Quiz of May
What happened on the 2nd day of the 5th month in the 8th year of Tempyo-Shoho (756)?
(June 8 by the solar calendar)
The Great South Gate of Todai-ji Temple
Courtesy of Nara City Tourist Association
Emperor Shomu (actually the former emperor at the time) passed away on the 2nd day of the 5th month in the 8th year of Tempo-Shoho (June 8, 756 by the solar calendar).
Emperor Shomu, together with his wife Empress Komyo, was a devout believer of Buddhism. In the 13th year of Tempyo (741), he issued an edict ordering the construction of provincial temples around the country, and in 743 an edict ordering the construction of the Daibutsu (the image of Vairocana Buddha). He hoped to establish national stability through Buddhist teachings.
The Vairocana Buddha statue at Todai-ji Temple
Credit：Photo by (c)Tomo.Yun(http://www.yunphoto.net)
Access to Todai-ji Temple:
From JR/Kintetsu Nara Station, take a city loop bus (Nara Kotsu) and take off at Daibutsuden Kasuga-taisha-mae, then walk 5 minutes. Or, walk 20 minutes from Kintetsu Nara Station.
From JR/Kintetsu Nara Stations to Todai-ji, the Gurutto Bus service is also available on weekends and holidays (fare: JPY100).
What happened on the 6th day of the 5th month in the 8th year of Emperor Tenmu (679)?
(June 22 by the solar calendar)
Yoshino River (Yumenowada)
Courtesy of Yoshino Town Board of Education
On the 6th day of the 5th month in the 8th year of Emperor Tenmu's reign (June 22, 679 by the solar calendar), Emperor Tenmu, his wife and princes made a vow at Yoshino Palace that they would support one another and not fight over the succession to the throne.
Emperor Tenmu and his wife (later Empress Jito) made a vow with six princes (Kusakabe, Otsu, Takechi, Kawashima, Osakabe, and Shiki) at Yoshino Palace to support one another and not to fight.
Reconstructed model of the Yoshino Palace (Yoshino Town History Museum)
Credit：Courtesy of Yoshino Town Board of Education
Miyataki Site is the most probable site of Yoshino Palace. The Yoshino Town History Museum and Yumenowada (see photo) are also located in Miyataki.
Access to Miyataki Site:
Take a bus from Yamato Kamiichi Station (Kintetsu Railway), and get off at Miyataki (15 minute ride), then walk 5 minutes.
What happened on the 6th day of the 5th month in the 7th year of Tempyo-Hoji (763)?
(June 25 by the solar calendar)
Courtesy of Nara Visitors Bureau
The 6th day of the 5th month in the 7th year of Tempyo-Hoji (June 25, 763 by the solar calendar) was the day on which Jianzhen passed away at Toshodai-ji Temple.
Jianzhen was a high Buddhist priest of Tang Dynasty, China, and the founder of the Japanese Ritsu sect. He established the Kaidan-in Hall of Todai-ji Temple and Toshodai-ji Temple, and was given the honorific title of "Daiwajo".
The seated statue of Jianzhen at Toshodai-ji is the oldest existent statue of a person in Japan.
Credit：Courtesy of Nara Visitors Bureau
Access to Toshodai-ji Temple:
From JR/Kintetsu Nara Station, take a bus for Rokujoyama (Nara Kotsu) and get off at Toshodai-ji. Close to the bus stop. Or, walk 700m from Nishinokyo Station (Kintetsu Railway)
Uchiwa Maki (Fan Throwing) Ceremony on May 19
A Buddhist ceremony honoring the virtues of priest Kakujo who contributed to the revival of Toshodai-ji Temple. It is said that the fan given in the ceremony can protect people from sickness and evil.
What happened on the 27th day of the 5th month in the 15th year of Tempyo (743)?
(June 27 by the solar calendar)
Mt. Kono viewed from the fields below
Courtesy of Nara Visitors Bureau
The Konden Einen Shizai Law (law permitting permanent ownership of newly cultivated land) was announced on the 27th day of the 5th month in the 15th year of Tempyo (June 27, 743 by the solar calendar).
The law aimed to encourage people to cultivate new farmland by permitting private ownership. Instead of the 3 generation ownership permitted by the previous Sanze Isshin Law, this law legalized permanent ownership of farmland.
Nara Prefecture Museum of Folklore, Yamato Folklore Park
Credit：Courtesy of the Nara Prefecture Museum of Folklore
The Nara Prefecture Museum of Folklore displays the rice farming process, and tools and devices used in the days before modern machinery was introduced. The museum is located in the Yamato Folklore Park, where old houses from the Edo Period were rebuilt and displayed.
Access to Nara Prefecture Museum of Folklore:
Take a bus from Koriyama Station (Kintetsu) or the east exit of Yamato Koizumi Station (JR), and get off at Yata-Higashiyama, then walk north about 10 minutes.