Haniwa - Clay image

A clay image; Haniwa is unglazed pottery unique to the Kofun period of Japan. Haniwa was erected alongside on top of the ancient tumulus. They are distributed throughout Japan mounds. They in the tumulus are essentially.

From the second half of the third century, Haniwa was built during the second half of the 6th century. It disappeared along with the ancient tumulus. The way making Haniwa: they make straps by clay first, and then shape them to build up. Haniwa had been made with a combination of them baked separately sometimes.

As well as, there is the other way to make Haniwa. First, people make the frameworks. Next, people put clay on them. There are not Haniwa by a mold. Some popular Haniwa are painted on their surface with a red dye; a red iron oxide. Haniwa is not used some colors except for red in Kinai. In addition to Kanto region, Haniwa has been painted with some kinds of colors. Haniwa had been lined on the hill when people had started making tombs. Haniwa have two types: cylindrical haniwa "Enkei-haniwa" and house-shaped haniwa "Keisho-haniwa".

In addition, there were roughly four kinds of Keisho Haniwa; house-shaped Haniwa, Kizai Haniwa (clay figure in the shape of things such as sword of shield ), animal-shaped Haniwa and Haniwa figure of human. Keisho Haniwa can restore such as clothes, hairstyles, architectural style, farming tools and armor of the Tumulus period.

Originally, tokushu-kidai (ceremonial vessel stand) shaped earthenware and tokushu tsubo (ceremonial jar) shaped earthenware were occurred in Kibi region, which were used for the funeral took place on the tomb. On the other hand, it was considered that cylindrical Haniwa was inherited and had a role in partitioning the tumulus and sections.

House-shaped Haniwa are two theories, the first theory is the object representative of a divine spirit for a dead person. The second is the house that a dead person had lived for his lifetime. All most of house-shaped Haniwa were placed on the tombs and the burial tumulus facilities.

About Kizai Haniwa, lid-shaped Haniwa are thought to have represented noble lineage, because the lid was the symbol of that, and Haniwa shaped like weapons or arms such as shields and armors, are thought to have placed to prevent invasion of and evil spirit or calamity, because of their accrual purpose of defending or attacking. The Haniwa figure or person and animal-shaped Haniwa were displayed as a line or a group of statues, therefore there are theories such as that they represented funeral rites and that they recreated the political rituals before death. It is thought such change of Haniwa might reflect the view of a religious service and that of life and death in Tumulus period.

Three girls Haniwa
Male Haniwa
Era Kofun period / 6th century
Excavated Wakiya, Gunma Prefecture
Size H 75 cm
Possession Kyoto National Museum
The figure hasa sedge hat, mizura hair style, shortsword, and hoe. Other haniwa werewarriors, female shamans, and farmerswith tools or weapons.
Three girls Haniwa
Haniwa of armoured man and join ons’s palms together
Era Late Kofun period / Late 6th century
Excavated Kannonyama ancient tomb, Takasaki City
Size H 110cm
Possession Gunma Prefectural History Museum
Important cultural property

Kannonyama Tumulus is famous for that great possessions buried with a dead person were excavated from a huge horizontal stone chamber.
Furthermore, a large quantity cylindrical Haniwa and Keisho Haniwa were excavated on focus on an opening of a stone hut.
It is said that Haniwa figure of men were show the ceremony about funeral and succession of Status “shinobigoto”.

This man’s Haniwa is face woman’s Haniwa that is written after. The Haniwa is man’s Haniwa that dress his hair as Mizura and his head was surmounted by a broad-brimmed booby hat. He wears a jacket design of hemp’s leaves and sash and bells are used to wrap around the waist with Tousu (small knife). He is sitting cross-legged in circle and put hands together. It is opposite to woman’s haniwa. Consequently, this is considered that he is a head or a successor of powerful families.

It means that he put hands together for owner of the tumulus, or that the situation is succeed to the head.

