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Ancient Art | Ca. 11,000 BC–7th century AD

"Ancient Art | Ca. 11,000 BC–7th century AD"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 1  July 6, 2021 (Tue) - December 25, 2021 (Sat)

Bronze Bell (Dōtaku)
Found in Kawanishi City, Hyōgo, Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century (Gift of Mr. Saeki Sutekichi)

Japan has some of the earliest pottery in the world, dating back about 13,000 years. It was created by the people of the Jōmon period (ca. 11,000–400 BC). These people built permanent settlements and relied on hunting, fishing, and gathering.

At the height of their culture, they made pottery with richly sculpted forms and figurines with distinctive shapes.

In the Yayoi period (ca. 4th century BC–first half of 3rd century AD), people from Northeast Asia (now China and Korea) immigrated to Japan. They brought knowledge of how to farm rice and make objects with bronze and iron. More food became available and people started making tools, weapons, and ritual objects with metal.

In the Kofun period (ca. second half of 3rd–7th century), regional rulers seized power and resources. They formed an early state and the imperial line became its central authority. These rulers had giant tomb mounds built for themselves, with clay sculptures placed outside and valuable objects buried inside to express the rulers’ authority even after death.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 3 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Deep Vessel with a Flame-Like Rim Reportedly found in Nagaoka City, Niigata Jōmon period, 3,000–2,000 BC J-39036
_MD_RECOMMEND Bronze Bell ("Dōtaku") Found in Kawanishi City, Hyōgo Yayoi period, 1st–3rd century Gift of Mr. Saeki Sutekichi, J-6152
_MD_RECOMMEND Tomb Sculptures ("Haniwa"): Man in Formal Attire Found in Fujioka City, Gunma Kofun period, 6th century J-23089
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