Daisen-kofun in Sakai, Osaka, Japan. This is one of the largest tombs in the world. Japanese government regards this as the tomb of Emperor Nintoku, the 16th emperor, Photo: The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan
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Ancient Japanese tombs added to UNESCO World Heritage list

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"Some academics have expressed doubt that the mausoleum is the actual gravesite of Emperor Nintoku" Because the Imperial Household Agency refuses accesses of the academics to the mausoleum.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It is impressive when seen from above, isn't it? A lot of pacing and measuring went into making it so nicely symmetrical - though maybe the US sent planes over to help them out with aerial views?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"an outstanding type of ancient East Asian burial mound construction."

I suspect that is code for Korean.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

They are interesting, but it's also interesting that the experts aren't sure who they are for, or if they are what they are supposed to be.

You'd think with today's sophisticated carbon-dating and other analytic technology, we would have a clearer idea.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Eventually my left butt cheek is going to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site at the rate everything is being so designated.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

UNESCO please just rubber stamp all of Japan as World Heritage and be done with it. They are so unique after all.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Congratulations! Daisen Kofun is quite large and beautiful. The view of that from the moat side is overwhelming. And it's relatively near from Kansai airport (KIX). It takes about 30 minutes from KIX to the nearest station of it. Furthermore It's near by the central part of Osaka city. So it will be a good sight seeing spot not only for Japanese people but also for foreign guests.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Disgraceful whitewash of an article from Kyodo. But that's no surprise, really. Archeologists are are angry that not only have they been denied access to hundreds of these remarkable places by the IHA but now tourists will be allowed in before they are.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-mozu-furuichi-kofun-group-unesco-world-heritage-secrets-osaka-sakai-fukidera-habikino-emperors-a7917781.htm

And it's not new; back in in 1995 a Meiji University professor received death threats from right wing groups and needed police protection because he campaigned for access.

""It's a fiasco, a scandal, unprecedented in a civilised country," says one academic."

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/japan-guards-the-emperors-secrets-1581547.html

Richard Lloyd Parry, the author of the 1995 article in the British newspaper The Independent sums the situation up concisely:

"As Nintoku's lively biography makes clear, the early emperors are as much legendary figures as historical personages, and excavation around the periphery of several tombs has thrown the IHA's dating of them into doubt. The artefacts found in lesser tumuli, moreover, display striking similarities with continental relics, additional proof that much early Japanese culture was imported from Korea. The idea that the early emperors were Korean princes - a race colonised by Japan until 1945, and still the object of prejudice and rivalry - may be more than the Imperial Household Agency can bear."

It's nauseating. The IHA won't allow proper archeological exploration but they'll let in tourists. What an utter disgrace this is.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Does this news make the Daisen excited?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is said to be one of the three largest mounded tombs in the world, along with the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in China and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

We can see lots of other evidence in China and Egypt that will tell us that there actually was a civilization there. Something that is lacking here in Japan. Lots of bleating... Not much wool.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan's UNESCO World Heritage fetish, implying a desire for a certain kind of acceptance from other countries, continues- meanwhile, Japan is just as likely to thumb its nose at the international community with actions like restarting commercial whaling. Which is it, Japan? Will you be part of a cooperative international order, or not? A little consistency, please.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@Type

nailed it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This Daisen-Kofun has exactly the shape of a keyhole, and who has the key? Well, it must be much silly to think where's the keynote to say it's recently in the UNESCO list...I was thinking it was a UWH before I was born.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Congratulations! The burial mound will be a very big boost to tourism for Osaka Prefecture. Japan now has 23 UNESCO sites, and If wins one more it will overtake the USA.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

@ Alfie

Most of Japanese " History " is just fable. I'm convinced it is a designed history and I think most of us can feel it..but we choose to hold our peace. I guess we stand " fooled".

2 ( +4 / -2 )

now has 23 UNESCO sites, and If wins one more it will overtake the USA

because you know quantity is much better than substance. For AMericas size and the age of the AMerican Indian culture ,around 6000yrs, you can understand the number of listings they have.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The IHA won't allow proper archeological exploration but they'll let in **tourists. What an utter disgrace this is.**

its simple really , all of Japanese people originated from different parts of Asia, predominately the Korean peninsula and China.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

everyone in the area knows they're Korean tombs. There's also a few smaller ones nearby

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Ganbare said -

"...Japan now has 23 UNESCO sites, and If wins one more it will overtake the USA..."

