Important Cultural PropertyHaniwa (unglazed earthen object), monkey

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  • Reportedly excavated from the Dainichizuka Tumulus, Namegata-city, Ibaragi Prefecture
  • 1 piece
  • Earthenware
  • L 21.9H27.3
  • Kofun period/6th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-39103

The Okisu Dainichizuka Tomb is a tumulus in the shape of a scallop with a length of 40 meters. At the circular end, a stone burial chamber made of mica schist with a horizontal passageway remains. It is believed that this tomb was built around the late 6th century. The original shape of this haniwa monkey is unknown since both arms and the lower half of the body are missing. However, there are traces of detachment on the back, which suggests that the monkey may have been carrying a baby on its back. The monkey turns slightly sideways and it could mean that it was trying to look at the baby. This haniwa is a good piece of work that nicely represents a monkey's characteristics, such as painting the face red and it constitutes a valuable material for the study of the diversity of figurative haniwa of the Tumulus period since no other haniwa monkey has been found.