Haniwa in the Form of a Shield

Haniwa in the Form of a Shield

c. 500

Japan, Kofun period

(c. AD 300-710)

Earthenware with applied, cut, and incised designs and red slip

Overall: 120 x 48.7 x 18 cm (47 1/4 x 19 3/16 x 7 1/16 in.)

The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 1999.170



Haniwa (clay cylinders) topped with the form of a shield, or with a shield and quiver of arrows, appear on some tomb mounds called kofun (old mounds). There are also warriors holding a shield, their heads peeping out over the tops, or diagonally across their bodies. There are even some haniwa with a warrior’s helmet sitting at the top of the cylinder above the shield. This unusual object has a shield and quiver on the front, and the face of a warrior wearing a helmet on the reverse.


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