Sculpture by Haniwa Boar, Kofun period, Japan, ca. 5th c.
Haniwa, literally “clay cylinders,” at times numbering in the thousands, were placed in rows at the base of the mounds and scattered on their crests or sloping sides. Sometimes the clay cylinders were topped with figures or animals. This infant boar shows the variety and range of expression achieved by the makers of haniwa. Although the reason for making this image is unknown, the large snout, curled body, and bound limbs of the small animal are the result of subtle observation and skillful hands.