Wikipedia contributors. Kofun period [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2007 Aug 19, 01:29 UTC [cited 2007 Aug 21]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kofun_period&oldid=152153075.
Generally, the Kofun period is divided from the Asuka period for its cultural differences. The Kofun period is illustrated by an animistic culture which existed prior to the introduction of Buddhism. Politically, the establishment of the Yamato court, and its expansion as allied states from Kyūshū to the Kantō are key factors in defining the period. Also, the Kofun period is the oldest era of recorded history in Japan. However, as the chronology of the historical sources are very much distorted, studies of this age require deliberate criticism and the aid of archaeology.
The archaeological record, and ancient Chinese sources, indicate that the various tribes and chiefdoms of Japan did not begin to coalesce into states until 300, when large tombs began to appear while there were no contacts between western Japan and China. Some describe the "mysterious century" as a time of internecine warfare as various chiefdoms competed for hegemony on Kyūshū and Honshū.