You will see some pictures related to the dates when something important happened in the Asuka period or the Nara period.
If you click the date, you can see an answer and explanation of what happened on that day,
and relevant places. You will see both easy questions and difficult questions.

Quiz of December

  • Quiz1
  • Quiz2
  • Quiz3
  • Quiz4

巻き

do you understand this quiz

Question:
What happened on the 5th day of the 12th month in the 11th year of Empress Suiko (604)?
(January 14 by the solar calendar)

Tatsuta River (Ikaruga Town, Ikoma-gun)

Courtesy of Nara Visitors Bureau


answer

【Answer】

Japan's first court rank (cap rank) system was put into force on the 5th day of the 12th month in the 11th year of Empress Suiko (January 14, 604 by the solar calendar).

【interpretation】

Prince Umayato (Shotoku) set up the twelve court rank system - which shows the hierarchical ranking of court officials by the color of a cap - in the 11th year of Empress Suiko (604).The ranks were named Virtue, Compassion, Politeness, Trust, Justice and Wisdom, each further divided into two, making 12 ranks in total.

Ishibutai Burial Mound in Asuka Village


Credit:Courtesy of Nara Visitors Bureau


【Reference】
Ikaruga Town has Horyu-ji and other temples connected to Prince Umayato (Shotoku), and Asuka Village has historic sites related to his contemporaries, such as Soga-no Umako.

Access to Horyu-ji Temple
From Kintetsu Nara Station, take a bus (Nara Kotsu) for JR Oji Station or Horyu-ji, and get off at Horyu-ji-mae.
Or, from JR Oji Station, take a bus for Kasuga-taisha/Nara and get off at Horyu-ji-mae.

Question:
What happened on the 5th day of the 12th month in the 1st year of Wado (709)?
(January 24 by the solar calendar)

Suzaku Gate at the Heijo Palace Site

Courtesy of Nara City Tourist Association


answer

【Answer】

The ceremony for starting the construction of Heijo Palace was held on the 5th day of the 12th month in the 1st year of Wado (January 24, 709 by the solar calendar).

【interpretation】

Heijo Palace was located at the northern end of the central part of Heijo-kyo Capital. Within the walls of the palace there was "dairi" - or the Emperor's dwelling place - and the imperial audience hall for national ceremonies. The Heijo Palace Site was listed as a World Heritage Site under the name of 'Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara' in 1998.

The Imperial Audience Hall at Heijo Palace Site


Credit:Courtesy of Nara City Tourist Association


【Reference】
Access to Heijo Palace Site
From JR/Kintetsu Nara Station, take a bus (Nara Kotsu) and get off at Heijo Kyuseki or Nijo Oji Minami 4-chome, then walk 5 minutes.
Or, from Saidaiji Station (Kintetsu), walk east 10 minutes.

From JR/Kintetsu Nara Stations to Heijo Palace Site, the Gurutto Bus service is also available on weekends and holidays (fare: JPY100).

Question:
What happened on the 6th day of the 12th month in the 8th year of Empress Jito (694)?
(December 30 by the solar calendar)

Fujiwara Palace Site

Courtesy of Kashihara City


answer

【Answer】

Empress Jito moved the capital to Fujiwara Palace on the 6th day of the 12th month in the 8th year of Empress Jito (December 30, 694 by the solar calendar).

【interpretation】

Fujiwara Palace was the center of the Fujiwara-kyo Capital for the periods of Empress Jito, Emperor Monmu and Empress Genmei until the capital was moved to Heijo-kyo. In its functions it served as a combination of today's Imperial Palace, the national diet building, and the national government building district in Tokyo.

Fujiwara Palace Site


Credit:Courtesy of Kashihara City


【Reference】
The Fujiwara Palace Site is in Kashihara City.

Access to Fujiwara Palace Site:
A 30 minute walk southwest from Miminashi Station (Kintetsu).
A 30 minute walk east from Unebi Goryo-mae Station (Kintetsu).
A 30 minute walk southeast from Unebi Station (JR).
Or, take a Kashihara City Community Bus and get off at Kashihara-shi Fujiwara-kyo Shiryoshitsu-mae, then walk 4 minutes.

Question:
What happened on the 20th day of the 12th month in the 4th year of Wado (712)?
(February 5 by the solar calendar)

Wado-kaichin (left: silver right: copper)

Courtesy of Bank of Japan Currency Museum


answer

【Answer】

On the 20th day of the 12th month in the 4th year of Wado (February 5, 712 by the solar calendar), additional provisions to the Chikusen-joirei were issued in order to promote the circulation of Wado-kaichin currency.

【interpretation】

The original Chikusen-joirei that had been issued in the 10th month of the same year made it possible for the court rank of someone who saved up a certain amount of coins to be raised in exchange of some of the coins. Through these additional provisions, even people with no court rank could obtain official status.

Suzaku Gate at Heijo Palace Site


Credit:Courtesy of Nara City Tourist Association


【Reference】
The Heijo Kyuseki Shiryokan (Nara Palace Site Museum) displays Wado-kaichin and other currencies from the Nara Period.

Access to Nara Palace Site Museum:
From JR/Kintetsu Nara Station, take a bus (Nara Kotsu) and get off at Nijo-cho, then walk 3 minutes.
Or, walk 15 minutes from Yamato Saidaiji Station (Kintetsu).



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