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Mysterious “giant sword” 2.3 m long in ancient Japanese tomb: The lid of the wooden coffin has not been opened yet

According to Ashahi, the unusually shaped mirror and sword over 2 meters long were discovered at the ancient mound named Tomiomaruyama, also the largest circular kofun tomb in Japan, built in the second half of the fourth century.

The Kofun period is a period of Japanese history with typical burial customs, so the term is also used to refer to these ancient mound-shaped tombs.

The “sword of the giant” was found in an ancient tomb mound as great as it – Photo: Kashihara Archaeological Institute

“I wonder about the condition of the person buried with the objects, because this person was buried with a very unusual sword and mirror. People also expect a lot from studying the contents of the coffin,” said Seigo Wada, director of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Archeology, who advised the excavation.

According to Heritage Daily, the sword is a Japanese “dakoken” sword, but is unusually long – up to 2.3 m, as a weapon made for giants. The shield-shaped bronze mirror was buried right next to it in a layer of clay that covered the 5-meter-long wooden coffin.

The mirror has a height of 64 cm, a width of 31 cm, has strange patterns and is also different from the mirrors used as burial items in Japan. Other mirrors are usually round, this one is shaped like a shield. This is also the largest of the ancient bronze mirrors ever unearthed in Japan.

The giant bronze mirror in the grave – Photo: Kashihara Archaeological Institute

The entire ancient mound has a diameter of up to 86 m, up to 10 m high, showing that the person lying in it is an important figure. In addition to the above two strange treasures, there are many other burial items in the tomb, including bronze objects, mirrors decorated with gods and animals, daily utensils and farming tools.

The researchers suggest that the bronze sword and mirror were not intended for use by the buried person, but were created for ceremonial purposes, as apparently only a legendary giant could lift the great sword. so.

The dakoken swords are also associated with ancient snake worship – represented by the curved blade resembling a snake. In this case, it and the mirror may appear to ward off evil spirits.

The wooden coffin has yet to be opened, but scientists are fairly confident that the contents are still intact because there is no evidence of grave theft.


The team of scientists led by the Nara City Burial Cultural Heritage Research Center – where the tomb was unearthed – and the Kashihara Archaeological Institute of Nara Prefecture – which assisted in the excavations – are continuing to investigate the remains. details about this huge tomb, including the identity of the mysterious owner