あ:food

06/23/2018

About the Development of new rice-fields in the 8th century

The Imperial Court planned a large-scale-development of new rice-fields in 722.
 
In those days, the population was increasing, so the Court needed more rice-fields to allocate all people who were over 6 years old. In addition, the Court also wanted to increase tax revenue.
 
In 723, the Sanze-Isshin-Law was enacted. The law allowed people to own land for a certain period of time, if they developed new rice-fields. If a person developed both new irrigation facilities and new rice-fields, the person and the person’s children and grandchildren were allowed to own the land.
If a person developed only new rice-fields, the person was allowed to own the rice-fields and when he passed away, his rice-fields were given back to the Court.
 
However, the law was not so effective, because people felt that the period which they could own the rice-fields was too short, because that people didn’t live very long in those days.
 
And then the Konden-Einen-Shizai-Law was enacted in 743. This allowed people to own rice-fields which they developed forever. The original aim of this law was to develop more rice-fields which could be managed by the Court, but the law prompted rich people such as nobles, temples and local lords to expand their private rice-fields. For example, great temples like Todaiji-temple clamed vast plains. The development of temples was supported by local governments and these temples used neighboring farmers and homeless people to build irrigation facilities and for land cultivation.

08/16/2017

food and community in the Yayoi period

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

However, the difference between people appeared in the Yayoi period※2. 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.

Yayoi_earthenware1

Yayoi earthenware

 

※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.

This photo was taken in the Nerima Furusato museum.

08/14/2017

About the Yayoi period rice farming, bronze products, ironware, earthenware, storehouse

In the late Jomon period※1,, about 2700 years ago, rice farming at paddy fields was started in northern Kyusyu region.

Around the same time, it is considered that metal ware made of bronze was introduced to Japan from the Continent. Bronze bells, bronze swords and bronze pikes were produced in those days. These bronze products were very heavy; therefore it is thought these were used for rituals. Around the 6th century BC, people started practical use of ironware, such as farm tools, implements and arms.

In this period, thin strong earthenware without straw rope patterns was created. The type of earthenware was first discovered at Yayoi-town in Tokyo. Therefore, the type of earthenware was named the Yayoi earthenware and the period is called the Yayoi period※2.

Yayoi_earthenware_2

Around the 4th century BC, the Yayoi culture based on rice farming was formed in western Japan and it expanded to eastern Japan.

When people started rice farming, they needed storehouses to preserve the crops. Then they built storehouses having floors that were raised above the ground. The pillars under the floors had boards that prevented mice from entering the storehouses.

※1 the Jomon period ranged over 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.

◎This photo was taken at The Nerima Furusato museum.

08/09/2017

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.

Stone_tools

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.

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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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