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Possible Traces of 8th-Century Imperial Pavilion Found in Japan

Thursday, November 11, 2021

KYOTO, JAPAN—The Mainichi reports that researchers from the Kyoto City Archaeological Research Unit found possible traces of the home of the empress and her attendants in Heian-kyo, the capital established by Emperor Kanmu on Japan’s main island of Honshu in A.D. 794, at the beginning of the Heian period, which ended in 1185. The traces include five postholes measuring from four feet to five feet in diameter placed from seven to ten feet apart, running from north to south. According to historic descriptions of the palace complied during the Edo period (1603–1867), these posts were part of the southwest section of the Tokaden pavilion, which measured nearly 99 feet long in total. The pavilion was one of 17 that made up the emperor’s private residence. The posts were not placed on foundation stones, a construction technique from China eventually adopted by Kanmu, which suggests this building dates to the capital’s earliest days, the researchers explained. To read about a large colonnaded building that was discovered at the Heijo palace in Nara, go to "Around the World: Japan."

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