Learning from Machikaneyama

待兼山に学ぶ(Learning from Machikaneyama)

Machikaneyama is home to Osaka University’s Toyonaka Campus. The Museum introduces research that is rooted in the region and elucidates its changes, such as research on ancient organisms, geological transitions, and the living habits of organisms that currently inhabit Machikaneyama’s rich natural environment.

Toyotamaphimeia machikanensis

The fossil of Toyotamaphimeia machikanensis, which was discovered in 1964, is a highly valuable academic specimen with respect to Japan’s history in the paleontological study of vertebrates.


Furthermore, it is an essential type specimen for research that aims to elucidate the evolution of alligators and crocodiles, and has gathered attention from all over the world. This fossil was certified as a national important cultural property in October 6th of 2014, and became a national Registered Monument.

The Machikaneyama No. 5 Kofun

The Machikaneyama No. 5 Kofun is a mounded tomb (kofun) that was discovered approximately 100 m south of the Museum of Osaka University. The existence of this No. 5 Kofun first came to light in 1998, during an excavation investigation. In 2005, a more formal excavation investigation was conducted preceding the general campus improvements. As a result of this investigation, it was discovered that the tomb in question was a circular mounded tomb constructed in the late 5th century, with a diameter of 15 m. Unfortunately, the mounded tomb’s mounded soil and the facilities where the dead were buried were lost to time, but many cylindrical haniwa (clay figures) and representational haniwa (houses, horses, horse trainers, lids, etc.), as well as Sue ware and Haji ware were found from the ditch surrounding the mounded tomb. This mounded tomb is currently preserved underground, below the bicycle parking lot.

Buried Cultural Property Restoration and Analysis Workroom: Researching the Nonaka Kofun

In 1964, the Laboratory for Domestic History in Osaka University School of Letters (the predecessor of the current Japanese History and Archeology Laboratories) conducted the excavation investigation of the Nonaka Kofun. The Nonaka Kofun, located in Osaka prefecture’s Fujiidera City, is a 5th-century mounded tomb. It is situated nearly at the center of the Furuichi Kofun Group within the Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group, which was inscribed on the provisional list of UNESCO World Heritages in 2010. As a result of the investigation, a large number of burial goods such as armor and swords, stone ritual implements, stoneware, and haniwa were discovered. These are representative materials for researching 5th-century mounded tombs, and in 2014, an exhibition called “The Nonaka Kofun and the Age of the Five Kings of Wa” was held. In 2015, the excavated items from the Nonaka Kofun in Osaka University’s possession were designated as a national important cultural property.