Imagine a densely populated Japan, where every piece of land is worth its weight in gold. And here on this territory are places where no human foot has set foot for hundreds of years. These places are called kofuny.
Kofun is an ancient burial place of the emperors, translated from Japanese as a mound. The classic kofun has the shape of a keyhole, around which a moat filled with water is dug, and sometimes even two.
- Japanese kofun originates from the ancient burial sites of China . Megalithic burials, such as Ishibutai-kofun, also bear the name kofun. In the narrow sense, kofun is a burial of a partially elongated shape, common in Japan between the 2nd half of the third century BC and the first half of the seventh century AD. From this term comes the name of the Kofun period (300-538), which is part of the Yamato period in the history of Japan.
- There is an entrance, a gate, a bridge. All this is closed and visiting is prohibited by Japanese traditions.
- These islands have untouched nature, plants and animals that can not be found anywhere else. For example, Tanuki-Japanese raccoon dogs that sometimes come out of the island and scare the residents of the nearest residential areas.
- The largest kofun Nintokure is located near Osaka, its length is approximately 486 meters, width-305 meters, height-33 meters, and area-464,124 square meters. It is the burial place of Emperor Nintoku, who died in the 4th century AD.
- This is the Inariyama mound (5th century AD) The structure has a characteristic keyhole shape. The total length of the mound is 120 meters.
- By the end of March 2001, 161,560 kofun tombs had been discovered in Japan, with the largest number in Hyogo, Chiba, Tottori, Fukuoka, and Kyoto prefectures.
- The burial mounds at kofun can be of various shapes. The most ancient of them are semicircular, there are also rectangular and square ones; the most common ones are in the form of a key hole.
- In the latter, the burial chamber is located in a round” hole “of the key, the expanding “beard” is oriented to the south or east.
- The mounds are divided into segments, the so-called “steps”, going from the base of the kofun to the top of the hill. Kofun in 1-2 steps usually belonged to representatives of the local aristocracy, starting from the 3rd steps, the imperial kofun was already built. The tomb of Emperor Nintoku has 7 steps.
- The Imperial kofun remains unexplored to this day, as in Japan they are considered not as cultural monuments, but as private graves.
- Minor scientific works are allowed to be carried out only during restoration work.
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