March 13, 2023

短文チャレンジ #2 – 古墳

短文(たんぶん)チャレンジ – Ancient Kofun Tombs

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  • Read the story in either the EASY version or the native-level  NORMAL version or both (Click or tap the tabs to view the essay)
  • Read again while listening to the audio
  • Listen to the audio alone
  • Take the quiz to test sentence structure and understanding. The first few questions are based on the simplified article and the last are based on the native-level article.
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Kofun tombs (古 (old) 墳 (tomb; mound)) are ancient burial mounds that were constructed in Japan during the Kofun period (roughly 3rd to 7th century AD). These tombs are significant as they represent a period of great cultural, social, and economic development in Japan.

The Kofun period is also known for its Haniwa figures, which are clay figures that were placed around the tombs. These figures include representations of animals, people, and mythical creatures, and they provide insight into the religious and cultural beliefs of the period.

Today, many of the Kofun tombs are designated as national historic sites and are open to the public. They are important cultural landmarks that provide a glimpse into Japan's ancient past and the origins of its unique cultural identity.


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Easy Version Vocabulary

  • 古墳(こふん) Ancient burial mounds in Japan
  • 日本(にほん) Japan
  • (ふる)い Old
  • (はか) Grave
  • こと Thing
  • です Is (copula verb)
  • 古代(こだい) Ancient times
  • に In, at
  • (つく)られ Were made (passive verb form)
  • その That
  • (おお)きさ Size
  • や And, or
  • (かたち) Shape
  • まちまち Various
  • (なか)に Inside, among
  • (なが)さ Length
  • が Subject marker particle
  • 400メートル400 meters
  • にも Even
  • なる Become
  • もの Thing
  • あります Exists (polite form)
  • から From
  • 文化(ぶんか) Culture
  • 歴史(れきし) History
  • (かん)する Related to, about
  • (おお)くのMany
  • 情報(じょうほう) Information
  • ()られます Can be obtained (polite form)
  • 土器(どき) Earthenware
  • 短剣(たんけん) Short sword
  • など Etcetera, and so on
  • 遺物(いぶつ) Relic
  • (のこ)されている Have been left behind (passive verb form)
  • こと Thing
  • も Also
  • 日本(にほん)のJapan's
  • ()る Know
  • ために For the purpose of
  • とても Very
  • 重要(じゅうよう)な Important
  • 存在(そんざい) Existence
  • です Is (copula verb)

Normal Version Vocabulary

  • 古墳(こふん) ancient tomb
  • 日本(にほん) Japan
  • 古代(こだい) ancient times
  • (はか) grave/tomb
  • 3世紀(せいき) 3rd century
  • (ころ) around
  • 支配階級(しはいかいきゅう) ruling class
  • ()てられる to be built
  • (おお)きさ size
  • 形状(けいじょう) shape
  • 様々(さまざま)な various
  • 最大(さいだい) maximum
  • 400メートル400 meters
  • (たっ)する to reach
  • (なか)でも among them
  • 有名(ゆうめい)な na famous
  • 大阪(おおさか) Osaka
  • 仁徳天皇(にんとくてんのう) Emperor Nintoku
  • ()われる to be said
  • 大山古墳(だいせんこふん) Daisen Kofun
  • 文化遺産(ぶんかいさん) cultural heritage
  • 重要(じゅうよう)な important
  • 一部(いちぶ) part
  • 古代史(こだいし)  ancient history
  • (かん)する to be related to
  • 貴重(きちょう)な valuable
  • 情報(じょうほう) information
  • 提供(ていきょう)するto provide
  • (はか)発掘調査(はっくつちょうさ) tomb excavation
  • 土器(どき) pottery
  • 青銅器(せいどうき) bronze item
  • 宝飾品(ほうしょくひん) jewelry
  • 遺物(いぶつ) artifact
  • 発見(はっけん)されるto be discovered
  • 習慣(しゅうかん) custom/habit
  • 信仰(しんこう) belief/faith
  • ()る to know
  • 重要(じゅうよう)役割(やくわり) important role
  • ()たす to play a role
  • 国宝(こくほう) national treasure
  • 重要文化財(じゅうようぶんかざい) important cultural property
  • 指定(してい)されるto be designated
  • 一般(いっぱん)に generally
  • 公開(こうかい)される to be open to the public.

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