Therein lies the considerable problem created by many with such an attitude.

No entity "Wins". The UNESCO listing is not a race or competition. It is as stated - an additional listing to the already significant list of World Sites of Special interest to humanity.

With the "Winner" attitude, many sites have been reduced to mega-tourist attractions and business opportunities. Look at the debacle of Mt Fuji. Unless it chnages considerably it may be de-listed.

And with the Daisen Kofun - a truly remarkable structure and site worthy of listing - I'm guessing that local business will boom as the buses roll in in unprecedented numbers.

Perhaps a spin-off of such interest, may allow for serious sensitive archaeolgical investigation of the tombs. It's a little rich that many Japanese archaeologists have excavated, explored and documented such sites around the world but are denied such privilege in their own backyards.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

' Alfie,

Your post was a better read than the artical thanks!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Congratulations! The burial mound will be a very big boost to tourism for Osaka Prefecture. Japan now has 23 UNESCO sites, and If wins one more it will overtake the USA.

When UNESCO decide on what comstitutes a World Heriage site, I don't think that it is with competition in mind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Prefectures in Japan have put forward so many sites for approval. There should be a cap on numbers put forward

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Encourage more tourists on the way to see it! But we have too many tourists! Japan had better make its mind up just what it wants.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That Ancient Japan was the playground of Korean princes is about as sacrilegious as it gets.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That Ancient Japan was the playground of Korean princes is about as sacrilegious as it gets.

maybe not princes but certainly people from Korea and China migrated to Japan about 20000yrs ago,

while Japans culture is unique like other asian cultures theyre certainly not genetically unique as many seem to think .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said his prefectural government will aim to promote the sites as tourist attractions without compromising their preservation.

So what exactly are the tourists going to do when they arrive at these tombs? It's highly unlikely they will be allowed to take a boat across to any of these island tombs, and seen at ground level from the other side of the water they are just large mounds with lots of trees. Great for the wildlife and nearby souvenir shops but hardly worth a special trip.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  10:32 am JST

Congratulations! The burial mound will be a very big boost to tourism for Osaka Prefecture. Japan now has 23 UNESCO sites, and If wins one more it will overtake the USA.

And, they get a free sandwich.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It may well be that in the political environment created by Abe - and the possiblility this chance may not come again under a new Emperor - that the Nihonkaigi and the Shinto Shrines Asssociation and the IHA have been emboldened to try to get an international organization to put the stamp of approval on a monument of scientifically unexamined and therefore dubious historical value that they claim validates a mythical figure in the imperial lineage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does any one know why they are this shape? I've just seen on Google earth that there are a few more in the area, but the shape of the island is almost the same shape.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm glad this has finally been listed as a World Heritage site. I've always thought it should have been listed before all of the other sites in Japan. It could potentially provide a lot of information about a period of Japanese history about which we have little information. I've heard there has been some conflict between Sakai city which has wanted it listed for a long time and the Japanese government which has dragged its heels. Naturally, there has been speculation that the hesitation was to avoid the possible dismantling of certain myths.

Does any one know why they are this shape?

We might have to search another country's history for an answer to that one. :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Next week news: "Entire Japan added to UNESCO World Heritage list" Reason: "It's lit fam, what more reason do you need?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Entire Japan added to UNESCO World Heritage list"

That is so funny, let's not laugh too soon, UNESCO is foolish enough to approve it all

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brian WhewayToday 03:55 pm JST

Does any one know why they are this shape? I've just seen on Google earth that there are a few more in the area, but the shape of the island is almost the same shape.

One theory is the "keyhole" is actually 2 shapes co-joined - a circle and a triangle.

Opinions differ to as what this represents but one is it is the amalgam of man & woman = life. Another is the interaction of heaven.

This is brief. Other ideas also abound.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In terms of size, the tomb is enormous.

I can’t think of a similar historical site similar to it.

There really is little to see as there is no access (fenced off) to the land on which the tomb sits.

Also, the site is not designed for any type of mass tourism as the pavement around the tomb can only handle two walking abreast at best!

The site should be partially excavated and a museum built to show off the wonders of Japan’s past ‘international’ history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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