Largest Wooden "Haniwa" Statue in Japan Unearthed

Society Culture

Osaka, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)--Remaining parts of a 3.5-meter-tall wooden "haniwa" statue has been found at one of the "kofun" ancient burial mounds making up the Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Japan, a local education board said Thursday.

With the parts also measuring 75 centimeters wide and around 8 centimeters thick, the statue is believed to be one of the biggest wooden haniwa found in Japan so far.

According to the education board of the city of Habikino, Osaka Prefecture, the haniwa was unearthed during an excavation of a moat surrounding the 96-meter-long Minegazuka Kofun, which is believed to have been built at the end of the fifth century.

The statue is an Iwami-style haniwa, which "has only been found at 15 kofun tumuli in Japan so far," according to an official of the education board.

"The haniwa is a very rare artifact as it is made of koyamaki (Japanese umbrella pine), which was a type of wood favored by people in power at the time," the official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press