Important Cultural Property

Haniwa (terracotta tomb ornament) of a Crowned Male Figure



Period Kofun (Tumulus) period, 6th - 7th century
Materials and techniques
Size H.131.5 BW.39.5


This haniwa of a crowned man in full dress is an especially well-made piece, for in many figural haniwa, the lower half of the body is often abbreviated. The man has an innocent countenance of the ancients, and although the small mouth which is merely a line made with a pallet and the large vivid eyes that have been cut out are totally disproportionate, they are not unnatural, and strangely enough, the face with its large nose is balanced. His hair is in a style called mizura, with loops of hair tied in front of his ears hanging to his shoulders. Judging from the bead necklace and the triangular crown on his head, it can be surmised that the figure represents a man of the nobility. He is wearing a tunic with a rounded collar, a wide skirt, and long, tubular shaped sleeves over which kote (art guard) is worn. The tunic, tied in two places with strings, is worn with the right side over the left, which is the way to dress a dead person. His trousers are loose and pleated and tied above the knees with drawstrings. He has a large sword thrust into his waist sash from which hang his wrist protectors used in archery. The figure is not hard-textured and yet, thought unglazed, it is not too soft and the clay has been low-fired to a beautiful reddish-brown color. This piece, which is one of the finest figural haniwa, was excavated at Hashie-cho of Isezaki city in Gunma Prefecture.