Above: Maruhakayama Kofun (Burial Mound) and Cherry trees
2.The Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds Course
Left: Maruhakayama Kofun
Left: Hachimanyama Kofun ( in Wakakodama Burial Mound Cluster)
Right: Inariyama Kofun
(1) Outline of Kofun gun (Burial Mound Cluster)
There are 9 Kofuns designated at national historic site. This site is 500 meters (550yd) wide between the east and the west, 800 meters(880yd) long between the north and the south(about 55 acres).
It’s very unusual burial mounds cluster, for Kofuns locate concentrically at limited area.
Inariyama Kofun located at the north was built first in late 5th century.
These Kofuns were built in during about 150 years.
(2) The features of Kofun gun
-1 There are eight key-hole shaped Kofuns with about 100 meters(110yd) length and one circular Kofun. The key-hole shaped Kofuns were placed to face the direction between the north and the south.
-2 The key-hole shaped Kofuns have double square moats. (Teppoyama Kofun has triple moats)
-3 Key-hole shaped Kofuns have Tsukuridashi in the west side, there special ceremony might be performed.
-4 It is supposed that Kofun was built for the dead who might have had a power to manage the logistics on Arakawa and Tonegawa Rivers.
-5 In time frame that building huge Key-hole shaped Kofun would finish in central area in Japan(Kinki area), they started building big Kofun in Sakitama area.
-6 This Kofun gun locates on narrow, long and low tableland.
(3) The Sakitama Fire Festival (This paragraph is quoted from “The origin of Gyoda Sakitama Fire Festival” by Mr. Toshiharu Minami)
It is told that the origin of traditional Sakitama Fire Festival came from and based on an anecdote of the great god and his wife, which is a kind of tragedy. It is one of the stories compiled in the book of Kojiki (Japan’s oldest historical and legendary stories) and it has been enshrined in importance by Sakitama shrine. Current Saitama prefecture was named after this venerable region of Sakitama, which handed down over the generations up to the present days. Especially the magnificent ancient parades are the symbolic scene in the story of the god that is taken place as a divine service of the shrine. It has also become a main event of the festival that is operated and performed by the local people of Gyoda city, who show up amazingly in the costume of the era.
Left: The great God(Ninigi no Mikoto) and his wife(Konohana sakuyahime)
The Sakitama Fire Festival is scheduled at Sakitama Burial Mounds in May 4, in every year.