On the Chinese Bronze Mirrors Excavated from Hiroshima prefecture : Part 1
General history of Japan
Bronze mirrors, especially Chinese bronze mirrors were regarded as the symbol of power in the Yayoi and Kofun periods and assigned the political role in process of the construction of the earliest Japanese state. The bronze mirrors may be thus regarded as very important archaeological relics, but the exact decision of their types and production ages is indispensable to using them as archaeological materials.
In the present paper (part 1 in the present volume and 2 in next volume), I codify and argue about the Chinese bronze mirrors excavated from Hiroshima prefecture.
Part 1 is concerned primarily with the 18 bronze mirrors excavated from 15 sites (almost all of them are ancient tombs (kofun)): six belong to the latter Han period, others to the early "Six Dynasties" period (centuries from 3rd to 4th A. D.). Another point with great archaeological importance is the difference of the way the mirrors were dealt with between Kinai area and Hiroshima prefecture. In the former area Chinese bronze mirrors of the latter Han period were buried in tombs in their original or unbroken forms, but not in the latter. In Hiroshima prefecture, they were buried in broken pieces.
The Hiroshima University studies, Faculty of Letters
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Graduate School of Letters