||PALACE COLUMNS (Miyabashira)
The stately appearance of Asuka's imperial residences is celebrated in the phrase miyabashira futoshiki imashi ("Palace columns stoutly set"),found in the Man'yoshu. Most of the structures in a given palace were of a hottate-bashira type construction,with the lower ends of the thick supporting posts set Into the ground. Structures of a Chinese type with supporting posts resting atop foundation stones at approximately ground level were, even in the case of the Fujiwara and Nara palaces, only partially employed. As seen, for example, in the "poem composed by a work-man engaged in the building of the Fujiwara palace"(Man'yoshu No. 50) , most of the timber used for the supporting posts of the imperial palaces was cut from mountains in Omi (present-day Shiga-ken), then tied together on rafts and transported over considerable distances to the capital.
Hottate-bashira at the supposed site of
Man'yoshu No. 50
Composed by one of the workmen engaged
in the building of the Fujiwara palace
Our sovereign who rules in peace
Child of a high and shining sun
To govern the land at her command
Conceived in godlike fashion
To bring into lofty being
A palace at Fujiwara. whose name
Reminds us of rough woven fiber.
Besides both earth and heaven
Are drawn together in this intent.
Into Yasoujigawa of warrior fame
We have sent floating like seaweed
Bundles of cypress logs fit for lumber
From sleeve-like Tanakamiyama
In Omi-no-kuni of stone-running streams.
Taking these up. the boisterous folk,
Forgetting their homes and thinking
Not the least bit about themselves
Like wild ducks are buoyed in the water.
To the sun-palace that we build
May the missions of lands unknown
Come over and across by Kose road
And may our own land last forever.
Even those wondrous tortoises
That bear diagrams on their shells
Tell of a new age arising.
And watching how one busily toils
Fixing the bundles of transported timber
Into the numerous rafts
To be brought upstream by Izumi's rivers
It must seem indeed of godlike motivation.
|THE ASUKA PALACES
|THE ASUKA TEMPLES
|ASUKA AND THE MAN'YOSHU|
Copyright (c) 1995 ASUKA HISTORICAL MUSEUM All Rights Reserved.
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Authoring: Yasuhito Kakiya