Kofun are the burial mounds of ancient kings or rulers who ruled those respective areas about 1,400 to 1,750 years ago. Kofun were built to demonstrate the power of the leaders of the time, as well as to serve as a location for the ceremonial ascension of the next ruler. In Japan, we have over 160,000 kofun in various shapes, such as keyhole-shaped zenpo-koen-fun (the resting place of the highest-ranked kings), round en-pun, and even scallop shell-shaped ones. Kofun vary in size from 5m to the 485m (of Nintoku-Tenno-ryo kofun).
Imagining the Future
Furuichi Kofungun (a group of one hundred and twenty-three kofun burial mounds in Fujiidera area) are scattered around the city—practically in our neighborhood. Some extend over 400m, some are no greater than 10m in diameter, and their shapes and appearances vary from mound to mound, from season to season. We sometimes see young people sitting on the bank of a burial mound, perhaps speaking about their future and dreams. “What sort of future did the ancient kings and leaders have in mind?” We must convey this rich history to future generations, which is why we are on a mission to have them named as a World Heritage site.