Longest sword in Japan found in 4th c. burial mound

The longest sword in Japan and a large bronze mirror that is also unprecedented in the Japanese archaeological record have been unearthed at the Tomio Maruyama burial mound in Nara. The burial mound (known as a kofun) and artifacts date to the second half of the 4th century.

The sword is 2.37 meters (7’9″) long and 6 cm (2.34 inches) wide, more than twice as long as the previous record-holder that was found in a late 5th century burial mound in Hiroshima. It is the longest iron sword ever found in East Asia. The sword is a serpentine shape. Only 85 serpentine swords have been unearthed in Japan, and this is the oldest of them. It was hammered and bent in six places to create the characteristic wavy effect. Traces of organic remains from the sheath and grip wrapping were found on the pommel, hilt and scabbard. Its extraordinary dimensions and shape are a testament to the advanced ironworking techniques of the Kofun Period (ca. 250-538 A.D.).

The bronze mirror is shaped like a shield, a form never before seen in a kofun, and it too is oversized by a lot. It is 64 cm (two feet) long and 31 cm (one foot) wide, making it the largest mirror of the period ever discovered. Its decoration is also unique. The back of the mirror is engraved with stylized dragons and geometric designs. A round projection in the center that looks like a shield boss is called a “chu” and it’s actually a handle. The reflective surface of the mirror is still smooth and polished.

The Tomio Maruyama Kofun is the largest circular burial mound in Japan. It is 109 meters (358 feet) in diameter. The site was looted in the Meiji era (1868-1912) and lost its top as well as some of the artifacts it contained. Municipal archaeologists have been studying the mound since 2018, first mapping it with aerial laser scans, then following up with excavation surveys which clarified the structure and dimensions of the mound.

Last fall was the fifth excavation season which focused on the Tsukuridashi area, a squared outcropping on the northeast side of the mound. Archaeologists found a grave pit that had been dug into a gravel layer before the completion of the burial mound. The grave pit contained a split coffin made of koyamaki (umbrella pine) wood five meters (16.4′) long. It was covered with clay.

The mirror was placed diagonally against the clay cover with the reflective surface facing outward. The sword was buried flat parallel to the clay cover.

Mirror and shields are considered to be tools to protect the dead from evil spirits. The sword is thought to have been enlarged to increase its power, and the possibility of its use as a battle tool is low, [city archaeologists] said.

The Tomio Maruyama burial mound, the largest in Japan at 109 m in diameter and dating back to the late 4th century, is thought to have belonged to a powerful individual supporting the Yamato rulers of the time.

The burial chamber where the discoveries were made is thought to have belonged to someone close to that person, according to Naohiro Toyoshima, an archaeology professor at Nara University. He also said that the ritualistic sword and the shield-shaped mirror may indicate that the individual was involved in military and ritualistic matters.

44 thoughts on “Longest sword in Japan found in 4th c. burial mound

  1. I do not like the new format! The old one was lovely and fun to open this
    is like doing homework and not inspiring in any way. Thanks for the
    articles but not the art. Sandra Natale, Ecuador

  2. One thing that I do like about the new format is that the comments directly follow the article rather than the reader having to go to a different page. It makes reading smoother.

    I do agree with a prior poster that the column of links to prior months and years on the right could be compressed horizontally/moved to the right and the text area expanded.

    Keep up the good work and use the format that works best for you. We readers will adapt. We always have and always will. The content is what we come for, the format is of minor importance.

    1. Try googling mythological creatures… Meaning things of myth and not real… Turn off supernatural and try living in the real world.

      1. Anyone who who believes the nephilim walked tried to disprove them first. Try it 🙂 you could even start with Tartaria.

        1. Well some normal people have been known to be 8 feet tall. So I take into consideration that they would be bullied as soon as they reach 7 feet tall. Scaring people that idolize these genetically modified humans (nephilim). Most giant people have disorders that effect their heart lungs joints eta. But the nephilim seemed to be healthy and unstoppable till Daniel found they could be killed easiest by long range attacks like stones. Most likely these giant swards and bones are of a giant soldier that was sold to the army. He must have been offended by his peers and diddnt enjoy living as a giant.

