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Objects Excavated from Edo

"Objects Excavated from Edo"

Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery  September 22, 2021 (Wed) - March 21, 2022 (Mon)

Gold Coin "Keicho-oban", Place of excavation unknown, Azuchi-Momoyama-Edo period, 16th–17th century (Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao)

Tokugawa Ieyasu became the shogun of Japan in 1603, establishing his government in Edo (present-day Tokyo). Edo then became the political and cultural center of Japan, with 70% of its land occupied by residences for feudal lords and members of the Tokugawa clan. In addition to these residences, temples, shrines, commoners’ homes, and post towns with accommodations for travelers were sectioned into different areas around Edo Castle, while the castle itself served as the shogun’s residence and place of business. Large fires occurred frequently in Edo because of the dense concentration of wooden buildings. After each fire, land was divided and reassigned, sometimes to create open spaces to prevent future fires from spreading. Land reclamation and other projects for coping with a rising population were also undertaken, with Edo developing into one of Asia’s largest cities.

The appearance of Edo has come to light in recent years through excavations. In particular, large-scale excavations have shown where the residences of feudal lords were located and how they were laid out. Moreover, unearthed objects have revealed the luxurious lifestyles these lords enjoyed, made possible in part by a monetary system based on gold, silver, and copper coinage, which led to the increased distribution of goods. In fact, goods from across Japan were brought to Edo for consumption. This section features excavated objects that vividly illustrate the lifestyles of Edo people.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 6 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Highlight Roof Tile Edo period, 17th - 19th century J-24164
Highlight Round Eave Tile with Gold Leaf, with plum brossom crest From Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Edo period, 17th century J-24259
Highlight Chakra Wheel Found at site of Honmaru Palace, Edo Castle, Tokyo Edo period, 17th century E-14461
Highlight Gold Coin “Keicho-oban” Place of excavation unknown Azuchi-Momoyama-Edo period, 16th–17th century Gift of Mr. Okawa Isao, E-20086
Gold Coin “Keicho-koban” Found at Ginza 6-chome, Tokyo Edo period, 17th century J-37082-1
Highlight Incense Burner in the Shape of a Lion By Jōkei (died 1635); Raku ware, white-Raku type, Found on the premises of the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Edo period, 17th century J-39224