Clay figurines known as dogu from Japan’s prehistoric Jomon Period (11,000 BC–5th century BC) are thought to have been used in prayer. Mostly female in form, they are acclaimed worldwide as works of art that reflect the faith and spiritual world of their creators. Among these figurines, those designated National Treasures have both historical value and beautifully modeled forms.
On this occasion, in cooperation with Yamagata Prefecture and the Yamagata Promotional Organization for Industrial Technology, the Tokyo National Museum is holding the special viewing, Goddess of the Jomon Period: A National Treasure Dogu Figurine.
This particular figurine is called the Goddess of the Jomon Period because of its elegant yet powerful form. It is also the largest standing dogu figurine yet to be discovered. At the Nishinomae Excavation Site in Funagata, Yamagata Prefecture, where this figurine was found, 47 dogu fragments of various sizes were also unearthed and designated National Treasures on September 6, 2012. At this exhibition, we will display 41 of these fragments in addition to the Goddess of the Jomon Period. This is the first time that these objects are being displayed outside of Yamagata Prefecture since their designation as National Treasures.
Moreover, the Goddess of the Jomon Period will be displayed in a “next-generation museum display case with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) lighting.” This case, which was developed through cooperation among firms in Yamagata Prefecture and incorporates the latest technology, allows visitors to fully enjoy the beautiful form of this dogu figurine.