Daisen Mounded Tomb (Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku), Osaka

Daisen Mounded Tomb (Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku) is said to be one of the world’s three biggest graves alongside the tomb of an ancient Egyptian king called the Pyramid of King Khufu (Cheops), the mausoleum of the first Quin Emperor. Its surface area is bigger than those. When it is seen from the sky, it is a unique shape in Japan called a keyhole-shaped tumuli that unites a circle and a square. It is estimated that it was built over about 20 years in the middle of the 5th century.
The following pictures are on the same scale, comparing the aerial photographs of the Daisen Mounded Tomb and the Pyramid of King Khufu.


It is the biggest keyhole-shaped tumuli in Japan, with Emperor Hanzei mausoleum on the north side and Emperor Richu mausoleum on the south side called “Three Ancient Tomb of Mozu Mimihara”. Currently it is managed by the Imperial Household Agency as the center mausoleum (Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku). The mound that the front part is directed to the south is about 486 meters in length, the diameter of the rear circle part is about 249 meters, the height is about 34.8 meters, the width of the front part is about 307 meters, the height is about 33.9 meters.


There are the funeral ritual site of the tumulus in the left and right constricted parts, and the triple moat is enclosing, but the present moat was re-dig in the Meiji era.
A jar of sueki (unglazed ware) was excavated from the funeral ritual site of the tumulus in 1950’s and the recent survey, and it became a topic as a material to know the era when the ancient tomb was built. In 1872, a long-sized stone coffin that was housed in a pit-type stone room at the front part was exposed, and pots and dishes made of glass, swords, armor were excavated. It is said that the excavated items were backfilled again, but there were records of detailed drawings, and the armor was said to be a fine piece made of gold copper.


Suitable for Japan’s largest keyhole-shaped tomb, there are over 10 tombs that are considered baicho (a small barrow next to a large-scale tumulus). Although there is the theory that it is the mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku, but it is known that it was built in a different age from Emperor Richu’s succeeded order of Emperor Nindoku that is conveyed to Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan) and others.


Archaeologically, there is a high possibility that this ancient burial mound was constructed from the middle through the end of fifth century, and a negative view seems to have been suggested to be the Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku.
Around 2.8 kilometers of the roundabout is in place and it takes 1 hour to go around.



Name:Daisen Mounded Tomb (Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku)
Address:Daisencho Sakai Sakai-ku, Osaka 590-0035 Japan
Access:JR Hanwa-sen Line “Mozu-eki Station” (5 minutes walk)
Tel:(+81) 72-228-7014 (Sakai-shi Culture and Tourism Division)
Price/Charge:The inner area is not open to the public.
Official site:http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/

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