This exhibition wish to expand on a premise through the perspective that ancient Japanese society already contained a thorough “characterless world” together with formed its 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 especially in indigenous scripts. Except for China itself, the actual only real 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 the century that is 21st it is necessary to totally reconsider what writing was at ancient society.
Therefore, this exhibition focuses on reproductions of about 100 scrolls associated with the Shoso-in documents, artifacts from archeological digs such as for example letters on lacquer lid paper, wooden tablets, and earthenware with ink writings from around the nation, and also epigraphs and materials related to writing as a result as implements. And we will combine ancient materials that are written China and Korea to recreate the world of writing in ancient Japan. By looking at writing in these ways, we desire to paint an picture that is accurate of society.
1. From the period when writing came to the Japanese Archipelago
- Written materials from China (reproduction of the golden seal of “Kan no wa no na no koku ou”, reproduction of inscribed mirror from Keisho 3 from excavations during the Kanbara Jinja burial mound in Shimane Prefecture)
- Expressions in sound and pictures (bronze bell reproduction as well as other items)
- Characters written through the second to fourth centuries in the united states of Wa (archeological finds from Oshiro Ruins in Mie Prefecture such as for instance “Hou” (meaning “offering”), “Kou” (meaning “good fortune”) along with 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, and other items)