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Asuka-kyō ( Japanese 飛鳥 京 , also: Asuka no miyako , German imperial residence Asuka ) or Asuka ( あ す か , 飛鳥 , 明日香 , 安 宿 , 阿 須 賀 , 阿 須 可 , 安 須 可 and others) was named after her During the Asuka period the seat of the Tennō and thus the capital of Japan several times . It was located in what is now Asuka Village in Nara Prefecture .


According to the records, the palaces of Ōjin -tennō (270-310), Ingyō -tennō (411-453), Kenzō -tennō (485-487) and Senka -tennō (535-539 ) were already before the Asuka period ) in Asuka and Asuka thus capital.

Plan of the Oharida Palace

Before the Taihō Codex (701), the place of death of a Tennō was viewed as unclean and the new Tennō always moved into a new palace. After the death of Sushun -tennō, the new Suiko -tennō was enthroned in the Toyura Palace ( 豊 浦 宮 , Toyura no miya , 34 ° 28 ′ 56.2 ″  N , 135 ° 48 ′ 47.1 ″  E ) in Asuka in 592 and led the official business from here, with which Asuka Naniwa-kyō (today Osaka ) replaced as capital. 603 government affairs in the were Oharida Palace ( 小墾田宮 , Oharida no Miya , 34 ° 29 '2 "  N , 135 ° 48' 45.8"  O ) laid and the Toyura Palace was from Soga no Umako in the convent Toyura-dera ( 豊 浦 寺 ) repurposed . The Jomei- tennō moved in 630 to the Okamoto Palace ( 岡本 宮 , Okamoto no miya ) and when it burned down in 636 in the Tanaka Palace ( 田中 宮 , Tanaka no miya ). In 640 he moved to the Umayasaka Palace ( 厩 坂 宮 , Umayasaka no miya ) and then to the Kudara Palace ( 百 済 宮 , Kudara no miya ) outside Asuka in what is now Kōryō for 8 months . With the enthronement of the Kōgyoku -tennō 642, she moved to the Itabuki Palace ( 板 葺 宮 , Itabuki no miya ). Their successors, the Kōtoku -tennō, moved the capital back to Naniwa-kyō in the Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki Palace ( 難 波 長柄 豊 崎 宮 , Naniwa Nagara Toyosaki no miya ), also (formerly) Naniwa Palace ( (前期) 難 波 宮 , (zenki) Naniwa no miya ) called, in today's Chūō-ku , Osaka. In 654 this Tennō died in this Naniwa palace. The former Kōgyoku-tennō, now under the name Saimei, moved back to the Itabuki Palace. After Nihonshoki but this burned in winter 655, so that the short term Kawara Palace ( 川原宮 , Kawara no Miya , 34 ° 28 '20 "  N , 135 ° 49' 2.3"  O ) and 656 of the Late Okamoto- Palace ( 後 岡本 宮 , Nochi no Okamoto no miya ). The Kawara Palace was then converted into the Kawara-dera ( 川 原 寺 ) temple . When the Korean ally Baekje was attacked by Silla and Tang-China , the Tennō provided military aid and in 661 moved the seat of government to Asakura, closer to Korea, to Kyūshū in the Asakura Tachibana-no-Hironiwa Palace ( 朝 倉 橘 広 庭 宮 , Asakura no Tachibana no Hironiwa no miya ). As Japan and Baekje were defeated in the battle of Hakusukinoe in 663 , the new Tenji- tennō had the Japanese coasts fortified for fear of an invasion, built fortresses and in 667 moved the capital to the hinterland to Ōmi-kyō (today's Ōtsu ) on the Biwa -See . After the brief 8-month rule of the Kōbun- tennō, the new Temmu -tennō 672 moved the capital back to Asuka, first in the Shima palace ( 嶋 宮 , Shima no miya ), then in the Okamoto palace and finally in the same Year in the Asuka Kiyomihara Palace ( 飛鳥 浄 御 原 宮 , Asuka Kiyomihara no miya ). With the accession of the Jitō- tennō 694 and the relocation of the capital to Fujiwara-kyō , Asuka was permanently abandoned as the seat of government.


The exact meaning of the name is unclear, as the spellings with Kanji only reflect the pronunciation. On the one hand, Kanji were used that were used for the 3 sounds a , su and ka before the development of the Japanese syllabary scripts katakana and hiragana , as in 阿 須 賀 , 阿 須 可 , 安 須 可 , but on the other hand also homophonic kanji with pleasant meanings, as in 明日香 ( asu-ka , literally: the scent of tomorrow ) or 安 宿 ( a-suka , literally: peaceful hostel ).

The common spelling as 飛鳥 comes from various poems in Man'yōshū (e.g. Volume 1, Poem 78 and Volume 2, Poem 194 in the Nishi Hongan-ji version). There it was used in the form 飛鳥 明日香 (modern spelling: 飛 ぶ 鳥 の 明日香 , tobu tori no Asuka , German "the flying birds Asuka") as an epithet for the Asuka written as 明日香 . The nickname was later pronounced as Asuka instead of tobu tori .

Asuka derives one theory from isuka , the Japanese name for the crossbill , and thus refers directly to the nickname.

According to another, Asuka describes the shape of the landscape, e.g. B. suka ( 洲 処 ) for “place with sandbar” or asu ( 崩 地 ) for “sunken earth” and ka ( ) for “place”, as well as other variants.


Ishibutai-Kofun in Asuka: The presumed burial place of Soga no Umako

The area of ​​the former capital is an important archaeological site. Wado coins, which are considered to be the oldest coins in Japan, were found here , as well as paintings unearthed in the kitora tombs.

In 1933 the Ishibutai-Kofun , which is the presumed tomb of Soga no Umako , was excavated . In 2004 the main building of a noble residence was found in the neighborhood of the Kofun. Because of this proximity, it is believed that it also belongs to Soga no Umako.

Web links

supporting documents

  1. ^ Asuka Historical Museum: The Asuka Palaces
  2. 池田 末 則, 横 田 健 一 編: 日本 歴 史 地名 大 系 (30). 奈良 県 の 地名. (Ikeda Suenori, Yokota Ken'ichi (ed.): Nihon rekishi chimei taikei (30): Nara-ken no chimei , literally: Outline of the history of Japanese place names (30): Place names of the Nara prefecture ), Heibonsha, 1981, p. 263, ISBN 4-582-91014-9