Art/ Collection/ Art Object

土偶
Dogū (Clay Figurine)

Period:
Final Jōmon period (ca. 1000–300 B.C.)
Date:
1000–300 BC
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Earthenware with cord-marked and incised decoration (Tōhoku region)
Dimensions:
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm); D. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
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:
1975.268.191
Not on view
This stylized, hollow figurine (dogū) of a female is representative of the type found in the Tōhoku region of northern Honshu and made during the Late and Final Jōmon periods. The most arresting aspect of these figurines is their large bisected coffeebean-shaped eyes. While the true meaning of this convention remains unknown, the eyes are often likened to the snow goggles worn by the Inuit of North America. The nose and mouth are merely suggested by small holes. A crown sits atop the figure's head, and her body is decorated with deeply incised lines and areas impressed with cord-markings that may represent tattoos. Other, more complete examples of this type have fleshy torsos with bare navels above thick, sturdy legs. The emphasis on the pointed breasts and generous hips of these figures suggests that they functioned as fertility symbols.
Inscription: Single box- inscribed on paper outside of lid: Jōmon clay figure: upper half excavated near Kamegaoka, Aomori Prefecture.
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. "Blossoms of Many Colors: A Selection from the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art," March 21, 2000–August 9, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," August 19, 2000–February 5, 2001.

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. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.

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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