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Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror

发表时间:2017/01/17 00:00:00  来源:Tomb Raider China  作者:ADE TONG  浏览次数:4966  
字体大小: 【小】 【中】 【大】

If you are following the current Tomb Raider official comic books (Dark Horse 2016), you may be wondering about one of the key artifacts "Wei Mirror" and how it relates to Queen Himiko's power.  Did this mirror really existed? If so, what is it like exactly? What kind of "power" does it have? Can it really suck a person's soul into it? 

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
Image resource: Dark Horse – Tomb Raider 2016

Tomb Raider China present this special archeology report (Journal) to all the Tomb Raider fans who are interested in the facts and mysteries behind this artifact, and its relationship to Queen Himiko. 

Special thanks to one of our members – Ade Tong who has spent great deal of time and energy researching the history of this intriguing artifact "Wei Mirror" (Just like Lara!) Upon that, she took a special trip in the New Year to one of the most ancient city – Luoyang (洛阳), China to seek this Powerful Mirror, and discover all the truth behind it! 

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
Photo was taken at Luoyang,China by Ade Tong

PART ONE – Finding the truth. A research journal from Ade Tong:

"I didn't have any acknowledge about the origin of this artifact in the beginning, as the comic books mentioned in its telling of the origins of the "Wei mirror", the first thing that crossed my mind was how is it connected to the Wei Dynasty from Three Kingdoms period in China.

So, I went through the history of Three Kingdoms period and tried to trace the connection between China and Japan back then. Until I read that at the end of the Three Kingdoms period –  Wei Dynasty, as the Queen of Yamatai - Himiko sent envoys to visit Wei Kingdom in China, the emperor of the kingdom -  曹叡 Cao Rui greeted the messengers from Queen Himiko in Luoyang (Capital city of the kingdom back then), and granted numerous royal gifts upon them to take back to their Queen.

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
Emperor of the kingdom - 曹叡 Cao Rui ( 204 or 206 - 239)
Image resource: http://san.nobuwiki.org/character/cao-rui

In a royal letter to the Queen of Yamatai, the Chinese emperor listed in detail all the gifts that was sent to her, the manifest referred to:"...cattle, royal cloth, gold, rice, plants, bronze mirrors numbering in the hundreds of pieces..."

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
Image from : History of the Three Kingdoms

‘Bronze mirrors numbering in the hundreds! This could be the most important clue! I thought, and I assumed "Wei mirror" prototype is closely related. But what kind of bronze mirror? Is that the Wei Mirror? Since The technology of the mirror from Wei Dynasty belongs to the Previous Han Dynasty (25–220 AD).  I looked up the appearance of the bronze mirrors from Han) on the internet.

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
Bronze Mirror from Han Dynasty
Image Resource : baidu.com

As you can see, the characteristics of the Han Dynasty bronze mirror are round, thin, flat, round button and decoratively stylized. 

Then my mind started racing and kicking around one question: Would these mirrors be designed in the same style as the Han Dynasty bronze mirror; or would they be of more significate in design to show their importance?

I then consulted several archaeological research programs, such as "the development of Japan", "Institute of Japanese history and culture" and "知られざる大英博物館".  

An early archaeological dig in Japan, the Han Dynasty bronze mirror were unearthed in large numbers, in line with the "Records of three Kingdoms" and dating to the right time period that the Wei emperor sent them. 

Around the same time the Japan dig was giving up its secrets, another Archaeological dig in China was surrendering its as well. While the Han Mirror and Wei mirror share similarities, their overall stature is greatly expressed by their characteristics and design.

Many scholars confirmed that these were "Special Gift" for Queen Himiko, when she sent envoys to visit China for the first time. Different from the ordinary Han Dynasty bronze mirror, its edge is very high, a triangular cross-section. The pattern is China's myths and legends of the "King father of the East (とうおうふ)", "Queen Mother of the West", and a symbol of authority of the dragons and tigers, which is why it's named as "Triangular-Rimmed Bronze Mirror" with mythical figure and animal designs. The mirror is engraved with the long inscription, wishing the owner protected under all the animals and gods, with immortal blessing.

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
Wei Mirror, also called "Triangular-Rimmed Bronze Mirror" or "Himiko's Mirror"
Image Resource: baidu.com

So, in conclusion the Wei mirror did really exist and according to the Japanese religion Shinto(神道), the animal mirror was a symbol of Queen Himiko's power, authority and immortality. Which as we all know does collaborate or coincide with the comic's author interpretation that Himiko used the mirror along with its power to drain the soul from the chosen girls and then possessing their bodies to obtain immortality. The animal carvings and inscription acts as a rune spell to insure a continuation of Himiko's power.

PART TWO - The Brief History and Truth about Queen Himiko

If you are like me, and played 2013 Tomb Raider and followed through the comic books stories, Queen Himiko seemed like one of most evil people that ever existed. But in real life, was she as evil as she was portrayed in the Tomb Raider Universe?

The answer seems different.

First of all, Queen Himiko was a real person and real queen in Yamatai back in ancient Japan period, she was first ruler to establish a complete state of slavery in Japanese history. She sent messengers twice to China in order to establish diplomatic relations, brought back advanced technology to develop Yamatai ,  such as agriculture , pottery, weaving, making weapons with iron. 

Her country was prosperous under her ruling, no war for decades.  Even today, archaeologists are amazed about the development she brought into Yamatai. The Great King of Wei Kingdom in China– Cao Cao was once obsessed with Himiko, he sent message to her and ask for union through marriage.  However, Himiko denied his proposal.

Although she was a successful ruler, Queen Himiko's elder years was extremely sad, she was betrayed by a rebel force that wanted to take control, she was burnt to death by the traitors at her own palace.

After her death, Yamatai was in domestic chaos for many years, her people abolished the new King, and tried to resurrect her but Queen Himiko was long gone. 

Himiko's life was full of mysteries and legends. While different than that portrayed within the Tomb Raider universe, it is easy to see how the myth of her power could take on a life of its own. 

The following image is from 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ, a different version of Queen Himiko. 

[Tomb Raider China] Tomb Raider China Present - The Mysterious Behind the Wei Mirror
(Interesting Fact:  Some archaeologies in historical forums has argued about Himiko's sex, or sexuality, due to the fact that she remained single all her life. Although this is just one of many mysteries about her.)

Come back next time for the final part of this special report:

• View the Wei Mirror in real life

• Do you know Lara Croft is "Banned" in China's Museum?

• The author – Ade Tong has something to say about her true purpose of finding this artifact. It's all about Saving Sam – Lara's best friend!

This article was written by Ade Tong. Translated by Gould. Edited by June in January 16, 2017

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