Important Cultural PropertyEarthen plate

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  • Excavated from the Fukuda shell-mound, Inashiki-city, Ibaragi Prefecture
  • 1 piece
  • Clay
  • L16.7 W14.0 thickness1.7
  • Jyōmon period/1000-400 BC
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-38401

Doban (clay boards), basically square or oval in shape, of the Final Jomon period have been found from the Tohoku to Kanto regions. In the Tohoku region, stone boards were first created, which later shifted to clay boards. Since some doban have the three-dimensional representation of a face, a body, female breasts or a midline, it is assumed that they played a role similar to dogu (clay figures) or served as a charm since they have holes through which to draw a string.
 This specimen is in the shape of a square with rounded corners and has two holes in the upper part, which were bored before firing. Both the front and back surfaces are painted red and divided into two parts, the upper and the lower, on which mainly sansamon (a three-pronged pattern) and arc patterns are applied via the surikeshijomon technique. In the upper part of the front surface, there is a representation that looks like eyes, which was created via short deep engraved lines and a nose created via sansamon. As with dogu, this one seems to have been used as a tool in a ritual and is a good example that shows the spiritual aspect of the Jomon period.