The excavated crest-shaped head of a clay figure, 11.1 centimeters high and 17.6 centimeters wide, is on display at Soja City Hall in Okayama Prefecture. The head, believed to be a part of a very early Yayoi period clay item dating from between 500 B.C. and 300 B.C., was excavated at the Kambara ruins in the city. The city’s board of education believes it depicts a head, possibly wearing some kind of cap, used by a shaman who would conduct religious ceremonies dressed like a bird. Birds were said to symbolize a bountiful harvest as they could transport seeds.
Source: The Daily Yomiuri (16th May 2009)