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The World of Animal Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figurines)

The World of Animal Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figurines)
Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery   July 3, 2012 (Tue) - October 28, 2012 (Sun)

  
Haniwa Dog, Terra-cotta tomb ornament, From Sakaikamitakeshi, Isesaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century

Animals depicted as haniwa (terracotta tomb figurines) present a wide variety of types, such as cockerels, aquatic birds, hawks, horses, dogs, wild boars, deer, cattle, monkeys, flying squirrels, and fish. However, these are only a small portion of the diversity of animals that inhabited Japan at the time the haniwa were made. People of the Kofun period (ca. 3rd century - ca. 7th century) chose particular species as subjects of haniwa, presumably with a specific intention.

From the second half of the 5th century onward, haniwa were often arranged on kofun burial mounds to represent daily scenes, with animal- and human-shaped haniwa placed to face each other or to stand in line. By studying the placements and combinations along with the characteristics of the individual haniwa, we can see several typical patterns in the use of animal haniwa. Through introducing animal haniwa and comparing them with small figures of humans and animals on decorated Sue stoneware, this exhibition looks into the stories and meanings possessed by animal haniwa.

Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Aquatic Bird, Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figure), From the tomb perhaps of the Emperor Ojin, Habikino-shi, Osaka, Kofun period, 5th century
Aquatic Bird, Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figure), From Sakitama, Gyoda-shi, Saitama, Kofun period, 6th century (Private collection)
Dog, Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figure), From Sakaikamitakeshi, Isesaki-shi, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century
Wild Boar, Haniwa (terra-cotta tomb figure), From Abiko-shi, Chiba, Kofun period, 6th century
Deer, Haniwa (terra-cotta tomb figure), From Tsukahara, Tsubaki-shi, Ibaraki, Kofun period, 6th century

Related Events

Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery  July 31, 2012 (Tue)   14:00 - 14:30   RESERVE_DAY

Related links

<Rankings & Questionaries >   Which is your Favorite Animal Haniwa? (Poll Results)

Pamphlet

Seladon of Asia

The World of Animal Haniwa (Terracotta Tomb Figurines)

The pamphlet is distributed in Japanese Archaeology Gallery, Heiseikan during the thematic exhibition periods
PDFPDF, 3.7MB)