Special Exhibition “Historical Heritage of Osaka, the Naniwa Palace Site: Exploring Ancient Mysteries through some Keywords”

Osaka Museum of History

poster for Special Exhibition “Historical Heritage of Osaka, the Naniwa Palace Site: Exploring Ancient Mysteries through some Keywords”

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Osaka Museum of History will present a special exhibition titled “Historical Heritage of Osaka, the Naniwa Palace Site: Exploring Ancient Mysteries through some Keywords.”

The first Naniwa Palace Site excavation project began on February 20, 1954 under the leadership of the late Dr. Yamane Tokutaro, following the discovery in the previous year of a piece of shibi, an ornamental ridge-end tile. In the early days of the excavation, the research team merely unearthed a few pieces of roof tiles, but no structural remains were discovered. The academic community was generally skeptical of the existence of a palace, and some cynics concluded that the team was seeking a phantom palace, or “Yamane Palace” that existed only in the mind of Dr. Yamane. However, the research team continued their efforts and one day, discovered the remains of pillars directly embedded in the ground. Following this discovery, the layout of the buildings on the premises of the palace gradually came to light. In the 13th excavation project conducted in 1961, the research team finally discovered remains of the Daigokuden Hall of the Naniwa Palace of the latter period (the Nara period), thus publicly proving the existence of the Naniwa Palace. Today, ruins of the Naniwa Palace dating to two different periods (the Asuka period and Nara period) have been identified.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first Naniwa Palace Site excavation project. The 60 years of research have revealed the truth of the Naniwa Palace that had long been veiled in mystery, and produced groundbreaking discoveries that have overturned the accepted understanding of the ancient history of Japan.

The forthcoming exhibition will show artifacts unearthed from the site, records of the excavation projects, and research materials collected by the late Dr. Yamane Tokutaro that are now held by Osaka Museum of History, showcasing the achievements of this archaeological research over the decades and the history of the excavation by focusing on some simple keywords such as roof tiles, earthenware, and writings. The exhibition will also introduce the past and present of the archaeological excavation of the Naniwa Palace Site and highlight the fact that the discoveries are an important common heritage that should be passed down to future generations.

[Related Events]

Commemorative Symposium: “Excavation of the Naniwa Palace: its Core Possibilities”
The 60 years of investigations have yielded many important insights as well as mysteries. This symposium will consider the significance of the excavation of the Naniwa Palace in light of research on ancient palaces, and discuss the possibilities for future investigations and research.
Date: July 5 (Sat) 13:00–16:30 (Doors open at 12:30)
Panelists: Mr. Aihara Yoshiyuki, Cultural Property Department, Asuka Village Board of Education, Mr. Ami Nobuya, Professor, Department of Cultural and Historical Studies, Faculty of Literature, Arts and Cultural Studies), Mr. Hakozaki Kazuhisa, Chief of Architectural Feature Section, Department of Imperial Palace Site Investigations, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Mr. Sekiyama Hiroshi, Curator, Osaka City Cultural Properties Association. Moderator: Mr. Lee Yan-ho, Curator, Osaka Museum of History
Location: Auditorium on the 4th floor of the Osaka Museum of History
Admission: ¥300 (free for holders of the special exhibition ticket or its stub)
Please refer to official site for instructions on how to apply.

Study tour: “Visit to early excavation sites”
This tour will trace the progress of the investigation of the Naniwa Palace Site. Participants will visit on foot all the excavation sites up to the 13th project, in which the ruins of the Daigokuden Hall were unearthed, during the cooler evening hours
Date: July 25 (Fri) and August 1 (Fri) 16:30–18:00
Lecturer: Mr. Lee Yan-ho, Curator, Osaka Museum of History
Capacity: 30 people (Applications must be made in advance.)
Please refer to official site for instructions on how to apply.

Gallery Tour guided by a Curator
Dates: June .28 (Sat), July .12 (Sat), July .21 (Mon and national holiday), Aug .9 (Sat), and Aug.16 (Sat). The tour will start at 14:00 and last about 30 minutes.
Location: Special Exhibition Room on the 6th floor of the Osaka Museum of History
Admission: Free (Presentation of the special exhibition ticket is required.)
How to Apply: Apply directly at the venue on the day of the event.

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Schedule

from June 21, 2014 at 9:30 to August 18, 2014 at 17:00
Closed on Tuesdays. Closes at 20:00 on Fridays.

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