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Medieval Copper Decorations Found in Japan

Monday, July 8, 2019

KYOTO, JAPAN—The Asahi Shimbun reports that the metal decorations for a mikoshi, or portable shrine, were recovered at Japan’s Kitano Tenmangu shrine, which dates to the tenth century. Tomoyasu Kubo of the Kyoto National Museum said the engravings on the metal pieces are in the Hosoge pattern, which is thought to have come from China during the Kamakura Period, between A.D. 1185 and 1333. Made of copper, three of the elaborately decorated pieces each measure about two inches wide by 14 inches long. Other ornaments, shaped like butterflies, each measure about three and one-half inches by six inches. The portable shrine is said to have been carried during the Kitano Matsuri festival, which was first celebrated in the eighth century but was discontinued during the 10-year Onin War between two feudal lords, which began in 1467. The Kitano Matsuri festival is expected to be revived at Kitano Tenmangu by 2027. For more, go to “Japan’s Early Anglers.”

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