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NINTOKU-TENNO-RYO

NINTOKU-TENNO-RYO KOFUN

Location Daisen-cho, Sakai-ku

Located in Daisen-cho, Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun is the largest keyhole-shaped burial mound in Japan. Together with Hanzei-tenno-ryo Kofun in the north and Richu-tenno-ryo Kofun in the south, it is called the Three Mozumimihara Mausoleums, and it is under the supervision of the Imperial Household Agency as the central tumulus, the mausoleum of the Emperor Nintoku. Facing south, this mound is approximately 486 meters long, with the round part about 249meters in diameter and 35.8 meters high and the square part about 307 meters wide and 33.9 meters high. It is built in three tiers. There are tsukuridashi, or square projections, attached to both sides of the constricted area, and a triple moat surrounds the mound. In fact, the present outer moat was dug again in the Meiji period. It’s been confirmed the existence of fukiishi, or paving stones placed on the slope of the burial mound, and haniwa clay figures. Unearthed haniwa includes woman’s heads, water birds, horses, deer, and houses.
Sue ware jars, found at tsukuridashi during recent excavation as well as in the 30’s of the Showa period (1955-1964), draw attention as valuable materials to estimate the time when this mound was constructed. In 1872, a rectangular stone coffin placed in the pit-style stone chamber was found in the front square portion of the mound, and swords, armors, glass pots and dishes were excavated as well. Though it is believed that those once unearthed items were buried back, detailed illustration sketched at that time indicates that those armors were magnificent artifacts made of gilt-bronze. Ranked as the Japan’s largest keyhole-shaped kofun, it has over ten baicho or satellite tombs around. It has been believed to be the mausoleum of the Emperor Nintoku, though its construction was contradictory after of Richu-tenno-ryo Kofun. A paved sidewalk has extended 2.8 km along the outline of the kofun.

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