Takamatsuzuka burial mound

Nara, Kansai

Richly-Colored Murals that Came Into the Spotlight
A Burial Mound Built During the End of the Kofun Period between the years 694 and 710

There are many burial mounds in the Asuka Historical National Government Park and the surrounding areas. Takamatsu Burial Mound is one of them. The colored murals that were discovered in 1972 are particularly famous and they have been introduced in Japanese history textbooks and used as a motif for commemorative stamps. The tumulus itself is a special historic site and the four-colored murals are national treasures. Many of other excavated articles are designated as important cultural properties.

The burial facility, situated in the center of the mound, is a tuffaceous stone chamber containing a sarcophagus with an opening facing south. Its internal measurements are 265.5 cm long, 103.5 cm wide, and 113.4 cm high. The walls, ceiling and floor inside the stone chamber are coated with plaster, and murals are painted on the east, west and north walls, as well as the ceiling. In front of the stone chamber, there is a 3-m wide passage along the central axis of the burial mound and stretches to the outside. At 5 m south from where the stone wall and door stone are, there is a square-hewn stone used as an object for praying, which, when discovered, inspired the excavation project.

The discovery of the murals in March 1972 immensely influenced various academic fields including archaeology, ancient history and art history. In addition, due to the considerable social interest, facilities for mural preservation were constructed using all available resources of preservation sciences. Although real murals are not available for public viewing, replicas of the murals are displayed in the Takarazuka Mural Hall next to the burial mound. The murals are worth viewing if you are interested in history or art.


Hirata, Asuka-mura, Takaichi-gun, Nara
0744-54-3340 (Takarazuka Mural Hall)
9:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30)
Admission Fee
Free (Burial Mound), 250 yen (Mural Hall)
December 29-January 3 (Mural Hall is open all year around)

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