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KOFUN tombs are slightly elevated hills of soil or stone which were built as ancient burial sites. Throughout the ASUKA area there are numerous KOFUNs which can be found while strolling around ASUKA.
In Japan it is known as the largest stone chamber containing an exquisite underground circular tomb. Legend claims that in constructing ISHIBUTAI that superior megalith transport technology was employed. Records show that SOGA no UMAKO resided in this neighborhood and it is believed to be UMAKO's own tomb based on the grandeur of the structure.
It is located in ASUKA's southwest, HINOKUMA Village, near Emperor MONBU's Mausoleum. In 1972, colored frescos (national treasures) were discovered and brought overnight fame to this tomb. The resident is believed to be a high ranking noble. The actual frescos are not on display for viewing due to restoration and preservation. The fresco museum is located on the tomb's west end, here one can see prints and replicas of the frescos.
This circular tomb is south of TAKAMATSUZUKA tomb. During interior surveys conducted in 1983 and 1998, astrological charts and fresco images of 3 of the 4 deities (GENBU, BYAKKO and SEIRYUU) were found. In later surveys the fourth deity's image (SUZAKU) was found, as well as, 12 supporting zodiac images. The stone structure's interior can be seen at ASUKA ARCHIVE MUSEUM (ref. P6) [MAP 6-A] and models of the restoration and picture panels can be seen at the ASUKA CULTURAL ASSETS DEPOSITORY
Built by SOGA NO UMAKO it is known to be Japan's first official temple. Magnificent temple remains are confirmed. Along with TORIGATAYAMA and ANGOIN, it lays claim to be one of Japan's oldest temples, housing the ASUKA DAIBUTSU (bronze statue).
This ancient circular tomb with a rectangular frontage measures in full length approximately 138meters, it is said to be EMPEROR KINMEI's grave. However, recently there is opinion that MIZEMARUYAMA tomb is in fact KINMEI's grave. Since 1971 the "Stone Monkey" has been relocated to KIBIHIME NO MIKO Mausoleum.
PRINCESS KIBIHIMENOMIKO MAUSOLEUM
Located south of EMPEROR KINMEI's tomb, this tomb is famous for the "Stone Monkey"
Princess KIBIHIME is KINMEI's granddaughter, and Emperors KOUJYOKU and KOUTOKU's mother, and Emperors TENMU and TENCHI's grandmother.
On the north side of a small hill near KINMEI's mausoleum the Devil's Privy and Devil's Cutting Board boarder the road. Once part of a destroyed tomb, the present figures are all that remain. Devil's Cutting Board is a granite slab 1 meter thick. It is considered to be the base floor of the tomb. ?Privy is a toilet.
This mausoleum is said to contain both Emperor and Empress. In the JINSHIN War (672AD), Prince OOAMANO (later renamed EMPEROR TENMU) defeated EMPEROR OOTOMO and with his EMPRESS JITOU they would later succeed to the Imperial throne and construct FUJIWARAKYO Palace.
This tomb dedicated to EMPEROR MONMU, the grandchild to EMPEROR TENMU and EMPRESS JITOU, who was enthroned at FUJIWARAKYO Palace. He is known to have established the TAIHO RITSURYO System. It is located in the southeast direction of TAKAMATSUZUKA Tombs.