|Established||3rd to 6th century|
|Location||Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, Japan|
Mozu kofungun (百舌鳥古墳群?) is a group of forty-seven kofun or tumuli in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Twenty-one of the burial mounds are key-hole shaped, twenty round, five rectangular, and one is of indeterminate shape.
In 2010 the Mozu kofungun cluster of tumuli, along with those of Furuichi kofungun, was proposed by the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO State, Province or Region: Ôsaka Prefecture for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural property under Criteria: (ii),(iii) and (iv).
These funerary monuments are located in the southern area of the Kyûshû Island in the southern region of the most populated Honshû Island, which in turn forms the southern zone of the Tōhoku region. The Mozu Kofungun is located over a terraced land overlooking the Osaka Bay, and the Furuichi Kofungun is in the "Furuichi area" which is a land of mountains and plateaus.
In the Japanese archipelago, tumulis (kofuns), which are mounds of earth and stones erected over graves of the ruling class, numbering more than 20,000 were built as monuments during the later part of the 3rd century and extending to the 6th century. It was the peak period of building such mounds. They represent a cultural tradition which is an expression of "forms, and design of the kofun" of the sociopolitical hierarchical order and the link that was prevalent during that period between regions. This period is termed as the Kofun Period. The most prominet imperial masoleum in this cluster of tumulus are of emperor Nintoku and emperor Richu.
The Kofuns are found in many shapes and dimensions in varying patterns. Some are in simple circular shape and also as square mounds (empun or hôfun). The larger ones are "keyhole-shaped tombs", with circular or square shape zempô kôhôfun at the back side, the former type were ranked the highest class of tumuli and were built in great detail. The three prominent aspects of these tumulus or mounds are their massive size. They have several moats and with many secondary tumuli.
In the Ôsaka Plain and Nara Basins, which were the centre of the Kofun Period, the rounded keyhole-shaped tombs were built extending to very large lengths, out of which the Mozu-Furuichi Kofunguns are the most prominent. These are in two tumulus groups which are dated to the later part of 4th and early part of 6th centuries. These kofuns are of the largest dimensions in the country. The Nintoku-tennô-ryô Kofun, is one grave mound which is a 486 metres (1,594 ft) long tumulus enclosed by moat and a fortification which is 840 metres (2,760 ft) in length; this is said to be the largest such mound in the world. This cluster also has the Richû-tennô-ryô Kofun, made of a tumulus of 360 metres (1,180 ft) length said to be the third largest in the country.
Another group of mounds, located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away from the Mozu cluster is known as the Furuichi cluster. It has the Ôjin-tennô-ryô Kofun of 425 metres (1,394 ft) length which is said to be the second largest in the country. This group also has 11 more huge massive rounded "keyhole-shaped kofun" with mound length of 200 metres (660 ft) or more.
Particular feature of these funerary mounds is that they contain along with the buried people items made in iron, weapons worn by individuals including, arrowheads, swords, hoe and spade tips, and many other similar items. Also found in the mounds are antiquities made of gilded bronze such as horse tacks and sash buckles.
- Furuichi kofungun
- Takamatsuzuka Tomb
- List of Special Historic Sites
- List of National Treasures of Japan (archaeological materials)
- Buried Cultural Properties
- World Heritage Sites in Japan
- "Enjoying Sakai - Kofun Tombs (Tumuli)". Sakai City. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Kofun Database". Sakai City. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun, Ancient Tumulus Clusters". UNESCO. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- "Characteristics of Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun". World Cultural Heritage for Osaka. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Fawcett 1990, p. 111.
- Fawcett, Clare P. (1990). A study of the socio-political context of Japanese archaeology. McGill University, Montréal.