The Story ofMichinoku Gold

Mt. Tatsugane Sutra Mounds

LocationKesennuma / Minamisanriku


ContentsJapan Heritage

This is a group of eleven sutra mounds at the summit of Mount Tatsugane, in the center of the mountain’s three temple sites (Seisui-ji, Jakko-ji, and Kinpu-ji), which the Oshu-Fujiwara clan used as a location for offering prayers to gods and the Buddha. In the late Heian period, there was widespread belief the world had entered the time of  mappo, a spiritual dark age. In order to leave scriptures for future generations, they placed some in gilt-bronze vessels and buried them to make mounds. The mounds were in the perfect location to look over all the early-modern era gold mines illustrated on the map of Kesen and Motoyoshi, the Oshu-Fujiwara clan’s gold-production centers in the Sanriku region. The Mount Tatsugane sutra mounds are an important site; they convey the strength of the influence that the Oshu-Fujiwara clan, in undertaking the construction of their earthly paradise, exerted over the gold-producing areas of the Sanriku region.

Cultural assets status / Classification

National Historic Site

Related Story



Trip Finder

Home Trip Finder Mt. Tatsugane Sutra Mounds