Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 59 | 2023 > Navigating Through Kofun Imagery

Navigating Through Kofun Imagery

An Analysis of the Boat Depictions Found in Decorated Tombs in Northern Kyūshū

Claudia Zancan    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The sōshoku kofun 装飾古墳 (decorated tombs) is a phenomenon of protohistoric art that developed during the Late Kofun Period (475‑710 CE) from Northern Kyūshū. This paper will discuss the data personally gathered from the iconographic and iconological analysis of the subject of the boat in seventeen sōshoku kofun in Northern Kyūshū, i.e. the present‑day prefectures of Fukuoka, Saga, and Nagasaki. The aim of this research is to understand how the subject of the boat developed artistically in this particular phenomenon of protohistoric art, why the boat was reproduced in a funerary context, and what information on the behind culture can be obtained by analysing the style, the iconography, and the links the subject of the boat has with both local and mainland symbolism.

Aug. 29, 2023
April 27, 2023
Jan. 17, 2023

Keywords: Kofun PeriodDecorated tombsBoat symbolismJapanese archaeologyProtohistoric art

Copyright: © 2023 Claudia Zancan. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.