Important Cultural PropertyMirror decorated with images of deity and cart horse

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  • D 21.1
  • Kofun period/4-5th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-176

The Samitatakarazuka Tomb is located in the center of the Umami Tumulus Group, which is located in the western part of the Nara Basin and comprises approximately 100 tombs that vary in size. The Group contains many famous tumuli and represents Nara Prefecture together with the Sakitatenami Tumulus Group and the Yanagimoto (Yamato) Tumulus Group. The Samitatakarazuka Tomb is a three-tiered, keyhole-shaped tomb with a total length of 111.5m. While the diameter of the round rear is approximately 60m and the width of the square front is approximately 45m, it features a low, flat, narrow and long front. From the tomb, representational haniwa (clay figures), such as houses, lids, shields, arrow holders and short armor were excavated and rows of cylindrical haniwa with fins were confirmed in the round rear. It is estimated that there used to be a clay chamber (nendokaku) with a drain ditch in the round rear, which was covered with fuseki (small stones).
 In 1881, a variety of relics, including a large amount of bronze mirrors, gems and beads, bronze arrowheads, tomoe (comma-shaped heraldic design)-shaped bronze ware, stoneware and stone imitations, were found from the clay chamber. There were over 31 bronze mirrors comprised of those brought from abroad (hakusaikyo), such as sankakubuchishinjukyo (more than ten) and imitative mirrors, such as kaokumon-kyo (mirrors with patterns of houses). The style of the stoneware is relatively old and the stone imitations contain a combination of realistic and relatively old-style large artifacts, such as swords, magatama (beads) and agricultural tools. However, large circular discs with holes, which seem to have been modeled after mirrors and large round vessels with a lid and a leg, are also found. This is a typical combination of haniwa in the late Early Tumulus period to the early Mid Tumulus period, which has been found in the center of the Kinai region.

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