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Japan

Lara’s Travels: The Dragon’s Triangle

Fans of Tomb Raider 2013 will recall that Lara and the Endurance crew venture into the region known as the Dragon’s Triangle in search of the lost kingdom of Yamatai. Throughout the course of the game, players became well-acquainted with this fictional island, its inhabitants, and the supernatural conditions that prevented people from leaving its shores. But what do we know about the Triangle itself? The Dragon’s Triangle, also ... [Continue Reading]

29/11/2014 // 2 Comments

The Hunt for Himiko Continues: Has Himiko’s Palace Been Found?

The search for the shaman queen Himiko and her kingdom Yamatai has long been one of the holy grails of Japanese archaeology but it seems that archaeologists are another step closer to pinpointing the exact location of her long-lost kingdom. Archaeologists working at the Makimuku archaeological site in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, one of the possible locations of Yamatai’s ancient capital, have uncovered the ruins of a building that may have ... [Continue Reading]

09/02/2014 // 5 Comments

Arte-Factual: Metal Inro (Tomb Raider 2013)

It’s been a while since I last wrote about an artefact from Tomb Raider 2013. Over a month, in fact. So without further ado, it’s time to examine one of the many collectible items hidden throughout the Shanty Town: the Metal Inrō. Inrō are small cases that were once used by Japanese men and women to carry identity seals (hanko), herbal medicine, tobacco, acupuncture needles, or other small personal effects around with them, not ... [Continue Reading]

25/08/2013 // 14 Comments

The Hunt for Himiko: Will Archaeologists Ever Excavate the Hashihaka Tomb?

In Tomb Raider 2013, Lara and the rest of the Endurance crew set out to look for the lost kingdom of Yamatai and its mysterious queen, Himiko, but, in reality, Japanese archaeologists have known the possible location of Himiko’s tomb for a few years now. Long-time readers of this blog may recall that a group of researchers were allowed access to the Hashihaka kofun burial mound earlier this year in the hope that they’d be able to ... [Continue Reading]

30/07/2013 // 11 Comments

News: 2nd Century Wooden Mask Unearthed in Nara, Japan

Archaeologists working at the Daifuku archaeological site (大福遺跡) in Sakurai (桜井), Nara Prefecture, Japan, have unearthed a fragment of a wooden mask thought to date back to the mid to late 2nd century. The mask is made of Japanese umbrella pine and bears a strong resemblance to a mask that was found at the Makimuku archaeological site (纒向遺跡) in 2007. Makimuku is a site under much scrutiny in Japan because it is considered a ... [Continue Reading]

05/06/2013 // 2 Comments

Arte-Factual: Gunbai War Fan (Tomb Raider 2013)

In the last edition of Arte-Factual, we looked at the history and context of the Ban Chiang vase, one of the many collectable relics Lara stumbles upon in Tomb Raider 2013. This time, we will look at one of the relics Lara finds in the Mountain Temple: a Gunbai war fan. Gunbai fans, also known as gunbai uchiwa (軍配団扇) in Japanese, were once part of a samurai military commander’s standard command equipment and were used to direct ... [Continue Reading]

03/05/2013 // 7 Comments

Have Archaeologists Discovered Himiko’s Tomb?

Queen Himiko (卑弥呼) and her kingdom, Yamatai (or  Yamatai-koku) (邪馬台国), play a central role in Tomb Raider 2013. But did you know that in February 2013, a group of researchers were granted access to a burial mound in Sakurai (桜井), Nara Prefecture, Japan, which may be the final resting place of this mysterious queen? The location of Yamatai-koku is a subject of intense debate within Japanese archaeological circles. Some believe ... [Continue Reading]

11/03/2013 // 6 Comments

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