Square Front, Square Back Tomb Mounds (前方後方墳)

Square front, square back tomb mounds refers to a form of tumuli. Especially, it is found in many early-stage tumuli in eastern Japan. It is supposed that a passage to a square funkyubo (grave mound built in Yayoi period) in Yayoi period changed into the protruding portion, then formed a square front, square back tomb Mound. It has been learned that many of the tumuli built in eastern Japan during the appearance period were square front, square back tomb mounds.

Summary

Mainly in the end of the late Yayoi period, square front, square back funkyubo, which were the prototype of square front, square back tomb mounds, began to be built. Many square front, square back tomb mounds were built in eastern Japan (the Chubu and Kanto regions) in the early part of the early Kofun period (tumulus period). While western Japan can be perceived as the world of keyhole-shaped mounds, eastern Japan as the world of square front, square back tomb mounds. However, five large-scale square front, square back tomb mounds that exceed 100 meters are concentrated in Yamato. As for the rest, two in Shimotsuke and one each in Kozuke, Etchu, Mino, and Suruga.

In an opinion, the political union centered on Yamatai-koku Kingdom, which had political power in the western Japan, was said to be stronger than that centered on Kuna-koku Kingdom in Nobi Plain having political power in eastern Japan. Some scholars also link the forces in the Nobi Plain with the Kina-koku Kingdom, which fought against the Yamatai-koku Kingdom ruled by Himiko, the queen of Wa-koku (that is, the oldest recorded name for Japan), described in Gishiwajinden (literally, an 'Account of the Wa' in "The History of the Wei Dynasty").

There are approximately 500 square front, square back tomb mounds in the Japanese Archipelago.

Square Front, Square Back Funkyubo in the Yayoi Period

The square front, square back funkyubo found in Nishi Jomen Remains in Bisai City, Aichi Prefecture, has a length of about 40 meters.

The Nobi Plain is believed to have played an important role in the formation of square front, square back tomb mounds out of the square front, square back funkyubo. Square graves with a projecting altar in a side became popular in the Tokai region in the early third century around the end of the Yayoi period. The SZ01 Funkyubo of the Hasama Remains in Aichi Prefecture is one example. It is considered the prototype. The tumulus shape spread from Kyoto Prefecture in the west to Chiba Prefecture in the east.

The Distribution, Scale, and so on

The investigation of the scale distribution of the square front, square back tomb mounds that are known to exist today shows that there are 34 tumuli whose burial mound is longer than 70 meters, 33 tumuli with a 60 to 70 meter-long, and 48 tumuli with a 50 to 60 meter-long. After this the number increases as the scale becomes smaller.
The number of square front, square back tomb mounds over 70 meter-long are listed by former provinces
One mounds: Izumo, Mimasaka, Harima, Settsu, Ise, Owari, Mikawa, Noto, and Hitachi. Two mounds: Mino, Suruga, Etchu, Kazusa, and Dewa. Three mounds: Yamashiro and Mutsu. Four mounds: Shimotsuke. Five mounds: Yamato. It can be said that large-scale square front, square back tomb mounds are concentrated in Yamato. Furthermore, five square front, square back tomb mounds over 100 meters are also concentrated in Yamato. In addition, Nishiyama-kofun Tumulus (180 meters, the early Kofun period) in Tenri City is the longest square front, square back tomb mound in Japan. There are also Hatagozuka-kofun Tumulus (144 meters, the early Kofun period), Shinyama-kofun Tumulus (137 meters), Shimoikeyama-kofun Tumulus (120 meters, the beginning of Kofun period), Fusagizuka-kofun Tumulus (110 meters), Mabaka-kofun Tumulus (74 meters, the very beginning of the Kofun period?), Nomugi-kofun Tumulus (63 meters, the very beginning of the Kofun period?), Hoshizuka-kofun Tumulus (56 meters), and so on in the same city. However, in the case of Nishiyama-kofun Tumulus that has the longest burial mound, a keyhole shape is placed on top of a square front, square back shape base. Hence, it has a very odd shape.

In Mino, Owari, Ise, and Mikawa in former provinces' name of Tokai region, where are centered on Nobi Plain, 36 square front, square back tomb mounds and 49 keyhole-shaped tomb mounds are found. As for the scale, square front, square back tomb with over 80 meters long mound are a few. The largest is the Konukayama-kofun Tumulus (in Mino) that has 100 meters. Kitayama-kofun Tumulus (in Mino) in 83 meters long, Higashinomiya-kofun Tumulus (in Owari) in approximately 80 meters long, Sakurai Futago-kofun Tumulus (in Mikawa) in 81 meters long, and Mukaiyama-kofun Tumulus (in Ise) in 71 meters long are relatively larger. Incidentally, 90-to-150 meter keyhole-shaped tomb mounds have been constructed around them. These suggest that a status system based on the scale and shape of the tumuli did not extend all over the area in the early Kofun period. The external facilities are covered with fukiishi (stones covering the surface of the burial mound) both in keyhole-shaped and square front, square back tomb mounds. However, few haniwa (burial mound figurines) are found in the square back tomb mounds.

