Tamaudun located in Shuri Kinjo-cho, Naha City, Okinawa Pref. is a royal mausoleum of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It is a National Historic Site and was registered with UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
The mausoleum was constructed by King Sho Shin in 1501. In Okinawa, there is a tradition of building a large and fine tomb to express the reverence to the ancestors. It is considered that the king had an intention of using his people’s reverence toward their ancestors for the stabilization and reinforcement of the national unity. The mausoleum is divided into three compartments laid out from east to west. The bodies were placed in the central compartment till they were skeletonized, and then the dry bones were taken out to be cleansed. After that the bones of kings and queens were placed in the eastern compartment and the other members of the royal family in the western compartment.
Although Tamaudun was severely damaged by Battles of Okinawa, it was restored to the present form after the World War II. Tamaudun was a sacred place of the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom.
The kofun of Empress Suiko is located in Taishi-cho, Minami Kawachi-gun, Osaka Pref. Empress Suiko (reigned 593-628) was Japan’s first woman to take the throne. Backed up by Soga no Umako, the chieftain of the Soga clan, she nominated Prince Shotoku as regent, and introduced advanced political system and culture she acquired through the diplomatic relationship with Sui. During her reign, a lot of innovative political reforms were made and Asuka culture centering on Buddhism blossomed.
The tomb of Empress Suiko, or formally named “Yamada Takatsuka Kofun,” is a three-terraced square-shaped kofun with an edge length of about 60 m. The east-west edges are a little longer than the north-south edges. Inside the kofun, there supposed to be two chambers dug into the side; where the stone coffins of Empress Suiko and his son Prince Takeda are presumed to be placed respectively. As this beautiful kofun is raised like a small island, its fine proportion is outstanding in the Valley of the Kings.
Suinin Tenno-ryo located in Amagatsuji Nishi-machi, Nara City, Nara Pref. is presumed to be the tomb of Emperor Suinin, who was the 11th emperor of Japan referred to in Kojiki and Nihonshoki. The formal name of the tomb is “Sugawara Fushimi Higashi Ryo Horai-yama Kofun.” Although different Chinese characters are used now, the name “Horai” originally derives from Mt. Horai, where sages enjoy eternal life. The town to the north of the tomb is also named “Horai-cho.”The tomb is a keyhole-shaped kofun (Imperial tomb) with a square front and round back. The total length is 227 m. Surrounded by the water moats, the hill of the kofun looks very beautiful. A small islet in the south is said to be the tomb of Tajima-mori, who the emperor sent to Hitachi province to fetch everlasting fruit. This is the place filled with mystery and wonder of Japan’s mythological ages.
Many tomb mounds are located along the ancient road “Yamanobe no Michi” in Tenri City, Nara Pref. Among them is the tomb of Emperor Sijin. The formal name of mausoleum is “Yamanobe no Michi no Magari no Okanoe no Misasagi,” and that of the kofun (Imperial tomb) is “Yanagimoto Andon-yama Kofun.” It is presumed to be the tomb of Emperor Sujin, the 10th emperor of Japan. As some say Emperor Sujin existed before Christ, and others say he lived in the 3rd century, the exact reign of this emperor is unknown, but it would seem that he was the first existent emperor in Japan. He is said to have established the foundation of Yamato Dynasty. The style of the kofun is a keyhole kofun, with its square front and round back. The wodth of the front part is 100 m and the diameter of the back part is 158 m. There are several small kofuns called “Baicho” built around it. From the surrounding moat bank, you can command a afine view of the Haiden hall and the Torii-gate in Shinmei style at the front of the tomb, fresh green floating islands on the water-filled moat and a panoramic view of Nara Basin filled with green leaves. This is a place of exquisite view.
Daisen Park is a city park in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. It is located between Daisen-Kofun (the tomb of Emperor Nintoku) and Misanzai-Kofun (the tomb ofEmperor Richu). Inside the park small kofuns are also dotted around.The history of Daisen Park started in 1925 when it was constructed as an experimental farm land. In 1989, it was listed on “Japan’s 100 Fine CityParks” by the Society for Green Civilization and Parks & Open Space Association of Japan. In the parks are straggling many structures including tea house of Shin-andesigned by renowned Japanese Sukiya style architect of Ogi Rodo, who designed many tea houses through the period from Meiji Era to Showa Era, a Japanese Tsukiyama-type garden with the area of 30,000 square meters, and Sakai City Museum which displays treasure trove from Nintoku-ryo Kofun. The tea ceremony house is registered as the tangible cultural property of Japan.Daisen-Kofun (the tomb of Emperor Nintoku) is a a keyhole shape kofun, called zenpo-koenfun, having one square end and one circular end. This kofun is believed to be the largest zenpo-koen type kofun in Japan. It takes about 50 minutes to walk around the foss. However who is buried is still unknown.