Tomb Sculpture ([Haniwa]): Seated Woman


Tomb Sculpture ([Haniwa]): Seated Woman

Archaeology / Kofun / Gunma

Place excavated:Found in Ōizumi Town, Gunma

Kofun period, 6th century




Important Cultural Property

This haniwa terracotta tomb figurine depicts a seated woman. Her long hair is tied in a large bun atop the head, with a comb attached to the front of the bun. She has a double bead necklace, bead bracelets, and double bead anklets. There are also small beads in the ears and it is thought she once sported earrings too.
She wears a stole-like garment over the right shoulder, sashes across both shoulders, and a wide waist band with a triangular pattern.
The sumptuous clothing, the full body depiction, and the fact she is sitting in a chair all suggest this is a woman of very high standing.
She also carries a mirror with five bells and a pouch with a triangular pattern on the left of the waist. These are ritual instruments, so she was probably a shrine maiden who played a central role in religious ceremonies. There are no records detailing the condition of the tumulus where this haniwa was excavated, but seated haniwa usually come in male and female pairs, so this figurine may once have had a male counterpart. Furthermore, the high seating area potentially dates the figurine to the first half of the 6th century, during the late Kofun period.

Related Works

Search items related to work chosen