|Ikoma-yama (Mt Ikoma).|
With the assistance of two of my friends (who's expertise in translating Kanji into English knows no bounds) and the nice people at the Yamashiro Regional Museum, I was informed that I was standing-upon the Tsubaiotsukayama Kofun, or Tumulus or Burial Mounds as they are also known. The Kofun were all the rage between the early 3rd century and the early 7th century. This one, it is believed, was built in the late 3rd century, and thus dates from the era of Yamataikoku, which was a kingdom of prehistoric Japan and which was mentioned in Chinese annuals, and might be the same as Yamato, which was later in the Japanese annals.
My enquiries failed to ascertain who, if anyone, was buried here but, in 1953, during an archaeological excavation, nearly 40 bronzed mirrors, including 30 god-beast mirrors, were found along with various other things. There is strong theory the god-beast mirrors were mirrors that Himiko, the Shamaness-Queen of Yamatai recorded in the Chinese annals, is believed to have received them as a gift from the Ruler of a Chinese Ethnic Group.
|Mozu Kofugun, Osaka.|
Hidden-away, on the bottom right of the Kofun, is a monument dedicated to the Tsubaiotsukayama Kofun (marked with #). It just stands there in an empty section with the village surrounding it. I am somewhat saddened by this. With all the restoration and preservation work that has been done on old sites around Japan - Shrines, Temples and Castles to name a few - and the many UNESCO and National Treasures of Japan, this one has been forgotten and sits unnoticed.
All-in-all this turned-out to be another great outing and, if any further information comes-to-hand, I won't hesitate to pass it on. In the mean time, I plan to do more research into the Yamashiro area as I feel there are more wee secrets to be revealed. Watch this space.
Some more interesting reading; Kofun Culture, Japanese Bronze Mirrors,Yamato Province, Kofun in the Nara Basin.