Suzuri of the Yayoi period “the oldest character in Japan”? The result is permanent ink

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A plate-shaped stone excavated from the Tawayama ruins in Matsue City in 1997 is thought to have been used as suzu in the middle of the Yayoi period.Several researchers announced at an academic conference two years ago that the stone may have been the oldest writing in Japan, as black traces resembling two letters were left on the surface of this stone.According to Matsue City, when we asked a specialized research institute in Nara Prefecture to analyze the components of this trace, we received a report that “it was concluded that it was the ink of an oil-based pen.”The Matsue City Buried Cultural Property Research Division believes that the paper on which information to identify the excavated items may have been smudged when placed on a wet stone. I had high hopes for the characters, so I feel sorry for them. I want to be careful again when handling cultural properties.”

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