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08/18/2017

social positions in the Yayoi period

In the Jomon period※1, people ate meat and fish and people seemed generally equal.

In the Yayoi period※2, however, the difference between people appeared when people started planting rice which could be preserved. Some people had good farming skills and could store a lot of crops but other people couldn't.

In addition, when people planted rice, they had to work cooperatively, so they needed a leader of their group. This caused differences in social positions between them.

Furthermore, shamans became powerful because they were believed to be able to predict good or bad harvest of the crop.

Little by little, small villages were formed. These were combined and then became provinces. Some provinces became big and powerful.  Leaders of these big provinces were called Kings.

※1 the Jomon period ranged from around 12,000 B.C. to around 400 B.C.

※2 the Yayoi period ranged from around 400 B.C. to around 300 A.D.

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