Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room
June 7, 2011 (Tue) - August 28, 2011 (Sun)
Measuring 130m in length, the Todaijiyama tumulus is a 4th century keyhole-shaped burial mound located in Nara prefecture’s Tenri city. A large number of burial accessories were unearthed in the round, burial section of the tomb during an excavation in 1961–2. These included weapons, defensive equipment, stone artifacts and beads. Most of these objects became national possessions in 1968-70 and were then designated Important Cultural Properties in 1982. In 2001 the objects were transferred to Tokyo National Museum, where they remain to this day. One particularly noteworthy object is a sword bearing the inscription of the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty’s Zhong Ping era (184–189). This is the oldest sword with an inscription to be found in Japan. A large number of bracelet-shaped stone artifacts have also attracted a lot of attention.
Tokyo National Museum and Tenri University Sankokan Museum carried out a joint research program into the Todaijiyama tumulus between 2007–2009. This Thematic Exhibition, held jointly by the two Museums, displays the results of this research. Most of the objects excavated at the tumulus are on display here, as are several valuable photographs and drawings from the time of the excavation and some other related relics. We hope this exhibition can help you to imagine what kind of person was buried in the Todaijiyama tumulus all those many years ago.