Asuka Historical Museum was established to introduce the history and culture of "Asuka". The museum was opened in 1975 as an exhibition facility of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties ("NNRICP"), a cultural properties research institute representing Japan.

Asuka is widely known as the birthplace of the ancient state of Japan. For almost 100 years from 592, when Empress Suiko was enthroned at the Toyoura Palace, to 694 when the state capital was transferred to the Fujiwara Capital, the Imperial palace had been successively located in Asuka. Asuka flourished as a center of politics and culture. Various buildings, facilities and products such as magnificent palaces and exotic Buddhist temples, a water clock (Rokoku) showing the passage of time, mysterious stonework such as Saruishi (lit. Monkey Stone) and Kameishi (lit. Tortoise Stone), gardens with rock-arranged ponds, and fountains, burial mounds with wall paintings, etc., were brought into Asuka through the interaction of people and products notwithstanding the strained international situation in East Asia at that time.

As described above, in the ground of the rural landscape of Asuka, as if in a time warp, the ancient world described in the "Nihon Shoki (the Chronicles of Japan; the oldest official history handed down to the present day)" is buried.

Excavated structural remains and artifacts eloquently speak of the history, as if appealing long period of time during which they had been buried in the ground. Through inconsistencies between the history written in documentary materials such as "Nihon Shoki" and the history excavated and studied, a true history is becoming clear. At the Asuka Historical Museum, this history of Asuka is exhibited in a comprehensible way.

Won't you schedule a visit to Asuka to experience the ancient history and culture of Japan as well as to understand how the Japanese state and culture were formed?

Executive Director of Asuka Historical Museum
Director General of Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties