KANSAI Close-up

Haniwa' with 2 faces

The human head of ancient haniwa (clay image) with two faces on the front and back (=photo) has been unearthed from the No. 35 Dainichiyama (key-hole shaped tomb dated in the first part of the 6th century) in Iwase-Senzuka Old Mounds in Wakayama City. It marked the first time that a human haniwa with two faces was uncovered in the country .The head is about 19 cm tall and about 14 cm wide. It shows an ancient man tying his hair on the sides of the ears in representation of 'sage mizura'(an ancient form of a man knotting his hair on both sides of the ears). One of the faces displays tranquil looks while the other exhibits stern looks .
Experts find it difficult to make evaluations on why it has two faces and say, for the present, that it's a mysterious haniwa. Earlier, haniwa in the shape of a bird gliding in the sky was discovered at the Iwase-Senzuka Old Mounds. The haniwa will be on display at Kii-Fudoki-No-Oka Museum of History until Dec. 24.

For inquiries, please contact Kii-Fudoki-No-Oka Museum of History (Tel: 073-471-6123) URL: http://www.kiifudoki.wakayama-c.ed.jp/