Haniwa figure of woman
Haniwa figure of woman
Era Late Kofun period / Late 6th century
Excavated Kannonyama ancient tomb, Takasaki City
Size H 110cm
Possession Gunma Prefectural History Museum
Important cultural property
This is a woman’s Haniwa putting on to face the man’s Haniwa.
It estimate that this Haniwa was modeled on the shrine maiden “Miko” sitting on circle.
Her hairstyle is woman’s own and she wears a comb front of brow.
We can look she wears a jewel in her ears.
She wears a jacket that has the pattern hemp’s leaves or mo that design stripes are applied via line engraving.
These wears are graphically and elaborate pattern and the Haniwa is close to a woman of the wall painting at Takamatsuzuka Kofun Tumulus.
We can imagine she is sitting straight.
Three girls Haniwa
Three girls Haniwa
Era Late Kofun period / Late 6th century
Excavated Kannonyama ancient tomb, Takasaki City
Size H 110cm
Possession Gunma Prefectural History Museum
Important cultural property

It is valuable that the three of haniwa is unmatched.
These ornaments are common of the girls and indicate perhaps shrine maiden "Miko".
The reason for being called little girls is smaller than others.
They carry each two disks on their back.
The disks are probably mirrors.

Align and bent the fingertips of both hands, and plucking something instrument's strings.
They are estimated that an accompanist who attunement to the words of the shrine maiden, or they was playing the Funeral songs that mourn the dead.

The long and narrow eyes is different from the other haniwa.
Haniwa that all together have such eye excavated examples are not many at all.
It is said that eye is expressing crying face for mourn the dead.
So, theory that they is a Nakime ( express the sorrow on behalf of the chief in funeral ) is common.
On the other hand, there is also a theory that this eye express that they were immigrants to ancient Japan.

Three girls Haniwa
Haniwa figure of armoured man
Era Kofun period / 6th century
Excavated Iizuka-machi, Ota City, Gunma Prefecture
Size H 130.5cm
Possession Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo
National treasure

This armor-clad haniwa (burial-figure) warrior is armed with a sword, a bow, and a quiver of arrows.
The haniwa warrior wears a visorless keeled helmet (J. shokakutsuki) with protective flaps on either side of his face and behind his head.
The armor, a type known as keiko (literally, "hanging armor"), consists of small panels of iron laced together.
The detailed modelling shows all the features of the armour, including padded guards for the shoulders, knees, forearms, and legs, and shoes.
The warrior's right hand holds a sword slung from his waist, while his left hand holds a bow.
Tied just above his left wrist is a device to protect his hand from the bowstring.
The arrows in the quiver on his back have their heads pointing upwards.

Quoted from National treasure HP.

Three girls Haniwa
Haniwa figure of horse and person
Era Kofun period / Early 6th century
Excavated Ejiri tumulus Yatano Ishikawa
Size Horse: H 64.6cm, L 70.7cm, W 29.6cm
Rider: H 47.5cm
Person draw a horse: H 46.0cm
Possession Komatsu City Museum
Important cultural property
This is rare in Haniwa that calcination of "Sue" property, so it has characteristic color and hard texture.
Three girls Haniwa
Haniwa figure of horse
Era Kofun period / 6th century
Excavated Ruins of Minami-sage Osaka
Size H 53.5cm, L 80.0cm, W 20.0 cm
Possession Municipal Museum of History and Folklore Shijonawate
Designated tangible cultural property in Osaka City
Three girls Haniwa
Haniwa figure of foal
Era Kofun period / 6th century
Excavated Ruins of at Osaka Station Shinobugaoka
Size H 27.5cm, L 41.0cm, W 14.0cm
Possession Museum of History and Folklore, Shijonawate City
Designated tangible cultural property in Osaka City
Three girls Haniwa
Haniwa figure of horse
Era Late Kofun period / Early 6th century
Excavated Tumulus No.23 Ruins of under Serada-suwashimo Gunma Prefecture.
Size H 81.8cm, L 87.2cm, W30.40cm
Possession Ota City Board of Education
(Exhibition:Nittanosho History museum)
Important cultural property of Gunma Prefecture