Oharida no Miya Palace (小墾田宮)

Oharida no Miya Palace is a palace built during the Reign of the Empress Suiko in ancient Japan. It is usually written as"小墾田宮" but also written as "小治田宮" in Chinese character. According to the Nihon Shoki (the Chronicle of Japan), the Empress Suiko ascended the throne at Toyura Palace in 603. It is said that she built a new residence, Oharida no Miya Palace, to move in then. Presumably, Oharida no Miya Palace was built to be the new center of the state authority.

Important measures, such as establishing Kan I junikai (twelve grades of cap rank) or the Seventeen Article Constitution, as well as sending a Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China, were implemented here by the Soga clan and Prince Shotoku until the death of the empress. Based on the description of the Nihon Shoki, the palace is estimated to have had the 'south gate' and the 'Imperial Court' with several 'cho' agencies Shodaibu (lower aristocracy) worked for, on the north side of the gate. It is also estimated that further north was Daimon-gate and 'Otono' where the empress used to live. This structure of a palace later developed into a palace consisting of Chodo-in (office in palace), Daigokuden (council hall in palace), and Dairi (Imperial residence).

As for the location of Oharida Palace, Toyoura (Asuka Village, Takaichi County, Nara Prefecture) had been the leading candidate for long because there is a koaza (small administrative unit of a village) named 'Furumiya' there. During the research and excavation between 1970 and 1973, remains of Oharida no Miya Palace was not found. However structural remnants of several dug-standing pillar buildings and gardens were found. In 'Ikazuchi no Oka Toho site' around Ikazuchi, Asuka Village, an earthenware fragment with ink inscription of 'Oharida' was found in 1987. Thus Ikazuchi no Oka Toho site suddenly began to attract attention as a stronger candidate.
Ikazuchi no Oka Toho site is, therefore, called as 'potential Oharida no Miya Palace.'

[Original Japanese]