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160 Before looking at mirrors normally associated with Himiko, it is worth noting that small bronze mirrors were already being cast in Japan well before her time. These have been found as far north, south, east, and west as Gumma, Kumamoto, Chiba, and Ishikawa prefectures. Takakura estimates that about two hundred are known today.1 Although workshops in Korea met some of the demand, local production of mirrors had started by about the end of the first century AD,but the products—some if not most cast in stone molds—are unpretentious and illustrate only nominal skill. Most are smaller than 10 cm in diameter, and many have a simplified Han pattern on the back, particularly one derived from the concatenated-arcs motif. Nevertheless, the technique was known and only needed more experience and improvement with better access to materials.These were “poor man’s” artifacts, not destined to join the assortment of grave-goods, as almost all come from dwelling sites.2 Still dealing with the earliest, Okuno used figures available in 1988 for small mirrors,including Early and Late Han and Japanese copies of these mirrors,to arrive at a total of 503 with known provenance in Japan.3 The numbers would increase slightly today, but the percentages would change little. It is the overwhelming percentages for north Kyushu that are significant for him since he sees Himiko as a late Yayoi paramount in Kyushu. It is true that Kyushu (410) has 81.5 percent of this total and the north Kyushu prefectures of Fukuoka (272) and Saga (62) together make up 66.4 percent of that, but the argument falters when he takes a special interest in Yoshinogari. Mirrors were notably absent from the elite graves there, in striking contrast to the large number of Han mirrors in the burial jars at cemeteries such as Mikumo, Sugu-okamoto, and Tateiwa. Copies of mirrors in clay and stone appear in Yayoi sites and the latter in very rare instances in early tombs.The clay ones may be exceptionally crude, such as the six found in the Nakade site in Hachiòji city in westTokyo.4 The largest is only about 7 cm in diameter. Since they had absolutely no functional use, they could only have served some ritual purpose. When we move up to Himiko’s time, by the definition used here, mirrors related to Himiko are those with dates falling within the time of her rule and her dealings with Wei,ending with her death around 248.Many archaeologists are dubious about connecting any of these mirrors with Himiko, and Kyushu proponents of CHAPTER 9 Mirrors and Himiko’s Allotment Yamatai find the idea particularly distasteful.5 Nevertheless, the unusual number of dated mirrors around this time seems hardly coincidental, yet, as will be seen, the great variety of these dated mirrors makes it unlikely that more than a small number of these actually went to her.The mission of 238—some archaeologists believe it should be 239—elicited this magnificent donation, called part of a special gift. These are said in the text to have been brought to Japan by the Chinese delegation in 240, as though all came in the same box. No mirrors are mentioned following the second mission. To reiterate, one particular type with a very distinctive rim of triangular crosssection has attracted the most attention.The oldest examples in Japan are clearly of Himiko’s time, although only four of these have dates in their inscriptions equivalent to her years. The type is called sankaku-en (or sankaku-buchi) followed in the description of the mirror by the number of deity and animal figures.6 MIRRORS AND HIMIKO’S ALLOTMENT 161 Fig. 9.1 Triangular-rim-deities-animals mirror no. M34,Tsubai-òtsukayama Tomb, Yamashiro-chò, Kyoto. Inscription repeated in cartouches: tian wang ri yue (ten nò nichi getsu), emperor sun moon (i.e., the emperor the brightest). Dm. 23.3 cm. Courtesy Higuchi Takayasu At first, a relative count of all the other provenanced and the triangular-rim mirrors will give a better picture of the dimensions of the problem, and the distribution and concentrations of the latter will link them to the geography of the early tombs and to possible Himiko connections.7 It should be remembered that these are only the provenanced mirrors. Others that have no history exist in private and museum collections.The total for the provenanced triangular-rim mirrors is 440.Table 6 gives the number...


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