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Agency should allow full study of Daisen ‘kofun’ imperial tomb

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The Imperial Household Agency and the Sakai municipal government in October launched a joint excavation project on a huge “kofun” ancient burial mound in the city.

The Daisen kofun, identified by some ancient documents as the grave of Emperor Nintoku (first half of the fifth century), features one of the largest keyhole-shaped mounds in Japan.

The site, also known as “Nintoku Tenno Ryo” (the mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku), and believed to be a burial place for emperors, empresses and other members of the imperial family, has been protected and preserved by the Imperial Household Agency as an imperial property.

It was designated as the Nintoku Mausoleum in the late 19th century according to descriptions in such ancient documents as “Kojiki” (Records of Ancient Matters) and “Nihonshoki” (Chronicles of Japan) in the eighth century and “Engishiki,” a collection of governmental rules and formalities, compiled in the 10th century.

Archeological studies and findings from excavations in recent years have shown, however, that the years when many imperial mausoleums were built are not consistent........

© The Asahi Shimbun