Kido Tile Kiln Site

Kido Tile Kiln site (木戸瓦窯跡, Kido Kawara Kama-ato) is an archaeological site with the remains of a late Nara period, early Heian period kiln for roof tile production located in what is now the city of Ōsaki, Miyagi Prefecture in the Tōhoku region of northern Japan. It has been protected by the central government as a National Historic Site since 1976.[1]

Kido Tile Kiln ruins
Location in Japan
Location in Japan
Kido Tile Kiln ruins
Location in Japan
Location in Japan
Kido Tile Kiln Site (Japan)
LocationŌsaki, Miyagi, Japan
RegionTōhoku region
Coordinates38°37′17″N 141°02′25″E / 38.62139°N 141.04028°E / 38.62139; 141.04028
PeriodsNara to Heian period
Site notes
Public accessYes (no facilities)


As the Yamato government extended control over Mutsu Province in the 8th Century AD, a number of fortified administrative centers and Buddhist temples were built in the area centered on Taga Castle. One feature of the buildings in these structures was the use of tiled roofs, which was a symbol of continental culture and the advanced state of the central administration. The Kido kilns are one of several which have been found within what is now Miyagi Prefecture. These kilns were located in hilly land, near the sources of clay and fuel for the kilns; however, from the design patterns on shards found at the site, it can be determined that the tiles from the Hinodeyama kilns were used at Taga Castle, 40 kilometers to the south, among other areas. The site is contemporary with the Daikichiyama tile kiln ruins and both kilns supplied the various government administrative complexes located around the province.

The site is located in the northern part of the Ōsaki Plain, on the southern slope of a hill in former Tajiri town. The site consists of three kiln locations, of which only the northernmost has been designated a National Historic Site. The site was excavated in 1957 and 1974. The kilns are built underground into the slope of a hill, and are a stepless form of the traditional anagama kiln. The site has not be excavated in detail. Various styles of roof tiles have been recovered from the site, including cylindrical, flat, arch-shaped, and parts of a demon-shaped end tile. These are identical to tiles found at the site of Taga Castle, indicating that this was an official kiln of Mutsu Province.

Also of interest was a broad concave tile inscribed with the name of the head of a sub-village of 200 families within the Osabe village in Nakamura sub-county. This is an important indication that the central government’s civil administrative system had already been introduced in this area by this time.

The site was backfilled after excavation and is now a grassy slope with a stone monument marking the location. The site is about 16 minutes by car from Tajiri Station on the JR East Tohoku Main Line.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "木戸瓦窯跡". Cultural Heritage Online (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 25 December 2016.

External linksEdit