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Development of Figural Haniwa Tomb Figurines

"Development of Figural Haniwa Tomb Figurines"

Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery  January 2, 2021 (Sat) - June 27, 2021 (Sun)

Tomb Sculpture (Haniwa): Boar, Found in Isesaki City, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)

Haniwa are terracotta figurines that were stood up on ancient burial mounds called kofun. Around the 3rd century at the end of the Yayoi period, pedestal-shaped terracotta objects that were placed on burial mounds began to change form. By the time keyhole-shaped burial mounds were first created in the latter half of the 3rd century, these objects had developed into cylindrical and pot-shaped haniwa.

The earliest representational haniwa, which depicted houses, were created in the mid-4th century, followed by those portraying armor, shields, quivers, and parasols, as well as ships and fowl. Despite increasing variety and changes in the way haniwa were positioned on burial mounds, house-shaped ones were always placed in the center, therefore playing a unique and important role. From the mid-5th century, new haniwa in the shapes of various people and animals were also created. These included shrine maidens, horses, warriors, boars, water fowl, and dogs. They were positioned around the perimeters of burial mounds as though depicting stories. These various representational haniwa, which evolved from simple cylindrical ones, are believed to have played important roles in funerary rituals.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 5 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Man Carrying a Hoe Found at Akaborimura No. 104 Tumulus, Gunma Kofun period, 6th century J-22675
_MD_EXPLANATION Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Dog Found in Isesaki City, Gunma Kofun period, 6th century J-20711
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Boar Found in Isesaki City, Gunma Kofun period, 6th century J-36889
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Horse Found in Kumagaya City, Saitama Kofun period, 6th century J-838
_MD_RECOMMEND Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Man Holding a Shield Found at Wakamizuzuka Tumulus, Gunma Kofun period, 6th century J-7549
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