This chapter discusses the history, construction, utilization, and excavation of the temple Kudara Ōdera. In contrast to the Soga patronage of Asukadera, a crucial significance of Kudara Ōdera is its status as the first documented instance of a royal temple, vowed by the monarch Jomei. The chapter presents a detailed discussion of the excavations at Kibi Pond, now believed by most scholars to be the site of Kudara Ōdera, the location of which was previously unknown. It presents the results of each season at Kibi Pond in considerable detail, with the goal of describing the nature of a recent archaeological project. Contrasting with the Asukadera data, which have been in the public domain for almost fifty years, that of Kudara Ōdera is very recent and generally not widely disseminated. Building on the material presented in Chapter 1, this chapter attempts to indicate some of the main refinements in excavation methodology as developed in recent years.
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