Asuka, some 1 300 and more years ago, was home to Japan's ruling dynasty and was thus, for more than a century,the capital of the country. It was at this time that our country adopted much of the relatively matured culture and administrative methodology of China and the Korean peninsula, and it was here that a unified national state was for the first time established in Japan.
It was here that Buddhism was introduced and Buddhist art saw its first flower. New types of knowledge and new working techniques were introduced one after another, and Asuka progressively consolidated its functions as the administrative and cultural center of the time. Even today, the palace and temple sites, kofun (tumulus graves), stone figures and other man-made reminders of the times are left behind in considerable number. Moreover, one may here appreciate retrospectfully, wistfully perhaps, the natural features and other places written about or associated with a great many of the famous poems in the Man'yoshu.
The Asuka Historical Museum was established In order to help visitors gain a better understanding both of the historical significance of the Asuka region and also of the various material expressions of its earlier culture which have been handed down to us. In addition to the museum exhibit itself, there is also a historical materials reading room.
Excavation studies in Asuka d~re being continued, and it is our intention to supplement the exhibit as the results of these studies become known in the future.
We should like here to express our profound thanks to all the many persons who gave their kind cooperation in the making of this exhibit and guidebook.
Asuka Historical Museum