A delegation of Japanese scholars visited the Tang era Chang'an city archaeological sites in Xi'an between March 7 and March 10, 2010, at the invitation of the Daming Palace Heritage Site Preservation and Reconstruction Office in Qujiang, Xi'an. The delegation included Mr Inoue Kazuto from the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Mr Ono Kenkichi, Department Head of the Nara National Institute for Cultural Properties' Heritage Sites Planning and Development Division, and Mr Imai Kouki, the Secretary-General of the Japanese Society for Chinese Archaeology. The delegates met with Gong Guoqiang and Li Chunlin of the CASS Institute of Archaeology's Tang City Fieldwork Team in Xi'an as well as Wang Xijing, Wu Chun, Gao Benxian and other staff members from the Daming Palace Heritage Site Preservation and Reconstruction Office.
During the visit, the Chinese and Japanese scholars present took the opportunity to share their research with one another. They discussed the recent findings of the excavations and research conducted at the sites of the Daming and Heijō imperial palaces and discussed plans for the preservation of the sites. On March 8, a series of lectures was held at the Daming Palace Preservation Office's lecture room. Mr Inoue Kazuto gave a lecture on "The Excavation and Investigation of the Heijō Imperial Palace" and he began by briefing everyone on the details and findings of the excavations conducted at the Heijō palace site over the last few years. He also shared his views on his comparative study of the structural designs and layouts of the Daming and Heijō palaces. Mr Ono Kenkichi's lecture was titled "The Development of the Heijō Palace Site", which focussed on the preservation work that Japanese archaeologists had conducted at the Heijō palace site. He listed the various preservation models employed at different heritage sites and stated that the works conducted at Heijō Palace serves a good reference point for those involved in the preservation works at Daming Palace. The Chinese scholars Mr Gong Guoqiang and Ms Wen Jing were also invited to give their own lectures, which were titled "The Archaeology of the Sui and Tang Chang'an City Sites" and "The Planning and Design of the Daming Palace National Heritage Park" respectively and were of great interest to the visiting Japanese scholars.
After the lectures, the Japanese scholars took a tour of the Daming Palace Heritage Site, where they visited the sites of the Tang-style Danfeng Gate, which was part of a restoration project that was completed only a few months ago, the Hanyuan Hall, the Daming Palace's Cultural Artifacts Exhibition Hall, and the Linde Hall. During their tour, the Chinese and Japanese scholars exchanged their views on the restoration projects which are currently in progress at the national heritage park. On the eve of their return to Japan, the visiting Japanese scholars were interviewed by a journalist from "China Cultural Relics News". The Japanese and Chinese scholars present shared their thoughts on their achievements and the issues raised when conducting preservation work at large-scale heritage sites.
Li Chunlin, Gao Benxian and Zhang Bo accompanied their Japanese guests on a visit to a number of Tang era sites, including the Xingqing Imperial Palace, Qujiang Lake, the Yanping and Mingde Gates, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Mr Inoue's group also paid a visit to the Xi'an Museum and the Ming-Qing era Yongning Gate.
The Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Institute of Archaeology's Tang City Fieldwork Team participated in collaborative research projects in Xi'an between 2001 and 2007. During that time, they conducted a six-year joint excavation and study of the Taiye Pool at the Tang era Daming Imperial Palace site. (Translated by Kelly McGuire)