Dogu (Clay Figurine)

Jomon period, 1000 - 400 BC

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

Dogu (clay figures) associated with Kamegaoka Culture in the Tohoku region during the Final Jomon period are called shakokidogu (snow goggle clay figures; literally "light-blocking device" clay figures) and are widely known. Among these shakokidogu, this is the most famous one since it has been published in school textbooks. It has a crown-shaped projection on the head, which looks like rising smoke, as well as small ears, nose and mouth that form a striking contrast to greatly deformed big eyes. Short arms and legs are attached to a fat body with broad shoulders and clay cords with lumps are pasted around the neck and on the chest like ornaments. The decoration effect is enhanced by placing cloud-like patterns on the back of the head, shoulders and the body via the surikeshijomon technique. Since some red color remains on the crown-shaped projection, it is assumed that originally the entire body was painted red.The outstanding design sense and molding capability of the Jomon people demonstrated in this specimen are still loved and cherished by many people, as exemplified by the fact that a monument of shakokidogu has been built in front of a local train station.


  • Title: Dogu (Clay Figurine)
  • Date Created: Jomon period, 1000 - 400 BC
  • Physical Dimensions: h367 mm
  • Object Title: 土偶
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 縄文時代晩期の東北地方の亀ヶ岡文化(かめがおかぶんか)に伴う土偶は遮光器土偶(しゃこうきどぐう)と呼ばれ、一般によく知られている。その中でも教科書などに掲載されて最も著名な遮光器土偶が本例である。 頭には立ち上る煙のような冠状の突起がのせられ、大きくデフォルメされた目とは対照的に、小さく耳や鼻、そして口が表現される。両肩が張った太い胴部に短い手足が付き、突起を伴う隆帯が頸や胸飾りのように貼り付けられている。磨消縄文手法(すりけしじょうもんしゅほう)を用いて雲のような文様を後頭部や肩、そして胴部へと配置して装飾効果を高めている。赤彩が冠状の突起の一部に残ることから、本来は全面が赤く塗られていたと考えられる。 本例にみられる縄文人の卓越したデザインセンスと造形力は、いまもなお多くの人々に愛され、その一つの形として地元の駅舎のモニュメントとして採用されている。
  • Object Date: 縄文時代(晩期)・前1000~前400年
  • Medium(Japanese): 土製
  • Excavation: 青森県つがる市木造亀ヶ岡出土, Kamegaoka, Kizukuri, Tsugaru-shi, Aomori
  • Type: Archaeology
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100614

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