2:the Jomon period


Clay earthen doll and the way of burial in the Jomon period

Human female-shaped dolls made of clay were found at ruins of the Jomon period. It is unclear how people actually used the dolls, but it is said that the dolls might have been used for their religion. It is thought that ancient people regarded women as holy, because they can deliver babies.

The common way of burial in the Jomon period was flexed burial. It is said that people tried to prevent dead people from returning and causing troubles.


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

◎This photo was taken at The Nerima Furusato museum.


houses and communities in the Jomon period

As people in the Jomon period※ became able to get food in various ways, their lives became stable and then they built houses and started to settle down on sunny hills near watersides.  Their houses were pit-dwelling style. They dug the ground and put a roof over it and there was a fire place at the center of the house. It is considered that a family lived in a house and cooked and had meals together. 

Syuraku Tateana

At many ruins of the Jomon period, you can see remains of several houses arranged in a circle around an open space. They also built warehouses and graves. Therefore, it is considered that they created a small village with about 5 families as the basic unit of the communities in the Jomon period. It is thought that the gap between rich people and poor people was very little in those days, because their houses and graves were almost the same size.



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

◎These photos were taken at The Nishitokyo-city hometown museum.


Tools and Food in the Jomon period

In the Jomon period people used not only chipped stone tools but also polished stone tools. By using these tools, people hunt animal such as deer and wild boars and caught marine life. People ate nuts and some grain too.


By researching ancient dumpsites, you can speculate how our ancestors lived. The dumpsites are called Kai-duka, which means shell-mound.

Omori-kai-duka is the first discovered shell-mound in Japan. It was discovered by an American zoologist, Edward Morse in 1877. On the day after his arrival, he went to Tokyo from Yokohama by train. When he was watching outside the train window, he saw the shell-mound. He had studied many similar sites in his country, so he immediately recognized that it was a shell-mound.


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

◎This photo was taken at the The Nishitokyo-city hometown museum.


The Jomon Period and the Jomon earthenware

About twelve thousand years ago, Japan became an archipelago. After the glacier began to melt due to the temperature rising, Japan was separated from the Continent by the Sea of Japan, which was formed by the rise in sea level.

In those days, people in Japan made the Jomon earthenware, Jomon means straw rope pattern; the earthenware had patterns on the surface. The period is called the Jomon period※1, which lasted about  ten thousand years. The Jomon earthenware is regarded as the oldest earthenware in the world.

The_jomon_earthenware3  The_jomon_earthenware2



These earthenware are owned by The Nishitokyo-city hometown museum.


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

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  • Hi there! I'm Lala. I'm a Japanese living in Tokyo. I'm an English speaking licensed guide and authorized tour conductor. If you have questions, please leave comments on this blog or send me e-mails. lalalamumin☆yahoo.co.jp (please replace ☆ with @ when you send me e-mails)

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