2104 Aza-yamakamidani, Yamana-machi, Takasaki City, Gumma Prefecture, Japan
National designation as a Historic Site
March 3, 1921
Nationally designated as a Special Historic Site (equivalent to National Treasure)
March 20, 1954
The Yamanoue stela, erected in 681, is the oldest still-standing stela in Japan.
According to the inscription, Priest Chori erected this stela in memory of his mother, and, by listing his matrilineal and patrilineal ancestors, he wanted to express his pride as a priest of a major Buddhist temple and as a descendant of influential families.
This stela clearly documents how Buddhism and the Chinese writing system were adopted and accepted by the ancient society of Japan.
Current condition of the stela
Dimension: 111 centimeters in height, 47 centimeters in width, 52 centimeter in thickness
Raw material: andesite
Inscriptions: 53 characters in four lines