Niizawa Senzuka-kofun Tumulus Cluster (a large tumulus cluster in Mt. Kaifuki in Kashihara City, Nar (新沢千塚古墳群)

Niizawa Senzuka-kofun Tumulus Cluster is one of the famous large tumulus clusters consisting of over 600 burial mounds in total located Mt. Kaifuki in the southern part of Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture.


The burial mounds were constructed from the end of the fourth century through the seventh century, and especially active from the middle of the fifth century to the end of the sixth century. Niizawa Senzuka-kofun Tumulus Cluster was used to be called Kawanishi Senzuka or Toriya Senzuka. The clans or buried persons of these tumuli have not been specified; there are several opinions such as the Otomo clan, the Aya clan, the Soga clan, and so on.

When the investigations by Doshisha University and others were carried out in 1960s, about 130 tumuli were investigated. As a result, burial goods like arms and harnesses were excavated in abundance. In particular, from No. 126 Tumulus built in the latter half of the fifth century, not only a large quantity of accessories, but also the first hinoshi (metal artifact which had been used as an iron with lighted charcoal in it) in Japanese history, and rare Roman grass products which had been brought to Japan not through China but through Silla from Central and Western Asia were excavated. For that reason, the tumulus was reported as the remains that proved how extremely wide ancient Japan had traded, and it became a great topic all over Japan those days.

The genuine articles of these are now possessed by Tokyo National Museum.

[Original Japanese]