From Persia to Nihon


A piece of wood, discovered in the 1960’s, had until now carried an indecipherable inscription but with infrared imagining they were revealed to contain the name of a Persian lecturer. The archaeological fragment carried Japanese characters but this find stands out in a shocking way since during this period Japan was still forming a national identity. The lecturer worked at a facility that trained government ministers in Nara, one of Japan’s former capitals. Even though Japan was known to have had contact with Persia by the time Nara was a capital having someone from that country would be quite remarkable. This would also suggest that the ties with the two countries run far deeper than previously assumed. From this the researchers involved assumed that Nara was a more diverse city friendly to outsiders, or at least some people. They also put forth the idea that the lecturer could have taught math since Iran was filled with experts in mathematics. I wonder just how many artifacts exist in Japan waiting to be discovered. Only time will tell.

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