Important Cultural PropertyHorse, Haniwa (unglazed earthen object)

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  • Excavated in 字日向島, Kamichūjō, Kumagaya-city, Saitama Prefecture
  • 1 piece
  • H 87.5
  • Kofun period/6th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-838

While the original tumulus from which this haniwa horse was excavated has not been identified, it is assumed that it was excavated from a tomb of a leader in the Nakajo tumulus group. It seems to have been created approximately in the early 6th century. Although the horse's mane, ears, part of the front legs, saddle and tail have been restored, the rest are in their original form. It has a bit with a panel on which six bells are attached, four bataku (a bell-shaped bronze vessel) hanging over the chest, stirrups and aori (a piece of leather or fur to cover the horse's flanks) on both sides of the saddle and a shirigai (strings to stabilize sticks connecting the horse with a cart) with three bells and plum leaves in three directions. Since there is a representation of the penis in the groin, this horse must be male. This haniwa is in a good state of preservation and constitutes a valuable material in that it shows how horses in the Tumulus period were decorated.