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.
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.
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.
Fifteen-minute walk from the scenic overlook
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).
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.
One-minute walk from Miyajidake Jinja Mae bus stop
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.