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「平城京」

 母校の京都市立芸術大学は2010年に創立130年を迎えました。
自分が受験した昭和59年度入学試験2日目の色彩構成のテーマは「シルクロード」でした。
試験会場で砂漠をラクダが歩いている絵、地平線を背景に仏像が後光を放っている絵、喜多郎の音楽が聞こえてきそうな荒涼とした廃墟や寺院をモチーフとした絵をたくさん見ました。
 その「シルクロード」の終着点平城京が藤原京から現在の奈良の地に遷都して2010年に1300年を迎えました。
関西圏では遠足の、それ以外の都道府県では修学旅行の定番として、海外では京都と並ぶ日本の古都として知られています。
 しかし、大仏や鹿は知っていてもそれらだけでは奈良を知っているとは言えません。
遷都1300年を機会に「奈良を習おう」ではありませんか。



HEIJŌ-KYŌ

In 2010, my alma mater, Kyoto City University of Arts, marked the 130th anniversary of its founding. When I took its entrance exam in 1984, the test on color composition was held on the second day and its theme was “The Silk Road.” At one exam venue I saw many paintings in the motif of the Silk Road, including camels walking across the desert, a solar halo appearing around a Buddha statue against a background of the horizon, bleak ruins, and temples.

Heijō-kyō (the ancient capital of Japan in current Nara Prefecture) was the final destination of the Silk Road, and therefore the capital flourished as an international city. The year 2010 marked the 1,300th anniversary that the capital was moved from Fujiwara-kyō to Heijō-kyō.

Nara is a popular place for outings for Kansai-area inhabitants, a must-see school trip course for junior-high and senior-high school students, and a favorite sightseeing location for foreigners and Japanese alike. Along with Kyoto, it is a well-known, ancient capital and one of the crown jewels of Japanese history and culture. However, just to claim familiarity with the Great Buddha of Nara and some deer roaming in the park doesn’t necessarily mean one understands much about Nara. Shall we learn more about Nara now that it has already celebrated its 1,300th anniversary?

                                      Translation by Eiko Aoki