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Terra-cotta cylinders and sculptures arranged on and around Japanese tombs during the Tumulus period (c. AD 250–552). The earliest haniwa were barrel-shaped hollow cylinders used to mark the borders of a burial ground. By the 4th century the cylinders were topped with sculptures of warriors, attendants, dancers, animals, boats, birds, and military equipment. After the introduction of Buddhism and the practice of cremation, the making of haniwa declined.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on haniwa, visit Britannica.com.