UNESCO Memory of the World


The Three Cherished Stelae of Ancient Kozuke

The series of ancient stone monuments known as The Stelae of Kozuke and consisting of the Yamanoue Stela (681 A.D.), Tago Stela (711), and Kanaizawa Stela (726) have been included in the Memory of the World Register. The three stelae are located in Takasaki but have been relatively unknown until now. The Yamanoue Stela in Yamana-machi is the oldest of 18 Japanese stone monuments still standing from ancient times, and is the oldest example of Chinese characters used to write in Japanese grammatical form. The Tago Stela in Ike, Yoshii-machi, was erected to announce the establishment of a new county under direction of the central government, and it is admired for its square calligraphy style that influenced calligraphers Asia-wide. The Kanaizawa Stela also in Yamana-machi, tells of the social status of women of the time and the spread of Buddhism throughout Japan. The historical, cultural, social and political importance of the stelae has been recognized through their inscription as UNESCO Memory of the World.


Visit: Use the free city bus from Yoshii Station for making the trip between the stelae. 8 buses depart daily, in 45-minute intervals.

The bus also stops at Yamana Station.