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08/19/2017

Descriptions about Japan in the Yayoi period

In those days, people in Japan didn't have writing, so there are no history books written in Japan about the situation in the Jomon period※1 and the Yayoi period※2 .

However, Japan's circumstances in the Yayoi period were described a little in Chinese history books. One of the history books is “Kanjyo-Chirishi”, which means the chapter on geography in the Book of Han. According to that book, the society of people in Japan was divided into about 100 provinces and their envoys regularly visited the Lelang Commandery.

According to another history book “Book of the Later Han”, an envoy from Na-province in Japan received a gold seal from Emperor Kobu in 57 BC. The seal was found at Shikanoshima-island in Fukuoka-city in the 18th century. Five Chinese characters, “漢(Han)倭(Japan)奴(Na-province)国王(King”were carved on the seal. It is not clear how these Chinese characters should be interpreted.

 

 ※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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