This figure is an exact replica of one of the famous the terracotta warriors that protected the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, who died in 210 BCE. It was crafted in Xi’an, the location of the Emperor’s tomb, using the same materials used to create the original sculptures.
The statue represents a foot soldier. He has body armour covering his chest and torso, but his arms and legs are free of armour to enable him to move more easily on the battlefield. The original would have held a real spear in his right hand and a sword in his left.
This replica is part of a group. Another four are on display at the Oriental Museum. When buried, the original terracotta warriors were brightly painted. At the Oriental Museum, curators have used the evidence revealed by archaeologists working in Xi’an to recreate how the figures might originally have looked. This example in the Japanese Garden reflects the way that the figures look today.