Important Cultural PropertyShrine maiden, Haniwa (unglazed earthen object)

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  • Excavated in Kokai, Ōizumi-town, Gunma Prefecture
  • 1 piece
  • H68.5
  • Kofun period/6th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-21160

The conditions of the tumulus from which this haniwa was excavated are unknown. This woman sits on a square chair with both hands dropping in front and her small feet are on a board sticking out from the chair. The shape of the relatively high seating area suggests that it was created in the late Tumulus period around the early 6th century. The woman is wearing a stole-like outfit typical of clothing for female figures, a sash and a wide waist band with a triangle pattern. In addition to a comb placed above the forehead, she also wears earrings, a double necklace, bead bracelets and double bead anklets. On the left side of the waist, she has a goreikyo (a mirror with five bells) and a pouch with a triangle pattern. Since human haniwa figures, whose representation forms range from sitting on a chair to sitting on the floor cross-legged to sitting on their heels, are generally made into male-female pairs to constitute part of a sculptured group, it seems that there used to be a male counterpart to this one. This figure seems to represent a leading person in a scene created with figurative haniwa.