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Shakoki-dogu
It Looks Like A Baby
Date:05, Feb, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
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Shakoki-dogu means the Japanese clay figures with goggle-shaped eyes. It is said they were made about 2 - 3 thousand years earlier. Nobody knows who made them for what, because of no records. They Japanese people have found the figures in the Tohoku prefectures like Aomori and Miyagi. They are kept at Iwate Prefectural Museum and Tokyo National Museum now.



Shakoki-dogu

in Tokyo National Museum

File: 青森県つがる市木造亀ヶ岡出土
遮光器土偶-2.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Nov. 3, 2017)
A Japanese theory says Shakoki-dogu stood for a woman. Needless to say, I am almost unfamiliar with archaeology, and not willing to deny the doctrine. However, I don't feel it as a woman.

It looks like a baby, I guess.

Why did I think so? The shape and their goggle-shaped eyes brought me to the place. There are some women with goggle-shaped eyes here and there. I agree with it. It is supposed there have been some women who looked so in all ages. But I cannot guess all women look like so in the Tohoku prefectures.

Have you ever seen a new-born baby? They almost cry with their goggle-shaped (closed) eyes. And their hands are (naturally) so tiny like the cray figures.

If my opinion was correct, for what did they make the cray figures in mimicry of a baby? Were the figures made in order to amuse a baby like dandling? Well, I guess no. Babies would cry aloud by fear when they straightly saw the dogu, I suppose. They were not for amusing, and for what? My opinion says they were made for the parents who had a stillborn baby.



Shakoki-dogu

in Tokyo National Museum

File: Dogū (figurine) - With
goggle-shaped eyes.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Oct. 1, 2015)




Women risked life to giving birth to a baby, as most women have known. Today and old times, there are some sad pregnant women who pass away in exchange for giving birth to her child. On the other hand, there are also some stillbirths, sadly. Your mother safely gave birth to you, and both are unhurt today. I believe it is nothing but a miracle.

It is not hard to imagine there were also some stillbirths about 2 - 3 thousand years earlier. And women must have felt deep grief when she got a stillbirth. So sad. Something had to heal her sorrow, but what on earth could? And then, they made shakoki-dogu in mimicry of a baby, didn't they? They were made for consoling the parents and mourning over the babies, I suppose.

Why were they made in nowhere but the Tohoku prefectures? Tohoku areas are very cold in winter. And women mostly dislike chill. The cold always brings something bad to female bodies. So there might have been a lot of stillbirths when it was cold about 2 - 3 thousand years earlier. And maybe they used to make the dogu in the colder areas.






 

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