Important Cultural Property
Excavated in Asuka Aza Ishigami, Takaichi County, Nara Prefecture
(Some of the works of theMt Sumeru stone and Sekijinzō stone
H175.8, perimeter max200.0
Asuka period/6-7th century
Tokyo National Museum
This image depicts an old man and woman sitting on a pedestal 1.7m high. The old man sits with both his legs hanging down together and his hands on his chest and has something like shoes on. The old woman clings to the old man, almost like she is climbing onto him and looks to the right with both arms on the old man's upper arm. She has a vertically-stripped mo (skirt-like clothing) and is barefoot. A small through hole, which goes from around the old man's ankle through to his mouth, branches out on his chests and one of them opens at the old woman's mouth. The old man and women both have big drooping eyes and hooked noses, which are characteristics suggestive of Western people. They might be the Tokara people mentioned in the Nihon Shoki (the Chronicles of Japan). The water below the feet of these foreigners goes up to their mouths, where it flows out. This image must have served as a fountain, adding festivity or surprise to the feasts of noble people in the 7th century. We can see the interactions between the West and the East during the 7th century in this stone image depicting Western people.