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 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 22 and Tomb 1 were constructed during the fifth century, while Tombs 12, 24 and 30 were created during the early to mid-sixth century; and Tombs 34–43 were built during the latter half of the sixth century.
Tomb 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.
JR Fukuma Station
Bus 25 minutes
15 mintues on foot
Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group
JR Fukuma Station (Miyaji-guchi)
Bus 24 minutes (Fukutsu minibus)
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.
One-minute walk from Tsuyazaki Shogakko Mae bus stop
Araji Exhibition Hall
The site of this medieval foreign settlement 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.
Camellia Stage Historical Museum
In addition to the Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group, artifacts associated with the ancient Munakata clan that have been excavated from the tombs in Fukutsu City are also on display.