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Head of a Warrior

A work made of earthenware.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of earthenware.


6th century
Kofun period (mid 3rd–6th century A.D.)


Artist Unknown

About this artwork

This head of a warrior from an earthenware tomb figurine (haniwa) is from the late Kofun (literally “old burial mound”) period, which is typified by a complex hierarchical society with advanced burial rituals. Several burial mounds or tumuli for chieftains and emperors still exist today, particularly around the Nara area, and it is from such locations that haniwa figurines have been excavated. In the early Kofun period, haniwa were tubular in form so that they could be easily filled with earth and buried. In the fifth century, haniwa were made in a multitude of representational forms, including male and female figures, animals, and houses.

Although there are losses, most notably above the ears and at the back of the head, this sculpture has no repairs or restoration. The calm expression and symmetrical facial features make it one of the most dignified extant haniwa heads. It was once in the collection of the famed potter Hamada Shôji.


On View, Gallery 102


Arts of Asia


Head of a Warrior


Japan (Object made in)


300 CE–552 CE




25.5 × 15.5 × 12.2 cm (10 × 6 1/8 × 4 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; Alyce and Edwin DeCosta and the Walter E. Heller Foundation Fund; Robert Allerton Trust

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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