In 749 they found gold in Japan.

In the fourth century, Japan was still prehistoric. In the fifth it acquired (Chinese) literacy; in the sixth, (Chinese-style) Buddhism; in the seventh, (Chinese-style) laws and government; in the eighth, its first real city, Nara, replica in little of China’s magnificent capital, Chang’an.

The Nara Period (710-794) was Japan’s sprouting time, remembered today for temples (Horyuji, Todaiji), political centralization (independent clans fused into a nation under a divine emperor), superb Buddhist statuary (bronze, wood, clay and lacquer figures that thrill the viewer even today, so many centuries distant from the initial inspiration) and literature (two imperial histories, the Nihon Shoki and the Kojiki; and the vast poetry anthology known as the Manyoshu, literally “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”).