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Mirror

Native NameGoreikyo (五鈴鏡)
Object Number:48-2-5
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Japanese
Provenience: Japan
Period: Kofun
Early Date: 200
Late Date: 700
Section:Asian
Materials:Bronze
Iconography:Human Figure
Spear
Credit Line:Gift of Elise Biddle (Mrs. Harald) Paumgarten, 1948, 1948
Other Number:L-2-353 - Old Loan Number

Description

Cast bronze mirror with five jingles (Goreikyô 五鈴鏡 ) on limbs around the circumference. The back of the mirror has an attachment loop in the center. Five relief depictions of a human figure, carrying a spear in one hand and an unidentified object in the other, radiate out from the attachment loop to points on the raised circular rim corresponding to the position of the five jingles.

Bronze mirrors were introduced to Japan from the East Asian mainland and the Korean Peninsula during the Kofun period (3rd - 7th c. CE), when they were buried in the tombs of the elite. Besides imports, mirrors were also produced locally, often with interesting innovative features. The addition of jingle around the circumference of the mirror, as on this example, is one such distinctive local innovation. Kofun-period clay figurines (haniwa) sometimes depict female religious specialists with five-jingle bronze mirrors hanging from their belts. It is likely that this example had a primarily religious function.

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