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Kofun (mounded tombs)

Mozu Kofungun (mounded tomb group)

Mozu Kofungun (mounded tomb group)

People have been living in Sakai since Japan's ancient Jomon period; they began building numerous Kofun starting in the fifth century. Known as Japan's largest keyhole-shaped tomb, Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun tells a tale of the development of culture since ancient times. Including partially collapsed mounds, Mozu Kofungun consists of 44 tombs, among them 22 keyhole-shaped tombs, 17 round tombs, and 5 square tombs. Originally the Tumuli numbered more than 100.

Sakai City is striving to have Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun inscribed as a World Heritage site.

Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun

Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun

Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun is also known as Mozu-mimihara Central Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku, Daisen-ryo Kofun, or Daisen Kofun. The tomb has a mound length of 486 m, which makes it the largest kofun in the country as well as one of the largest burial mounds in the world. On each side of the constricted (narrowest) part of the keyhole mound is a projection referred to as tsukuridashi, and the mound is surrounded by a triple moat. The tomb was built in the mid-5th century. Around Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun are more than ten smaller-sized satellite tombs. In 1872, a stone coffin, a set of armor and other burial artifacts were accidentally found and reburied. However, sketches made at the time survive and tell us their details even now. The kofun was also a famed cherry blossom viewing spot in olden days.

  • Take the JR Hanwa Line and get off at Mozu Station.
  • Address: Daisen-cho, Sakai-ku, Sakai City

Kurohime-yama Kofun

Kurohime-yama Kofun

Kurohime-yama Kofun is a keyhole-shaped tomb situated facing west and located between Sakai's Mozu and Furuichi Kofungun in the cities of Habikino and Fujiidera. The round rear part has a diameter of 67 meters, while the front part has a width of 64 meters. With a total length of 114 meters and a height of 11 meters, the tomb has a two-tier structure. Archeological surveys have revealed an area around the outer moat that was used for rituals and other functions.
Kurohime-yama Kofun was discovered and surveyed by Suenaga Masao in 1947 soon after the end of World War II. Although Suenaga found that the burial chamber in the round rear part of the tomb had been destroyed by grave robbers, a stone chamber was discovered in the middle of the square front part of the tomb. Inside the chamber were found 24 suits of armor and a large number of iron weapons and arms, creating a stir at the time.
The Tomb was designated a national Historic Site in 1957 (with surrounding areas added in 1978), and environmental work was performed on the site from 1989 to 1992. The iron armor underment conservation treatment and is currently on display at the Mihara History Museum.

  • Take the Kintetsu bus and get off at the Shimokuroyamanishi stop.
  • 529 Kuroyama, Mihara-ku, Sakai City
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