Haniwa

From Academic Kids

The Haniwa (埴輪) are funerary figures (literally, "clay rings"), found in thousands of kofun tombs (3rd-6th century CE) scattered throughout Japan.

A Haniwa figurine (3-5rd century AD)
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A Haniwa figurine (3-5rd century AD)

During the Kofun period, a highly aristocratic society with militaristic rulers developed. Its horse-riding warriors wore iron armor, carried swords and other weapons, and used advanced military methods like those of Northeast Asia. Many of them are represented in Haniwa figurines for funerary purposes.

The most important of the haniwa were found in southern Honshu--especially the Kinai region around Nara--and northern Kyushu. Haniwa grave offerings were made in numerous forms, such as horses, chickens, birds, fans, fish, houses, weapons, shields, sunshades, pillows, and male and female humans. Besides decorative and spiritual reasons of protecting the emperor in his after life, these figures also served as retaining wall for the burial mount.Template:Japan-stub

ja:埴輪 zh-cn:埴轮

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