あ:tool

08/22/2017

Big tombs called Kofun in the Kofun period

In the later third century, many big tombs called Kofun were created in Kinai centering around Yamato, old Nara prefecture. Therefore, the period is called the Kofun period※1.

There are four different styles of Kofun, a round tomb, a square tomb, a tomb with a dome-shaped mound on a square base, and a tomb with a large keyhole shape. The large keyhole shaped tomb is peculiar to Japan. One of the most famous large keyhole-shaped tombs is Daisen-Kofun at Sakai-city in Osaka-fu. The Kofun's length is 486 meters and the outer-moat is about 3 kilometers long.

↓keyhole shape Kofun

Kofun

Pottery dolls called "Haniwa" were excavated around those tombs. There were various types of Haniwa, such as soldier, horse, shaman, and house. It's not clear why these dolls were set around the tombs, but it is believed that these dolls were substitutes for servants of the kings, because in the early Kofun period, when their kings passed away, kings' servants were buried alive with their kings. 

Haniwa

Haniwa

These big Kofuns tell us that Japan had a powerful government in those days. The government in Yamato region, today’s Nara prefecture, was called the Yamato Imperial Court. It is believed that the Imperial Court was originally established as a coalition government of provincial lords, but in the fifth century, the Emperor governed from southern Tohoku to Kyusyu.

The Emperor was called Okimi, the great king, in those days.

Takamatsuduka_2

※1 the Kofun period ranged from the later third century to the seventh century.

 

This page's photos are from AC

https://www.photo-ac.com/

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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