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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Remembering Haniwa house

I was struck by this little house, made of terra cotta, which an ancient Japanese culture used with their burial customs (before Buddhism and cremation).

I made a smaller, simpler version, but enjoyed the style of the two truncated pyramids forming a structure that might be a living space.

I didn't make all the openings keyhole shape, the way the picture in the book did.

And I just googled Haniwa, so I wouldn't be entirely ignorant about the meaning.  So there are more pictures, which I'll post below.

Photocopy from a book on Japanese Art History..
Architecture, Prehistoric period ( -552)

Terra cotta, Plan: 60x65 cm.  Height: 53 cm.  Excavated from an ancient burial mound at Saitobaru, Koyu-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture.  Owner, Tokyo National Museum.
(Note: I looked up metric conversion, since I don't keep it in my head.  50 cm is 20 inches)

Here are images from Google:
A different view (and in color) of my first image that inspired me.  All those roof structures are fabulous, and this was originally created in terra cotta, that's clay.  Just the same stuff I made mine from but not fired as hot.

 A garden, which has yet another Haniwa house.  Did I mention the burial mound had many figures and cylinders around it?

The pottery of the Jamon period of ancient Japan is different than these forms.  (look at my blog last March for Jamon pottery)  But I never saw any houses when I was studying Jamon pots!

My note to myself is that I've been working on shrines.  What else would you call a small building at a burial mound?


  1. I love your little house - I've made little houses myself in the past, but they didn't turn out as good as yours! xC

  2. Glad you like it Cathy. I'm practicing learning more about slab work all the time!

  3. I've never seen these before. Looks like I have some googling to look up more examples tonight.

  4. Thanks, I'll post the final version of mine in a couple of days. Just put some stain on it to make it look a bit less like a flower pot.


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