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Treasure of Okinoshima

  • Steatite
Name Steatite boat-shaped figure
Classification Talc
Excavated Point Excavated from Site No. 1
Designated Category National Treasure
Era (real era) 8th-9th Century
volume L.9.6-(21.2)cm
Description The boat figures, carved of thicker slabs of steatite, are made by sharpening the ends, and whittling off pieces to create the prow and the sterns, with a rounded bottom for the ship’s hull, with a hollow or a groove in the center to create the interior of the boat. The level of artistic expression on the figures of the people and the boats vary greatly, with some of them painstakingly recreated, while others are extremely simplified. The boat figures overwhelmingly outnumber the other figures, from which we can conclude that these were seen as highly fitting for ritual dedication to the god of the sea.