Megalithic Enigmas of Japan
The true meaning behind the architecture of megalithic stone structures remains unknown. Some of them unveiled their mysteries a little, but most of them still keep their secrets under wraps.
“Monuments and archaeological pieces serve as testimonies of man's greatness and establish a dialogue between civilizations showing the extent to which human beings are linked.” Vicente Fox
Megaliths, these prehistoric structures of large stone blocks, connected without the use of cement or lime mortar, can be found almost everywhere. Most scientists are sure - these are traces of the activity of a highly developed ancient civilization, although they have no scientifically proven evidence. There are numerous in Japan. Huge megaliths are located in the cozy town of Asuka, Kansai region, which is about 60 kilometers from the city of Kyoto.
According to a legend, when the ancient gods took out the fallen coral blade from the ocean, four drops fell down from it and formed the Japanese islands. Some believe that the traces of "divine drops" can still be seen today in the heart of the islands in the form of strange, hidden stones. However, they are not easy to find, even with the help of a map. Some of the megaliths are at great distances from one another, as if an invisible hand placed them as far as possible, in the mountains, forests and fields.
Masuda no Iwafune
One of the largest megaliths known today is Masuda no Iwafune. Needless to say, when you look at this mysterious object, there is not even a suggestion of its natural origin. The huge boulder reaches a height of more than 6 meters. The width of its base is at least 7 meters. The megalith narrows at the top to 3 meters and forms a fairly flat trapezoidal pyramid, outwardly similar to the famous pyramids of Teotihuacan. The top of the megalith is flat and has several precisely molded or cut niches. The megalith is made of granite, and to hollow out perfectly smooth niches manually with a chisel and a hammer is simply impossible.
Some historians believe that the rock was intended to be the entrance of a tomb, which was left unfinished.
Sakafune-ishi is one of the most enigmatic megaliths in Japan. The stone’s purpose is completely unknown, and its name “Wine-Ship-Stone” is also mysterious.
Local people say that in ancient times the stone served to make ... sake! The stone actually has rather characteristic flat ditches; however, it is not possible to determine their purpose yet. The puzzling pattern carved on the stone has been studied since the 17th century. There is also an opinion that it resembles Sefirot from Kabbalah. Sakafune-ishi is a flat granite block. Its length is about 5.5 meters, width - about 2.3 meters, thickness - about 1 meter. However, initially it was clearly bigger. There are traces of wedge cutting on the sides - someone had severed significant pieces from the monolith. So the initial dimensions and weight of Sakafune-ishi are a mystery. It is also unknown where the broken parts disappeared to.
The Tomb of Ishibutai is located in the historical park in Nara prefecture. This is the largest kofun (megalithic tomb or tumulus) in Japan. It dates back to the period of the 6th - 7th centuries, and its top has now been destroyed, revealing an inner stone hall. The stone hall was built of 30 stones, with a total weight of up to 2300 tons, while the weight of a stone ceiling alone is 77 tons.
The name "Ishibutai" comes from a ceiling that resembles a scene (butai). The legend says that during the full moon the fox turns into a beautiful woman and dances on this tomb. It is believed that this kofun is the tomb of Soga-no-Umako, a famous 7th century ruler in Japan.
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