      2. Real world before us had Giants! Look up the 1900s video of Japanese Giant parade! The guy could of held that sword!

    2. I agree. Never mind the other trolls comment.
      So much evidence of gaints and mounds or pyramids in the same geographical area. Now evidence of a 7 ft. sword opens my mind up to all kinds of theories. I believe that sword predates the biblical flood. They only mention the organic material on the sheath dates to the 5th century. The sword could or most likely be a lot older. Also, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence….what was previously looted from the mound? What could be even deeper in the mound?

      1. More like Ogers and demons. There are no records in any writings depicting Jewdao mythological creatures in Japan. Quite the contrary Christianity was illegal in Japan for a long while.

    3. Thank you. For such “educated” people they dance around common sense so well. A mirror? Lmbo. It’s clearly a sword and shield that was used by a very HUGE person smh.

    4. I can’t wait til they actually LOOK in that coffin. This is going to restart a lot of interest in “giants” and all. I have no opinion formally, but it’s a fascinating concept that has captured a lot of attention over the last 200yrs. I’ve lived where the locals STILL think “they’re down there”.

  3. Yes definitely used by the offspring of the fallen angels (watchers) known as the nephilim or giants. The Smithsonian has been collecting and destroying these skeletons and artifacts that have been found with them for decades. Here is one they didn’t get to. The earths history is only what they allow us to see and only what they tell us. The truth is far more magical, amazing, mysterious, and absolutely mind-blowing than we could ever have imagined. Anyone who starts asking questions or starts to make waves or threatens their fabricated scenario of how us and the world and everything in it got to where we and it is today is silenced or funding cut. It’s a crime against humanity.

    1. Agreed Robert. The truth, is absolutely paradigm shattering. The Smithsonian and institutions like it, govern behaviour and expectations of individuals in society. The truth lies outside their model of history and is therefore excluded, as well as destroyed. Institutions fund researchers to parrot back their narrative and society is sold a cookie cutter version of the past. It’s his-story, we are told by institutions, not the truth. Power to the people.

      1. Assuming that you are correct about the existence of giants, one would have to assume that suppression of evidence of this nature could only be control. In this scenario the suppression would be occuring to further the interest of the oligarchy. The ones that are satisfied with the way the world functions. The ones that don’t want a thinking working class. The fear would be that proof of such might wake the peasants. Proof that what the teachers taught us is bullshit might lead some to start questioning the rules that have been hammered into their brains for a lifetime. Those that wake up may really begin “what else have they lied to us about?” They might begin to think “at one time this world was different, at one time maybe life didn’t consist of work, work, work and buy, buy, buy.” The biggest threat to the puppet masters is knowledge.
        Don’t concern yourself with the antagonizers. Remember, in 2017 the US govt released videos of US military planes engaging with UFO’s. Mention to most people that you believe in UFO’s and they will look at you as if you’re nuts.

  4. Amazing find! To some of the other commenters, if you actually think the nephilim existed then you shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce. Idiocy is rampant enough don’t spread it to your offspring

    1. People are allowed to have an opinion that differs from the standard. This is not a threat.
      The threat is when popular opinion mandates that those who disagree with the majority are to be silenced and punished.
      People often come to interesting conclusions based on what research they have done. Some just like to be sensational. But ask yourself….why do you have your opinions? If you saw what you were convinced was proof of something you were told “couldn’t ” exist what would you do?
      My point is don’t be so hard on people until you have an open conversation with them. I agree some people are quite nuts but some people actually have compelling arguments. Dismissing them before considering them is unjust.
      This is not meant to be an attack so please don’t take offense.
      That is far from my intention.
      Thank you

      1. Yeah we aren’t destroying you were calling you an idiot. You’re the equivalent of a non evolutionist, your misinformation is dangerous because it’s delusion. You are spreading your mental illness to the other simple folk.

      2. Well thought and said. The abilty to not only comprehend but also apply might be a challenge to some. Not that they aren’t capable, but some are not willing to allow a thought or idea that conflicts with a fragile and delicate universe their mind is held hostage to by their religion.
        It’s a freikin’ coin toss.

