The largest bronze mirror and largest “dako” iron sword in Japan were discovered from a late-fourth century tomb mound in the western city of Nara.
The 2.3-meter sword with a meandering blade is also the largest iron sword made in that period in East Asia.
“(These discoveries) indicate that the technology of the Kofun period (300-710 AD) are beyond what had been imagined, and they are masterpieces in metalwork from that period,” said Kosaku Okabayashi, the deputy director for Nara Prefecture’s Archaeological Institute of Kashihara.
He called their discoveries a breakthrough in the research of the period, named for the “kofun” tomb mounds built for members of the ruling class.
The patterned surface of the mirror carries the designs of two more common “daryu” mirrors, distinctive with its designs based on imaginative creatures, which have been found mainly in western Japan.
The sword is the oldest of dako swords distinguished by their wavy, snake-like shapes, from which their name is derived.
The latest sword has markings of a sheath and handle, and together, its length measures 2.6 meters, more than dominating the last longest dako sword discovered at around 85 cm.
Scholars suggest that the sword was unlikely to have been used in combat. It had a ceremonial meaning. “Mirror and shields are considered tools to protect the dead from evil spirits,” the publication on the Arkeonews website clarifies. Perhaps the blade was specially enlarged to increase its strength.
Some netizens began to question the history of the sword. In their opinion, many legends from different parts of the world say that giants once lived in the world. It is quite possible that such a sword was used by them during the battles.
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