ARH209 – History of Japanese Art | Lecture 3 | October 6, 2015
Ideas of the Afterlife: Tombs and Funerary Objects
-These can be extremely large tombs where important people were buried; built by forming a mound and digging down into the mound for burial (hence “pit-shaft”) -Two main components make up a keyhole shape: a circular portion where the body is buried and a rectangular portion which leads up to the burial site -Visitors could get near the burial site, but not directly to the sarcophagus -Main decoration was the placement of “haniwa”
Haniwa (“Clay Cylinder”):
-These are statuesque artifacts found surrounding pit-shaft tombs to define a clear path from the rectangular portion to the circular portion where the body is buried; they block off all other routes to the tomb so that there is only one access point for visitors
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-They served as pedestals where offerings could be placed, meaning they have a talismanic purpose
-The earliest haniwa were simple cylinders, but as time progressed, they became figurines such as warriors, animals, attendants, weapons, houses, etc. -The haniwa figurines are thought to be means of protection against evil spirits as well as assistance for the deceased spirit’s travel in the afterlife Don't forget about the age old question of Who is harold innis?
Daisen Tomb (“Tomb of Emperor Nintoku”):
-Largest known keyhole shaped pit-shaft tomb, surrounded by 3 motes (largest mote is 850m) Don't forget about the age old question of What is a measure of thunderstorm potential based on vertical temperature lapse rate, moisture content of the lower atmosphere, and vertical extent of the moist layer?
-There is also a shrine on-site
-Roosters are tied to sun-worship, believed to “call out the sun”
*House-Shaped Haniwa (Kofun Exam Slides, pg 2):
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-Believed to be a dwelling for the spirit in the afterlife
-Was made using cloths to form the clay
*Quiver-Shaped Haniwa (Kofun Exam Slides, pg 3):
-Believed to be used for the spirit’s protection in the afterlife
Haniwa of Shield-Bearing Figure:
-Made to carry the weapons that would protect the spirit
*Haniwa of a Male Warrior (Kofun Exam Slides, pg 4):
-Also made to carry weapons, but also to act as a guardian for the spirit If you want to learn more check out What is the density of the asthenosphere?
-Facial features are more realistic compared to Jamon/Yayoi clay figures
Other Notes: The Kansai region was the major political center at the time of pit-shaft tombs and is the location of the largest pit-shaft tombs in Japan (including the Daisen tomb).
-Came after pit-shaft tombs; made by building a structure out of large stones over the sarcophagus and then covering the structure in a dirt mound; generally smaller than pit-shaft tombs
-Introduced the use of a corridor into the burial site where visitors could have direct access to the sarcophagus
-Main decoration were painted murals on the corridor and chamber walls
House-Shaped Sarcophagus with Arc-and-Line Motifs:
-There are circular motifs, representative of mirrors, and knot motifs common to the time period
Relief Motifs on Walls from Sengoko Tumulus #1:
-Carved walls with mirror motifs and painted red to ward off evil If you want to learn more check out Why do political scientists make probabilistic, instead of deterministic, cause-andeffect arguments?
*Mural Paintings from the Ozuka Tumulus (Kofun Exam Slides, pg 5):
-Tomb was accidentally discovered in 1934
-Most elaborate mural paintings of all known corridor tombs
-3 parts of the tomb: corridor, antechamber, and main chamber
-4 people were buried there, although the bones were not recovered in the tomb -Mural in exam slides depicts 5 horses with tiny riders believed to be the deceased spirits, which introduced the idea of travel in the afterlife
-Bows, quivers, and shields are painted before the exit from the main chamber, introducing the idea of keeping the deceased in the afterlife rather than providing them with protection
-Constellations painted on the ceiling and towards the back of the main chamber serve as a way to orient the spirit
*Mural Painting from Takamatsuzuka Tumulus (Kofun Exam Slides, pg 6): -Tomb was also discovered by accident and one wall was destroyed in the process -Overall much smaller than previous examples; the corridor is short and the main chamber is just big enough for the sarcophagus
-Also has mural paintings, but the style and content is much more modern than previous examples, and the walls are plastered white
-Different directional motifs from previous examples: 4 animals representing the 4 directions, sun and moon, and constellations
-Attendants pictured in the exam slides wore heavy color-blocked garments with long skirts and frills, loosely tied; they wore makeup and had plump faces; their hair was tied back
-These types of tombs are similar in their mound shapes and in that they were built for important people, but the methods with which they were built and their ornamentation are different
*Photos of these pieces have been posted in the Exam Slides on Canvas