A type of clay figurine, most often depicting a pregnant female, made in Japan during the Jomon period, c. 5th to 4th millennium to c. 250 bc. The function of these figurines is unknown, but it is generally believed that they were some kind of fertility symbol and they are reminiscent of the rigidly frontal fertility figures produced by other prehistoric cultures. Archaeological evidence suggests they were aids in childbirth as well as fertility symbols. They are also found in simulated burials, indicating some kind of ceremonial function. Fired at a low temperature, they often have crumbly surfaces and many are painted red.