Sakitatenami Tumulus Group (佐紀盾列古墳群)

The Sakitatenami tumulus group, located in Sofu, Nara City, is a group of tumuli that include many mausoleums of emperors in the Yamato regime operated in the era from the middle to the latter half of the kofun (tumulus) period. It is also called the Saki tumulus group.

Summary

The tumuli in this group include huge keyhole-shaped ones constructed on the south slope of the Saki hill in the period from the latter half of the first half to the middle era of the kofun (tumulus) period, or in the era from towards the end of the fourth century to the first half of the fifth century. Three huge tumuli exceeding 200m in length were built in the latter half of the first half of the kofun period, and four such tumuli were also built in the middle era of the kofun period. It is highly possible that they are mausoleums of emperors in the early Yamato regime.

The Oyamato tumulus group and Yanagimoto tumulus group, which include the Makimuku remains related to the birth of the Yamato regime, in the southeast part of the Nara basin, as well as mausoleums of emperors in the Yamato regime, in the area from the southern part of Tenri City to Sakurai City, declines, and huge keyhole-shaped tumuli in this group became to be constructed in the era from the latter half of the fourth century to the first half of the fifth century. However, the sizes of tumuli there became smaller in the era from the latter half of the fifth century to towards the end of the same century.

Their front parts became not shaped in a plectrum.

The origin of the name

It is likely that the name of tatenami was used because the shape of the surrounding moat was like a shield (tate) and each of the northern part (around the round part of the tumulus) and the southern part (around the front part of the tumulus) was aligned in parallel (nami) in a east-west straight line. It is presumed that this term became commonly used after the capital was moved to Heijo.
In "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters), it is recorded that the Seimu ryo (mausoleum) is located in "Saki no Tatanami.'

Confusion of imperial mausoleums

There was a significant confusion about which imperial mausoleum was which emperor's. In March of 843, mountains rumbled like thunderclaps in two occasions. Because such a strange phenomenon occurred, the Imperial Court referred to an illustrated book and found that there were two tatenami ryo mausoleums, and that the one located in the northern part was the Jingu ryo mausoleum and the one in the southern part the Seimu ryo mausoleum. It is said that the error was caused due to oral tradition. "Shoku Nihon Koki" (Later Chronicles of Japan Continued). After this incident, the Jingu ryo mausoleum and the Seimu ryo mausoleum became to be called 'Sasatatanamiike no e no misasagi' and 'Sakinotatanaminoikeshirino misasagi,' respectively, to differentiate them.

Major tumuli

The Gozashi-kofun tumulus: 276m, the present Jingu ryo mausoleum, located in the northern part and constructed in the latter half of the first half of the kofun period
The Horaisan tumulus: 227m, the present Emperor Suinin's mausoleum
The Sakimisasagiyam tumulus: 210m, the present Hibasuhime's mausoleum built in the latter half of the first half of the kofun period, at the top of the round part of which a platform is provided by piling flatly cut stones in the koguchi-zumi way (so that the smaller side of each stone was placed outside) to make an approx. 70-cm-high rectangular stone fence and by filling the inside with soil. According to the investigation conducted in February, 2009, it was confirmed that there were stones covering the slopes of the front part and the banks connecting the tumulus mound with the outer banks.. It is supposed that these stones covered an area of 15.7m in the east-west direction and 16.51m in the north-south direction.

The Sakiishizukayama tumulus: 220m, the present Seimu ryo mausoleum, constructed in the latter half of the first half of the kofun period.
The Uwanabe tumulus: 265m, located on the east side, constructed in the middle era of the kofun period
The Konabe tumulus: 24m, constructed in the middle era of the kofun period
The Hishiage tumulus: 218m, the present Iwanohime ryo mausoleum, constructed in the middle era of the kofun period
The Ichiniwa tumulus: 250m, the present Emperor Heizei ryo mausoleum, constructed in the middle era of the kofun perioThe top of the front part was scraped to be made flat.
The Shimeno tumulus: Scraped to be made flat
The Shiozuka tumulus
The Hyotanyama tumulus
The Nekozuka tumulus: Constructed facing the east
The Maezuka tumulus: Scraped to be made flat
The Saki Takatsuka tumulus: The present Shotoku ryo mausoleum, constructed on the west side facing the east
The Yamato Rokugofun tumulus