Dr. Onuki And The Finding Of The Temple Of The Crossed Hands


It’s been 60 years since a Japanese archaeological mission arrived in Peru and Yoshio Onuki, now 81-years-old and current director of the Kuntur Wasi Museum, was part of that group of investigators.

El Peruano sat down on an interview with this doctor who, since his arrival in 1960 to Peru and only being 23-years-old at the time, never left the land of the Incas.

“He joined, together with archaeologists and anthropologists, the Japanese Mission of the Andes, which arrived from June 1958, under the direction of Dr. Seiichi Izumi (1915-1970), of the University of Tokyo”, El Peruano said, explaining that Dr. Onuki learned Spanish after he arrived in the country.

The main finding of that archaeological mission was the temple of the Crossed Hands, of the Kotosh culture, in Huánuco, 5,000-years-old.

“The first three months we lived in tents next to the site. There was no drinking water, we collected water from the river and filtered and boiled it to use it”, he told. “To wash the body we had to enter the river or, if not, we had to go to Huánuco to use the showers available in some houses”, he went on.

As for the second excavation, he explained that they built a prefabricated house and divided it into double rooms. Finally, the third time they excavated they rented a house in the city and traveled every day to the site. “It was more comfortable!”, he recalls.

As a result of this fieldwork in 1960 part of the Temple of the Crossed Hands came out. They could see the structure and the relief of the famous cross-shaped extremities. It was not until three years later that the entire structure was dug out.

(Cover Photo Wikimedia)

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Ermelinda is a journalist from Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Master’s degree in Digital Journalism and has recently finished a technical degree in Veterinary Assistance because of her love for animals. She likes to do sports, but especially ballet, which she has practiced for more than 17 years. Her passion is to read, write, and blog about different topics, as well as travel whenever she can.