19 April 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Japan-Persia Ancient Ties

Japanese and Persian ancient ties go back to the 7th century. Silk Road connected Japan with countries and regions far to the west, including Persia and the Byzantine Empire.

Iran and Japan have had direct trading relations since at least the 7th century, but recent testing on a piece of wood unearthed in the 1960s suggests deeper ties.

According to IRNA, research conducted by the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties on previously found objects supports the hypothesis that at least one Persian resided in Nara in the ninth century CE.

A team of Japanese researchers has managed to read the notes on an ancient wooden tablet dating back to 765 AD using infrared imaging techniques.

The Institute announced that fresh infrared pictures of a wooden tablet used for record-keeping in the 8th century Japan identified a Persian official — most likely a scholar and teacher serving the Japanese Imperial Court — by name.

Suzaku Gate
Suzuka Gate, on site of former Heijo Palace in western Nara City. An ancient wooden tablet from this site was reexamined using infrared imagery. Source: https://www.japan-guide.com/

While it has long been accepted that Japan had trade links with countries and cultures all along the Silk Road, records of these exchanges in ancient Japan are scarce and difficult to come by. The infrared imaging results are a significant discovery.

At the time, wooden tablets (rather than paper) were frequently utilized for record-keeping.

A Persian official once worked at Heijo Palace! Heijo Palace is part of the Heijo-kyo complex in Nara. Heiijo-kyo was built in the mid-eighth century and served as Japan’s capital for several decades before being relocated elsewhere. Japan was busy modernizing at the time, importing technology and cultural practices from other parts of Asia, including architecture and artistic styles, religion, and a codified legal system. Especially the architecture and codes were deeply influenced by the Tang Dynasty in China.

Asuras are thought to have their origins in the Persian creator Ahura Mazda.
Asuras are thought to have their origins in the Persian creator Ahura Mazda.

While the ancient city no longer exists, much of the remains of Heijo-kyo have been excavated over the past 70 years. The area is now a large civic park located just west of Nara’s city center.

It should come as no surprise that someone from Persia would wind up living and working in Japan, which was positioned at the end of the Silk Road, in the 8th century. The route linked Japan to countries and areas far to the west, such as Persia and the Byzantine Empire.

Ancient Japanese civilization included cultural influences from South and Central Asia, as well as Persia. Many of the deities and demigods in the Japanese Buddhist pantheon originated in other regions of Asia. This 12th-century Asura statue is thought to have been inspired in part by a comparable ancient Persian deity.

The discovery of ancient Roman coins in the ruins of a fort in Okinawa Province, located in the far southwest of the Japanese archipelago, supports international relations.

Cover Photo: Tehran Times

Related Articles

A Monument complex and inscription belonging to Ilteris Kutlug Kagan, the founder of the Eastern Göktürk Khanate, were found

24 August 2022

24 August 2022

A Turkish inscription of İlteriş Kutlug Kağan was found during the joint scientific archaeological expedition of the International Turkic Academy...

Ancient Christian Settlement Discovered in Egypt

14 March 2021

14 March 2021

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said on Saturday that a French-Norwegian archaeological team had discovered a new ancient Christian settlement...

Historical Armenian church 500-year-old in southeastern Turkey set to be restored

6 February 2022

6 February 2022

Work has been initiated to transfer the historical Armenian Church, which was built in the 16th century in the province...

A stone statue (Balbal) with height up to 3 meters found in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan

18 October 2022

18 October 2022

A balbal (stone statue) with a height of up to 3 meters was found during agricultural work in the Ak-Bulun...

Antikythera underwater excavation digs up new discoveries “huge marble head”

20 June 2022

20 June 2022

The second phase of underwater archaeological research (May 23 to June 15, 2022) on the Antikythera shipwreck resulted in the...

“Non-returning” Aboriginal boomerangs were discovered in Cooper Creek dried-up riverbed

22 November 2021

22 November 2021

The drying waters of the Cooper Creek river have revealed extremely rare 4 boomerangs that have been partially buried. The...

2500 Years of Animal Love in Termessos Ancient City

8 February 2021

8 February 2021

We are witnessing more and more of the unscrupulousness, cruelty and torture inflicted on our animal friends every day.These news...

5,700-Year-old Ancient “Chewing Gum” Gives Information About People and Bacteria of the Past

4 April 2021

4 April 2021

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have successfully extracted the complete human genome from “chewing gum” thousands of years ago....

Researchers may have found the wreck of British explorer James Cook’s Endeavour

3 February 2022

3 February 2022

The wreck of Captain James Cook’s famed vessel the Endeavour has been found off the coast of the U.S. state...

In Lviv, Ukraine, a secret room where Jews were hiding in city sewers during the Nazi Holocaust has been unearthed

7 November 2021

7 November 2021

In the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, diggers have uncovered new hiding spots in underground sewers where some Jews managed...

New study reveals the Milky Way’s hidden role in ancient Egyptian mythology

11 April 2024

11 April 2024

The ancient Egyptians were keen observers of the night sky. They incorporated their astronomical observations into their religion, mythology, and...

Poseidon Temple in Greece Larger than Previously Assumed

27 January 2024

27 January 2024

New excavations at Kleidi-Samikon in Greece’s Western Peloponnese show that the temple, discovered in 2022, is more monumental than previously...

An Egyptian Tomb Decorated with Magic Snake Spells Discovered

9 November 2023

9 November 2023

During excavations at Abusir, between Giza and Saqqara, archaeologists at the Czech Institute of Egyptology (CIE) found an ancient tomb...

Botanical Findings Analysis from Biblical area of Goliath sheds Unprecedented Light on Philistine Ritual Practices

27 February 2024

27 February 2024

Bar-Ilan University researchers shed “unprecedented light” on Philistine ritual practices, such as the use of psychoactive and medicinal plants, by...

“Exceptionally rare” gold sword pommel given to Scottish national museums

24 October 2022

24 October 2022

An “exceptionally rare” solid gold sword pommel found by a metal detectorist near Blair Drummond, Stirling, has been acquired by...