AMS radiocarbon dating of the Kohitsugire fragments and the ancient documents in the Heian-Kamakura period(Summaries of Researches Using AMS)


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  • 古筆切・古文書のAMS^<14>C年代測定 : 平安・鎌倉時代の古筆切を中心に(タンデトロン加速器質量分析計業績報告2003(平成15)年度)

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Kohitsugire is a paper fragment of an old manuscript written mainly in the Heian-Kamakura period. Although they have significant information for historical, literary and paleographical study because of their antique handwriting and description of historical incidents, there are many copies and counterfeits written several centuries later. In this study, radiocarbon ages of Kohitsugire were measured by the AMS method. On the Kohitsugire attributed to the famous calligraphists in the Kamakura period (Fujiwara no Sadaie and the Prince Munetaka), radiocarbon dating indicated that they were not genuine and should be excluded from the materials for study on the calligraphists. Calibrated radiocarbon ages of the Kohitsugire attributed to Fujiwara no Yukinari indicated the middle Heian period. This calligraphy was written on Tobikumogami paper, which has billowing cloud pattern decorated with indigo blue dyed fiber. Although it was commonly accepted that the Tobikumogami is peculiar to the middle 11th- early 12th century, the results from radiocarbon dating also suggested that the origin of the Tobikumogami would date back to the last 10th or the early 11th century when Fujiwara no Yukinari flourished as a calligraphist. The calibrated radiocarbon age of the Kohitsugire attributed to Nijo Tameuji and Reizei Tamesuke showed that they are fragments of old manuscripts describing lost tales, and were written in the 13th-14th century. Accordingly, radiocarbon dating clarified the existence of ancient tales which had been unknown, and indicated their worth as a material for the study of classical Japanese literature.


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