The Ancient Burial Mounds of Japan


Book Details

Author  Romyn Hitchcock
Publisher  Forgotten Books
Publication Date   June 20, 2012
Pages  86

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By ROMYN HiTC nCOCK. It would appear that when the famous Jimmu Tenno, the divinely descended first Emperor of Japan, the child of the sun and the ancestor of the present reigning dynasty, began his journey through the land, hemet with two kinds of inhabitants. There was a race ofT suchi Gumo, described as people with tails, who lived in underground burrows or caves. I have elsewhere endeavored to show that there probably was, in fact, a race of pit dwellers who disappeared toward tbe North, leaving traces of their existence in the pits of Yezo. In addition to these, there was a race of hairy savages which we have no difficulty in identifying as the A inos,t who are known to have formerly lived in southern Japan. I have only alluded to these two peoples in order to remove any possible question which might arise as to the Japanese origin of the tombs of which I am to speak. Although many of them are very ancient, they are certainly Japanese. This we know partly from tradition, but more certainly from the articles interred with the dead. I liid they a preJ apanese origin, we would expect to find within them vessels of pottery of a more ancient pattern, such as the predecessors of the Japanese left behind them in the shell mounds. One of the earliest modes of burial in Jai)an was in artificial caves, hewn out of the solid rock on hillsides. It has been said that the early Japanese lived in caves. This is very doubtful, for although there are natural caves in certain parts of the country, they are not found where the history of the people begins, in I dzumo andY amato. Nevertheless, the idea of cave life was familiar to the Japanese, for the legend of theS un goddess who entered a cave and closed the entrance with a stone, leaving heaven and earth in darkness, is a very early and important myth.J It is also said, that in the reign of Jimmu lT heP itD weU ers of
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

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