Japan Photo Tour - Kofun Mounds
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019
By Japan Dreamscapes
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Kofun Mounds symbolize a confluence of Japanese culture and history.  There are over 100,000 mounds distributed across the islands of Japan, however, due to the selective media coverage, most Japan Tour visitors think that there are only mounds in the famous cities of Japan such as Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara, cities famous for being repositories of Japan’s cultural heritage, but the distribution of the mounds is far more vast.  There is also the misconception that Kofun Mounds are exclusively Imperial or High Ranking Japanese Burial Sites.  Although several of the mounds are used for this purpose, others serve as markers for sacred sites and their specific purposes are lost to history.  


The Kofun Mound design showcases Japan’s famous ingenuity.  Before being introduced into Japan, three main types of Kofun Mounds existed, the two conjoined rectangle type ‘zenpō-kōhō-fun’, the square type ‘hōfun’, and the circular type ‘empun’, but after becoming a Japanese burial practice, a keyhole formation known as the ‘zenpō-kōen fun’, which is particular only to the Japan, was created.  The burial mounds clearly exhibit the influence of other Asian nations such as Korea and China.  


Some scholars also insist that the people and cultural practices of Mesopotamia had some cultural impact on their use and erection.  Mesopotamia, most of what constitutes present day Iraq and Kuwait as the cradle of civilization for its early development of city-states and empires that sought to conquer the globe.  Setting the pace for humanity’s development in this respect also meant exercising some control of practices for entombment of the deceased.  Our resident history and ancient civilization expert firmly believes that the manifestation of kofun mounds can be traced in a straight line from Mesopotamian routes, and he has transformed his interest in kofun mounds into photographic gold.  Many places off the beaten path have kofun mounds to be discovered, sometimes they are hidden in plain sight, so you can count on your Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) Photo Tour Leader to illuminate the paths leading to the kofun mounds.


Another remarkable element is the overall lack of distinct markings directing photographers and explorers to where they can be found.  Local residents are well aware of their locations, as the locations are party of regional folklore and oral tradition, but a visitor could easily become lost even with directions.  This is where your Japan Dreamscapes tour leader becomes essential.  With years of experience and a thorough knowledge of locations all over Japan, you will be able to easily find your Kofun Mound photo tour treasure while immortalizing your find with photos of a lifetime.

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