Way back during the 3rd to 6th centuries AD, Japanese funerary rituals incorporated terra-cotta clay figures that were believed to protect the deceased in the afterlife. Called haniwa, these clay figures were also treasured under the idea that the souls of the dead wold reside inside them.

Since then, haniwa have continued to hold aesthetic and historical significance in modern Japanese society, and many artists have created their own versions of it.

Perhaps the cutest and most laid-back version of the figures that ever graced this earth are the haniwa created by Japanese potter @etsu_art. Featuring the clay figures relaxing with a book or lying down without a care in the world, the chill and playful haniwa look just like us on a Sunday afternoon.

@etsu_art has been a potter for 10 years, and began making haniwa in an effort to attract new customers who aren’t exactly looking to buy bowls and plates. The clay figures are fired in an oven heated to over 1,200°C (2,192°F), making them hard and durable. They can withstand rain, and can even be displayed underwater.

@etsu_art often brings along these adorable haniwa to events and exhibitions, but in the meantime, you can get more information on the artist’s official website (Japanese only).

By - grape Japan editorial staff.