Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006
WAKAYAMA (Kyodo) The head of a “haniwa” figure with two faces, one in front and one in back, has been found in a sixth-century burial mound in the city of Wakayama, according to the prefectural board of education.
A two-faced “haniwa” clay figure found in a sixth-century burial mound in Wakayama is shown in this combined photo. WAKAYAMA PREFECTURAL EDUCATION BOARD PHOTO / KYODO
It is the first excavated haniwa with more than one face. Haniwa are clay figures that were made for ritual use and buried with the dead as funerary objects during the Kofun Period.
One face has a tough expression, with eyes slanted upward, while the other has a mild appearance.
“Judging from the hairstyle, (the haniwa) is probably a man with spiritual power to protect the buried from evil spirits,” a board official said.
Except for a 19-cm-high and 14-cm-wide upper platen, other parts of the haniwa have not been found.
The tough face has tattoo-like lines on its forehead and cheeks, while the mild one has a triangle on its forehead and a leafy pattern on its cheeks.