Tomb Sculpture (Haniwa): Seated Priestess (detail), Found in Ōizumi Town, Gunma, Kofun period, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery
June 21, 2022 (Tue) - December 18, 2022 (Sun)
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.
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Seated Priestess||Found in Ōizumi Town, Gunma||Kofun period, 6th century||J-21160|
|Highlight||Tomb Sculpture ("Haniwa"): Waterfowl||Found at the tomb attributed to Emperor Ōjin, Osaka||Kofun period, 5th century||J-6480|