Gakken Kita-Ikoma Station, and get off at Hanna Sugahara
Or, from the south exit of Gakuenmae (Kintetsu Railway), take a bus for Takabatake, and get off at Hanna Sugahara, or from the Gakuenmae Station bus strop, take a loop bus (Gakuenmae-eki Minami) and get off at Sugahara-jinja-mae.
What happened on the 28th day of the 1st month in the 5th year of Wado (712)?
(March 13 of the solar calendar)
Seated Statue of O-no Yasumaro
Courtesy of Oni-imasu-mishiritsuhiko-jinja Shrine
On the 28th day of the 1st month of the 5th year of Wado (March 13, 712 by the solar calendar), O-no Yasumaro offered Kojiki to the emperor (according to the preface of Kojiki).
Kojiki is a chronicle compiled in the early Nara Period (early 8th century)
Based on the genealogical records Teiki and Kyuji, which had been handed down through the imperial court, Emperor Tenmu told the stories to Hieda-no Are, who memorized the contents. O-no Yasumaro wrote down the contents recited by Hieda-no Are. The 1st part of the document contained myths, the 2nd and the 3rd parts were stories from Emperor Jinmu through Empress Suiko. It was written in Chinese characters utilizing both pseudo-Chinese and Japanese readings.
Main Hall of Oni-imasu-mishiritsuhiko-jinja Shrine
Credit：Courtesy of Oni-imasu-mishiritsuhiko-jinja Shrine
There is a shrine, O-jinja, related to O-no Yasumaro in Tawaramoto Town, and a shrine related to Hieda-no Are, called Meta-jinja, in Yamato Koriyama City.
Access to O-jinja (Oni-imasu-mishiritsuhiko-jinja) Shrine:
About a 20 minute walk from Kasanui Station (Kintetsu Kashihara Line)
Access to Meta-jinja Shrine:
About a 20 minute walk from JR Koriyama Station