Two years ago, sixty-odd bits of hypothesized wall art from the early 7th century -- which would make it Japan's oldest -- were discovered in Hōryūji. The other day, they found eighty more pieces, plus a couple hundred other fragments of plain old wall.

Archaeologists are apparently comparing the tiny fragments of art to other images from a little later to draw conclusions such as "these stripey lines are probably some guy's pants" and "this squiggly bit must be the trees". Sadly, the edge pieces remain elusive.

Also, structural evidence and fire damage suggest that these are pieces of the original Hōryūji construction, which burnt down in 670.

To get to the title: Hōryūji is located in Ikaruga, a place named after a type of bird and written with some neat kanji: 斑鳩. Some people think that the word may be mimetic. I can only assume that these birds sound like prewar automobile air horns, in that case.

Popularity factor: 4


Maybe the birds just enjoyed playing quality vertical shooters from the future and we've got the causality of naming all wrong.

Leonardo Boiko:

Ikaruga is also a demanding shooter video game very popular in cult circles.

Leonardo Boiko:

damn, anonymous beat me by a few seconds.


But in that case, what is the game named after? That would create a chrono-paradox! And the only way to solve it would be to get the T-axis up to maximum fluxosity -- at the stroke of midnight, July 4th, 1776!!!!

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