Ancient patty field 2017/03/18

I have just returned from a short trip to Nara.

From my home in Tokyo, I can reach to Nara city in around 5 hours including two and half hours’ travel by a bullet train.

Japanese ancient kingdom presumably began around 2nd century in Nara area and the capital remained in the district until the end of 8th century when it was moved to Kyoto

Therefore Nara area has been a center of Japan for long period and there are so many historical shrines, temples, arts together with interesting and instructive mythologies and legends.


This time I visited Asuka town where they had a capital from 6th to early 8th century.

I climbed the hill of Amakashi where was home town of Soga family who was said to be ardent to introduce Buddhism to Japanese society and was once as strong as the Imperial family in 6th to 7th century but was defeated by the Imperial family.

From the top of the hill, I could overlook the area of capital which are surrounded by the so famous Yamato Sanzan (three mountains). There are so many poets in Manyoshu, Japanese oldest anthology, and various legends about Yamato Sanzan. Therefore the scenery spread under the hill reminded me of many legends and historical happenings.


The next day I visited Katsuragi district where presumably the oldest culture in Yamato  (old name for Nara) area began.

I searched for Akitsu remains where ancient patty field (2nd to 3rd century) was discovered and excavated. After the careful studies they found ancient patty fields had many small sections and sophisticatedly designed irrigation system.

Akitsu town locates at the foot of Katsuragi Mountains and expects to have nutritious water supply which must have been essential for ancient patty fields.

According to Kojiki, Japan was called as Akitsushima which probably originated from the name of this district where once must have been the center of Yamato or Japan.

Yamato, represented by Akitsu, must have been the most advanced area, along with Izumo area, for rice production at the begging of ancient kingdom.


patty fields in Akitsu town