The Jonoyama Tomb excavation trench in Tainai, Niigata Prefecture where burial accessories including a bow and lacquered quiver from the 4th century CE were found.

Image credit The Mainichi Shinbun

 

The Mainich Shinbun reports that –

Burial accessories including a bow and lacquered quiver held as signs of influence from Japan’s Kinki [western] region have been unearthed from the fourth century Jonoyama tomb in Tainai, Niigata Prefecture — a sign that the authority of the Yamato government had extended to northern Niigata some 300 years earlier than originally thought.

The “Nihon Shoki” (Chronicles of Japan), a book of Japanese history completed in 720, states that the Nutari stockade, a symbol of the sphere of influence of the Yamato government, was built in 647 for the subjugation of the Emishi people from northern Japan. This is the oldest reference to the Yamato government’s influence along the Sea of Japan side of the country. The stockade is believed to have been erected in what is now northern Niigata city.

The latest discovery, however, suggests that influence of the Yamato government had spread north some 300 years earlier than thought. Previously, the furthest north such burial accessories had been found was in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, at the Kokubu Amazuka No. 1 and 2 tombs sites.

古墳時代前期(4世紀前半)としては日本海側最北にある「城(じょう)の山古墳」(新潟県胎内市)で、近畿地方の影響を受けたとみられる弓や、矢を入れる漆塗りの箱「靫(ゆき)」など多数の副葬品が発掘された。当時の大和政権の勢力範囲が新潟北部まで及んでいたことを示しており、これまで文献などで確認されていた時期を約300年さかのぼるという。同市教委が6日発表した。

日本海側の大和政権の勢力範囲を示す史料は日本書紀に、蝦夷(えみし)討伐のために「渟足柵(ぬたりのき)」を647(大化3)年に設置したと書かれているのが最古。渟足柵は現在の新潟市北部にあったと推定され、今回の発掘で、その約300年前に北に勢力を拡大していたことを示すという。日本海側で同様の副葬品が発掘されたのはこれまで、石川県七尾市の国分尼塚1、2号墳が北限だった。

Full article here.