The power of dogu:
ceramic figures from ancient Japan
10 September – 22 November 2009
Sponsored by Mitsubishi Corporation
Co-organised with Agency for Cultural Affairs
In collaboration with Tokyo National Museum
A Japan-UK 150 Event
This exhibition highlights the beauty and power of remarkable ceramic figures known as dogu, mysterious masterpieces that were produced in great numbers in prehistoric Japan.
Dogu are from the earliest-dated tradition of pottery manufacture in the world, dating to the prehistoric Jomon period, which began 16,000 years ago. Most of the figures in the exhibition are from about 2500 BC to 1000 BC (the Middle and Late Jomon periods) and show the development of the sculptural form over time.
Many of the objects on display are designated Japanese National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties and all are on loan from public and private collections in Japan. Most have never been seen outside Japan before.
The exhibition will also explain the origins, development and disappearance of dogu, and demonstrate how they shed light on the archaeology of prehistoric Japan.