The Grave of OHARIDA no Yasumaro (小治田安萬侶の墓)
Found in Koka, Tsuge-mura Village, Nara Prefecture (present Tsugekoka-cho, Nara City), the grave of OHARIDA no Yasumaro was for cremated remains of OHARIDA no Ason Yasumaro who was a government officer in the Nara period, and was designated as a national historical sit (on November 29, 1969).
OHARIDA no Yasumaro (year of birth unknown - March 17, 729), a descendant of SOGA no Iname, was a government officer in the Nara period and served four emperors from Emperor Monmu to Emperor Shomu. In "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued), it was recorded that he was awarded Shogoinojo (Senior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) in 719, and was ranked Jushiinoge (Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade) when he died.
While a tea field was being cultivated in 1912, a wooden container was found accidentally and three epitaphs were unearthed. In 1951, investigations based on excavation was conducted for the site anew, confirming that it was a grave for cremated remains.
The grave was constructed on the south slope of the hill where Tsugemikumari-jinja Shrine is located. In addition to the epitaphs, the wooden container, a three-colored pot as grave goods, Wado-kaichin silver coins, sue-ki pottery and haji-ki pottery (both are earthenware but made in different ways, with the former grayish-colored and the latter reddish-colored) were unearthed from the grave. Furthermore, it is also said that Sojusoho-mon-kyo mirror (a mirror with a pattern of a pair of beasts and a pair of hoo [a kind of bird]) was unearthed from the grave. The body was cremated at a place close to the grave, and the wooden container was placed on the charcoal and small stones laid at the bottom of an approximately 3.6m-square hole.
O no Yasumaro, whose epitaph was also found, is another person with the same name. Because both of them were civil officers in the same era, they are often mixed up with each other.
The epitaphs were made of gilt bronze, and the inscriptions were as follows.
Sakin ('左琴,' literally, the Japanese harp on the left): March 17, 729
The grave of OHARIDA no Ason Yasumaro, who was ranked at Jushiinoge (Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade) and lived at Sanjo Nibo, Sakyo Ward, placed at Rikoan, Miyakoya no go no kori, Yamabe County, Oyamato Province
March 17, 729, the year of Tsuchinotomi
Usho ('右書,' literally, the document on the right): March 17, 729
It is said that the epitaph for "Sakin" and that for "Usho" were propped against the inside walls of the wooden containers so that their inscriptions were faced the inside of the containers.
Access to the site
Bus: Use Nara Kotsu Bus and get off at "Raiko-ji Temple" bus stop. Walk for a slightly less than 10 minutes from the bus stop.
Car: Approximately 10 minutes drive from the Meihan Kokudo Hari interchange via national highway 369.
The surrounding are
The Sanryobo tumulus: Approximately 1 km from this site