Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group –A Group of Tombs Dedicated to the Munakata Clan, Who Performed Rituals on Okinoshima

The Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group in Fukutsu City comprises the tombs of the Munakata clan, an ancient powerful family that led interactions with overseas countries. The Munakata clan also performed rituals on Okinoshima and nurtured the tradition of faith in in the sacred island. From the fifth to the sixth centuries, the Munakata clan constructed a group of mounded tombs on a plateau, which once overlooked a sea inlet.
 The plateau commands a view of the marine route toward Okinoshima.
 To date, 41 mounded tombs have been well preserved, including five keyhole-shaped tombs with round rear mounds, 35 round burial mounds, and one rectangular burial mound.
 Tomb No. 22 (a large keyhole-shaped tomb) and Tomb No. 1 (a medium-size keyhole-shaped tomb) were constructed during the fifth century, while Tombs Nos. 12, 24 and 30 (medium-size keyhole-shaped tombs) were created during the early to mid-sixth century; and Tombs No. 34–43 (small round burial mounds) were built during the latter half of the sixth century.
 Tomb No. 7, constructed in the fifth century on the tip of the terrace surrounded by the sea inlet, is a rectangular mound, which is rare in the Munakata region.
 The iron adze unearthed from this tomb has features common with those discovered on Okinoshima.
 Since the tombs have been well preserved, visitors can stroll among them, viewing round and rectangular mounds and surrounding moats.
Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group
Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group

Historic Sites

  • Hyakuto Itabi in Shimbaru

    Hyakuto Itabi(lit."One Hundred Stone Monuments") in Shimbaru
    Atop Tomb 21 stand more than a dozen stone monuments with engravings of Buddha images and Sanskrit inscriptions. According to legend, they were erected to console the spirits of warriors killed during the Mongol invasions (in 1274 and 1281). It is likely, however, that a Buddhist monk relocated various older tombstones to this site.
  • Katsuura Inoura Tomb and Katsuura Minenohata Tomb

    Ten-minute walk from Higashi bus stop

    Katsuura Inoura Tomb and Katsuura Minenohata Tomb
    These tombs of the Munakata clan were constructed during the fifth century. Katsuura Minenohata Tomb is a huge 100-meter-long keyhole-shaped tomb, from which a bronze mirror similar to those discovered at Okinoshima ritual sites was unearthed.
  • Nuidono Shrine

    Fifteen-minute walk from the scenic overlook
    Nuidono Shrine
    Nuidono Shrine is one of the 75 subordinate shrines affiliated with Munakata Taisha. According to legend, female weavers invited from China served Munakata Taisha during the reign of Emperor Ojin (r. 270–310, traditional).
  • Araji Exhibition Hall

    One-minute walk from Tsuyazaki Shogakko Mae bus stop

    Araji Exhibition Hall
    The site of this medieval "Chinatown" is preserved at Tsuyazaki Elementary School, since the site was excavated on school property. Reservations are necessary to visit the exhibition hall.
  • Miyajidake Shrine

    One-minute walk from Miyajidake Jinja Mae bus stop

    Miyajidake Shrine
    This shrine is well known for its sacred rope, bell, and drum, which are the largest in Japan. In its precincts, there is an ancient mounded tomb of round shape measuring 35 meters in diameter. The tomb has a 23-meter-long stone chamber, which is the second longest in Japan.

Guide map of the main island of Kyushu

*Bus routes are indicated in red.

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Contact Information

Fukutsu City Office for World Heritage Nomination

1-1 Chuo 1-chome, Fukutsu, Fukuoka 811‐3293

Tel+81 0940-43-8134

Fax+81 0940-43-3168

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