The mountain where Kitora Tumulus is located was called “Kitora” by local residents, but there are various theories regarding the origin of that name.
One theory holds the tomb was called “Ki-tora” because murals with a tortoise (ki) and tiger (tora) were visible through the looter’s hole.
Another theory is that Kitora derives from “Kita-ura,” the place name of an area on the south side of the tomb, which over time became corrupted to Kitora.
Still another theory associates the name Kitora with the tomb’s location northwest of the Abeyama hamlet in Asuka village. Of the four directional deities, it is a tortoise (ki) which governs the north while a tiger (tora) governs the west, so the name may be a combination of the two.