bout Nonaka Kofun

Who was buried in Nonaka Kofun?

A wealth of funerary accessories, such as weapons and armor, tools, farming implements, stone objects, and pottery from the Korean Peninsula, help us to infer who was buried in Nonaka Kofun. At present, there are three compelling theories.

The first theory asserts that no one was buried there in the first place, as the arrangement of the grave goods leaves little room for the interment of a human body. Given this perspective, one may conclude that the person might have been buried in Hakayama Kofun, a colossal zenpō-kōen-fun (keyhole-shaped tomb) nearby.

The second theory claims that it was a person in command of a military organization. Following this theory, it would appear that the tomb owner was responsible for storing armor and distributing it to local leaders. The rationale behind this is the fact that the person clearly possessed a large quantity of armaments and as many as 11 sets of armor.

The third theory also suggests that it was the leader of a military organization, but more specifically of the bodyguards assigned to a key figure of the administration. It can be assumed that, when the leader was buried, other members of the group offered their own weapons and armor to be buried with the body.
While various conjectures exist as to what kind of person was buried in Nonaka Kofun, the tomb is nevertheless emblematic of 5th-century Japan, when armor-clad warriors held sway.