Tomb Guardian, Three-color glaze
The ancient people of China had a custom meant to ensure a person would rest peacefully after death. They would be buried alongside models made of wood, clay, paper and other materials that took on the shape of people, animals and every day items.
These items were actually used to furnish a tomb. The name of the pair in Japanese is Chinbojū, which is derived from the fact that they are tomb guardians in the shape of some sort of creature. One of the pair has the face of a beast, while the other has the face of a human. They were colourfully decorated in three-colour glaze, using lead glaze in yellow, green, white and other hues, and the intimidating expression and brutish mane draw the eye.
In the 7th and 8th centuries, during the Tang Dynasty, this sort of porcelain decorated in three-colour glaze enjoyed great popularity among the upper classes of the two cities that served as the Tang capital, Luoyang and Chang’an. Tombs would be filled with items like these in the form of warriors, officials and female servants, and livestock such as camels and horses.