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Haniwa
The Origin of Japan's Kawaii?
Date:14, Feb, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
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Hello. Today I'm talking about Haniwa, Japanese old terra-cotta clay figures. They say the Haniwa were mostly produced during the Kofun period (the 3rd to 6th centuries). How old! Before Muhammad got some message from Allah!

Why am I picking up such old figures? I suppose these figures are the origin of Japanese Kawaii. Have you ever heard Kawaii? It is a Japanese popular adjective which means Cute or/and Pretty. Some say Kawaii is popular all over the world today. I am hard to vouch for the truth of it, but some have said so. All I hope is that you have heard Kawaii.

There are many museums which show Haniwa. And found were many types of Haniwa; dancer, horse, warrior, house, monkey, etc. Most of them look Kawaii. What is their trait? Most of them have big black eyes. It is supposed to be the common trait among Japan's Kawaii things.



Haniwa Horse

Saitama Produced
Had by Tokyo National Museum
File: 埼玉県熊谷市上中条日向島出土 埴輪 馬-2.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on May 26, 2018)

Why did they produce Haniwa in the Kofun period? Kofun means huge graves for the old emperors. And Haniwa were originally set as the decorations in the Kofun. After the Meiji Restoration, women are unable acceding to the throne even if they were members of the Japan's Imperial Family.



House Haniwa

Osaka Produced
Had by Agency for Cultural Affairs
File: 美園遺跡出土 家形埴輪.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on June 5, 2016)
Members of the Meiji Government loved to set a male-dominated society in Japan, and sad to say, the Japan government still keep their spirit even today. No women have taken the premiership in Japan as you know. Before the Meiji period, however, we had some empresses like Empress Suiko.

Am I talking about how important equality of the sexes is? No. I mean Japan originally didn't have a male-dominated society. And I consider Haniwa were maybe made for the unnamed empresses who never appeared in records.

Kawaii things are mostly loved by women. Of course, I guess there are a few men who love, but mostly women. Naturally, it is supposed the women in old times were mostly fond of Kawaii. So I suggest my opinion that says Haniwa were made for the old empresses.






 

Shakoki-dogu
It Looks Like A Baby