    2. Uh, a nephilim is someone who is “self-actualized” basically a man who ascended and not a fallen angel or half angel, although you could say “half man-half wheel” in terms of saying they embody something like a tool that was a gift from “the gods” but to say they are less than a man or half-man is deceptive.

    3. The Nephilim (/ˈnɛfɪˌlɪm/; Hebrew: נְפִילִים Nəfīlīm) are mysterious beings or people in the Hebrew Bible who are large and strong.[1] The word Nephilim is loosely translated as giants in some translations of the Hebrew Bible, but left untranslated in others. Some Jewish explanations interpret them as hybrid sons of fallen angels (demigods).
      The main reference to them is in Genesis 6:1–4, but the passage is ambiguous and the identity of the Nephilim is disputed.[1][2] According to the Book of Numbers 13:33, they later inhabited Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest of Canaan.

      A similar or identical biblical Hebrew term, read as “Nephilim” by some scholars, or as the word “fallen” by others, appears in the Book of Ezekiel 32:27 and is also mentioned in the deuterocanonicals Judith 16:6, Sirach 16:7, Baruch 3:26–28, and Wisdom 14:6.[3][4]

    1. Most likely it was meant as a ceremonial piece, or an embellishment to the person. That they were “a giant among men” to those who buried them, and so were given weapons that matched that image.
      Either that or it was a commissioned blade to show off.

  5. The only question is Who would have wheeled such a long sword? A sword that long would be difficult to control for a typical size man, especially back then

    1. Our military carries ceremonial swords to this day in parades. It was meant to symbolize strength. That’s all. Not a sword built for giants or trolls. It symbolizes great strength. The only debate of its intention exists on this thread and in the minds of those like me. Perhaps Medusa-ito is buried there. Bigfoot-san would be easier ambushed if distracted by its reflection. No folks. It’s a symbol. Kind like buried with a cross around your neck to ward off evil.

      1. Lol right? Has no one here seen Japans penis celebration parades? The largest phallic symbology in modern times!

      2. Now that is the meaning read and understand came not read and imagine thing…yes you right its just for ceremony thing

  6. Click bait title is not even remotely true. There are multiple Japanese swords on record that are far larger, one at 12 feet long and the biggest ever found at around 15 feet. This is easily accessible information, shame on whoever wrote this headline and article

  7. That’s my shield! It has my name on it. I’m not sure how we should deal with this situation, honestly, perhaps it shouldn’t have been dug up, but the forging techniques and lettering is surely mine. If it’s not me who wielded it and I think I might have been, I at least made it.

  8. Obviously an offering to an ancient ruler/god basically in Japanese spiritualism~ and possibly a Norseman or Viking that made it to the island that many centuries ago- just like Wisconsin makes the largest cheese pizza in the world, maybe the best sword makers and armorers decided to just go big? Maybe it was to instill fear in opposing armies- who knows? Still need any type of proof of actual giants or Nephalim- Occums razor people- it’s just a freakin awesome find that definitely needs studying!

    1. Agreed. Until they find truly gigantic (at least 10 or 12 feet tall) human remains buried close by, this to me is nothing but an oversized replica of some sort, merely designed by artists of the time to commemorate the achievements of some glorified warrior, or someone that held a lot of power. If we were to assume that every oversized artifact found belonged to giants, then it would also be valid for people living say in the 50th century to assume that tiny 2-inch people live among us in present times if they happen to find a tiny toy replica of a real sized car, or of a train, or even of a house. We all know there are no tiny 2″ humans out there… but in 30 or 40 thousand years, especially if the world is very different from what it is today – which likely will be – people could interpret said undersized toy items or collector replicas for artifacts belonging to tiny people that could fit in the palm of your hand.

    1. That’s one silly comment. I don’t see what’s so different about him that ticks you off. It’s just an older Asian man standing there no different from the others.

  9. When did people bashing become a part of scientific debate? And how long exactly is that two-handed Scottish sword?

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