Tomio Maruyama 

Tomio Maruyama

In the burial mound of Tomio Maruyama from the second half of the 4th century, the largest iron sword ever found and the largest bronze mirror were discovered – objects unprecedented in Japanese archeology. Archaeologists speak of finds of national importance.

The sword is 2.37 meters long and 6 centimeters wide and has a snake-like shape. It has been bent in six places to create the signature wavy effect. The extraordinary size and shape testify to advanced ironworking techniques from the Kofun period (c. 300-710 AD). Traces of organic remains were found on the head, hilt and scabbard. The sword is twice as long as the longest sword found in a late 5th century burial mound in Hiroshima. It is also the longest iron sword ever found in East Asia.

Only 85 serpentine swords have been discovered in Japan so far, and this is the oldest.

The bronze mirror is in the shape of a shield, and no such mirror from the Kofun period has ever been found. It is also very oversized at 64 cm long and 31 cm wide.

Its decoration is also unique. The back of the mirror is decorated with engravings of stylized dragons and geometric patterns. The reflective surface of the mirror is still smooth and shiny.

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