Art/ Collection/ Art Object

埴輪武装男子像
Haniwa (Hollow Clay Sculpture) of a Warrior

Period:
Kofun period (ca. 300–710)
Date:
5th–early 6th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Earthenware with painted, incised, and applied decoration (Kanto region)
Dimensions:
H. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.268.414
Not on view
Formally attired in a breastplate and studded metal helmet, this haniwa (circle of clay) bust of a warrior vividly attests to the world of early Japan. Boldly potted from fragile earthenware, his broad face, triangular nose, and the oval perforations for his eyes and mouth evoke an impassive resolve. The earliest haniwa, dating to the late third century A.D., were simple clay cylinders. Houses and animals as well as ceremonial and other objects appeared in the late fourth century, while figural haniwa were created in the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries. The traces of red paint found on this figure indicate that it was made in the Kanto region (around Tokyo). Haniwa were placed at the top of the burial mound, in the center, along the edges, and at the entrance of the burial chamber of enormous tombs constructed for the ruling elite during the Tumulus, or Kofun (ca. 200–600), period. These tombs were generally covered with large mounds of earth and were often shaped like keyholes and surrounded by moats. Keyhole-shaped tombs spread throughout Japan from the Kansai (Osaka-Nara-Kyoto) region. Their diffusion is often understood to reflect a parallel spread of political power as Japan, which had been divided into a series of loosely related domains, was gradually organized into a unified state with a central government. The arrival of immigrants from Korea, and possibly others parts of mainland East Asia, provided one impetus for changes in political organization and related burial practices.
Kantō region

[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human and Not-So-Human Figure in Japanese Art," 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Early Japan," 1999–2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: A Decade of Collecting Japanese Art," September 29, 2001–March 10, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sense of Place: Landscape in Japanese Art," May 8, 2002–September 8, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Dedicated Collector: Mary Griggs Burke," June 30, 2004–November 29, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," July 2, 2005–November 29, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Autumn and Winter," June 22, 2006–September 10, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: Two Decades of Collecting Japanese Art," 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Drama of Eyes and Hands: Sharaku's Portraits of Kabuki Actors," September 20, 2007–March 24, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes in Japanese Art," June 24, 2010–November 7, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," August 17, 2013–January 12, 2014.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," February 1, 2014–September 7, 2014.

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