, literally "Ear Mound", often translated as "Ear Tomb"), an alteration of the original Hanazuka
, literally "Nose Mound")
is a monument in Kyoto
, dedicated to the sliced noses of killed Korean soldiers and civilians
as well as Ming Chinese troops
taken as war trophies
during the Japanese invasions of Korea
from 1592 to 1598. The monument enshrines the severed noses of at least 38,000 Koreans killed during Toyotomi Hideyoshi
The shrine is located just to the west of Toyokuni Shrine
, the Shinto shrine honoring Hideyoshi in Kyoto.
Traditionally, Japanese warriors
would bring back the heads of enemies slain on the battlefield as proof of their deeds, however, the process of nose collection
in lieu of heads became the feature of the second Korean invasion.. 195 
Remuneration was paid to soldiers by their daimyo commanders based on the severed heads upon submission to collection stations, where inspectors meticulously counted, recorded, salted and packed the noses bound for Japan.
However, because of the number of civilians killed along with soldiers, and crowded conditions on the ships that transported troops, it was far easier to just bring back noses instead of whole heads.
Japanese chroniclers on the second invading campaign do not fail to mention that the noses hacked off the faces of the massacred were also of ordinary civilians
mostly in the provinces Gyeongsang
, and Chungcheong
. In the second invasion Hideyoshi's
orders were thus:
||Mow down everyone universally, without discriminating between young and old, men and women, clergy and the laity—high ranking soldiers on the battlefield, that goes without saying, but also the hill folk, down to the poorest and meanest—and send the heads to Japan.
One hundred and sixty-thousand Japanese troops had gone to Korea where they had taken 185,738 Korean heads and 29,014 Chinese ones, a grand total of 214,752.. 230
As some might have been discarded, it is improbable to enumerate how many were killed in total during the war.
The Mimizuka was dedicated September 28, 1597.
Though the exact reasons as to its construction are not entirely known, scholars contend that during the second Japanese invasion of Korea in 1597, Toyotomi Hideyoshi
demanded his commanders show receipts of their martial valor in the destruction, dispatching congratulatory letters to his high-ranking warriors in the field as evidence of their service. Hideyoshi then ordered the relics entombed in a shrine on the grounds of Hokoji Temple, and set Buddhist priests to work praying for the repose of the souls of the hundreds of thousands of Koreans from whose bodies they had come; an act that chief priest Saisho Jotai in a fit of toadyism would hail as a sign of Hideyoshi's "great mercy and compassion."
The shrine initially was known as hanazuka
), Mound of Noses, but several decades later this would come to be regarded as too cruel-sounding a name, and would be changed to the more euphonious but inaccurate mimizuka
), Mound of Ears, the misnomer by which it is known to this day.
Other nose mounds dating from the same period are found elsewhere in Japan, such as Okayama
; see nose tomb