Navigating Through Kofun Imagery
An Analysis of the Boat Depictions Found in Decorated Tombs in Northern Kyūshū
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.