Toriya Misanzai Tumulus (鳥屋ミサンザイ古墳)

Toriya Misanzai Tumulus is a keyhole-shaped grave mound in Toriya Town, Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture. The term "misanzai" is a corrupt form of "misagi" (imperial mausoleum). Many tumuli across the country are called "misanzai" and are therefore distinguished by attaching the names of their locality.
(See also the section on "Misanzai Tumuli.")


The grave mound is two-storied and keyhole-shaped with its frontal part facing the northeast. Its total length is 138 meters, and the back circular part is 83 meters in diameter. The frontal part is 78 meters in width with narrow terraces on both sides. The tumulus is surrounded by a moat. External observation has confirmed cylindrical clay figures and stone pavements. A lot of earthenware were unearthed under the north-eastern embankment of Toriya Pond adjacent to the tumulus when bank reinforcement work was done.

There is Masuyama Tumulus immediately south of the tumulus and both tumuli are build on the northern ridge hills of Mt. Kaifuki. This has caused the southern side of the moat beyond the ridge narrower. The eastern side of the moat was later added to Toriya Pond for irrigation purposes. The tumulus therefore looks as if it is floating in the pond.

It seems to have been constructed from the end of the 5th century to the early 6th century.

Characteristics of the Tumulus

It is one of this tumulus's characteristics that it has a peculiar shape with a large part protruding to the east in the front of the mound.
(This is called "kenbishi-gata" or diamond-shaped.)
Some scholars have suggested that like Muro no Obaka Tumulus the protruding part may have been part of a smaller tumuli built next to the frontal part of the present tumulus.

The Buried

While the buried is now ascertained as Emperor Senka by the Imperial Household Agency, the tumulus seems to have been constructed in earlier times.

Surrounding Remains

Niizawa Senzuka Burial Mounds
Masuyama Tumulus (the grave of Yamato-hiko no Mikoto)
Remains of Masuda Pond Embankment

[Original Japanese]