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Kofun and Oketsubo in Kamakura

 
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
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Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:54 am    Post subject: Kofun and Oketsubo in Kamakura Reply with quote
After getting back from a little excursion to Kamakura today, I decided to look something up on the very informative Kamakura Citizen's Network "History of Kamakura"site. While this wasn't what I was looking for, I found the following quite interesting.

Although a cluster of tomb mounds were known to have existed in Kamakura, the Wadazuka Mound (和田塚) is the only mounded earth tomb that remains to this day. It was once called the Mujodozuka Mound (無常堂塚) and clay haniwa (埴輪) funerary objects in the shape of cylinders and horses were found there.

Towards the end of the period, the construction method changed from a tomb mound with a “vertical hole, stone chamber” to one with a “horizontal hole, stone chamber,” known in Japanese as oketsubo (横穴墓), or yokoana (横穴). Originally there were around 170 oketsubo, but only about half have survived due to recent housing development. The Sembagayatsu (洗馬ケ谷) cave wall in Tamanawa (玉縄) has a drawing depicting fighting figures on ships, and is designated a Historic Site by the city.


It is kind of disturbing to hear that half of the oketsubo have been destroyed to make way for new homes, but hopefully they'll preserve those that are left. And hey, at least there is one kofun left!
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