Wooden document no. 6: Wooden Wen Xuan practice board

This was a wooden board for practicing one part of the poem “Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River,” which can be found in the ancient Chinese text Wen Xuan. The Wen Xuan collected excellent works from all over ancient China and was used as a textbook by aristocrats and officials in the Nara and Heian periods. The author of “Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River” is the Cao Zhi, the son of Cao of Wei of Records of the Three Kingdoms fame. This wooden document is emblematic of the spread of ancient Chinese text culture all the way to Japan’s northernmost castle town.