In the Chugoku region, 32 square front, square back tomb mounds are found around Matsue area of Shimane Prefecture. This is considered to be the influence of the relationship that existed between this area and Goguryeo. Uetsuki Terayama-kofun Tumulus in Shoo Town, Katsuta County, Okayama Prefecture is the largest, having 91.5 meters. Regarding the distribution, there are few in Yamaguchi Prefecture. There are 21 mounds in Tottori Prefecture and northern region of Hyogo Prefecture. And there are 48 mounds in Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures and southern region of Hyogo Prefecture.

In the Shikoku region, there are 2 mounds in Tokushima Prefecture and 1 each in Ehime and Kagawa Prefectures. And in the Kushu region, there are sporadically 4 mounds in Nagasaki Prefecture and Tsushima and 5 mounds in Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Styles of the Forms of the Mounds

The plane surface of the front square portion is a rectangle, oblong, or trapezoid. And it is believed that festivals were held there.

The plane surface of the back square portion is a square, which has a burial section where a coffin was buried.

Major keyhole-shaped tomb mounds

Kyosenzuka-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 66.0 meters, Miyagi Prefecture)

Tenjinmori-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 73.5 meters, Yamagata Prefecture)

Motoyashiki No. 1 Kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 36.5 meters, Fukushima Prefecture)

Sakurai-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 75.0 meters, Fukushima Prefecture)

Kamegamori Chinjumori-kofun Tumuli (Fukushima Prefecture)

National Historic Site

Oyasuba-kofun Tumulus (Fukushima Prefecture)

National Historic Site

Chokushizuka-kofun Tumulus (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Maruyama-kofun tumulus (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Igosaku No.1 Kofun Tumulus (Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture)

Atagozuka-kofun Tumulus (Tochigi Prefecture)

Dainichizuka-kofun Tumulus (Tochigi Prefecture)

Komagata Otsuka-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 64.0 meters, Tochigi Prefecture)

Nasu Hachimanzuka-kofun Tumulus (Tochigi Prefecture)

Kami-Samuraizuka-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 114.0 meters, Tochigi Prefecture)

Shimo-Samuraizuka-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 84.0 meters, Tochigi Prefecture)

Maebashi Hachimanyama-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 130.0 meters, Gunma Prefecture)

Motoshimana Shogunzuka-kofun Tumulus (Gunma Prefecture)

Ozuka-kofun Tumulus (the burial mound length 58.0 meters, Toyama Prefecture)

Yanaida Nunoyama-kofun Tumulus (Toyama Prefecture)

Kawada Soyama-kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 53.6 meters, Ishikawa Prefecture)

Kokubu Amazuka-kofun Tumulus (Ishikawa Prefecture)

Amenomiya No.1 Kofun Tumulus (the length of the burial mound 61.0 meters, Ishikawa Prefecture)

Kobirasawa-kofun Tumulus (former Nakamichi Town, Higashiyatsushiro County, Yamanashi Prefecture)

Koboyama-kofun Tumulus (the burial mound length 63.0 meters, Nagano Prefecture)

Zobizan-kofun Tumulus Cluster No. 1 Kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Takakurayama-kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Kitayama-kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Minamiyama-kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Konukayama-kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Yamichi Takatsuka-kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Mino Kannonjiyama-kofun Tumulus (Gifu Prefecture)

Higashinomiya-kofun Tumulus (Aichi Prefecture)

Utsunomiya-kofun Tumulus (Aichi Prefecture)

Tsutsuno-kofun Tumulus (Mie Prefecture)

Mukaiyama-kofun Tumulus (Mie Prefecture)

Jingo Kamezuka-kofun Tumulus (Shiga Prefecture)

Shibagahara-kofun Tumulus (Kyoto Prefecture)

Chohoji Minamibara-kofun Tumulus (Kyoto Prefecture)

Otomezuka-kofun Tumulus (Hyogo Prefecture)

National Historic Site

Nishimotomezuka-kofun Tumulus (Hyogo Prefecture)

National Historic Site

Nishiyama-kofun Tumulus (Nara Prefecture)

National Historic Site

Shinyama-kofun Tumulus (Nara Prefecture)

Kinzaki-kofun Tumulus (Shimane Prefecture)

Okadayama-kofun Tumulus (Shimane Prefecture)

Misakiyama-kofun Tumulus (Shimane Prefecture)

Bizen Kurumazuka-kofun Tumulus (Okayama Prefecture)

Narahara Terayama-kofun Tumulus (Okayama Prefecture)

Sannari-kofun Tumulus (Okayama Prefecture)