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Yoshinogari Ruins Kyushu Trip Part.2 Saga

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

(4) Main Altar and High Priest

Yoshinogari Historical Park Photo Gallery 2


(3) Feel the life of the Yayoi people


The villagers' houses are single-story, thatched roof houses which look like trapezoidal shapes from the front. Each house has its own resident, and the interior is decorated according to their status and role, so it's a great learning experience. I visit one by one quickly.


The exterior of the house was close to the image I had before coming here, but the interior is much more modern than I expected.

life of the Yayoi people
life of the Yayoi people

The ground inside the house is dug quite deeply and the ceiling is high. There is a place to make a fire like a hearth, and ceramics and textile tools are placed. I thought that the technique of making silk came to Japan more recently, but there are spinning tools and looms. It seems that the technique of making silk was introduced to Japan around 200 BC.


The men's hairstyle, in which the hair is tied up at the side of the head, is very characteristic and can be said to be one of the symbols of the Yayoi period. He wears lamp work glass beads and natural stone jewelry. As someone who makes lamp work glass beads, I am very happy to see it. Glass beads have been treasured by wealthy people since BC.

Yayoi period glass beads necklace
Yayoi period glass beads necklace

As for the couple in the photo, there was one thing that interested me. Obviously, the husband is sitting on the seat of honor. There is even a legend that Queen Himiko existed, so I assume the status of women was equal to or higher than that of men. I vaguely thought. The Yayoi period is very long, so I don't know how it was depending on the time. However, it seems that there has always been a tendency for men to have a higher status in times when there were many battles.


(4) Main Altar and Supreme Priest


After visiting the houses of upper class common people, I headed to the main altar where the supreme priest is.


The area called "Kita Naikaku (North Inner Enclosure)" is protected by strong walls, and the entrance is a key-shaped passage. There is a gate which looks like a torii of a shrine. It was also in front of the residence of common people. Does this show that what the people of this era believed was connected to Shinto religion later on?


North Inner Enclosure
North Inner Enclosure (Kita Naikaku)

I couldn't find the origin of this torii-like gate. Two wooden birds are attached to the top. To be honest, I felt that it doesn't match the overall atmosphere. Cute though. My Japanese history maniac friend with me also said, "I feel like the people who made this historical park put this bird without actual historical fact."


On the other hand, It makes sense that the roof decorations on the top of the buildings are more elaborate according to the grade of the building.

Yoshinogari the main altar building
the main altar building for the supreme priest

The Supreme Priest, that sounds mysterious. According to excavations, the main altar building was 16.5m high. This is equivalent to 5 stories in modern buildings.


There are only thick pillars on the first floor, so I went up to the second floor. A lot of people are sitting in a row in the large hall, and a ceremony is being held. The king of Yoshinogari, people in power, and the mayors of nearby villages gather to pray while waiting for the revelation of the highest priest on the top floor.


Yoshinogari main Shrine
the main altar building 2nd floor

When you go to the top floor, the 3rd floor, the ceremony is in full swing. When the priest receives a message from an ancestor's spirit, two attendants relay the message to the attendants downstairs. There are only important sacred treasures in this room. There is a lamp work glass necklace, mirrors, swords, etc.


Yoshinogari Yayoi high priest
the supreme priest


Yoshinogari Historical Park Photo Gallery 2



Please visit my glass jewelry shop from the link below.


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