Clay Dogu Figure
Found at the Ebisuda Site in Tajiri, Miyagi Prefecture, Final Jomon Period, ca. 1000-300 B.C.E. Tokyo National Museum
(Image from Bonnie Cheng, Department of Art, Oberlin College)
The purpose of the Dogū remains unclear but, most likely, the Dogū acted as effigies of people, that manifested some kind of sympathetic magic. For example, it may have been believed that illnesses could be transferred into the Dogū, then destroyed, clearing the illness, or any other misfortune.
Others suggest that Dogu figures were talismanic objects used in relation to pregnancy and childbirth. Or she could be an ancient alien in a space suit!
via > wtfarthistory.com