Lacquer-Permeated Document no. 10: Letter

This is a letter sent by Takeda [first name illegible] from Umaya in Kisakata (present-day, Kisakata Town, Nikaho City) to the “mansion prison” of the Dewa-no-suke at the hour of the rabbit (around 6 am) on the sixth day of the fifth month. The contents comprised: “One cauldron was investigated and taken in at Ōmuro in the south, but if there are other things forgotten or yet to be collected, please let me know as I would like to take it in quickly. I dispatch this letter with a provincial messenger.” This is one of the first ancient letters in Japan to have been excavated in Japan in its entirety, where even the wrapper could be restored. Since the soil horizon from which it was excavated is the same as that of lacquer-permeated document no. 11 (kebumi), it is thought to be from the second half of the eighth century. At this time, there existed communications and a contact network from the capital to Akita Fort, so we can also see that stations had been prepared en route.